First day of classes

What a great day! With the Nokia class, I taught four classes, two hours each. The day was long but exhilirating. The students are attentive, eager to learn, and funny. When asked to pick a word to describe themselves, many picked "shy." They are very interested in American student life. During a question period, one student asked, "How do American students study?" I resisted the sarcastic answer and said, "Some students study very hard, and some are lazy." The word "lazy" is very popular here. Their presentation skills are excellent. At the end of each class, I had a student come to the front and tell what he or she had learned.  Here are some answers: "I learned about eye contact." "I learned that my partner had to travel 21 hours by car to get here." "I learned that my teacher is very lovely and kind." (Really loved that last one.) The students are reserved in the usual classroom setting. If I ask, "Can anyone tell me….?" I get nothing. If I call on a student, he or she will rise to speak.  But when students are paired up, they become animated and talkative. They are quite good conversationalists, even with struggling English. Here’s a surprise: Big, Bang Theory is a very popular TV show, even among the Nokia students. They know when the new season starts. One of the Chinese teachers even shows clips of it in her English class.
In the Nokia class, the topic for the evening was "Company History." I thought that this would be pretty dry, But no, over the weekend, Nokia had a big shakeup. The CEO and the head of the smartphone division are out. I didn’t even know Nokia made smartphones. They have a lock on the China market (Blackberry is banned) but many of the Nokia employees use the iPhone for their personal phone. I guess that was a big clue that there was a problem. The students explained to me, a naive audience, about the ins and outs of the smartphone market and I taught them the idiom, "Nokia cleaned house." It was a great night.
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4 Responses to First day of classes

  1. Mark says:

    Sounds like you are having a lot of fun with the students. I look forward to reading more of your adventures. The campus looks great.

  2. Meg says:

    Hi Ruth! It sounds like you are enjoying your jump back into a classroom…and one half a world away from South Bend. I\’m reading your blog daily. We are in better touch now than when you were 90 miles from me!

  3. Esther says:

    you ARE very lovely and kind! 🙂 rock on!

  4. Paula says:

    It sounds too exciting. Almost makes me want to come back even if it is to eat Sea cucumbers. I did read that in the paper about the shake up and thought about you. Lovely and kind–you go girl! I hope this does not become too much fun and you decide to up your time there. Miss you

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