Not that I mind. In fact it could be very interesting. We have been asked to teach English one night a week in a textile factory. This is part of the college's adult education program, and I will start next week.
The factory is just out of town and I will go with a Chinese teacher from the college. The level of English is not as high as in the college, but that is OK. Every day I learn something new.
And one of my students told me that she saw me dancing on television. Ooops. I had hoped no one would see me! She was quite thrilled and showed her parents the English teacher from college. It was at the International Women's Day event and some of us were at the front being shown how to do traditional Chinese dance. I'm told my effort looked more like disco dancing - but how you can dance with heavy shoes, and five layers of clothes to keep you warm I don't know.
Only one of my students has said anything, so with any luck no one else has seen it.
I met with one of the students today to help her practice English for a speaking competition. She has transcribed some information from BBC news - about a terrorist involved in shooting Israelis. My goodness what a thing to choose to speak about. We sat in the school canteen with canteen staff sitting around listening as the student read her piece and I corrected her pronunciation. She was quite good - but spoke too fast. She will have to try to learn her speech and speak slower. Her mother is a policewoman and her father is a fireman. They work 6 1/2 days a week, and as she is an only child, she has been brought up by her grandmother.
Her parents want her to marry a man from her hometown - no one in mind at the moment, but she wants to get a good grade in college and a good job so that she can travel and have good things.
The students are around 21 - 23 years of age and live spartan existence in the college dormitories where there are six to a room. Winter and summer they have no hot water in the dormitories, and have to go to other buildings for a shower. We see them carrying a plastic bowl (I haven't worked out what that is for - other than carrying clean clothing into the shower) and all their soap, shampoo etc. They come out of the shower with cold wet hair, into the cold, cold air of winter.
As one of the class exercises today the students talked about education in China. It is very competitive and very hard, but I have explained that students all around the world say that about their college/schools.
We had to consider what we would build in a school if we had to build a new school. Surprising that the first thing was a swimming pool. Few Chinese swim - as there are few pools here. I told them that many schools in Australia have whiteboards - not the blackboard as this school has - and I explained how they work. It is very hard being a student here - as their parents pay a high fee and have high expectations. And I told them that in Australia there are paid cleaners. Here the students have to clean the classrooms - and they don't do a good job at it! The students want paid cleaners for their school.
They would love to have more access to computers for study, and to go on school excursions. This is something they do not do here.
An interesting lesson.