Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mmmm . . . Nothing Like a Hot Cup of Water on a 90-degree Summer Day

Apparently, if you order a glass of water with your meal at a restaurant in China, expect it to be piping hot with the steam still rising from the cup. That's different.

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If anyone can figure out how to fit 14,000 students in one-square mile, China certainly can. This past weekend students began arriving on campus for the new school year, and it was a sight to behold. Yes, somehow, 14,000 students (minus the freshman class) arrived on our tiny campus, suitcases, blankets, and giant thermoses in hand (to carry their refreshing hot water, of course).

Classes began on Monday and when I walked into each of my classes, I was met with stares of curiosity. I don't think my students have encountered many Nigerians in their lifetime ;) I have about 250 second-year students in five classes, all business majors with dreams of making money and traveling West one day. They are eager to improve their spoken English, hungry for information about the world beyond their borders, and easy to fall in love with. Many a time this week, I have looked across my classroom and thought, "Wow! I get to spend a whole year with these students!"

I know it's only the "honeymoon" stage, as they say, but I'd like to think I'll be feeling the same way by the end of the school year :)

On the first day of each of my classes, I told my students that everyone lives for something/someone or is motivated by something/someone. "I am motivated by a desire to help people discover their purpose," I said to them.

I hope that by the end of the term, I will have nudged my students closer to discovering who they are.

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