At our home, in restaurants, and "out and about," we
frequently take time for fun with our students, former
students and friends.
We invite students and friends to join us (at home) for a movie almost once a month.
This group is waiting to see to see a movie (Kunming, Oct 2007). (Right)
After our summer in Alaska and at the Olympics (2008), a few former students
students joined us for pizza at Kunming's oldest pizzeria (which soon
thereafter went out of business). To get invited to these special events, all they have
to do is send us an email; then when we have something special planned, we
send email with the details to everyone on the list.
Here we are at a Kunming theater to see Prince Caspian
with students and friends (2008). Afterward, we talked about the film at Kunming's
only donut shop (just down the street from this theater). The
Movie Study Guide is posted on this website, with
guides to many other films.
When we have
time, we enjoy participating in English Corners, where local people
come to practice their English. This 2007 photo shows Michael teaching guests about Easter
at an English Corner in a coffee bar near our Kunming home. In Xiamen, Michael often helps at an
English Corner on Saturdays in Zeng Cuo An (near our apartment).
Jimmy has been a
good friend since he and Michael were students together at Xiamen
University in 1985. In 2007 we enjoyed Kunming's Green Lake Park briefly
during his business trip to our city. (We've also seen him in
Shanghai and Beijing.)
Michael met Tomy
in a photocopy shop. Since we both taught English, it was fun to talk about
our interests over a meal together -- when our hectic schedules allowed
After one of our
friends was baptized at St. John's downtown (Kunming 2009), we continued
the celebration with ice cream. Since 50 people were baptized that night, it was a very
moving and memorable evening.
Salons at both KMU and NPU invited Michael to lead a discussion or present a film about once a
month. The upper left photo shows that some of the students just don't want
to go home! Unfortunately, now that "downloaded movies" are so common, few
students show interest in watching movies anymore. :(
We got very
close to Nico and Lucy during Michael's first year at KMU, and we are
always glad to see them again (like here in our dining room--2008). Many
former students stay in touch, and occasionally we get to see them in
other parts of China. Now we are even
getting the joy of receiving photos of their children!
sister and brother-in-law visited (May 2009), they got to meet and eat
with some of the
Class is often
fun as well! Here, students are performing an Easter "courtroom
play" where the gardener is on trial for grave-robbing. Role plays and
Readers' Theater are common parts of the curriculum.
thing we do in class is perform Readers' Theater and role plays. The
students can be very creative! Here they perform scenes from Lighting
Larry and the Grinch.
My classes also feature lots of chances for partners to
talk about interesting subjects, such as "The Science of Happiness." That
lecture series also lets students try their hand--or mouth, actually!--at "smile writing."
(these were from
the 2012-13 school year).
You can almost
read these! (Andy is handsome; Zeik is happy)
For many years, we've enjoyed sharing meals with 4-6
students at a time, giving them a casual chance to use English outside the
classroom. (Left) Some of my "weekend students" (at the invitation of a
local fellowship, 2012) join us at a "noodle shop."
(Fall 2012) Vivian and I reserved this corner of the university canteen
every Tuesday. In spite of the noisy crowd, 15-20 students chose to come
speak English casually with us weekly.
2012, Vivian took time out of her busy schedule to teach Michael's students
how to bake, following an English recipe. These classes were so popular that
we had to turn people away (our kitchen is very small!). That's why it is
important to respond quickly to email invitations!
I work hard to
make class interesting and active. One student paid me the following
interesting complement: "Unlike my other courses, I can't sleep in your
class!" (Xiamen 2012)
I get lots of
help from class monitors! In early 2013, we treated these monitors and top
students to a nice dinner near campus.
Once or twice a
year I bring a guitar to class. In these 2009 photos, after previewing for the final exam
all the "work" is done, I share some of
songs with the Kunming Medical University students (many are looking
down at a lyric sheet, which helps them understand the words). These
"concerts" are always fun
for everyone--as long as they remember that I'm an English teacher, not a