Thursday, November 24, 2011

Two Minute Speech!

It was tueday afternoon when my teacher told me that I had to prepare a two minute speech in Chinese for thursday. The first thought that came to my head was "WHAT?! A TWO MINUTE SPEECH?!...IN CHINESE?!" I didn't really know what to say in the speech, though we were told to talk about our life in China so far and how we are liking it. The goal of this get-together was that all of the exchange students were going to go to a primary school to teach the little kids English. They were all going to have a speech in English and we were supposed to judge them and vote for who was the best kid, and then the kids had to do the same for us, help us with our Chinese. When my teachers told me this, I had expected it to be very professional. I thought that it was going to be like an assembly where everyone would sit and there would be a stage. I also figured that there would be a spokesman or woman but my assumption was totally off.

After school on tuesday, I prepared my speech. I practiced it quite a lot and wrote all of it in Chinese. I gave a little introduction about myself first and then went on to talking about life in China, my family, my school, food and a couple of other things. Hawk and I met up in front of my school and we took bus #44 to get to the meeting point. When we met up with everybody we walked to the primary school. The school was very small but apparently they were well known for their sports. But then again, China seems to be "well known" for a bunch of things, for example "This place is famous for their dumplings" "This place is famous for their tea"...there will always be some sort of siginifance and importance to any place you visit in China no matter where you go...they seem to always be "famous for something" as they always say.

Anyways...when we got there we had some time to spare so we all played a little basketball in the gym. It felt really good to play with a bunch of other foreign kids! Then the teachers took us to a room where they had tables set up for all of us. We sat in the order of kid, foreigner, kid, foreigner. Each kid was assigned a foreigner and we would help the kid that we were assigned with their speech that they had written. They were only eight years old but their English was well said and written! The kids wrote about their "Idol" and some of their Idols were classmates, others were Mozart, and others were family members. It's kind of amazing how Chinese kids know about Mozart and Picasso at the age of eight, most eight year olds in the US only know Disney shows and stars such as Hannah Montana.

After we helped them for 20 minutes, they all performed and some sang while others read off of their papers! Some of them actually tried to memorize, which was impressive! After they did their speech we had to vote for who was the best because there was a prize for 1st 2nd and 3rd place. But us being foreigners, we all voted for our own kids who were assigned to us, and plus at the age of 8 everybody wins! They were all impressive anyways. Once they were all given a certificate, It was the exchange student's turn to give our speech's! We went in alphabetical order so I was the fifth person to go. Everyone was very good and I believe I did really well! It wasn't half as hard as I expected and I feel as if I was able to get the kids attention with my speech. I was given a little prize at the end! (Three exchange students got prizes and I was one of them). The prize happened to be a pencil stand...I guess its a motivation to study harder? Haha. We were all handed a certificate aswell "Certificate of Appreciation".


Pencil Case Prize!!

Here is what I wrote:
大家好!我叫爱真,我今年十六岁。我是美国人。我在南京已经三个月了。我感觉中国的生活和美国的生活非常不一样,但是我都喜欢。 我很喜欢我的中国家人。我的家庭有三口人,他们是妈妈,爸爸,和妹妹, 可是我的妹妹也十六岁。在这个家庭我感觉很舒服和安全。如果我有问题,我可以问他们,他们会尽快帮助我。我是中华中学的学生。我有好多好朋友。在中华中学我有两个汉语老师。他们是非常好的老师,他们也是我的好朋友!我每天自己做公共汽车去学校,回家的时候也是自己做的。我喜欢吃中餐所以我每天吃得没有问题!我最喜欢吃米线!我觉得我的中文越来越好!我真的很喜欢在中国的生活!

handwritten speech!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Qixia Mountain & Qixia Temple

11.11.11 was the day of our field trip to Qixia mountain and Qixia Temple. My classmates all had exams for the past week so the field trip being on Friday must have been a huge relief to all of them! The day started off by taking the bus to school and meeting up with my class at 8:30 AM. There were so many students waiting for the busses to take us to Qixia! When I arrived, I don't think my classmates expected to see me there so they were all excited and were all saying hello to me as I got into the line! The teachers were taking attendence while we all waited in line in order by height and two lines separating the boys and the girls. Once the busses arrived I was really astound to see that the busses weren’t school busses, they were public busses! We all hopped onto the number 6, most people had seats but some people had to stand. The bus ride lasted a little over an hour, but it didn’t feel that long because so many people were talking, singing and playing games. Some of my classmates even showed me their Chinese music :P
#6 Public Bus!

Classmates inside the bus!
A little background on Qixia Mountain and Qixia Temple:
-       - Northeast of Nanjing
-       - 286 meters high and has three peaks: Dragon Peak, Tiger Peak and Fengxiang Peak
-       - The Qixia temple is known for the Buddhist temple. It was once one of the four largest temples in history but it the temple was destroyed by fire during the Qing Dynasty (It was reconstructed later on).
-      -  The mountain is popular for its maple  trees
-       - The mountain has many different places to view, many different temples

What I’ve noticed in China is that whenever we go on field trips, most of the students don’t really look around but instead they look at this given time as an opportunity to chat and eat all day long! I would ask them “So what are we going to be doing at the mountain?” (When I asked, I honestly didn’t know what we were doing…I figured we would be hiking!) But they said “We will eat, eat, eat and eat! And just talk with friends!” 

Once we got to the mountain, we were able to go on our own and visit the different sites. We had to be back by the meeting spot by 1:50 PM to head home though. The time went by rather fast. We checked out many sites, but it was hard for my classmates to explain a lot of the historical stories behind each site, so I had some unanswered questions and thoughts. The Buddhist temple was one of many which interested me the most. The Buddha was very very big and behind the big Buddha there were a ton of little Buddha’s on the wall. I believe this temple was the newer one that I saw because as we were walking around I came across another Buddha but it looked a lot older and had cracks in the statue itself.  I also noticed a bunch of maple trees while we were walking around!
There were a bunch of other students and little kids from other schools also on a field trip! (More than four other schools I believe!) I actually spotted a couple of foreigner's. Mothers with their kids. I assume they put their kids in a local chinese school because the teachers and other kids were Chinese! All of the my classmates were saying how cute the little foreign kids were!

A couple of my classmates and I infront of the temple entrance

A bunch of little Buddha's behind the big Buddha statue 

Maple tree

The difference between the new Buddha temple and the old one

At around 12:30 we decided to sit down to have some lunch, little did I know to bring any food! My classmates were all so generous! They gave me snacks and treated me to some instant noodles that we could purchase there. One of my classmates also bought me a strip of bookmarks with Chinese writing and maple leave stuck onto the bookmark (chinese writing and maple leaf were laminated so it could be used as a bookmark)! Throughout the day so many of my classmates kept on giving me treat after treat! Chocolates, gummy bears, gum…! By the time we finished lunch, it was time to head down to catch the bus. Everyone was so tired at the end of the day, most of us were sleeping on each other on the bus. The ride back felt a lot shorter than on the way there!

While we were out, two of my classmates asked to go shopping with me, today! So we decided to meet up at 5 PM in front of the school gate! I got home around 3:30 so I had some time to relax before I went out again. Once we met up, we took the underground to Xin Jie Kou and went shopping for a little while, then for dinner we got SUSHI! It was delicious! I was craving sushi so much and now that I ate some, I no longer miss the taste of home too much (or as much)!

Today ended with a beautiful sunset, & tonight ended with a beautiful full moon. 
Have a great 11/11/11!