Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nihao from Southern China!

This is my first post on our beautiful new blog. It has taken quite a while to get everything set up here in Zhuhai, but now that Travis and I are settled I am excited to share a little bit with you all.

Our campus is absolutely beautiful. It is large and full of lakes, trees, and mountains. We are certainly lucky to be in such a lush spot. The campus is just a short walk to the bay of the Pearl Sea, which is another lovely sight. That being said, it is so hot--sweltering, even--that it is hard to enjoy the outdoors. Walking to class is even tiring and often leaves me sweaty. It also rains suddenly and viciously here. All my students warned me that I must always carry and umbrella because the sun is strong and the rain is unpredictable.

Even though there are some negative aspects to our location, I am quite excited to be at this University and on this campus. Everyone here has been so warm and welcoming, and I really love the program that we are working for (STI-School of Translation and Interpretation). The school is only three years old, and the dean is hoping to provide a liberal education to his students. We have been encouraged to teach our students to think critically and as individuals. It is very fun to be part of such a new and dynamic team of teachers and professors. It is also fun to have such flexibility. I am teaching Sophomore Writing and Speaking, Freshman Speaking, and American Society and Culture. While there are books for the classes and some guidelines, I have been given so much freedom to pick topics and classroom activities. For my American Society class (which is a lecture to 150 students!!) I had no guidelines--I am allowed to teach whatever I want in class and grade however I want. How fun! My other classes are much smaller (24-27 students) and I have really enjoyed getting to know the students here. They are all so excited to have young, American teachers. It is really wonderful to feel so welcomed.

There is more to say, but I will have to save it for another time.


nosberg said...

Hi Carrie,
I just typed a post, but I think it got lost. At any rate, I was saying how blessed you and Travis are to be living in such a beautiful and scenic area despite the weather. Also I said I was interested in what you would plan for your class. I can't imagine having 150 students. And I was curious about Travis's classes. Does he have similar sized classes. Take care and keep in touch.
nancy o.o.

Portugues na Universidade de Sun Yat-sen said...

haha! i searched your name on your college website (for fun!). i am so surprised to find so many articles about you and travis. i also see your friends' comments here. i think you are a very responsible and friendly teacher! -------Marseilles