Yesterday was the first day of camp; we were on the go from 8 am til 9 pm! I really like the students. Most of the students I have in Intermediate English are 10 and 11 year olds. I learned yesterday that I teach the same students twice in the day so had to quickly come up with a second lesson as the students filed into my classroom! Then in Art I get to see all the students divided into 3 levels. All of the students have American names so they are easier for us to pronounce. Mostly the boys are silly and giggly and the girls are rather quiet and demure. However, before the camp even started I learned about the twins, girls who are around 8 years old but act as if they are 5: they go wherever they want, such was entering my room at 9 pm the first night when I was really sick and getting ready for bed. Apparently, their mother is very lax in her supervision or discipline of them because I was told they acted the same way last year when their mom was a chaperone. The students range in age from 5 to 15 and most of them act about 2 years younger than their age.
Today I’m feeling better, thankfully, and hope it will continue. Also, our “monsoon” continues. We are lodged in a two story wooden building with a tin roof so we can hear the rain quite well. I love it when I have a little time to relax or at bedtime, but don’t when I’m teaching downstairs because it is loud, hot and humid. We have very small portable air conditioners that look like a small-sized box with a remote. The Asian parents who accompany the students to each class turn off the AC upon entering the room unless we tell them not to. Both the students and parents think it’s cold so they must not be used to air conditioning.
We have 9 teachers and our subjects include 3 levels of English, 3 levels of Art, Science, Music, Story time and Physical Education where they are learning how to play baseball. We have classes from 9 am until 4:30 pm. Then the students go to classes taught by the Asian parents such as playing the ukulele and other musical instruments. The kids finish these classes around 9 pm and must be very tired.
Our second camp was located about 6 hours away by high-speed train and van. It was outside a seaside town where the smog was almost gone and we could see the blue sky for the first time in 10 days. Like the previous camp, this one had a menagerie of animals, life-sized dinosaurs, a man-made pond. Additionally, it had riding horses, stables and corrals; “kiddie rides” from the fair, and a Western theme which was interesting, to say the least! There was a resident rooster whose crowing would awaken us some mornings and serenade us at other times of the day.