It’s not a good idea to ask students to come to your home during the 2 ½ hour siesta.
Classes end at noon and begin up again at 2:40 p.m., much like all schools in China. At our college, students quickly gobble down their lunch at the cafeteria and then head off to bed for a nap. Like most students everywhere, they stay up quite late at night. Getting enough sleep, especially with 8 to a room, is quite a challenge.
But for my class plans for International Women’s Day, I didn’t have a choice.
The weekend was booked with another visit to the capital city so I had no time to meet with anyone unless noontime.
Thus it was that Tuesday and Thursday, I asked my male students to come to my house during the noontime break for about 30 minutes. To my surprise, no one groaned or moaned about this when I quietly pulled them out of the classroom to invite them to my home.
“This is for Women’s Day,” I told them. “I’m planning something special for you to do.”
The boys surrounding me grinned.
“And it’s a secret,” I whispered. “Don’t tell the girls!”
They giggled at the clandestine nature of my request and promised to come on time to my home.
What’s Going On for Women’s Day in My Classroom?
From last year’s IWD reports, you’ll remember I had the males over to make favors for their female classmates. This year, I didn’t have time since everyone had just returned last week to start up the new semester. But I did have plenty of time for our other activities for Women’s Day, along with lessons on the history of the day plus discussions about the many contributions women have made to the world.
And, of course, there’s the Men’s Moment, when the guys come to the front and add a bit of fun to the day for the ladies. This includes a brief introduction why they are standing before their female classmates, a drawing for gifts, which the boys buy from money I supply for them, and a song.
In my home last week, I prepared a script for the boys to take turns reading and explained about our project. They would have the last 20 minutes of my IWD lesson time to do the drawing and their special performance.
In one class, I have 13 boys. They crowded into my small living room while I explained what they’d be doing. We went over the script, I handed out the envelope with the money for them to buy the drawing prizes and then told them about the song.
It’s a must that they sing it 3 times, “Happy Women’s Day to You” using the “Happy Birthday to You” tune.
The first time, they sing together. The second time, they take turns in groups or individuals singing a verse each. The last time, they have to do motions.
I really didn’t expect them to do it right then and there but just to prepare during the week. After all, this was their siesta time. They’d most likely want to get back to their rooms to pick up another 30 minutes of snoozing before the afternoon classes began.
However, my group of 13 were so excited about this that they began discussing who would buy what items, and then what movements they’d do. They even went into my outer room, which had more space, to practice. Instead of a 15-minute visit, they remained for almost an hour. They finally left after loading up their pockets with candy I left out on the table for them to enjoy.
Now that I’ve been party to their first rehearsal, I can’t wait to see what their final performance is going to be like. The ladies will go crazy!
Be Looking for Photos Soon
March 8 is International Women’s Day and I’ve already heard the school is planning some special activities for the women teachers. Most likely this Friday afternoon, after enjoying outdoor games followed by prizes, we’ll be going out to a nice dinner with the entire department, paid for by the school.
Of course, I’m looking forward to enjoying time with my Chinese colleagues but what I’m most enthusiastic about is seeing what the boys come up with for the women in our IWD lesson this week.
Be assured I’ll take plenty of pictures to post. Be looking for those this weekend.
From Luzhou, China, here’s wishing you Ping An (Peace) for your first week in March, a month set aside to honor us, the world’s women.