The Beast transformed, The Titanic sank, Snow White awakened and doomed lovers mourned.
Yes, it was time for the much anticipated Foreign Language Department’s 9th Annual English Language Play Contest. This took place last Wednesday evening, 7 – 9:30 p.m. In fact, students are still holding fast to their roles, calling one another by their stage names. Walking the campus has been as if living in storybook land. I’ve heard fans call out to the Wicked Queen, Mermaid Arial, Snow White, and even Cinderella while trekking to and from class.
This yearly event was held on the sports field, with a stage created from desks covered with a red felt carpet. Lighting equipment and sound system were hired from outside. Students ran the power point, where encouraging cell phone messages from classmates were constantly posted on a side screen. Costumes were dazzling, having been rented from various shops in town. Props were created with innovative imagination. I must say, from our front row seats, we 6 judges (Geoff, Angela, myself and three of our Chinese colleagues) were very impressed by the efforts, acting skills, time and energy everyone put into bringing English to life in such an entertaining way.
In all, we had 9 performances , limited to 12 minutes each, of the following stories: Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, Titanic, Cinderella, The Sound of Music and three famous Chinese tales. To encourage the audience members to stay to the bitter end, a computer-generated drawing was eventually held. Anyone who sent text messages (posted on the powerpoint screen) to cheer on the actors during their performances had their cell phone numbers go into the drawing. 10 winners were chosen, with prizes being much-needed dormitory supplies.
Yes, it was a long evening for all of us after a busy day of classes but well worth it.
Last weeks of Classes
Next week marks the last week of classes before final exams. The foreign teachers, however, are asked to give their finals earlier. Angela and Geoff (Peace Corp) still have their exams to go but mine are all finished as of today. The following week will be our closure class time. We sing songs, I express my thanks for the students’ hard work, and grades are handed out.
The final minutes of our last class together are devoted to praise. My monitors (class leaders) receive a thank you card and special gift from me. Plus everyone gets to choose a reward pencil from the many piles I have which so many of you have graciously sent. “Great Job!”, “Fantastic,” “Star Student” and“Excellent” are just some of the pencil phrases my college kids pick through with great enthusiasm before selecting the one they want. It is such a wonderful way to end the school year.
In other words, many, many thoughts of gratitude are sent your way for those whose boxes have arrived throughout the semester, packed with stickers and other classroom goodies. They are absolutely put to good use!
More news to follow at another date. From along the humid Yangtze River, Ping An (Peace) for your day