A former post was devoted our new school campus, with pictures dating from May 2nd when Peace Corp volunteer, Jackie Zubin, and I visited the site to check things out.
We trekked by replanted sticks of trees, clamored over dirt piles, hopped in and out of muddy ditches, maneuvered around cranes and bulldozers, explored dusty, unfinished buildings and inspected scaffolding rising high into the interior of the impressive circular library.
We did this all the while discussing not only the magnificence of it all, but also how in the world the school leaders could possibly have us move onto the campus right after finals on June 10.
As of yesterday, the plan among the school leaders is that “probably, most likely, almost certain but not quite sure” we won’t all be moving until after the summer session ends on July 8. I have no summer session courses to teach and will be long gone by then (visiting the States from July 1 – Aug. 6) but the rest of the campus faculty will be extremely busy in the stifling summer heat of Luzhou boxing up everything (computers, files, textbooks) to stack into the moving trucks.
Students will be required to pack up all their things at that time, then load onto school trucks which will haul all their belongings to the new school dormitories where they can get settled in.
After cleaning their new rooms on their own, putting things into their individual wardrobes (not furnished at the old school) and storing their things, they are free to go home to enjoy their summer vacation. They’ll return around Sept. 3 to start up the new school year on Monday, Sept. 5.
Departments will be moving at that time, one by one, into their new departmental office buildings. Jackie and I will pack up the English language books many have sent over the years and also movie DVDs for the hoped-for English Language Center. We’ll be placing these into carefully labeled boxes before we take off for our summer holidays. We could leave it for the staff to do but if we do it ourselves, we’ll ensure that the books don’t get lost somewhere among all the English department’s belongings. Or, worse yet, get left behind and tossed.
Eventually, the single teachers’ housing building will be completed. It’s hoped that we can move into our new homes in August, after I return from America.
Plans will most likely change, of course, according to how fast things are moving along on the new campus, but this seemingly well-thought-out schedule is solidly circling around the campus at the moment.
It might well come about.
Last Week of Finals
As of this next week, I will be finishing up my finals for oral English (freshmen) and teaching methodology (sophomores). After that, we have our closure classes where we meet for the last time in the semester. We sing songs, I give the monitors (class leaders) a special surprise gift for their help during the term, the students receive their grades for my course and all get to choose from the English language reward pencils which so many of you have sent this past year.
I have 250 students and thanks to your generous mailings, there will be a huge selection in the pencil tray for them to dig through and pull out. I’ve already piled the pencil box high with a variety of colors, designs and English phrases (“Well-done!” “Fantastic!” “Number One Student,” “Excellent!”) for them to pick from.
What a great way to end the school year! Thank you so much, for those who have helped. It makes their studies worth while and puts everyone in a good mood, especially if their grades weren’t what they expected them to be.
Until next report, here’s wishing you Ping An (Peace) for your upcoming Memorial Day.