As I wrote in the last post, we are busy with final exams,grading and preparing for the Spring Festival break( which is in the Winter,go figure!)
.My 6 Literature classes have a written exam that I have to mark , and my 2 Freshmen oral classes have been tested in a small interview,much like the Bagrut oral exam.Some of them told me it was the first time they have ever been tested orally in English and were very nervous. The English majors have been busily preparing for the exam,and seem (for the most part) to take it all pretty seriously.So tomorrow I will give an exam to around 120 students in a huge auditorium (freezing cold-no heating) and students take the exam with their gloves,coats and hats on! But of course, NO extra time, no LD dispensations (ignoring spelling mistakes,oral test or any of THAT stuff ,fellow EFL teachers!) And,also by the way,many students thanked me and gave me a big smile as they handed in their tests.
Then my loyal assistant Livia will help me put all the grades into the University computer system (in Chinese). After all the exams and parties are over,everyone will leave for the long Spring break,the students going home and the foreign teachers off traveling. We will be going to Xiamen,Hong Kong and then a brief visit back home to Israel,before we return for the second semester on February 13th.
Last night we were invited to Autumn’s house (the head of the English department) for a Christmas Party and farewell as she is off to study in Manchester,and she introduced us to Teresa, her replacement.
There were 7 foreign teachers and our respective student assistants there,and everyone brought potluck dishes to eat. We then exchanged gifts in something Ryan described as a :Yankee Swap” in which each person opens his present but if he doesn’t like it he can exchange it (once only ) with another guest. I was most satisfied with my electric foot warmer!
Then Autumn presented us with a little gift each and handed over “baton” to Teresa who promised to help us with all our problems in the coming semester
.It was a lovely evening and made me realize again what a great welcome we have received from everyone here,both staff and students.