Today marks the official beginning of the Fall Semester 2011. Students have returned from their summer break, and for everyone (except the Freshman students) classes begin this morning.
The first group of new students are arriving on campus today. They are enrolled in the international program, which means classes for them (and us) start earlier than everyone else’s.
The summer break is quickly moving to its end – the new teachers for the school year of 2011/2012 have arrived. And they bring some fresh air into our routine. After all, their excitement about being in China hasn’t worn off yet, so they pretty much like everything, get excited about everything, and have not yet learned what it means to struggle with the differences of the culture. In any case, for me it means there’s new people to meet, new colleagues to work with, new friends to be made.
This is it! Another year of school has come and gone. The foreign faculty celebrated this with our annual “end of the year banquet.” This year’s motto: “A Night with the Oscars.” Sounds exciting? Well, it was just another dinner with several courses, plus lots of speeches, and a fun slide show. I wish, I’d had photos of the dinner, but the lights were so dim, that it was nearly impossible to get a good shot. Anyways, with about half of the foreign teachers leaving this summer, it was also time to say good-bye to those who are parting. And now, the summer may come …
It’s that time of the year again. Final exam day for my students, and for me that means grading, grading, grading. Lot’s of work …
It’s another holiday in China today: Dragon Boat Festival. For the average Chinese (at least where I’m at), it means today everyone has to eat “Zongzi.” That’s some sort of rice (pudding) enriched with dates, or peanuts, or red beans, or meat, etc. and all of this is neatly wrapped into bamboo leaves. For our school, Dragon Boat Festival means, another day without class. So, a lot of students are gone for a long weekend, either home, or to visit their friends. For me, Dragon Boat Festival meant I had an extra chance to play tennis, since there are no classes today at the tennis court. Well then, happy Dragon Boat Festival, everyone!
The last week of classes of spring semester 2010/2011 has come. That means, it’s a busy time for the foreign faculty: Administer final exams, getting grades ready; end of the year activities …
Graduation weekend is coming up with lots of events all weekend. Saturday Morning Homecoming Parade (the first ever in the history of our university) Homecoming Ceremony (with speeches by representatives of various delegations, and the awarding of scholarships Homecoming Performance Sunday Morning Graduation Ceremony (Commencement)
May 1. (Labor Day) is one of the more important holidays in China. Students get an extra day off school, so many students return home for a short vacation, and generally, many people use the extra holiday to travel.
On April 14th and 15th, the annual sports days are taking place on campus. There are no classes on those days, though participation is only mandatory for freshman students.