Sunday, July 27, 2003

Field trip. Sunday brought us two field trips in which 7 teachers got the day off and 7 along with all 14 Chinese TA's had to escort 400+ munchkins to places they'd rather not be. Mercifully, the camp did hire a fleet of air conditioned buses for our transportation.
One destination was the newspaper, the Shenzhen Daily, that is cosponsoring the camp. While at the paper our kids managed to 1. lock us in an elevator exit area by randomly pushing the buttons on a security panel and 2. while in the newsroom immediately glom on to unoccupied reporter and editor computer terminals to start trying to play video games.
The other destinaition was another English language institute where the organizers of this camp hope to hold a secondsession lasting two weeks after this one ends. It is a brand new, sprawling campus on the outskirts of Shenzhen. Unfortunately, few of the kids had any idea why they were there and the organization left a lot to be desired. After a 40 minute bus ride we arrived and walked in seemingly random fashion in the baking heat all over the campus as the hoplessly outnumbered teachers and TAs tried to keep the kids in groups. It was like herding cats. We wound up in an auditorium where the PA system - much to the students' amusement - made Sally Wu who was making the pitch for the new session and campus sound like Petunia Pig on helium. Finally a bull horn was found and the result was equally ineffective, if less comical.
On our way out many students spotted a larger than life bronze bust of a bearded, bald European gentleman in a small outdoor garden area
"Bald Jesus! Bald Jesus!" several of the more advanced students shouted, pointing at it. I thought it was Karl Marx, but went over to see if there was an English name plate. There was. It was bald Charles Darwin, not bald Jesus. A triumph of evolution over creationism, one might say.

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