Wow! It has certainly taken us a while to get used the pace of our new lives in China. After a whirlwind first week of adventures including apartment hunting, medical exams, and moving (Grant is still alive BTW:) we officially started school at CISQD (Confucius International School Qingdao).
While inservice can always be a bit of information overload, being a foreign teacher seems to come with it’s own unique set of challenges. Not only are there new procedures and rules, but we have found ourselves at a proper English boarding school where house points are awarded for good marks and being helpful, and detentions are earned for students caught speaking Chinese. It’s all an attempt to help prepare them for lives abroad at various prestigious universities. Again, lots to take in and learn..but we came prepared! Stepping up our game is why we chose CISQD in first place.
We can’t seem yet to put this new experience into words. Our lives now seem to move even fast then before. After a few weeks on the job we’ve realized that the work week is for work; it’s fast paced and professional. As soon as you arrive at school in the morning you hit the ground running until you’re on the bus headed home in the evening. And you work so hard on the weekdays that you really want to capitalize on the weekends by hitting the beach, going out to eat, exploring new areas, etc.
So that’s what we’ve been doing! When we’re not working, we are out exploring the city and surrounding areas, checking out the local parks, hanging out with our friends, or eating. There is so much great food here!
We work at a secondary school in Qingdao, China. Our student demographic is 100% Chinese. The students (ages 14-21) that attend our school have the aspiration of attending a university/college in an English-speaking country (UK or USA). Our school is a combination of traditional British values (and British national standards/curricula) alongside the Six Arts of Confucius. During school, this means that students take a combination of rigorous academic courses such as Business, Economics, Physics, and Biology as well as arts courses such as Chinese, Art, Current Issues, and Physical Education.
We had no idea what to expect for the opening ceremony at our school. All parents were invited to the event. It was a way to honor to the Six Arts of Confucius and welcome new students into the school. Students were divided by grade (G1, G2, AS, and A2) and house (Zong Zi, Meng Zi, Kong Zi, and Yan Zi) as they were honored on the red carpet. Primarily, new G1 and G2 students were honored. Here are some images of the morning’s festivities:
Click here for the complete album of photos from the event.
For now, Grant and I have been acquiring items from the food pyramid from grocery stores. I find it thrilling to get a surprise around each corner and shriek with delight at the many (sometimes very alive) wonders that the grocery stores have to offer. From fried sea cucumbers to cow intestines to powdered milk, why can’t grocery stores in America be this awe-provoking?
Here is what that looks like for us in Qingdao. These images are from Metro store and Leada mall.