Teacher Reflection: Learning to Eat Chinese

I am convinced my host family is trying to fatten me up. On one of my first days in their house, my host sister produced a scale, and we weighed ourselves. Based on the amount of food I have been cajoled into eating since, I am afraid this might have been to establish a baseline…

Student Reflection: Henry

I could feel the blood pulsating through my veins as we walked up the steeply sloped ramp that led us out of the Xi’an railway station. As we made our way out of the tunnel, the first thing that I took in was the vast Xi’an city wall. For a moment, all my worries had…

Settling In and Venturing Out

After three weeks of school, we have begun to settle into a routine. Two hours of immersion classes in the morning, followed by a break for morning exercise. Chinese class, lunch, more Chinese class, English/History class, culture class. Compared to a day at Brookline High School, it feels long; we go from 8:00am until 4:40…

Student Reflection: Olivia

I sat on a small plastic stool next to my host sister whom I had met an hour ago. My parents had disappeared into the crowded hotpot restaurant and my cousin and little brother played together in the corner, leaving the two of us alone on an island of tense silence, surrounded by a sea…

The First Week of School

We have now been at Xi’an Gao Xin No. 1 High School for one week. We started off slow, with a welcome banquet hosted by our friends from the middle school on Monday. On Tuesday, we had another delicious lunch – hot pot, a specialty from the Sichuan province that is very popular here in…

Teacher Reflection: Meeting My Host Family

As we rolled our suitcases up the ramp to exit the train station, I felt my stomach clench in nervousness and my heartbeat quicken. I turned around to look at my eight students, and I could see my apprehension and excitement mirrored in their faces. “Is anyone else freaking out?” asked Lisa. The answer was…

Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou

“They have so much energy!” That is how our Suzhou guide, Molly, characterized our group after seeing Jake and Zach race up the train station stairs with their giant suitcases and Henry and Zach do push-ups at the top of an ancient bridge over a canal. We did not feel so energetic, however. Jetlag hit…

Liftoff

We are really on our way this time!

Setbacks

We have already learned so much, and we have not even left Boston! Yesterday evening, our flight kept getting more and more delayed, until the airline finally put us up in a hotel for the night. On the bright side, we are exercising our ability to “go with the flow,” and even practicing our Chinese —…

The Countdown…

We leave for China in two days. Even though we’ve been looking forward to it and talking about it with friends and family all year, now that it’s so close, we can hardly believe it. This week, we’ve been meeting every day to prepare.  We’ve discussed the logistics of packing and gift-giving, set up WeChat…