Monday, January 17, 2005: Finals Week


Ron and Students

(note: In an effort to totally confuse everyone I have decided to periodically post entries from my diary!)
Hmm… looks like my New Year’s resolution is going the way of most. I’ve spent this last week grading essays and listening to oral reports. This afternoon Audraie and I will supervise the final examination of our Survey of English Speaking Countries classes. We worked on the exam together and tried to make it fairly easy for anyone who was paying attention in class. Hope the language barrier isn’t too much of a problem. We’ll see.
In my Oral English classes I assigned an essay on “My Family.” I read about 300 short compositions on the subject, so am pretty tired of it by now. I will say that some of the students turned in papers that were both “original and interesting.” Some of the students turned in papers that were neither. Will have to explain the concept of plagiarism next semester!
I did not give out too many “A’s”, nor did I fail anyone. Perhaps some of them deserved a failing grade, but my impression is that the consequences of failure are rather dire, so I will work them harder next semester.
On the 19th, Audraie and I will head south for a much-needed vacation on the beach. We will visit Guangzhou and Hainan, then come back through Hong Kong. It is nearing Spring Festival, so traveling could be a madhouse. Fortunately Audraie is highly organized (unlike someone else I know) and has made all the important reservations. I’m sure that we’ll have a few surprises along the way… this is China after all.
I’ve been working on a business plan for an English Corner Coffee Club. A friend of ours, Wang Hua, is interested in helping with such a venture. He has a friend that helps to run the Ming Tian Coffee Language here in Jian. Tea is by far the number one beverage in China, but I think coffee has a place as well. My thinking is to locate a coffee cart on campus and a coffee bistro just off campus. Students really have no place comfortable to study. They can study in their classrooms, in the library, in their dorms or outside. All of these locations have drawbacks. Anyway, will keep you posted on my progress.
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