Thursday, May 1

Cortney's Adventures in China/ My 7 kids...

Family and Friends-

Hello! I know it has been a very long time since I have written anything. For the past 3 weeks we haven't gone anywhere, we have just been teaching and hanging out in our city. It has been the longest 3 weeks ever.Nothing particularly exciting. The other night for our friend Susannah's Birthday we went to a Kareoke was fun. After that we all split up and Aleksi and I met this really cute group of girls. Some of the girls could speak and understand english very well so it was really fun to talk with them. We ended up hanging out with them for awhile. They got our information and we are planning on hanging out after we get back from our next vacation. A lot of people have been asking me about teaching and if the kids still make me want to jump out the window. Honestly, some days I still do, but most days I enjoy it. Now that we are more then half way done with our semester we all kind of the hang of things and understand the teaching method a little better. The kids are adorable and soooo funny. We all rotate 4 groups of 8-9 kids, but we all have a home room that we have twice. Those kids are the kids I spend most of my time with. There is Josh who is so cute and wears glasses. He is so sweet and so clever. Sometimes he forgets to bring his glasses to class and he has to squint his eyes and it looks like he is mad, but he's not. Sam- Sam is so much fun and he LOVES to be teachers helper. If ever I need someone to write on the board for me he is the first to raise his hand. He is very shy and gets picked on a little for his size. Sam is a little chunk, which is hard to come by in china. All the teachers love sam because he is so tender hearted. Little John- Oh my goodnes I love this kid. He, like Josh is very, very clever. He is very well behaved except for the days where he's not. haha..he loves to race me on the playground, but ALWAYS cheats. He has the cutest smile. Jake- Jake is I think the littlest of them all. Not personality wise though. Jake is very smart and very well behaved. you never have to ask him more then once. He is the only one that laughs at my dumb jokes...which I love. Sometimes he wears this fancy silver jacket and I call him Michael Jackson. He is one of the few children I teach that I can tell comes from a good/loving family. Melissa- Out of 36 children there are 5 girls. Melissa is very tiny and very quiet. However, in my class full of boys she can hold her own. She is a smart girl, but has her moments. She tattles so much on the boys and it drives me crazy. She gets in these moods where she doesn't want anyone to even be touching her chair. when she gets like that I usually just send her to the back.Melissa is a good student and never gets strikes. Bryan- this boy is not so well-behaved and unlike melissa...ALWAYS gets strikes. Bryan is sweet and would never mean to hurt anyone, but he gets distracted easily. He is very shy and soft spoken. I think he has selective hearing. He is one of the only students though that isn't a dramatic baby about random stuff. If he gets a strike he doesn't cry and throw a fit like most of the kids we teach. If he gets 3 strikes and isn't allowed candy or prizes that day he doesn't care...he will be better tomorrow.He loves to draw on the board and I have to pick him up and carry him out of the classroom sometimes because he doesn't want to leave. Aidan- is one of my favorites! He is sooo not the brightest but he is so adorable. Aidan marches to the beat of a different drum. He is ALWAYS in a different world. We will see all the kids lined up and marching to dinner and then there is Aidan two car lengths behind everyone looking at the sky or whatever. We play with the kids on the playground sometimes after dinner and the poor kid is always by himself. One day I looked over and saw Aidan and it looked like he was trying to catch a butterfly in the air or something...but minus the butterfly. haha..seriously so weird. He acually reminds me of myself. I am the youngest of 4 and I would always just find ways to entertain myself. To this day I still really enjoy being by myself. Aidan is one of the only kids that you don't have to chase down and tackle to give or get a kiss from. He accepts hugs and kisses at anytime. I will pick him up and say "ohh...teacher loves Aidan." he responds with " Aidan loves teacha..." So cute. I really have grown to love these children. I am going to miss them so much when I leave. They are so funny and so smart. Everyday I am surprised at what they have learned and what they know. I really do feel so blessed to be here and have the opportunity to teach and get to know these kids.

Anyway, tomorrow is the day we ALL have been counting down the days till. Tomorrow evening we will hop on a sleeper train and head north for Beijing. I am so excited. What awaits us in Beijing?? well...the forbidden city, tiananmen square, the new olympic stadium they built, cool shows, western style food, and GREAT shopping! I am staying with my cousins in Beijing which I am extremely excited about. On Friday I plan on going to the great wall and zip lining off of it. Ahhh! I am so scared but so excited. Not many people can say they have done that. I love you all and look forward to hearing from you. -Cortney

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