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Sometime over last week, I feel like we rounded the corner of the program. As I was looking at the calendar, I realized that due to Zhongkao and our excursion to Yunnan, next week would be our last full week of teaching. I feel like I’ve only begun to get to know the kids in my extracurricular classes (film and baseball), but we have so few classes left!

My film class was especially great last week. Instead of lecturing and presenting videos, Aditya and I split the class into groups and asked them to begin working on their projects. Though, of course, there were the kids who played games instead of doing their work, the students as a whole are getting very excited about their projects. I don’t know how much of what we taught got through to them, especially because we taught in English (very little, I suspect) but it makes me really happy to see the amount of pride and care they take in their work. Nadia has noticed this in journalism as well—the Zhuhai No. 9 students take the work we’re giving them very seriously. It’s really cute, actually. The other day, a pair of boys came into our office and gave Nadia their interview questions/answers (some journalism students were assigned to interview the Duke students). They had used colored pencils and crayons to take down the answers, and decorated the paper carefully. In my film class, one group wants to make a movie about their model airplanes called Fast and Furious. Another group wrote their script in both English and Chinese.

My host sister is also starting to warm up to me! Over the past few weeks, I’ve been waiting for a relationship to form spontaneously; I realize that I was just waiting for something to happen. But it never really happened. I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands, so over the past few days, I’ve been the one to initiate conversations and I suggest things to do together. Now that I’m getting to know her better, I realize that I should have done this from the very beginning. I’m sure she wanted to spend time with me and get to know me in the beginning as well, but neither of us knew how to approach each other. There are only a few weeks left now!

Talk of the final performance has instilled a sense of urgency in me. Because I felt a little unfocused during the first few weeks, I volunteered to be director for the final show. I wanted something to keep me busy, but as I was working on material for it, I realized that I had signed myself up for quite a lot of work. That’s okay, though; I have a feeling that the work I put in for this performance will prove very rewarding.