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So, this week I have moved in with my host family which was an expected change of pace.  I think fondly of the times that our group has bonded in the hotel rooms, so close to one another, but I look forward to moving in with my host family and being more immersed in the culture.  My host family has treated me very well this past week, even expressing tremendous concern when I had an upset stomach and wasn’t feeling too well.  They often tell me to eat a lot more food to ensure that I am well-fed even when I can fathom the thought of eating another bite.  My host parents are both teachers, and they also are using this opportunity to learn some English, in an effort to communicate with me, similar to how I am learning Chinese to communicate with them.  They tried hard to make meals that I would enjoy and I have been very appreciative of their concern and willingness to accommodate my preferences.

Being the second week of the program, I got to see some of the students with whom I had my first English classes.  Upon seeing the familiar faces, I found a newfound excitement to be energetic about our lesson and looked forward to being able to connect with the students.  Additionally, this week I started teaching my extra-curricular class: k-pop dance.  I found that this was an interesting challenge for me because I do not consider myself a good dancer.  I prepared before coming to China by downloading numerous k-pop dance videos and trying to learn the choreography.  Overall, I think the classes are going smoothly and the kids are super quick at learning the dances too.  There have been several days where I had to work after-school and before class just to prepare enough choreography for the next class because they were learning it so quickly.  I find that as long as you the teacher are excited for the class that most of the times the students will see that and be more willing to cooperate.  After all this is now their summer time and no one likes intense summer schooling.  Therefore, I try to approach these lessons with the idea that it should be laid back, fun, and enjoyable for everyone; it is not meant to be stressful.

Granted sometimes a little time away from the kids is good too.  We have gone on so many lunches off campus with the kids to their favorite eateries and tried many dishes.  I also learned that “medium spicy” in China does not mean medium, as I was sweating and crying while eating my medium spicy hot pot.  While there is a generalized schedule for our program, the one thing I like the most is the spontaneity of it.  You never really can expect what is going to happen and that’s okay.  There doesn’t have to be a strict plan for everything, and everything will work out in the end.