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#1 This week’s topic was restaurants and food. The question of the day was, “What is your favorite food?” From dumplings to hamburgers, strawberries to sweets, apples to ice creams, the range of answers not only showed me the incredible diversity in tastes and personality each of us has, but also the connection we share, in that we are all happy when we eat our favorite food. My favorite food is meat of all and every kind 😉 What is yours?

#2 Last Wednesday, Matthew and Hsiao-mei shared a lullaby on the group chat for us. I think we need more music majors in this world, period.

#3 We showed our students a short animated clip called Fugu, where a pufferfish tries to escape its fate by flying out of the kitchen but ends up in the pot anyway. Regardless of how deterministic this description sounds (I was also very shook when I first watched it), to my relief, many of the students ended up enjoying the video. They paid close attention to the screen, occasionally yelling, “Oh, fish is flying,” or “No, fish is dying!” When I asked them afterwards what they thought of the video, they laughed and said it was “interesting.” I credit Andrew for finding this masterpiece for our slides.

#4 “Teacher you’re so beautiful!” a student yelled out a few seconds before class ended. I didn’t have to check the screen to know that my co-teacher Wendy was making the same face as me: eyebrows tilted like the Chinese character 八, surprised but delighted eyes, and mouth parted into an O before melting into a smile. “Aw, thank you! You’re so beautiful too!” we beamed. One of the most valuable lessons my wise 12-year-old students have taught me is that it doesn’t take much to make another person’s day. From a comment as sudden and simple as this to a “Hello teacher!” with a wide, wholehearted smile, any small action or words can have the power to spread incomparable joy to others.

#5 A student called Ray told my 3rd period co-teacher Eric that he was “handsome like me.” At that moment, I wished more than ever I could be physically present in Zhuhai so I could give him a fist bump. A lesson of confidence, positivity, and self-esteem—all added to the list of what I learned from DukeEngage Zhuhai.