11 September 2012


The new students arrived on campus the weekend after the returning students started classes.
There was a special dragon arch over the front gate of the university. We can't read Chinese, but can see the name of our school, 钦州学院, Qinzhou Xueyuan, or Qinzhou College. It is now Qinzhou University, but the College name persists and there are still some 3-year programs as well as 4-year bachelor's degrees and graduate programs in some departments (but not English).
Many students arrived with their parents, like this family who have just gotten out of a taxi in the street in front of the gate. Chinese women especially often use umbrellas for shade as well as rain. We were reminded of when we took our son to UBC for the first time 17 years ago.
The first step is to register in your class, with the other students who will be taking the same courses as you for all 4 years of your college life. Each class has a head teacher who will be their main academic contact. The two teachers with us are friends for our co-teaching last semester, and will be head teachers of new classes of English Majors this year.
This student is very proud of her Admission Notice from the university. The registration process is all on paper, no computers or Internet -- we're not sure why, since computers and Internet are everywhere on campus.
Pavilions were set up along the main street through campus, where students got keys to dorm rooms and picked up supplies. The weekend was a continuous parade of arriving freshmen.
We had rain as well as sun, but the march across the bridge toward the dormitories went on.
And meanwhile behind our apartment in the fields, the farmers took advantage of the clouds and rain to plant new crops. One the the things we are teaching in our Culture course for Year-2 students is that the word culture applies to personal development, growing good moral character, analogous to growing plants (agriculture).
The Monday after the freshmen arrived was Teachers Day. China started this tradition in 1984, and students often give small gifts to their teachers -- we got beautiful flowers, a house plant, and a teapot. This poster was in the courtyard of our Foreign Language teaching building, in Chinese, English, Thai, and Vietnamese. The university had a welcome banquet in the evening -- we are the only foreign English teachers this semester (along with about 60 Chinese teachers of English).