The past few weeks have been extremely busy, but this past Thursday, June 11, was my birthday. Unfortunately, with classes, tutoring, homework, and volunteer activities galore, I was unable to celebrate my birthday. However, I had the fantastic experience of going to an elementary school on my birthday. This week, my roommate Han Ping and I were the organizers for our volunteer activity. We decided to go to an elementary school located in a rural area outside of Qingdao. It was amazing to see the stark difference between the city of Qingdao and the rural village.
When we arrived at the elementary school, students immediately greeted us with bright eyes and cheery faces. The group of USF and Qingdao University students, 12 in total, were divided into four groups, and each group was assigned to a classroom. My roommate and I interacted with a class of 40 first graders. I presented a PowerPoint about my hometown and one about American Circus Culture to the students. My roommate taught them a Chinese poem. Next, the children had the opportunity to ask my roommate and me questions. Finally, all of the children asked for my signature in Chinese, English print, and English cursive. The students also gave me many presents, which they had crafted out of paper.
Apart from these kind of community activities, which include going to elementary schools and visiting the elderly, I have been partaking in an internship at an elementary school. At the internship, I listen to classes and am also helping the students practice their English through the means of a play, for which I have composed the music.
Overall, I am having a great time in China and I look forward to more activities!