It’s been a while since I’ve written something cause there’s been so much going on!
Since the semester starts soon we are doing loads of promotional activities to get people around Foshan interested in our schools. Recently we’ve been hitting the streets at night and setting up information booths and roaming the streets handing out brochures about the school. It’s a bit of tiredsome work but since its china I had a lot of fun. (The TA’s and my boss Angela who is a super fun spirited person also took us out for deserts after, Awesome!)
The Chinese people react a lot differently to flyers than people in Toronto. It’s partly because we are foreigners handing them out but they also seem way more interested in them, its like they haven’t seen people handing out flyers before. I even had taxi bike drivers honk and me and call me over just to see what it was I was handing out. It was interesting though, with each person id approach I’d get one of 3 different reactions.
1. 70% The would look interested and happy and smile and take one and nod happily.
2. 20% They would put up there hand and shake their head with a smile and politely say no.
3. 10% They would look at me with a slightly disgusted blank stare and make no attempt to take a flyer or give any sign they didn’t want one… they would just stare then eventually one of us would walk away.
The third was always so weird. Some of the older Chinese people just looks like they absolutely hate everything and everyone. ^^
After a couple nights of that the demo was upon us! We did one in each of the three schools. The demos were real kid friendly and got all the potential students energized and having fun. Before the demos we sat with the kids and talked to them about really basic things like how old they were and their favorite colors. It was good to practice talking to the kids who would be my future students.
After that it began and each teacher took turns introducing themselves and a few games were incorporated with prizes for the kids.
The real interesting part is that the Nanhai teacher boss decided that the Nanhai teachers (including me since I was temporarily living there) should all do a talent on stage. Oh Joy!
The 2 guy teachers got together and sang Head – Shoulders – Knees and toes then take me out to the ball game, it was pretty good. The 2 girl teachers sang the numa numa song together (it’s the popular one from youtube where the super fat guy is dancing while listening to it on headphones) they did a crazy dance to it which was entertaining.
That left me! I played the Ocean Song on my guitar for everyone. It was extremely nerve wracking to get up in front of about a hundred kids and parents to play the song! I mean a few weeks ago I was nervous to play in front of my friends at a campfire after a couple of beers, and this was a much bigger deal! I think a few years ago when I was a little more shy I would have just died from the pressure on the spot but I managed to play it decently. The best was that the ocean song has many parts where the kids can repeat what I sing. I say Ya Ya Ya Ya Ya then the kids echo me. It was real cool to get all of them singing along.
The song went even better at the second demo (in my Shunde school) it’s a smaller school and it was less loud so I didn’t have to yell the song like in the Nanhai school. I explained the singing along part better to the kids this time and everyone got really into it and they seemed to of had a blast with it. Most importantly I was so much more relaxed this time.
I have a ridiculous fear of public speaking, I’m one of those people who have a greater fear of public speaking than death. (or public music playing in this case) but I’ve been working on getting over it and being able to sing in front of all these people while staying pretty relaxed was a huge personal victory for me. The mental technique I used really worked! I hope it wasn’t a fluke it would be so nice to be able to have this fear handled once and for all.
Plus this constant exposure to this kind of thing over the past few days, tough has I’m sure been real good for me. Anytime you’re out of your comfort zone you grow from it!
After all our introductions we did the chicken dance. Yep… the chicken dance… I actually had a blast doing it.
After the demo all us teachers went out to a little place for some Chinese bbq food. It was super delicious and it was awesome to finally be able to just hang out with the other teachers. So far they all seem like pretty cool people. I’m so glad I’m not stuck in Nanhai anymore!!