Delivering a devastating, earth shatteringly good lesson one week, only to realise that you’ve peaked as a teacher and nothing you ever do in life will reach those levels of sheer unadulterated, inhibited language production.

In my student classes last week, we talked about the news. In the first lesson of the week, we learned about the importance of a good headline, and then wrote a news story. In the second lesson, we watched a 5 minute clip from BBC breakfast, and then wrote and performed TV news reports in front of the class. It was a total fluke, I had no idea it would be so successful, but it was. But now, any lesson I plan can only pale in comparison. Lesson planning is easy; planning lessons that actually interests a class of 50+ students and motivate them to put their phone down and stop eating their breakfast is another thing entirely. It takes a lot of brain power, but it’s doable.

In the past few weeks, it’s become milder and milder, to the point where today I had actual sweat patches (I’m excited for my help parcel containing deodorant to arrive…). The sad thing about the weather getting warmer though is not wearing gloves anymore This means you have to make physical contact with the handrails on the bus. About 98% of the time on a bus you’re standing, clinging onto a rail, and Chinese people are fairly comfortable with coughing, sneezing and miscellaneous respiratory functioning into their hands. Usually a bit of hand sanitiser will satiate the squirming mental images of the various life forms breeding in the warm creases of my palm until I can get home to wash my hands properly. I’m not kidding you, after a full day out and about, the soapy water is black. I like to flick the water onto the side of the sink to see how black it is. It’s oddly satisfying to see it being washed away. Is that weird?


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