I finally met my new students. I have 25 boys and girls. The first
day was a set up for a disaster. There were NO supplies of any kind,
even though the "suits" came and went over my list carefully, asking
questions about each strange implement (like a bone folder). So I
smilingly asked the helper to go find paper and glue and rulers etc.
He came back some time later with a few rulers and about 10 pieces of
typing paper. *sigh*
So everyone rallied and we used anything we could find to practice
folding paper correctly. Then I had them use any straight edge and
cut a straight strip after strip. The combination of these two things
lit a fire under them, and they folded and cut a wonderful variety of
shapes and origami type things. They're all art students, after all,
and they were playing!
Then we gathered together one clean piece of paper each, and I showed
them how to fold and cut to make a little "book" out of just one
piece. They made variations in that all by themselves, too. Now I'm
getting an idea of which one is bound to be "different", which one is
really fast, which one needs help. They're all so cute.
Today, the second day, we had a few more tools and paper. They'd all
gone to a paper store and brought what they could. So I started them
on a single section book with a hard cover. It's hard to get to each
of them in order to stop one from doing the wrong thing before I can
tell them how. I can't just announce to the class what to do, as I
can't speak Chinese, and most of them don't understand English very
well. I have a darling girl, Betty is her English name, (it used to
be Bubbles, but someone explained to her what that type of name
implied, so she changed it) who translates everything I say, but in
the hubub of a class, it's hard to get the message out. So I go
around and see if everyone is keeping up. When we got to the hard
covers, we had to put the large pieces of book board (the only thing
we now have a lot of) on the floor to cut covers. We had three huge
pieces of board all over the floor with 4 or 5 students trying to cut
their boards... like bees around 3 hives.
By hook or by crook, they all finished their books and were really
proud of themselves. I impressed upon the "monitor" that if we'd had
proper paper, we wouldn't have wrinkles and if everyone had had their
own jar of glue, it would have been much easier and efficient. I
think he got the message. All in all, it was great fun, and I'm
looking forward to Thursday to see how many more supplies will
appear. Hope someone brings large paper, as I'm planning to do
accordions. Oh well, we'll just glue one to another endlessly if not.
That's all for now, I have a day off tomorrow. I think I'll go to the
market. That'll be an adventure!