November 16, 2017 - Post from Cailey

Today was yet another busy day of our trip throughout China.  It just so happened to be our first full day with our host families.  Many of us woke up at 5:30 in order to get to school. I️ was lucky so I️ able to wake up at 6 and still got to school with time to spare. We started out the day with our host families in each of their classes. Chloe, Celine, Nicole and I️ all had host sisters in the same class.

After checking in with the teacher and handing the phones and homework in, we were able to go upstairs to the auditorium where we got to participate in a welcome ceremony. We introduced ourselves in Chinese and danced to ‘Shake it Off’ by Taylor Swift. All of this embarrassing dancing and speaking in Chinese was broadcasted to all the rooms in the school, on TVs.

With my host sister, we had math class, English class, biology, and physics.  Her math teacher was very very strict and she made the kids stand up when they answered a question and if they got it wrong they weren’t allowed to sit down until they answered something else right.  Even though she seemed really mad at everyone as we walked back into the classroom from the ceremony, she didn’t yell and was just staring at us in order to intimidate us. After math class, we had physics.  The teacher kept making jokes about how we were in the classroom and I️ don’t think many of us CGS students understood at first but after they explained them, they were funny.

After physics, which I️ for one did not understand a single part of, we had English. I️ was actually able to understand everything from this class. We talked about the different cultures across the world and the different times and ways we celebrate the new year.

After our easiest class of the day, we had biology. For this class we actually had to leave the classroom and walk up to the biology lab. This class was actually so interesting. We had to do a lab today and they are studying photosynthesis. In the lab, we took leaves from plants and cut out small circles using a specific tool. After, we put the small circles of leaves into water. And let them soak for a little bit of time. After that, we put them in a container and pumped the air out of it in order to take the oxygen out. We could tell the oxygen was all gone when the leaves where no longer floating in the container. After that, we took them out of the container and put five in each of the containers of water. Then turned a light in of over the containers. Each container was a different length away from the light. We then waited for the photosynthesis to occur, using the light to bring oxygen back into the leaf piece. This was all so interesting! 

After biology, we went down to lunch. Guang Ming high school is best known for their amazing lunch food. I️ wouldn’t agree with it being “amazing.”  But it was still good.

After lunch we went up stairs in the new building of the school and met with all of the CGS students.

When we were all together, we had a class hosted by one of Guan Ming’s teachers  we learned about the Peiking opera. It was really interesting, the way that they dressed and danced.

After the Chinese culture class, we had some time to talk with each other about our home stays. When we were finally done talking, we had another class from one of the Guang Ming teachers. This time though, we learned about calligraphy and then got to practice. Thanatos was a lot of fun!  After calligraphy class we had study hall. I got a lot of my Spanish homework done. At 4:15 study hall ended and a lot of the kids went home with their hosts. My host had band practice so I wasn’t able to go home yet. Shannon and I️ stayed until 6 with our host sisters and watched the band practice s while doing homework.

I️ got to take the subway home and it was so clean, probably the cleanest subway and subway station I️ have ever been in. It had been a long day and it was raining so my host sisters dad picked us up from the train station.

When I got home only the maid was home she was busy making dinner so Crystal and I watched some TV. Her brother and dad came back soon after that so we had dinner. Her mom was at a teacher conference and her dad had to go out with friends so it was just me crystal and her brother, Michael eating dinner. They always try to get me to eat so much even though I’m not that hungry.

After dinner I️ worked on some of my homework and Crystal did the same. Then I️ realized I️ had to do this blog post so I’m working on that now as Michael practices the flute in the room next to me and Crystal works on her math homework. Both of her parents just got back and are now talking to her brother and I’m guessing it is about whatever happened at the parent teacher meeting that her mom was just at.

Anyways, this has been a really influential and positive experience already and I’m learning so much from just listening!

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