Reading Facebook statuses this past week made me miss UVA a little bit. It was Homecomings/Young Alumni Reunion weekend, and a number of my Facebook friends made some sort of post about either going back to Charlottesville, or being bummed out that they couldn’t go. I nostalgically looked through old pictures and remembered some of the good times over the past four years….and then I snapped back to reality and realized that I still needed to plan my lessons for the week. Now my planning is done (at least for the rest of this week), and I wanted to take a moment to give a shout out to my ONSP LOvers– HEY TIM, TAB, SALLY & AA!
After being an Orientation Leader for two summers, I can answer (or make up an answer) about almost anything related to UVA. But I want to plan a lesson (or two) about college life in the US, and I don’t know where to begin. There are so many different aspects of American college culture that I could discuss. The one thing I do know for sure was that my college experience was very, very different from that of my students…
Chinese college students all live in dorms that have a curfew at 10:45 when the electricity is cut off. They have to leave their dormitories to take a shower (and carry around shower caddies like UVA Lawnies haha). Freshmen aren’t allowed to bring laptops. They have class every day from 8 am until after 5 pm, with about 18 classes a week. Most are assigned a major based on their score from the nationwide college entrance exam. Overall, my students are hardworking and smart, but exhausted and burdened by their heavy workload. English class is a chance for them to let loose, be silly and relax. (Here is an interesting article that explains the Chinese educational system in a nutshell.)
What should I be sure to tell them about? Football games? Frat parties? Streaking the lawn? Picking your own major? Only having a few hours of class each day? Pulling all-nighters in the 24-hour libraries? Leave me a comment with your ideas (serious or funny)!