Hoo can help me?

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)!

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3 thoughts on “Hoo can help me?

  1. Kim! First off, I’m doing this on my phone so I apologize for all the errors. I think they would benefit from hearing about “work hard play hard”- I think UVa students really push that to irs limits. You can stem the allnighters and club clem, the frat parties, foxfield etc off of it.

    I miss you! I wish you were there this weekend!

  2. You could talk about getting to choose how many/what classes you want (going through school at your own pace). Online colleges. Living on campus vs off campus. School spirit/community. And something that would really surprise them: how many times kids change their majors before graduating. those are my ideas for now.

  3. Kim–your work is inspiring. I am so glad you are there teaching the youth of China; they need you!! (But, we do so miss you terribly here.) I think you should mention to these students the freedom UVA students have in choosing their majors/academic fields, but how for some that freedom can be overwhelming. I oftentimes had students say to me, “I wish someone would just tell me what I should major in or what field I should go into.” Be careful what you wish for, I suppose. Keep the postings coming!

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