China on Friday

        I'm going to China on Friday. It feels like there's so much on my mind but really it's all so simple. I'm unexpectedly nervous about teaching in China. I finished my lessons and stuff, but in my powerpoint I've included some Chinese. What if I can't read it while I'm presenting? It's mostly in English, but I don't really know what the Chinese stuff says, I just google translated and got my dad to help me. I'm in the process of memorizing it, but what if I forget? I also need to find a way to make this presentation interactive. Another volunteer teacher is having the students read stuff, but that just seems dopey and I don't feel like anyone will really care. Why do they care about American political landmarks anyway? That's what my presentation is about, what a dumb topic, right? Also since I used pictures as my background I think some of the text is hard to read and I've tried changing the font multiple ways but it's still just kind of difficult I don't really know what to do. Really the thing that I am the most nervous about is the Chinese. What if someone doesn't quite understand something in English, asks me a question, but I can't explain it properly in Chinese? They are going to judge me so hard for my shitty Chinese.
        One thing I do have going for me are my presentation skills. I've watched some of the other volunteers present and it's quite obvious that they are bored by their own presentations and the only reason they are doing this is that their parents are forcing them to. At one of the first meetings we had everyone introduce themselves and give a reason for participating in the program. Some actually had the nerve to outright say that they didn't really want to go and their parents were forcing them to. One girl in particular recieved some harsh criticism on her presentation skills, but rightfully so. When told that she looked bored by her own presentation she merely said, "yes, I am bored. I hate this." What can someone say to that? Does she think that being this way is conducive to anything for anyone? There was not even a hint of, "ok, I suck but I'll work on it!" Then again, these kinds of people are likely the ones who need this program the most. I trust that eventually she will grow up, and she merely said those things in an attempt to be defensive. Seeing as I was voted as one of the leaders of the group, I feel as if I have a responsibility to whip these kids into shape. Still, back to that notion that I can't change someone's thinking, she has to discover it within herself. Some subtle pushing can't hurt though.

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