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Yunnan Day 3

Sat up late last night with the other advisors in a tea house next to our hotel. This would be the closest thing to a bar in this village.



One other family was hanging out there too. The little boy here is worth hitting play.


Here's a our agenda for the day.



I'm a bit worried about the school visit. Our students are going to do a quick English lesson for groups of third to sixth graders. They can expect 30 to 40 students in a class. Our head guide warned me there might be a political problem for the school principal with our presence today. Apparently they have an educational minister arriving for an inspection today at 11:00. If the minister sees western teachers instructing their students in English there could be problems for the principal. We are scheduled to depart at 10:40.


Made it out of the school, but just barely. As our bus was about one minute away from the school LongYun saw the inspectors car drive by. We had a student forget his phone in a classroom and had to run back out of the bus to go get it. Megastress.


These two loved this activity most.



This is Gillian and Jenny. They both attended a traditional public school similar to this one. However, this one has some major unique qualities related to economic shifts in the country. People are leaving small communities for the big cities. This is causing schools to close. The solution has been to create one larger boarding school. Students (1st to 6th grades) live here during the week and go home on the weekends. Some live as many as 100 kilometers away. By my estimations they have a 180 day school year similar to kids in the states.


Lunch, and all hell broke loose. Fight amongst two boys. Both are getting shipped home early. My afternoon was spent being an administrator. It sucked. Like, it sucked objects people don't want to suck. I'm okay with how I handled it all. It makes me realize I could be an administrator, but there's no way I would be happy doing that job. Lots of interviews and trying to empathize with those involved. Tell me your story. Tell me more. What else? Getting older I'm starting to become a better listener. Took long enough.


I missed the hike this afternoon. Perhaps after dinner I will be able to participate in the bonfire and s'mores. Here's pics from what I missed.



I was hopeful, but a bit too hopeful. Here's what I missed.



A group of boys formed a posse that turned into a lynch mob. I ended up having to talk to them and coordinating with my principal. I would like to get him the best information I can for Monday when this will all transfer to his plate. I don't want to leave him hanging. I fear a large part of my day tomorrow will be get burned by disciplinary issues. Ugh.


Last full day here in Yunnan tomorrow. We travel back to Lijiang for a visit to a Tibetan monostery and a bicycle ride. Fingers crossed. We shall see.



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Andy Donahue
Andy Donahue
Jun 01, 2023

Did I see a little Hookah being smoked while the kid was playing his instrument?

I appreciate your perspective on being an administrator. Toughest part for some is that no matter how you handled it, people won't like it (parents, principal, director, other students, other staff, etc...). And most of those folks don't know the entire story.

Congrats on listening so well; not always easy in charged situations but very wise.

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Jun 02, 2023
Replying to

Bro, I hate having your job, but after the week has passed I think I did okay. Lots of listening and trying to start off with empathy in mind. Tell me your story. Why did this happen? What do you think should happen next?

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Confirms what I have long felt about administration, especiallyat the building level: it is hard, seems not fun, and often thankless. I appreciate those who take it on and do a good job. I couldn't do it.

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David Shick!
David Shick!
Jun 02, 2023
Replying to

I think I survived this week with one key thought in mind. How do I help these boys become better boys? Isn't that what we ultimately want? Be the best you that you can be. They need help getting there. Their boys, not men. They mess up. What do we need to do to help them learn? If the focus is on punishing them and making them feel shame, we aren't going to get there.

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