Monday, October 22, 2012

China Part 4, Two Great Tutors

One of the best parts of my time in China was the time I spent with my tutors. I primarily worked with two tutors, Hattie and Song. I used the site to find a tutor and I felt really fortunate that I was able to connect with each of them.

Hattie was kind enough to come to Sichuan University after I finished teaching each day. I taught from 11-3:30 and then worked with Hattie from 3:45-5:45. We would typically spend one hour going through a lesson that she had prepared and then one hour of either conversation or me practicing telling her stories. Hattie was an outstanding tutor. Sadly, we never took our picture together, but she was kind enough to send this picture of her.

I also met with Song each morning. He was very gracious and would come to my hotel room every morning about 9 AM. Our time together was mostly informal - we would have conversations, I would ask him about vocabulary words and would practice telling him stories. Originally he was only going to come from 9-10, but he kindly would stay longer each day just chatting with me. We did some fun things together, including going to Leshan and the Lotus Flower Market.I likewise neglected to take a photo of Song and I together but here is a picture of him that he sent me.

I thought it would be helpful to have two tutors because that way I could practice some of the same things with each of them without them getting bored. So I would review vocabulary with Song and tell him a story from my life (or from literature) and get feedback from him in the morning, and then review this same vocabulary and story with Hattie in the afternoon.

As I've written this post and look at these pictures of Hattie and Song I really am grateful for them. They really sacrificed a lot to help me, and I know that listening to me fumble around trying to tell stories in Chinese had to tax their patience. Having the opportunity to be with Song and Hattie on a daily basis was one of the best parts of my time in Chengdu. I was able to really get to know them and feel like I had close friends. Thank you Hattie and Song!!!!