“It’s the Stephanie Show…on location!”

Last Saturday, I was asked to do a 40 minute demo at Wanda Mall (one of Hohhot’s bigger, more pricey shopping areas) for the marketing department at EF. I was probably not their first choice, considering I’d only done one demo before, but I was the only teacher available between 12 and 2pm. So after my morning classes finished at 12, I was rushed to the mall with Adele, one of my P.A’s. I had no idea what to expect or how many children would be there or even how old they would be. I had seen pictures from previous mall demo’s where there were close to 50 people watching!! This did not help my nerves so I prepared 2 demo’s for different ages and sizes, just in case. When I got to the mall, I was brought to the area they had sectioned off for EF. There was a cute display full of balloons, puppets and EF propaganda, along with the marketing people and about 6 volunteers. The only problem was that there was only 1 kid. We waited for about 20 minutes for other kids to show up, but no one did so I was forced to perform my demo meant for 10 children with the one little girl. She was probably Baby’s age, but she was enthusiastic and didn’t spit poison the way Baby does, so it wasn’t too hard to adjust my lesson plan to her learning ability. I was teaching the numbers 1-10 and about 5 minutes into the demo another little girl joined, and then a little boy, and by the end of 40 minutes I had about 10 kids playing the games. I’m not sure if any of them ended up signing up, it’s possible that their parents just wanted them to interact with a foreigner, but that doesn’t really matter to me. I noticed that there were a lot of passerby’s and shoppers watching the show as well. The trick is to ignore the crowd of adult onlookers who probably think you’re mental and just focus on making the kids laugh, which they did! Overall, the 40 minutes went by quick once I got in my groove. I know that I entertained a few kids and their parents, at least. In fact, I think the volunteers were much more taken with me than the children. A couple wanted to take pictures with me and one girl kissed me on the cheek and said “You are so beautiful, I love you so much!” Foreigners get that a lot in Hohhot. The best part of the experience? The free lunch I got afterwards. Mongolian-styled pan-fried noodles and beef, salad, spicy potatoes and sprouts, and a well deserved bottle of coke.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lois Christianson
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 00:07:32

    Hi Steph
    Sounds like you did a great job. I bet you get asked to do it again.
    School is back in session here this week.
    It is still very hot for Sept.
    Gracie is going to start Gymnastics next week. She is something else for a 2 yr old.
    The Sontags are in the States on a holiday this week. They had a whatever of bunnies growing in their sandbox, but apparently have moved on.
    Keep enjoying what you are doing, sounds super.
    Love Aunty


  2. tarainkarakuwa
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 14:15:47

    Hey Steph!

    I’ve really enjoyed reading through your blog posts. It’s really interesting to see how divergent our ESL-teaching experiences are! I can totally sympathize with the closed-circle feeling sometimes, having a core group of available foreigners that you kindasorta HAVE to get along with.

    Baby sounds like a nightmare and a half. Makes me grateful I deal with neither paying customers nor toddlers. (Though I might be getting involved with a kindergarten class—we’ll have to see about that.) Hmmm, maybe you could try making a blanket fort? Then you could do “welcome” words. Hello, goodbye, good morning, go to sleep, that sort of thing . . . Plus it’s hard to injure anybody with blankets, and the novelty might score you some points. Or else paper airplanes? Far, farther, farthest? Up, down . . . broken?

    And, if all else fails, lamination is your friend ^.^

    Best of luck. I’ll keep following along!


  3. My-Tien
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 12:40:31

    Lol spit poison.

    You ARE beautiful Stephy and your lunch sounded delish – yay no cat or dog this round!


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