Happy (almost) September! After a wonderful, joyful summer I am back in Nanjing and gearing up for my first days of teaching. Because the first years have a several week long orientation, they do not begin classes until mid-September. Most of my classes are for first years, so I have lots of time to prepare and plan. I brought back some resources from the US, especially for mythology class, which I think will prove to be very helpful. I am eager to put them to use. Given that I am teaching many of the same courses as last year, this week has been a matter of rearranging and altering curriculum. That is so much easier than entirely creating a curriculum and more fun, too. I have a better sense for how to pace the class, which topics and activities will interest students more than others. It is all very exciting.
Beyond the classroom, Nanjing unfortunately has not cooled off too much yet. We are in the middle of 秋老虎，or the autumn tiger, the Chinese name for an Indian summer. What joy! I think that name is very apt and have adapted my schedule accordingly. I do errands and venture outside in the mornings and evenings. During the heat of the day, I (and most of the rest of the population) take refuge in the AC.
My roommate and I went strolling by a lovely neighborhood canal this week around dusk. It was remarkable how much more crowded the willow-lined paths became after 6:30 pm arrived and darkness hit. The city comes alive again at nighttime, though it is still 80 degrees all night. But I am trying to appreciate the warm nights while we have them. I also know that by the middle or end of September, it will likely be more comfortable and the autumn tiger will slink away. In the meantime, I’ll be sampling the Magnum ice cream varieties at the local supermarket and trying to make use of my new HSK4 Chinese textbook. Wish me luck!