China Blog #3
After several days of travel (one to Beijing, another to Xian and then next day, to the school in the countryside) I am finally settling in to my new home for the next weeks. Today was my first teaching day and I think it went quite well! When I focus on the teaching, I forget all about home and worries about whether or not I will be successful and just do my job.
Teaching through a translator is time consuming, but makes one really think about what one wants to impart. Although I taught several lecture style sessions today, the most important thing for me took place after breakfast when I galvanized the students to work together in the school garden. We created a little pond for the goslings and all watched with satisfaction as the tiny creatures ventured into the water for the first time.
The animal husbandry here is very different from my chickens (almost pets)! When one of the goslings was sick, it was left to die in a bucket, sweltering. I asked if I should put it out of it’s misery? They implored me to please let it die naturally. A contrasting experience was watching a man at an outdoor trout restaurant in the mountains free a cicada (think giant beetle with incredibly loud, incessant cricket sounds) from a large spider’s web. It took considerable time and trouble to achieve this without harming any creature.
I wonder about America. How much of individual consciousness with regards to the importance of life, comes out of our own wish to avoid pain?