Regular classes were canceled this weekend for the Autumns day festival, so I was at the mall again running an event day. Nate was the only one who had regular classes, as for some reason his classes never get canceled.
We were in this big indoor play area in the mall called Gulu Island. It was super cool, and a great location for an event… if only the planning had been done properly. I was to teach three different subjects (fruit, body and animals) during an hour long activity! Good thing I’d managed to buy a coffee before the event started… Muffin had brought all of the plastic fruit pieces from the school with us to the mall. We had a couple of great activities to do with them. One was a parent child activity that I had done, with great success, in class. The parents would hold little grocery baskets, while the kids threw pieces of fruit over their heads. The parents had to try and catch the fruit. The only problem was the stage was tiny!
The fruit went EVERYWHERE! It flew off the stage across the room, and pinged against other parents and children who were waiting for their turn. Some of the pieces of fruit had a good amount of weight to them too. I got the parent and child pairs all to go sit down off stage, and started bringing them back up in twos. So much safer! Muffin didn’t agree. Afraid that the children would leave the stage to run off and play with the toys again, he herded all of the children back on stage into the middle of the firing zone!
I ran five different groups of kids, and despite the difficulties, had a blast! The first two groups were adorable little kids, I even had a one year old attempting to participate with her mom. The last two groups were older kids, some of which knew a bit of English already, and got really into the games. The group in the middle were not so much fun. After an exhausting hour of attempting to mitigate fruit- throwing danger, I pulled out the pens we had been handing out as prizes. The parents nearly trampled their own children as they lunged forwards yelling at me in Chinese, which they were fully aware I did not speak, and ripped the pens from my hand. I was absolutely disgusted by their behaviour. I walked off stage, and took a minute to sit in the back and compose myself. I had to focus on the amazing groups of kids I’d had earlier that day, and remind myself that not everyone is awful and selfish.
The whole mall crew had lunch together at Lazy’s bar, even Candy! It was a lot of fun.
When I left the mall I stopped to watch a dance show that was happening right outside. I loved seeing all of the different outfits. Some people were wearing traditional chinese type clothing, while others were wearing more eccentric outfits. One group of old ladies were completely decked out in florescent pink leopard print.
A group of dancers came out dressed in traditional chinese gear with big red and orange fiery ribbons. The ribbons came to life around the dancers, as if the dancers bodies were merely catalysts for energy to flow around and off of. A lot of Chinese dancing is done without emotion, which surprised me as I have always thought of dance as an expression of emotions to music. But suddenly I understood that the people were not the part of the dance that was important, the dance was an expression of emotion shown in the form of energy around the dancers bodies, and it was beautiful.