April 12, 2007 - Guyuan, China
At the Gates
Seventy sets of eyes waxed longingly for the sunny courtyard just outside the classroom door for the last half of class.
Sixty-eight small sets. And mine.
If it hadn’t been me teaching I have a feeling there would have been a wild whoop as the bell rang and wild stampede. Not withstanding there was an audible sigh of relief with the noon buzzer going off.
Walking towards my office I noticed the front gate of the school was closed and a small gathering of students was waiting impatiently - lured by the warm sun and the smell of grilled sausages and grilled kao bing wafting over the fence - to flood through and out into the street. After dropping my class plans off on my desk I walked into the main courtyard to find a swelling crowd of students - most of the 4000 - all jostling and buzzing with why the gates were still locked.
Five minutes later rumors were sifting through - the sewer had broken open, there was a theft in the computer room - but none seemed too plausible, so I made a break for it.
With some Mosian angel over my shoulder I whisked through the crowd with two other English teachers behind me. Students were literally falling over themselves to bow and get out of my way - if only I could be so persuasive in all crowds. Reaching the small gate house we found the headmaster and the school security officer inside.
What was going on?
The door was shut.
A short hushed conversation later my colleagues eyes raised - all I had caught was that somebody was coming.
Outside a short procession of black cars passed out of sight.
Welcome to Guyuan Premier Hu, come again soon!
Tumbleweeds... and no comments. How 'bout livening things up?