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The 6:10 bell summons thousands of freshmen from their rooms to assemble on the basketball courts for a morning jog around the campus ring road. In the winter, it's still dark. And freezing, of course.
Ross came out early one spring morning to record it and we were surprised at the sheer numbers involved. This video is edited down from full length so imagine three times the runners that you actually see.
Second year students (and foreign teachers) are exempt from this.
One advantage of being an older person living in China is that the mid-day nap is completely culturally acceptable here. Lunch "hour" is 90 minutes long or two hours in some places. Many of my colleagues at school take a brief nap after lunch. They just lay their heads down on their desk and fall asleep (actually, some students do this in class as well). The department managers have folding camp beds. The fact that eight people share one office is no deterrent.
The farmers, as I mentioned when I was talking about the corn harvest, set up sleeping cots while they tend the drying corn.
Young children attending day care or kindergarten have sleeping mats. Stroll around any group of market stalls, indoors or outdoors, between noon and mid-afternoon and the proprietors will as likely as not be dozing. This suggests to me that the merchants of Zibo aren't very worried about shoplifters. I'm sure there are times and places and neighborhoods were you'd have to keep an eye on your merchandise at all times, but everything is quiet and orderly around here.
The many mature trees that line the boulevard make a handy post for this fellow's hammock.
At school, many students reserve nap time for in-class hours. By no means all of them, of course. But a few girls place their purses in front of them on the desk, creating a barrier, so the teacher cannot see that they are actually sleeping or watching television shows on their phones. Or rather, as they fondly hope the teacher cannot see. It seems their sense of object permanence is at the same level as a three-year-old playing peekaboo.
One student uses the extended lunch hour to stretch out on the windowsill for his daily nap and he manages to keep his eyes open during class.
And, I'm happy to report that since we left the downtown apartment with its incredibly uncomfortable sofa behind, Order and Tranquility has been restored to the universe and Ross can take a nap on the sofa. Hmmm, and I'm feeling like having a little lie-down myself with my Kindle.....
About the author:
More about me here. My earlier posts (prior to June 2017) are about my time as a teacher of ESL in China,(just click on "China" in the menu below.) more recent posts focus on my writing, as well as Jane Austen and the long 18th century. Welcome!
© Lona Manning 2021