Tuesday, December 30: This afternoon, the teachers and administration from SCIC were required to attend a working “retreat.” To me the words “retreat” and “work” don’t really go together, so I was glad it actually turned out not to be too demanding. We ate some snacks and drank some tea and listened to a presentation on learning theories. The venue was quite a lovely place.
After the lecture, we walked over to the dining hall, where we found some pretty walkways and buildings. Richard asked if I’d like him to take a picture of me. It was nice of him to ask, because I don’t usually like to ask people to take pictures of me. He said he always finds it frustrating when he travels that he never gets any pictures of himself to prove that he was actually at a place.
Some of the younger guys were goofing off and pretending to do some Kung Fu fighting.
I did a mingle activity (an activity which I often do with my students), where I mingled and took shots of my colleagues.
After the lecture, we sat down to the typical Chinese style dinner served on a lazy Susan. I couldn’t eat much of it because the meat in every dish looked typically Chinese, meaning it was still attached to the bone, with gristle and fat and skin still attached. I ate a few bits, but mostly I just sampled some of the many bottles of wine that were there for our enjoyment. 🙂
I had some fun conversations with the people at our table. I found out, much to my astonishment, that Geoff, shown below, taught for a year in Saudi Arabia. We talked a lot about that culture and our experiences in the Gulf. I couldn’t understand how, though we’ve worked a whole semester together, he never once mentioned until tonight that he worked in Saudi Arabia; everyone here knows I worked two years in Oman, so I would have thought he might mention his work in that region. It’s always interesting what you find out about people once their tongues are loosened a bit by wine.
It was really a fun retreat and a great bonding experience for the teachers. As none of us keep office hours, we don’t often have a chance to interact with each other. A lively evening all around. 🙂