How would you feel when somewhere in the course of a semester you were suddenly informed that you would have a holiday? And it was a ten-day holiday?


Of course you would feel happy.


I am not talking about one of my fantasies. It has come about here in my school.




This holiday dropped out of heaven is here with me all thanks to the provincial-level sports event for high schools. My school is the host of the event. Over 1,000 contestants, coaches, officials and other workers will gather here and the event lasts around 10 days (September 23 – October 2). The school has been preparing for this event for half a year and all the staff, as well as the leaders, agree that this will be a golden opportunity to get the school promoted and improve its image.


The school will accommodate the contestants and all the other workers. The solution is simple – the dorms will be used for the purpose. So it is arranged that Senior One and Senior Two have this nice holiday and the students vacate their dorms for this occasion.


Are the dorms good enough? Yes, I think so. Compared with hotel rooms, the dorms are simple, and poorly furnished. But they should be able to meet the needs of the occupants. In each dorm there are bunk beds for 6 – 8 people. Each occupant has his own cupboard. There are fans and lights and a shared toilet and washroom in place too. All the dorms are well maintained and quite clean. However, there is no bath in the dorm, but the contestants can take a bath or shower in a public bath.


How about the meals? The school canteen provides meals for over 4,000 students normally so there is no trouble at all feeding the contestants. I do wish the meals would taste better, for only three of my students admit they like the meals in the canteen. All the others say mother’s cooking is far better and tastier.


However, Senior Three have no holiday at all. The teachers of the grade still have to work as normal. They are studying for their exams.


Most staff members will be free in the holiday. Only a small number of us will work as volunteers for the event. Because it is the first time the event has taken place in the city, the city attaches great importance to it as well. Some workers come to help from other schools of the city and even some from other schools in the province.


I will be free all through the holiday. Hurrah.


Students’ Reaction


When news of the holiday was announced, the students yelled, jumped and hugged in the corridor. They sounded like wolves.


They have been in school for about a month and many of them still find high school hard to cope with. Indeed, in my opinion, some teachers gave too much homework to do. Most students were rushing daily to meet the deadlines. Some students even skipped meals to finish their homework. I do wish the leaders would take action and reduce the workload for the students. Some subjects, like physics and chemistry, are especially thorny for some learners. The trouble is that there is a huge gap between what they learned in junior high and what they are learning now. Still homesickness is prevalent. Living standards are higher than before. It seems that everybody says life at home is more comfortable than here.


That’s why they reacted so strongly to the holiday. They have made their holiday plans. All will stay with their parents. Some will visit former friends and teachers. Some will catch up on the sleep they missed at school. Computer games, TV, delicious food and of course preparation for the first test when they are back in school.


Have fun, my students.


My Plan


This holiday is a good station where I can sort out my thoughts, rest, and study.


The past month’s teaching and learning has convinced me that I am more experienced now. I will look back upon my past learning and teaching and come up with more feasible ways to work and research. The encounter with the crazy teachers tested my language proficiency and I had an urge to shout that day to myself, “Shengliver, great job! Carry on.” Where am I heading for? Also, I am in charge of ELT in my grade and I will try to think out more efficient ways of coordination.


I am energetic. I didn’t feel tired at all in the past month when I was working. Yet, the first day of the holiday tells me I deserve a good rest. How sound I was sleeping in the afternoon after lunch! I will stay with my family and celebrate two important days together – Mid-autumn Day and National Day. In normal years, we have to work on Mid-autumn Day and the leaders are not generous in giving holidays. For the National Day holiday, the standard 7 days are reduced by them to a meagre 2 or 3 days. I bet my family will be so happy that we can have normal festivals this year.


My summer holiday was spent on some challenging but inspiring books. I have not been through with some. And I will pick up where I was. I read one or two pages this afternoon and what a good feeling!


A Similar Holiday Years ago


Such an unexpected holiday as this one occurred to me in high school over 15 years ago. In that case I had 15 days off.


My high school was not one of the key high schools so there were not enough funds to build new classroom buildings to replace the old shaky ones. The principal of the school was a smart guy. To threaten the local government and to highlight the problem, he ordered all the classes to stop school and the school was closed for half a month. Each student had to persuade their family to donate 100 Yuan to the school when they came back. And we did. After the holiday, the local government realized how serious the problem was and allocated funds to the school. In a year, two modern classroom buildings were there. Hurrah!


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