My first impression of the building itself wasn't all that remarkable. Not to say it was ugly or anything, because it wasn't. It's just what you'd expect out of your average urban school, which is fine. When you walk into the school, there are several hallways surrounded by a courtyard or two. The view wasn't all that impressive today because of the rain (it was the first time it's rained since we got here, and it's only because the government shot chemicals into the atmosphere to stimulate precipitation-my guess is to relieve the severe drought in Northern China, but who knows).
We were led into a meeting room with our host siblings where we were greeted by Principal Fan and several other important school officials. He proceeded to welcome us to the school, telling us how glad he was that we are continuing the 30 year relationship between our schools/countries, how communication has changed so much with the internet and such, and to enjoy our stay. We then introduced ourselves, in Chinese, to him and the other officials. My "speech" went like this: My name is Make (my Chinese name, 马克), I like to eat, and I love Chinese people. It was all I could think to say in the heat of the moment. I got laughs on the eating comment.
After, he invited us to have lunch at a restaurant near the school. It was a five-star restaurant, and may I say the food was AMAZING. I felt so grateful to the school that they welcome us with open arms and then treat us so wonderfully. During lunch, Ms. Zheng (the chairwoman of the exchange on this side. I'm not sure if that's the correct pinyin for her name) talked to us about some basic rules during our stay, and told us which classes we would be in for the semester. I'm in an advanced 9th grade class, with advanced students. I think they're actually in the middle school because they start high school in 10th grade and they wear green uniforms (we/the high school wears blue ones). I'm going to be with one other Newton kid, Rebecca Lo.
Tomorrow we're going to register for classes, get our textbooks, and introduce ourselves to the school (at least I think. I'm never quite sure of what's going on in China if it isn't happening right now). I'm really excited to meet my classmates, but I do know two of them already. They're English names are Miles and Victor, and they're hosting Ms. Richard (no relation) and Hannah Sieber. I don't really know them that well yet, but I hope to soon. They're hosting this year and going on the exchange this fall, so I'm sure they'll want to practice their already amazing English and ask questions about America. I just hope I can practice my terrible Chinese with them. Other then that, it was a relatively mild day.
Uniforms-I know you all can't wait to see me in my uniform, but there's a little problem. The school didn't have the right sizes for me, Rebecca, or Elias Menninger (the two shortest and tallest of our group, respectively), so we have to wait 2-3 weeks for our uniforms to arrive. I did receive the bottom, but it's bright blue sweatpants, so I'm waiting for the whole package before I wear it.