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300 wishes

Harbin, China

American Girl makes a cute little card game, 300 wishes. It is designed for girls maybe 6-10.I brought it from the States to play with my students. I teach university students and staff. They loved the game! I think people don't get enough opportunities to be nice in life, so it was a completely different experience for them. 2 years ago I taught the word "philantropist" in Shenyang to a class and then asked who wants to be one. Nobody, wanted to be a philantropist, I again said that it meant you were filthy rich and had extra money, still no takers. In the end the told me that the Chinese way was to help your family and not people you don't know. So this time I tried a different approach, using Yao Ming. What do Yao Ming and Bill Gates have in common? And told them they get to be like Yao Ming for a class. The premise is you get a bunch of wish cards and you give 1 to everyone, facedown so you don't know who gave what. The wishes range from cool, dream car, climb Mt. Everest, ride a ferry to the Staute of Liberty - to girly, get flip flops in every color, and then there were a bunch of family options, go to a spa with mom, go on a road trip with your family, etc. After you give evryone a wish, they rank them best to worst. Then we read them aloud. This is when it got interesting...almost everybody would rank things with family as #1. Even if I knew the person (a male student) really wanted to go abroad he would have their #2 as surf the waves in Hawaii and get a pedicure with mom as the number 1. One class was really interesting because a husband and wife take the class together, he is so sweet; he gave her a trip to England to have tea with the Queen, and she gave him a trip to the Eifel Tower, but strangely enough they both ranked the trips as #2. He wanted blueberry bushes in his backyard and she wanted
to scrapbook with mom as the number 1. All the classes liked the game. In some classes I let them give me wishes and I could tell they really thought about the ones they gave me. Lifetime supply of Mac and Cheese, teach a gorilla sign language...I actually miss my grandma so much that in one class a I ranked doing something with her over being President of USA. I told them I hope all their wishes come true. It was nice to do an activity with them that they liked and was not competetive.

permalink written by  carseat tourist on June 13, 2009 from Harbin, China
from the travel blog: Life in Harbin as an American English Teacher
tagged 300Wishes

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