A fellow teacher at the university where I taught in China suggested to me that I show a movie to my class sometime. Hearing and seeing a movie in a foreign language they were studying would help them with some of the slang terms we use, and help them with the speed of our conversations. I liked the idea, and I took it a step further.

I told a sophomore class of English majors that we would have a movie night. I reserved one of the auditoriums on campus, and I told them that we would make it a cultural event as well, so everyone was allowed to bring one friend and all the snacks they wanted. The only rule we had was that they had to clean up after themselves.

The class I invited had 50 students, and if all of them brought a friend, the 150 seat auditorium would have ample space for everyone. Well, I was in for a big surprise, because when I arrived about 30 minutes before the assigned time to setup the movie with the projector, the room was absolutely packed!

A funny thing I noticed immediately was there was a thin man sitting beside the area where the computer was, so I could start the movie and adjust the volume in the speakers, and he must have been at least 80 years old! Apparently the word had gotten out that there was going to be a free movie shown, so it was packed. That actually made me very happy!

Movie Night in China

This is a photograph of the auditorium where I showed the movie. These are some of my students, but this wasn’t the night when I showed the movie. Maybe I should have made a second rule addressing the number of guests they could invite!