Ali booked four tables at our favourite Muslim restaurant for a Twilight Zone Christmas dinner. There were over forty of us altogether - the workers from Grades 1, 2 and 3, the managers and the foreigner - that's LEAF, Tina and Jayne. We were also joined by Liao Xinlia, the English teacher who is going to take over the supervision of the Twilight Zone. This is a job I've been doing since Alex left in April 2005. It's mostly a back-up role, helping them out of difficulties, managing the accounts and guiding them when necessary. In fact, the team of 21 students does a great job without me - hosting the English film club and recruiting new members. The income from both of these provides our funding for new materials, water and workshops. Apart from the odd grant from the College or VSO, the Twilight Zone is completley self-funding.

After eating we had several speeches, all of which summed up the great value of the TZ to the students. As I said in my own speech, being a member or a worker with in the TZ has nothing to do with guanxi (favour), wealth or politics. It embraces values of equality and respect, as well as freedom of expression. These are not commonplace in a society that very often operates according to power and privilege. In the TZ teachers and students can 'be themselves'. The Student Union and English Department have tried to get their claws into the TZ for some time now, but we don't give up our independence, though we are always happy to cooperate for activities and events. Long live the Twilight Zone, from which the students emerge with new skills, new experiences and a new outlook on life.

Sleepover (by Freda)

Edie and Freda's best friend, Lao Yang, came for a sleepover last night. More from Freda later....

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