Day Five

In the evening, the Teacher's Union of Pine Plains Central School District entertained the Chinese teachers in a restaurant in the town of Rhinebeck. It was said that the food in this restaurant was wonderful, so they chose to host us here. In my memory, the dinner given by the Teacher's Union changed places almost every year. I said to Mr Baker jokingly, "I have eaten in almost every restaurant here!"

The Teacher's Union in the United States is a real union, representing the benefits of the teachers. The Teacher's Union has the right to conduct negotiations with the school on various problems concerning the teachers' benefits, therefore, the Teacher's Union enjoys high prestige among the teachers.

Those who came to the dinner were all on the union leadership, coming from different schools in the school district. According to my observation, there were few changes in them and I was familiar with them. Young as he is, Mr Baker, president of the Teacher's Union, enjoys quite a bit of prestige among and is deeply trusted by the teachers. He is what we call a competent "young leader". This afternoon, they had a negotiation with a lawyer representing the school. It was certainly unsuitable for me to ask what they were negotiating for, but Mr Baker said the negotiation ended up a success.

At the dinner Mr Baker made a speech brimming with enthusiasm. He addressed the dinner every year. And then we exchanged the gifts. The Teacher's Union dinner was not so formal as the Board of Education dinner; the atmosphere here was easy, warm and joyful. The dinner ended round about 9:00 pm. Ms Pogoda told me that she liked the easy atmosphere tonight very much.