This blog has moved

0 visitors Tuesday, April 14
It's often difficult to post pictures in Blogger so start looking for my updates at this blog instead. I'll only post here if China decides to block Wordpress in the future.

Now I have to get my weekly 24 fix!
read more “This blog has moved”

It's a beautiful day

0 visitors Monday, April 13

microwaved some leftovers for lunch today. As the carrots heated up the lid got sucked back onto the formerly-circular plastic container. It re-sealed and the result was a newly triangular container. Whoops.

Days like today make me want to listen to U2. Spring comes early in Beijing and we've already had several 80-degree days. Today the sun is shining, the breeze is gentle, and the fuzz is flying. The white seeds blow around, accumulating into cotton ball dust bunnies. The fuzz was swirling outside my third floor classroom this morning and looked a lot like snow. It's the bane of every Beijinger on his bike as he tries to avoid accidentally inhaling it or snorting it up his nose. In the picture, Greg Briggs and his fiance are walking between the track and the building we live in.

We just finished studying the Middle Ages today in history class and we played Taboo to celebrate... with vocabulary words from our lessons. Charlemagne, pope, Joan of Arc, 100 Years War, longbow, gunpowder, religion, Holy Roman Empire, feudalism, bubonic plague. I threw in a few just for fun: Mr. Staab, Avril Lavigne (they love the "Girlfriend" song), Michael Jordan, Easter. The students absolutely loved it. Class 14 held the record for the most words in one minute until today. The old record was eleven but Class 11 broke it with twelve words guessed in a minute. They have so much fun competing against each other they almost forgetting they're practicing English at the same time. :) Next, we'll begin studying the Renaissance followed by that world religions that have impacted Western history and culture.

Our students will take their midterm examinations next week so we have a break from teaching classes for four days. Anna and I are traveling with Joel, Mary, and Jacob to Sichuan for five days to visit Mary's parents, who live in Chengdu. Sichuan is the province where last spring's earthquake struck and it's also famous for its food. We'll spend some time in Chengdu, then spend a day or two in Nanchong which is Mary's hometown. Most of my travels haven't strayed more than ten hours from Beijing so I'm excited to see a different part of China! Traveling with Mandarin-speakers also eliminates some stress. :)

The three guys were my students last year in Sr 1 Class 5 and were some of my favorites. They have continued to visit the office to see Greg, Joel, and Cherie, who are their foreign teachers this year. The office has experienced an increase in traffic this week because we had our annual campus-wide Easter egg hunt on Thursday. When students bring the plastic eggs back to the office they have a chance to redeem them for candy, money, or prizes. Some students prefer to keep the plastic eggs, which they've never seen before, much to the dismay of the foreign teachers who bring them from the US!

The last picture is of a student named Volver in Sr 1 Class 1. She's been in the office a lot this year and visits me often in my classroom, which is across the hall from her homeroom.

The punishment that brought our peace was on him and by his wounds we are saved.

Happy Easter!
read more “It's a beautiful day”

Glimpse into a Wednesday

0 visitors Wednesday, April 1
Happy April Fools Day!

Have I mentioned on here how sweet my schedule is this term? I don't teach for a full 48 hours in the middle of my week - from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon. Life is pretty great with two weekends in each week. It's going to be painful next term when I have to teach more than two days in a row!

It being the first Wednesday of the month, we had a lunch meeting at Shi Yi middle school. Tacos were on the menu and our school was supplying the tomatoes and the lettuce. I took the elevator to the ground floor on my way out to buy the produce from the fresh market around the corner. When I stepped out of my building I almost got knocked out by a soccer ball that escaped the fence. If I had been two inches to my left I would have gotten smacked in the head, and that ball wasn't moving slowly, but the Korean students apologized profusely and I gave them their ball back. When I got to the market an old woman approached me as I was locking my bike. The elderly hang out in this area earlier in the day and there's an outside exercise park that many of them use. She stroked my jacket, pointed to my shoes, and touched my hair while telling me over and over that my clothes and hair were so beautiful. Such is the life of a laowai in China.

Michelle and I were in a meeting with two junior students when circumcision came up in discussion (chapter seventeen of the first book). Whoa boy was that awkward. One girl explained to the other what it was in Chinese, then the situation became funny when she fell over on the floor upon realizing what it was. A-w-k-w-a-r-d!

Have you seen Gmail Autopilot by CADIE? It will revolutionize your Google communication!
read more “Glimpse into a Wednesday”