It's a beautiful day

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!

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