Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Open Class Nightmare

It's parents' week at my school and I have to give five open classes. I am a little sressed out about this. Not only will there be 50 students giving me blank stares for 45 minutes, but their parents will be too. I just know I'm going to make a fool out of myself.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Will Someone Please Fan Me

This post goes out to Cathleen Hamel. Also, Happy 30th Birthday to my brother Christian. He is my first sibling to enter his third decade of living on this beautiful earth.

I wish Chinese classrooms had air conditioners in them.

It's hot again, the kind of hot when you immediately want strip off your clothes, drink a big glass of ice water and just lay on your bed for 10 minutes and do nothing. I do not miss this weather; in fact I dread it--a lot. I would be happy if Shenzhen's January weather which is about 65°F stayed all year long. Today reminds me of first arriving in China last August, sweating a lot and being very bitter. Virginia is humid enough.

Hot weather is not only uncomfortable but also costly. A few of the discomforts of hot and humid weather are as follows:

Devoting twice as much time and money to laundry

Drinking more liquids → using more Chinese squatties (toilets) → more peeing on yourself
Chinese bathrooms usually don't provide toilet paper either, so you also have to buy more tissues

If you are my friend then you must deal with me complaining more than my usual amount

Stinky children in the classrooms after PE class and stinky armpits in your face on the bus

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Life has been busy

My first two grade 4 classes were cancelled this morning. Of course I was not informed of this until I walked into the classroom at 9:30. Alas, this is how China operates, everything is done in the now. Schedules shift and somehow the foreigner is the last to know.

I have been very busy spending time with Chinese people lately. When you agree to one thing it’s like agreeing to 10 things all at once. It all started out at lunch a couple weeks ago. One of the better grade 6 English student’s mother, Xia, asked if I would help her daughter, Cici, prepare for an oral English competition that was taking place later that afternoon. I agreed to help her for a few minutes after lunch. In addition to helping her daughter prepare, she also asked me to join them for dinner and a sleep over the following night. This lady had been insisting I stay over with her and her daughter since the day I started teaching at Cai Tian. I decided it was easier to agree to her request than spend the rest of the year thinking of excuses as to why I cannot. Whilst at the competition that afternoon, one of the judges asked Xia, Cici and me to attend International Food Night at her primary school (we weren’t able to go, but had we I would have gone). The next day on the bus before even arriving at Xia’s house, she asked if I would get dinner with her and a friend Saturday night. I agreed. At that dinner, I was asked to attend another oral English competition. And that competition, I was asked by the coordinators to attend all the future oral English competitions.

And to give you an idea of what else I’ve been doing with my time…last Tuesday I participated in a tug of war competition with teachers from my school. On Monday I gave a speech to over 2000 students on the differences and similarities between American and Chinese students. I was recently a judge for an English singing competition, which included popular hits such as "Low" by Flo Rida and "Baby Hit Me One More Time" by Brittney Spears. In two days I'll be directing and acting as the Ghost of Christmas Future in A Christmas Carol. Oh and in the past 10 days I’ve watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas” 16 times. And in two weeks, I'm scheduled to model in the nude for one of my student’s father who is a painter.