Today, you get a 2 part blog. Joan will write the second part about her adventure yesterday at the silk comforter factory. You get my regular drivel first.
Try to imagine yourself 12,000 miles from your home. Now add that very few can communicate with you. When they do, it is often: 1. How are you? 2. I speak English 3. How are you? 4. Do you speak English? Etc. To compensate for this, I am currently listening to Stevie Tyler wail “Walk this Way” If you are ever in this situation, try it! Stevie really helps. Just give us a keeeees!
This morning on my walk I met the manager of the multi-media center at the library. They just got a batch of computer white boards. If you are unfamiliar with them they are a combination of white, dry erase board and computer interactive board like you see on NCIS LA. He wanted to know if I knew how to use one. I guess I have that superior, hi-tech look about me. I explained that when I retired from the classroom I was delighted if the custodian cleaned my blackboard! Anyway, I wrangled an invitation to visit his area for a tour, access to their CD and DVD collection, and computer white board lessons. I also learned that his son was starting high school today and that parents are required to attend the first day with their child. Seems like a good idea to me. At some point during the visit the parent will sign the “You may hit my child” waiver. Often this is edited by the parent to read “You may hit my child OFTEN”, another wonderful idea to me! I am currently making a list of students from the US that I would like to transport back in time and bring to China for hitting. Some of you may feel a funny waive like action around you like in “Bill and Ted’s Most Excellent Adventures”. Be prepared to get hit.
The weather has changed from last week’s rain to sunny skies. The temperature is back up but not scorching or steamy like it was. We can run the A/C in late afternoon and at night and be comfortable. Also, we have met all our fellow teachers. There’s Kyle From-down-de-hall (I think this is a German name), Suzane, Mary, Lorne, and Randi. Joan and I complete the faculty. Lorne will also be the principle. I gave him Jim Sharp’s email address just in case.
I found that I can still pirate music on Limewire. I have Oklahoma! Recorded for my first day of class. I figure, start right in with real American culture. Or I guess I could play Aerosmith. Enough from me.
I also have a list of kids to add to the ‘hit me’ list—many of the young Chinese males we see running around. Discipline is not strong!
Yesterday afternoon Mei and her 9 year old daughter, Lily took me to a local silk quilt factory. The silk is stretched (harder than it looks!) and added to until the right ‘weight’ is attained. Then a plastic sheet is laid over it which made a slick way to get it into the coverlet. It takes about 1.5 hours start to finish to complete a quilt. We watched them make one and placed our orders. Lois & Marco Polizzi’s daughter, Paige, is getting married in October. Guess what she’s getting for a wedding present!?!?
Dinner was at our favorite “soup’ place in #8 cafeteria. You pick out the vegetables, noodles, meat, etc and pile them on a plate (7 cents US per item!). Tell them what spices (FYI boo la – means not spicey!), add peanut sauce and cook it in broth—yummy! Suzanne from Montreal (60 year old retired language teacher) went with us. With a bottled coke it cost us each less than $1 US for a great dinner.
This morning saw many of our neighbors off to the medical center for their physicals. Later this week they will go to the police station for their resident permits. The director and his wife (Lorne/Mary) and Andy and I are the only part-timers. The rest have committed to a full year.
The freshmen arrived on campus over the weekend. This week they are doing their military training which is focused on proper uniform, stance and saluting. Some physical fitness but mostly in the appearance. Both males and females go thru this for the first week and we see them marching, drilling, etc around campus.
First staff meeting this afternoon. More later . . .