Sick Days!

I just finished reading two books by Joanne Braaksma, sharing her stories of teaching English in Beijing from 2001 to 2004.  I wonder if she would recognize her old stomping grounds.  This is a city that does not stay the same.  Renee discovered these books while volunteering with her mom in Ottawa and grabbed them for me.  I brought them back to Beijng and thoroughly enjoyed reading them.


The books taught me a couple of things.  Change happens, and people change.  If nothing else, living here will get  you used to that.  I am not the only one crazy enough to leave kith and kin to live in China at this stage in life.  That’s comforting to some degree.  Finally this book taught me that I don’t have to make a book complicated in order for it to be good.  Her book made me see that I could also write a bit about my adventures.  Starting now, writing regulary, so that my friends can know what I’m up to during this adventure.

Today isn’t much of an adventure day.  The air has been in the purple zone all day, with a brief dallience in the red (which is even worse!) This does not encourage me to go anywhere.  Add to that a sore throat and runny nose – and I’ve been staying close to my air purifier and my kleenex.  I will have to go out soon to get some more kleenex as well as some ginger, garlic and onions.  I have some fish to fry tonight.  And ginger is always good for what ails you!

We had a long week ( 6 days of teaching in a row) which may explain my sore throat.  Salt water, Throat Tea, warm water… I still feel awful.  Time to bring in the big guns, I think.

I came back to my school so that I could have the same students for another year.  They knew me and I knew them…we could get along so much better now.  But alas, it was not to be and now I am teaching the grade 1’s and 2’s.  I see them once a week, which is much better.  We have phonics books ( we won’t discuss them even though I will use them) and some song books that I can use.  The song books are fun but handing them out is a nightmare – as each student has to get the book corresponding to their number.  This way if something gets written or torn, I know roughly who had the book but still,,,!  We will figure out a way to make it work.

Back to the long week, as there is another long one coming up (7 days straight).  When there is a holiday that falls in the middle of the week, weekends fall by the wayside.  Sunday isn’t held in the same esteem here, so kids can go to school.  Because of the Mid Autum Festival was on a Thursday, things were re-arranged and even though we had three days off in a row, we had to teach on the Sunday.  Next week is National Day (October 1) and we will have the entire week free – but have to teach on Saturday and Sunday to make up for it.  I will definitely pace myself and not expect too much from my students at the beginning and end of the marathon!

The temperature is cooling down a bit.  I don’t seem to need the air conditioner on as much as I did last week – and I’m wearing my jeans to work more.  I didn’t pay attention to these things so much in the past, but keeping a knitted journal of the weather and such, I am much more aware of things.

Anyways, I should get a sweater on while the air is a little clearer and get those groceries.  I hope you got a little glimpse into my world here.


PS:  I did spend a lot of time crocheting this weekend – and designed an afghan square!  This is tough work, writing all the details, making sure it’s correct and then trying different things out.  It’s being tested right now, so hopefully I can post it next week!






About Marcia Stehouwer

I have a great life (most days) and a small budget, so being frugal is one of my favourite hobbies. I started this blog after procrastinating for 3 months, on April Fool's Day. I knit, I read, I knit, I work... I am also about a quarter of the way through my goal to lose 100 pounds. So between knitting, working, reading etc., I also do some walking! EDIT: 2021. I am not closer to my weight goal, but moving forward. The budget is still small. We are renting our homestead and progressing towards our family dream!
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1 Response to Sick Days!

  1. Sharon Pachal says:

    Hi Marcia,
    From one teacher to another here’s a thought to managing the ‘the right book getting to the right student’. I’m not sure how many kids are in a class so this may not work for a huge class. Can you make up a sheet that has the child’s number and name on it? Give each child their own name and number. Write the number on the board for the first book — have the children repeat the number. Ask the children who has number 7? Then the child says I have it. Then the class repeats “Carol has number 7”. Or whatever sentence you are working on. Students can work in pairs if you like. I find making and answering questions are a challenge for all second language learners. Anyway, I always like to play games it makes things alot more fun!

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