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!