Well, classes are back in session this week. Sunday was a day to make up classes that we missed last week during the holiday. Don't ask me to explain because Chinese people can't even explain it to me. The only day that I was required to make up was Tuesday, so on last Sunday I taught my 6:15-8:40pm class. It was pretty good. Monday I had my normal 3 period class at night. I usually don't like that class because every other class is two periods and this one is three. That one extra period kills me everytime! I always end up with some time to kill at the end and the students are ready to go and so am I. But I'll get in trouble if I let out even two minutes early, so we have to make do. Anyhoo, this week it wasn't bad at all. We actually had fun doing some improvised role playing. My favorite was when Andy chose Walter to act as his wife in a skit. Quite funny, let me tell ya. Last night's class was great and I had a chance to lecture them on English Corner etiquette. Hopefully in the future I will see a dramatic drop in the number of students who ask the same question that I just answered two seconds before, students who come up behind me and stand with their face inches away over my shoulder, and students who get insulted because I don't remember their name. Seriously, folks! I meet an average of 100 new students every week at English Corner. If your hint to me about your identity is "I met you at English corner last week" then I'm probably not going to know you from Wang Jing. Or Adam. Whoever. Moving on.
Today I had a brand new freshman class. First of all, I got a standing ovation when I walked in the room. Either they thought that I wouldn't be able to find the class on my own and were impressed that I did, or they were just excited about having their first foreign teacher. I never know. Anyway, as we're having class and I'm writing down everyone's English name, I came to one girl who proudly told me that her English name is Fruity Jelly. I couldn't decide whether to congratulate her or what. I've had Cola, Pig, Apple, Cloud, Xerox, Aphicide, and many others, but this name just seems to stick out in my mind as the best EVER. Fruity Jelly sounds like a friend you can count on when you're in a jam or you need to make your bread more exciting. I know, bad jokes! I'll stop. I did successfully change her name to something normal. I can't remember what at the moment. Something like Jane, I think. I also have two friends sitting next to each other, Allen and Iverson. In another class there are two friends named Michael and Jordan. Names are always a topic of interest among the foreign teachers because we have some great combos. I heard tell of someone in Wuhan with two students named Mole and Hill. Of course, she made them sit next to each other. My dream is to have a class without any English names at all. Then I can name all 30 or 40 students and follow a theme like Fantasy/Science Fiction, the Bible, TV Sitcoms, meat or meatlike substances, or names that start with B. I've always wanted to name a student Hobgoblin. I don't know why, I just have.
The big news lately (as I'm sure you're aware) is our good friend and neighbor North Korea, or DPRK as it's referred to on the English channel here. First of all, no one has confirmed the nuclear blast (at least not when I'm typing this) so we don't know if they just blew up a load of TNT and hoped everyone would be scared of them or what. But if you're concerned about me then don't be. I'm nowhere near the Korean peninsula. Well, relative to America I am, but I'm still a long ways off. In terms of US geography, if Maine were Korea then I would be someone around Lexington, KY. Roughly. I'm not trying to offend any of you Maniacs or Mainers or Mainonites or whatever you're called, so don't send me hate mail. That means you, Guy. Another reason you shouldn't worry about me is that if something does get started with DPRK, this will be the safest place. China is the closest thing they've got to a friend, so I'm not worried at all. Bottom line, don't think twice about me. I'm great. The biggest problem I've got right now is the lack of choices in which flavor of Magnum Bar I should buy for dessert. Yeah, poor me!
That brings today's edition to a close. Hopefully this week I'll be developing some of the contacts I've made and Studying with some new students. It's just a matter of making my new students realize I won't bite them and that foreigners are approachable, then it's easy from there. I'll keep you posted!