Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Spring Classes

I've been back in my own apartment for three nights now, and I think I'm well rested and ready to go. Yesterday we had a meeting to receive our teaching assignments for this term. We'll receive more classes next week, but for now I have three classes. One of them is the same freshmen class that I taught last semester so I'm excited to be able to stay in direct contact with all of those students. They were by far my favorite class and I'm glad to have them to look forward to next week. I also am teaching the same elective class on Monday, but this time it's two periods in the afternoon instead of three periods at night. I'm very thankful for that. The third class is a business English class for sophomores. I've never seen a good business English textbook here, and the one they gave me didn't break the norm. It's not as full of typos as some others I've seen but it still doesn't inspire me very much. Oh well, at least they gave me a book to use.

The business English class is the only one that begins this week, so for now I'm settling back in, cleaning and dusting, and planning for some great adventures in the next few months. I'm rested and recharged after the holiday, so let's get this show on the road! It's raining today so I can't get out some of my energy by going outside and running or anything. Maybe I'll take it out on the puzzle that Angelyn bought. That puzzle is no picnic. A lot of the pieces fit together nicely (and due to the large amount of mossy grass in the picture, they even look like they should go together) but when you turn them over you realize that the grid pattern of letters printed on the back of the puzzle doesn't match. Chinese puzzles aren't quite the same quality as American. Or maybe they're just better quality and this is considered more challenging? I don't know. For now, I just know that I'm not giving up until I've at least got the border put together.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Jet lag

Yay for jet lag, that's all I can say right now. You know, normally I would try to sleep until 8 or 8:30 on a Sunday morning here, but today I got up at the enchanting hour of 5:45. Weeeeee! Or wii! Whichever. By the way, did I mention that Jennifer and Matthew bought a Nintendo Wii and that for one brief day before coming back here I got to experience the joy and excitement that is the Wii. I think everyone should have one of their own. Or at least access to one. They're just pure fun, that's all it is. That Wiimote is fun to wave around for those games. Anyhoo, back to topic. So I'm back in China as of Friday afternoon, China time, and I'll be glad when I'm sleeping normal hours. Now it's Sunday morning and I'm just passing the time until other people are awake. We still don't know when our classes begin, but some of us may begin on Monday. Yes, that's tomorrow. Our school said they would let us know before the day our class starts, so I guess we may get a call today sometime. I'm hoping for no class tomorrow. Then I can clean the two inches of dust that settled in my apartment while I was gone. It's one thing to have it settle around you over a period of time, it's quite another to leave for three weeks, forget what the dust is like here, and then come back to it. It seems a lot worse than before. The weather is getting warmer though, so maybe it will be warm today or tomorrow and I'll be able to open all the doors and windows and air this place out right. I never understood spring cleaning until I came here. Spring takes a long time in coming and you're always glad to air out the place when it gets here. Seems like my brain is still wandering a bit after my 14 hour flight followed by the 22 hour train, so I'm going to eat some breakfast and hope that next time I blog something I can be a bit more focused and put down something other than "I like video games" and "I don't like dust." We'll see. Hope you're all having a great day/weekend!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Heading back "home"

To those of you offended, hurt, or upset by the subject line, I'm sorry. I'm beginning my trip back home in about 8 hours or so. My flight leaves Nashville at 6:25 in the AM so I'm planning on a late night tonight so I can sleep on the plane. I'll get to Shanghai around 3:30 Friday afternoon, China time and will then either go straight to catch a train to Shiyan or spend the night on a friend's couch and catch the train the next day. So I'll either be getting home on Saturday or Sunday, depending on the train I take. The train will take around 22 hours (I think) but it goes straight to Shiyan so I shouldn't have any hassles. That's always nice. If I didn't see you or talk to you while I was home, I'm really sorry. I saw and talked to more people than I could keep track of. You can always email me in China, or call me on Skype, or call me on the phone. Just a reminder, www.nobelcom.com has great calling cards to China. 011-86-719-824-1401 Skype lets you talk computer to computer for free, you just need a mic and speakers. www.skype.com And of course, you probably already have my email or are my Facebook friend if you really want to email me or get in touch with me otherwise. Now I just need to go shove some more things into my suitcase and prepare for the long journey. I'll let you know when I get there!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Coming to America

Well, I'm baaaaaaaaaack. I'm in Nashville now. Actually, Hermitage. I'm at my oldest brother's house. I spent a few days at my sister's in Brentwood (just south of Nashville), and I'll stay in the Nashville area at least until Monday, when I'll leave and head for Mississippi. Then to Texas. For now, I'm spending my time trying not to have an upset stomach, eating Sonic blasts (which I'm pretty sure are unrelated to the upset stomach), calling and emailing friends, and preparing for a 5K this weekend. I just happen to be here in time for the 2007 Fangtastic 5K, so I'm going to run and get some tickets to this weekend's Predators hockey game. And a t-shirt, of course. I haven't run much whilst in China, and it's nice to be back in a place with a greenway to run on and clean air. It's getting late and I need to turn in so I'll be ready to run again in the morning. Holla at ya!