Sunday, August 02, 2009

KJ Grand Reserve

My blog is missing my entire trip to China. Should I post my journals that I had to email to everyone because blogspot is blocked in China? perhaps. I worry about the time stamp being off, but it would be fun to reread the experience.

I have opened my first bottle of Grand Reserve post pay day. It's going to be a hard two weeks of moving and packing to 54s. I will miss the paint in the house. But it's not hard to repaint. Or is it?

Spent a lot of time sleeping the first couple of weeks back in China. I never used to be able to sleep. Now I can sleep in a short car ride, on a bus, on a plane, during Law and Order. I like sleep. And I like that my trip to China taught me how to sleep.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

9 Days

This is crazy. Finishing grad school, finishing grades for my students, cleaning the house, classroom, and car. Packing up the goods and gifts and few clothes I'm taking. Mostly toilet paper, bandaids, and medicine. I've collected a few gifts to give to my host family... a bottle of Boordy wine, notecards, a book about Utah and a book about Maryland. I'm going to be living with Sally and her parents. I can't wait to meet them. The host families are having a send off dinner tomorrow night. It should be fun. Then one week until we depart for Beijing.

One of the problems already is the H1N1 virus scare. China is checking for flu symptoms as US flights arrive. Technically this means we will have to get a nose swab before entering Beijing, then go through customs, and hopefully not miss our flight to Xi'an. On a down note, if someone on our plane has flu symptoms, we will be quarantined for a week!

Preparing for the travel is what is the most interesting. I have been accumulating stuff and not officially packing. It is supposed to be extremely hot. Hot. And smoggy. I still can't decide if I'm packing an extra suitcase in my luggage or just taking two both ways. The luggage really will be a pain on the last leg of the trip because we will be on a "soft sleeper" (having a bed with a cushion) train from Xi'an to Beijing for twelve hours. That train ride will be nothing compared to the near 48 hours of real time it will take us to arrive in Xi'an (if we make our connecting flight).

We will arrive at our host school to meet our host families and the principal of Tie Yi High School (one of the top 10 schools in the country). The students we are staying with will not be participating in many of the events, dinners, and field trips because all of them will be studying for their "gaokao" (gow cow). This the Chinese college entrance exam similar to our SAT (haha, the math in the American SAT was called "elementary" by our guests in February). It is a two day test that is given the first week of June. The parents await their kids inside to read their expressions as they leave the test, After watching a student slobber on their final exam in my class because "it doesn't matter anyway I passed and am graduating and going to college" I find this an interesting comparison of cultures.

So I guess I will blog as often as I can. Facebook and email as well. The phone will be a little tricky and the iPhone as cool as it is, will cost a bundle. $1 per text and $2 per minute talking. But it will work for emergencies, as an iPod, camera, and my bff.

Friday, April 10, 2009

45 Days

The Chinese students sang this song at their going away party. The experience so far has taught me that family is family no matter what and no matter what they look like. As the exchange students got picked up at 4 am from Dulaney on their first day of arrival, they were embraced by their host families and added as new sons or daughters into their homes. They were immediately loved, loved, loved.

I'm sure it was difficult to send the students back home even knowing that they were going to see their friends soon when we go to Xi'an but the point is that the families may not be reunited. But each family described how important the experience was and how they will love their new families forever.

Not that this song isn't also about 54 other things as well but I know nuff than to go into that here. I am smiling and confident and that has been the plan I'm visualizing.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fire in the Rain

Tomorrow is the Chinese exchange students farewell picnic. the last 4 weeks have been packed with China stuff... A few mishaps with lost papers, toothaches and hand injuries the Chinese ambassadors seem to be unscathed from their journey to Baltimore.

I should put the calendar on my blog. They have been very very busy touring the area. Our trip to New York was quite literally a life changing experience for me. Sometimes New York rolls you around, chews you up, and spits you out... This trip she welcomed us, I'm sure because we gazed at the entire city from the outside and from the top. We only saw the streets of NYC for about 45 minutes in Times Square. I felt the same way when I first see the mountains in SL,UT as I did entering the Lincoln Tunnel. Boarded the bus at 6 am with bagels and doughnuts and coffee etc. Several parents joined us so it was really helpful and fun. My favorite part was the Circle Line boat. It was fantastic to see the city from this view. Two hours later we boarded the 2 hour line to the top of the Empire state building. So we saw the top of the city and where we had just cruised around. If anyone is worried about how P is going to do in Xi'an with 15 students in exactly 56 days... well Tim and I got 32 people from the top of the Empire state building to Times square in 45 minutes. I also said for the first time in my life "I demand to see a manager (with a fist smash on the counter)" at the Hard Rock Cafe. The Chinese kids sang all the way home. all the way ;)...

Not that my March in all its Marchiness didn't have it's normal madness without all the Chiners running around. I also had two school field trips, an uncomfortable parent teacher student conference, a ping pong table elevator aerobic workout, a serial killer library project in forensics, a field walk to the school stream where we saw 3 deer run right past us, another uncomfortable teacher student classroom incident, a minor car accident (dent), broke up a fight in the hallway between two girls, accidentally said retard in front of the special educator, and a quite intimate and brutal incident with the copy machine for packets I had already handed out...

and in my real life second place in trivia, second place to an Italian, second to last person to do my taxes, second bottle of wine open from the case left on porch by neighbor, and last night's barbecue at the neighbors with friends around a campfire in the rain second only to none.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Why don't I have that cleaning addiction?

I wouldn't mind being a clean freak. I would probably actually like taking the time to be organized, clutter free, and clean. But I am woefully not. AND now with being super busy with China stuff I feel even more desire to keep the cat frat in a constant state of disorder. I wish I had a place for everything, changed the oil in the car when the sticker says to, graded assignments as they came in, and matched my socks... I would really like it. And I know my mother taught me how.

Presented to the Teacher Fellows at the Center of Marine Biotechnology Saturday. I brought with me a few yawns and a nice hangover. Then this week is full of professional sports... Plus I have a nice paper due tomorrow. Yummy. I'm going to make the coffee now and if I spill I may clean it up...

Go Wizards (Monday)
Go Capitals (Thursday)
Go Blast (Friday)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Williamsburg Virginia

Simon, Ocean, Shelly, Sally, Te, Winnie, Apple, Kiki, Patrick, Sean, Jane, Nicholas, and Note (American names they picked)arrived Wednesday early morning and our first trick was breakfast. I accidentally gave a student an entire glass of half and half instead of milk. All the students and all the parents are so wonderful.

Picture the journey beginning as if we just landed in VA for the first time in 1607. This experience is going to be awesome! We spent the day exploring Jamestown with a lovely guide Mr. Noble. We learned about the first capitalists and the dawn of the enslavement and robbery that began this good ol USA. Saw the first ship replicas, saw the glass blowing and the Chinese kids bought the only things they will buy in America that was not made in China, hand blown glass bottles from Jamestown.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What a day off needs is a nice long blog

My sisters are the best bloggers. No offense intended to the rest of you that I read. Econtrario included here for he often makes sense if you understand the robot thing. Which I fully admit I do not. But he has some good things to say on there as well, some nice play lists and songs and such. Also Vanilla-Basil has such a great knack for the food blog that I can't even start that. But it is that cooking and writing go hand in hand and my lovely similar chromosomers are both extremely gifted at both. However, I think this may be my fifth blog about this. But facebook has taken over the blogging. And I don't know why. When I turn my face from the book, something happens, when I'm staring at it nothing boils.

Otterbutt, I like the list blogs and the not list blogs. Lists are ok for blogging.

As I spend my day preparing for a meeting about China. Preparing to answer questions like, what are the intended outcomes, suggestions for students to use for journal entries, projects and assessment limits for students work there. Blah blah blah. Anyway, I really am focusing on television, cats, making the perfect hollandaise without a blender (need a third try), and writing the perfect blog. Actually attend my job? Who does that?

Peeps, keep it up. I will need to read your blogs in China.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

If up is down then we're in China

The important part is that none of it really matters. That no matter is still no matter should be my new motto. So I may have to go to Iowa instead of Utah in August. Look me in the eye if you want. Double dog dare ya. Before that time, I get to have 14 Chinese Ambassadors in my town with umpteen things to do (you should really look at my calendar it is crazy), grad school, and then I will be escorting my 14 American Ambassadors to Xi'an in three short months. Yikes. Number one goal is to try to save funds for the adventures (um goodbye KJ my old friend I've come to drink Black box instead)and to find an endless supply of Xanax for the trip. Perhaps I'll change the name of my host city to Xa'nax.

Glimpse at zee calendar
Presidents Day Weekend: Williamsburg & Jamestown field trip with all ambassadors and their families for 3 days and 2 nights. (either stay in the room for free with the Chinese teacher or spend $140 for room, or just $80 for meal and tickets)

DC to china town for dinner followed by a Capitals game (that's hockey)
Baltimore Blast (that's soccer)
Washington Wizards (that's basketball)
Sports night
Ring dance (quite the odd tradition in the east. Maybe I missed a lot of high school but we didn't get school rings in a ceremony and then go to a dance)
New York city Day trip (on MFGD favorite holiday in Baltimore)
Aquarium & Science Center
DC Monuments
DC Museums

They leave in the middle of spring break now so my plans may change for that as well.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Global Warming (is a Hoax...)

Really? Really? A letter from a parent asking me to "educate" myself on "both" sides of the argument. Really? That perhaps maybe humans aren't causing the increase of CO2 that is trapping heat around the GLOBE! Oh yeah and we humans don't over fish, or bring invasive species to islands, or leave trash in parks, or build starbucks and parking lots where turtles used to live, or cut down trees to build said starbucks, or cut down trees to make those cups that the starbucks goes in and the little cardboard protector, or wrap our poop in plastic for centuries, or use paper plates or glass wine bottles in the land fill (yes I recycle, sometimes). The words "so called anthropogenic CO2" actually hurt me as I read them. Actually hurt me. So I've decided to write a new "Inherit the Wind" to be allowed to teach global warming to republicans. "Inherit the Hot Air".

Really? Really? People really still are republican. Really?