Monday, June 20, 2011

The End of a Year

It's been 3 months since my last post, and no, I'm not dead. Besides, I call my family all the time, so of course I'm not dead. I'm just a terrible blogger. I probably shouldn't even have one. And yet I continue...
This week is the last week of school, and it is EXAM week. I can still hear the groans of my students all the way to my apartment. It's been a great year, and I've really enjoyed my students and co-workers. I'm really happy I moved to Clifford School, even with all its foibles and things that annoy me.
Today is June 20th. I fly back to America on June 29th. Do you know what that means? It means that there are only nine, count them, NINE, days left until I am back with English speaking, rule abiding, non-staring, non-spitting people! I love China. I really do. Most days. It just is wearing after a while.
Lately, I've been thinking about sewing. I really want to learn how to sew. I've wanted to learn for a while, but I was in college, poor, and sharing apartments with people. Now, I'm not in college, not poor, and live by myself. I also have lots of free time in the evenings. So I've decided that this summer I'm going to buy a sewing machine and try to figure out this new hobby called sewing. So that's the plan for this summer.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mental Health Day

This whole week I've wanted one. I haven't had one in a long time; a day off from work, just sit at home, do nothing or everything. Relax or be super busy. Who knows? I'll probably use the rest of today as one. I really want to make a lemon pound cake. Yum.
I finally bought picture frames and candles, so my apartment isn't so stark anymore. I'm excited. Pictures are in frames, waiting to be hung up. Decorating is a lot of fun :)
Yesterday I went and got facials with some friends, and wow, it was good. Two hours of pampering, scrubbing, exfoliating, massaging, and then washing my hair and styling it. I love China! I would never think to go in the States because of the cost, but here, it's great.
This post is kind of ramble-y, but whatever. So are my thoughts!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crapfest of a week

This week has been (~insert expletive~). Usually I'm a pretty happy, upbeat person. Not this week. This week I have no patience, my students are especially trying, and people are just bugging me. Why, oh why, do people do things to annoy everybody? Why do my students insist on asking me questions over and over and over again right after I've answered them? Why do they ask for a fricking Chinese translation of every new concept or idea???? Context clues and decoding and explanations using the English you already know should be sufficient, and if not, ~then~ ask for a Chinese explanation. The quirks and idiosyncrasies of my students that don't usually bother me have really just exploded this week. Maybe I've been bottling up and I've just reached my boiling point. Maybe they really are super annoying this week. I don't know. And sadly, it's not even just my students. Urg.
On the bright side, when I'm stressed, and this week, oh boy... I bake. So this week I baked a pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting that was, if I do say so myself, fabulous. I took it into the office to get rid of it, and my coworkers liked it too, so I'm happy. Some catharsis achieved.

Friday, March 4, 2011

February and into march!

Well, school has entered "March Into Reading" month, and basically it's stressing reading reading reading. Most of my students are way into it, as there are god prizes (wear their own clothes, no homework weekends, and the principal will dress in a funny costume). I have also challenged them within my class; if they can beat the number of minutes that Ms. Dean reads, I will buy them something small from McDonalds. Wow. I had no idea what a sense of competition some of them have. Reading Month started on Monday, and on Friday, I had a student who had read 900+ minutes. She's definitely kicking my butt. She reads all the freaking time, and I don't feel like I should read as much, because the grand majority of my other students are nowhere near her. The next student has like 550 minutes. I'm standing at 600.
Besides all their reading, we also have guest readers and and I, as a teacher, go guest read to other classes. I went to teach to a grade 1 class this week, and they were so cute, if waaaaayyyyy into the book. It was a very... interactive and loud reading experience :)
Most everyone who reads this blog (namely, my family) knows that I am staying at Clifford school next year. The other two teachers who I share an office with are both leaving. It will be quite a change. The office as it is is filled with video game, basketball, football, and fantasy sports talk. Such testosterone! My friend Kimi is going to be one of the new teachers next year, but I don't know about the other one...
This week I also went to a bar called "The Brew" for my first Trivia Night. I am proud to say that my brain full of useless information was at last put to use, and I carried my team to a 3rd place victory, out of 11 teams. It was a lot of fun, and I think I will start going more often.
I can't really think about anything else that's happened in my life since I got back from Thailand. That's about it! By.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Vacation from a Vacation

Man, I'm tired. We've been going around Thailand and Cambodia for two weeks now, and living out of a suitcase is wearing thin on my patience and good humor. I love Thailand, and I love Cambodia, but after a while I feel like I'm ready to go home, be in my apartment, sleep in my bed, cook normal food, and see people I actually know and like. We leave tomorrow, and in my opinion our flight could not be early enough. Unfortunately, it's at 7 p.m. which means I have a whole freakin' day to kill in Bangkok with my brain just going "I want to be home, I want to go home..."

I really enjoyed Hua Hin this week and just having the chance to relax at the beach, bury my toes in the sand, and read a good book with the sea breeze in my face and the smell of the ocean. However, I am now firmly resolved that any and all future trips to any and all future beaches must include a hotel that has a POOL. I love being at the beach, I love walking on the beach, but I don't like swimming in the ocean. There are... things... in the ocean. Things that I can't see and don't care to dwell on. I much prefer the chlorinated sanitation of a swimming pool.

I am so tired. I want to sleep and then wake up and go to the airport and then fly home and sleep in my own bed (sans hornets, please!).

Goodnight and farewell, my peeps.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Thailand and Cambodia

So, I'm in Thailand. Again. But it's good because Thailand and Cambodia are awesome. It was a little weird/boring to repeat the Bangkok portion, but the Cambodia and beach part are still awesome.
Cambodia is/was amazing, and I'm glad that this time around I got to spend another day there and explore other temples I didn't get to see last year. I have determined though, that I will not travel with a guy any more. Unless it's with another girl, too. It's so much more expensive when you don't have a person to split a room with! In any case, Alex and I are at Hua Hin now, and I am enjoying the "compulsory relaxation" (as Alex calls it). The sea has been kind of rough these past two days, so no swimming, but I've enjoyed sitting by it, enjoying the sea air, the breeze, and freshly squeezed orange juice.
This is in Ayutthaya, which used to be the capital of Thailand before Bangkok. It has some cool ruins, and Alex was very insistent that we ride elephants. It was very wobbly.
These kinds of buses are everywhere!

The Grand Palace in Bangkok
We saw a million Bhuddist monks in Cambodia.

This is in Ta Prohm, my favorite temple in the whole Angkor complex. They've let the jungle kind of stay how it was (Somewhat) when they found it. It's pretty awesome.

Not sure I know what this was. But this was a grody, stagnant pool of water around some center thingy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011