Last night I recieved a call from a student at 10:45pm. I was at a friend's house for a special showing of "New Moon" on a large screen and decided to pick up the phone even though it's a little rediculous to call your teacher at 10:45pm.
My dear student Yangxue was on the line and asked me if I wanted to go see tulips with her and her roommate today. Every year Hangzhou imports a massive amount of tulips from Holland, and plants them alongside a large windmill in a park by the famous West Lake.
Last year I went with some Chinese friends to view the spectacle (think, 8 million people, babies pooping on the lawn, and crappy landscaping) but I love any opportunity to hang with my students in a less formal setting, so I agreed to meet her this morning.
It was a lovely day. My friend Dan joined us and I bumped into several students along the way! There was even a group of my students on the same bus as Yangxue and I on the way there! I guess when you have had over 500 students, they are bound to pop up anywhere! I loved the coincidence! It was so fun to look down the bus and see my students! ha.
The tulips were beautiful. Not all of them are blooming yet since we have had such fickle weather, so I am thinking possibly another trip to the park is in store for next week. We spent the whole day together and I am whooped!
The funniest part of the day was teaching Yangxue and Apple the phrase "spring has sprung." I absentmindedly said it while we were walking around, forgetting that I need to stray away from idioms while with students. Then it took about 20 minutes to explain it because they kept thinking "spring has sprang". They just couldn't put it into past tense for some reason. It was so funny!
Here are some photos:
Yangxue (right) and her roomie, Apple. Check out those gorgeous yellow tulips!
A bunch of my students. Lucifer, Tony, Jody, Cindy, Michael, East, Fish, and General.
(gotta love self-chosen English names). :)
Dan, me, Yangxue, and Apple, loving the bilingual life.
It was a perfect day to be outside. We saw peacocks, fed carp, and just wandered around slowly for an extended period of time gazing at the flowers. I love tulips! And I love my students! My brain hurts from talking "teacher English" and listening carefully to Chin.ese all day.
I love Yangxue and I's relationship. She is the student that I traveled with way back in October and our friendship has grown deeply. Today we discussed a few things that I had posed to my classes last week. Last week we read the story of "The Prodigal Son" and discussed what it meant to us. I asked my students, "what is more important, forgiveness or discipline?" and "are parents responsible for their children's actions?" These sparked interesting debate in my classroom and Yangxue wanted to continue to discuss these things. It felt good to have meaningful discussion while gazing at Holland's best. I really cherish these conversations because they are so few and far between and they make me feel like my job has some value.
We parted ways and it was taxi change time so there was no way I would get home. So I popped into a nearby Starbucks, got a mango smoothie, and waited until 5pm when I would have a chance at flagging down a ride home. All the taxi's change at 4pm so there is no way to get one because they are all driving home and refuse to pick up passengers. This used to frustrate me, now I just plan my day around the knowledge and do a lot of waiting. Mmmmmmmm mango smoothies. :)
My plans for the night: bedazzle my phone, get hydrated (so totally thirsty), do the dishes, and watch the latest episode of Project Runway online. Livin large. ;)
Walk slow. xoxo.