Today I went back to my old university where I worked the past two years.
Going back is always bittersweet. A million memories flood back and I am reminded of just how happy I was in that job. Life was more simple, interesting, and joyful than it is now. Today was also bittersweet because my first batch of students have graduated (post on that coming soon). After this time next year, there will be no students of mine left on the campus.
That's weird. The kids grow up so quick. ;)
Today I met Yangxue, we had lunch in the teacher's cafeteria (oh the memories), went to KTV for 2 hours, took a walk, and hung out by the campus lake with some of her classmates/my friends.
Here's some pics:
Alicia and Michael were in my class last year and weren't dating at the time, now they are! I was surprised to run into them holding hands around campus! I told them to invite me to their wedding and it didn't go over too well...ahah...
These monkies have started calling me "Xiao Mei tongxue" which is my Chinese name followed by "classmate" - the way they call their classmates. For awhile they were calling be "Ke Laoshi" which is my Chinese family name followed by "teacher" - the way you call a teacher. Now I have been officially demoted in their minds from teacher to fellow student. hahaha. When I heard them calling me that, I about died. I was so happy! And it was so funny to me! I went from "Jessica" to "Ke laoshi" to "Xiao Mei tongxue"...the progression is from formal to casual.
I am officially equal to them. Which is awesome in my sight. I'm not their teacher anymore and I want to be able to relate to them, so being called "classmate" shows that they see me as an equal and that they are recognizing that I am also a student now. So funny. (This kind of naming is very important in Confucionism.)
bus ride back into town...
Then I met up with my friend Judy/Jing Jie for dinner at a Korean restaurant downtown. I bussed back to my dorm, hopped on by bike, and headed off to meet her. I first met Judy at the HICF Christmas Gala, my friend Michael brought her along.
We have kept in touch and I think eventually we could be good friends. Her English is awesome, her mindset is open, and she is a believer. She has invited me on a trip this summer to do volunteer work with a group she is involved in out in the poorest part of Chi.na. I'm thinking about joining, but not sure yet. We chatted about the possibility at dinner and scarfed down some gooood Korean food! I usually think Korean food tastes like pickled doo doo, but this place was awesome! Glad to have a new restaurant in the repetoire.
Jing Jie's a gem. People like her are hard to come by and make me glad that I am rooted into a place, rather than coming and going quickly. I look forward to a deeper friendship with her.
And with that, the Tomb-Sweeping Festival is over and it's back to the "normal routine" tomorrow. Boo.
But these past two days were great, two thumbs up for time well spent with good people. I had previously thought about traveling this break by myself. To anywhere I could get a train ticket. But in the last minute decided to stay and spend time with people I had not seen in awhile. I'm so glad I did this because friendship takes work and there are many relationships that I need to invest more time in - but where is the time? I gotta take it where I can get it, if that means not seeing some random new city, so be it. That's no sacrifice for meaningful relationships.
walk slow. xoxo.