Some things don't always go as planned. I had a whole complainy/dramatic blog post ready for you.
I had a whole past about how I feel un-included, segregated, and left out of my Wednesday afternoon class with the Chi.nese folk. (graduate research methods in Chine.se is no joke.)
I was going to tell you how I fought tears in class yesterday. How I couldn't answer when called on, how the other two foreigners in my class are natively Chin.ese people from Asia - so when my professors talks about the "foreigner" he is talking about....me.
I was going to tell you how my classmates leave me out. How they didn't even pass me a text book when they were handing them out. How I didn't get a student survey because, "it doesn't matter to me."
Then I was going to tell you how I binge ate bread last night. And then had horrible nightmares. And woke up this morning and vowed to take the day off the gym and get emotionally well - I ate "clean" all day and used my ipod calorie counter just to keep order in the courts.
Then I thought about telling you that I found out why my hallway always smells like fish. My Iranian hall-mate was slinging WHOLE fish around the kitchen; cleaning them in the sink, then putting them in plastic bags. Then he walked back to his dorm. (?)
But then I went to work tonight at the hospital.
And had a fabulous 2 hour class with some lovies. My classes are smaller now - not sure why. A few years ago I would take this personally, but now I realize that there are a million factors other than the shallow thought of, "do they like me?" that determine whether people come to a free night class.
My favorite characters remain, and we had a great class on, "daily conversations in America." I have a handful of students who will be going to California in March and they are eager little beavers about random America questions.
Tonight they asked me about drink re-fills, baggage claim areas at the airport, bank terms, and how to buy American medical textbooks online and have them shipped to the hospital in Cali.
I'm their window into the unknown world of extra-large McDonalds cokes, amazon.com, and liberty.
I really love this job. I really love all my jobs. All three of them.
I sat on the bus on the way home and smiled. Teaching and being with my Chi.nese students really are my happiest times.
So then I came home and got a text message. It was Chin.ese and I could barely make out half of it. It was to, "dear classmate," and signed a name, so I knew it was one of my classmates letting me know something.
So I opened up Google translate and grabbed my ipod dictionary and got to work deciphering the message. Two seconds later my phone rang with the same number as the text. I took a deep breath, scrounged up all the Chin.ese I have within me, and answered with a chirpy, "Wei?" (Chin.ese phone greeting).
It was a dude classmate who told me he has been established as the "banzhang" (class leader). He needs to me turn in some of my class paperwork to him, as it is now his role to keep order and know all my business. We chit-chatted for awhile and I took the opportunity to try to make a friend. It's really been bothering me since class yesterday that I might not have relationships with my Chin.ese classmates and I saw this as a chance to make it known that I can talk (because in class I really can't, so they think I can't talk and don't approach me).
We blabbered on and he seemed generally happy with being able to chat with me. i'm not sure who I was talking to, because I don't know most of the classmates names, so I asked him to find me next class. I hung up so happy to have a little "in" in the class. I want him to go tell the others that I can talk so that some of the "foreigner fear" is diluted.
So now I changed my mind.
I don't want to tell you about emotional eating, or being ignored by the Asians, or my Iranian hall-mate's fish fetish.
I want to talk about how awesomely eager and precious my doctor students are. And the gloriousness of the English language. And my new friend in research class who actually gave me the time of day. Whoever the heck he his.
So that's that. Things change. :)
Walk slow. xoxo.