Excuse my short blog absence.
I have been reading The Hunger Games.
OMG. So good. I read the trilogy in the last 3 days. I carried my kindle with me everywhere and even logged 1.5 hours on the elliptical because I didn't want to take a break from reading to ride the bus home. My feet went numb but I was too enthralled by the book to care.
It was so fabulous to read something that did not have to do with teaching methodology or Chi.nese philosophy and was written in simple English. It felt like me again - absorbed in a book.
Things are winding down and I'm about to have a decent break to do life - marathon train, catch up with friends I haven't seen while doing my crazy amount of travel, start tutoring again since I'm broke, and maybe do some day trips around town. And orphan work - the most important thing.
My school is on the quarter system and right now there is a 2 week break between quarters so I am free of the classroom for a few weeks. (cue the angels). I do, however, need to bust my butt to learn something in this time off so I stop looking like such a doody-head worthless white person. Maybe I'll read some philosophy. Or find a new young-adult trilogy to read. Either one.
I'm slowly but surely making my way back to the world of stable people after my work incident from h-e-double hockey sticks. (clarification - I did not go crazy, a student did). I'm still sticking mostly to myself and declining social offers though - hopefully my need for constant solitude will end soon and I can trust myself to be sociable again. I declined an offer to participate in a Chin.ese student poetry reading last night. I just don't have the energy now for Chi.nese strangers - they take so much out of you. All the, "Where are you from? You are so tall! Can we make friends?" can really wear you out. But soon. The mojo will come back.
I'm working really hard at not harboring bitterness. I don't want to feel superior or prideful or angry at my place of living. These are all real feelings and that I am warding off - slowly but surely. I've formed extreme judgements (based on truthful observations, but not worthwhile or helpful in any way) and I'm working to clear those, too.
It's one thing to say, "Mental health care in Chi.na is a new field and hopefully will develop along with other social systems in the decades to come." And another thing to say, "Screw the ignorant fools who lack common sense and good judgement and treat people like crap, they'll never change." Right now I am somewhere between those phrases, working my way to the first phrase. (this is honest stuff here, people).
In better news, the funniest thing happened today in one of my observations that I don't think I can even do justice with the written word. One of my students asked his students where they would like to travel if they could go anywhere. A young dude in a purple hoodie rose and said in a contrived British accent, "Well, as you know, my English name is Lancelot. So I would go to England."
I almost burst out laughing. It was such a classic moment. My student and I laughed about it after class over bowls of steaming dumplings. What a hoot. I really love my students and love helping them be better teachers.
Enough random thoughts, have some random pictures!:
Street propaganda is my favorite...
this lady sells toys outside the hospital from under a canopy of umbrellas...
I showed up to class yesterday to find this...an empty room. They ended class and did not tell me, "Oops, didn't tell the foreigner". This did not make me feel good. I was pretty upset about it until I got a text from one of my classmates, "It is like we take a joke to you." And then I lightened up and laughed.
I'm trying to figure out how to go about getting Mr. Mushu kitty neutered. He's 7 months old now and it's time to steal his manhood and tame him down. This is a big deal though, because vet care is also not very advanced here (why treat animals when you can eat them - makes sense in developing nations). I have a friend whose cat died getting neutered and the vet tried to give her a different cat and say it was hers. Finally they relented and gave her her dead cat in a box. I am PETRIFIED this could happen to Mu. Petrified. So I'm debating - neuter or not? Is it really necessary? Almighty Google is mixed on the issue. I tried talking to Michael about it, but after some translation problems ("neuter" translates to "castrate") he thinks it is not necessary to do this to any animal. I'm going against language and culture here. (how about that for a random Friday rant on the bloggy? haha. This is my life).
Baby boy blues...