I lamented to a few friend the other day that I think my blog is boring now. "Gym, work, Asians..."
Then I went on to tell her some stories of my past days and she said to me, "Blog about that! It's hilarious!"
So, thanks Julie. For reminding me my life is worth writing down. :)
This week has been relaxing and nuts at the same time. Pre-planning and advanced information do not exist in Ch.ina, so while my classes are supposed to start next week, I still do not know when or where they are. Ha. This used to drive me nuts, now I understand to just exist in the "limbo" of no information and know that everything will work out eventually. Always does.
This non-knowing of my own school schedule makes work life difficult because I can't start my observations yet or even plan them because my own students don't know their own schedules. It's a twisted, uniformed cycle. Oh well.
I do know that I have one class in which so far I am the only female and the only person not from Pakistan, India, or Egypt. Should be interesting.
The campus is briming with new students - Chines.e and foreign. This means the same thing each year. The Chine.se freshmen youngsters are wide-eyed at the foreigners and the foreigners are having panic attacks.
Every year I run onto someone having a break down in the school convenience store. Last year it was a girl crying asking me about cleaning supplies. Yesterday it was a girl asking me where to buy shampoo. We were in the shampoo aisle. Haha.
I can totally relate to their stunned faces and open-mouths while walking down the street. It was only a few years ago I would hyper-ventilate in the grocery store because it was so overwhelming. It's my turn to give back now, to help calm some storms and tell people that everything will be ok. Just don't buy the generic brand shampoo. :)
All of the North Koreans are new this year, so they look especially wide-eyed. They also look poorer than last year. My friend said they looked like, "1970's Asia" which is an accurate description. They also apparently don't learn how to wait in line in primary school in North Korea because while a line of over 20 foreign students - all from different countries - waited to sign a paper in the international office, a group of about 6 or 7 NK's barged by (if 5 foot bodies can "barge") and cut the line. I wanted to be a turd and call them out, but then I realized I was given the chance to be patient and non-entitled, so I kept my big mouth shut, thanked heaven to be born into Western privilege, and continued waiting. A small character victory. I'm sure there will be many more chances to make good choices. :) ha.
Today I went into the visa office to extend my visa yet again. My passport will have 6 full page C.hina visas when it is returned to me in a week. Wow. That's a lot. I'm glad I went and got extra passport pages added last year when I went to get my India visa, because otherwise I would have to go now.
Last Saturday I had a meet and greet with my American students. About 1/3 of my students were able to come (I was happy with that due to travel/life) and we had a casual, personal brunch at a local hang out. It is great to stick faces to emails and to hear voices instead of message board posts. I had contemplated canceling the meeting after so many students couldn't come. And honestly, I got cold feet about meeing them. But then at the end of our 3 hour meal, one student said in a quiet voice, "I feel so much better about teaching now." And I knew it was all worth it.
My job is causing some stress. I don't want to talk job details on the blog, but I'll mention vague feelings here or there. Despite the stresses, I walked away from Saturday's gathering feeling sky-high. Feeling like I am doing the job I am made for, that I have been given the opportunity to use my gifts and be a good teacher and mentor. I am excited for the new year with my students. There are some big and interesting personalities in the bunch and I know it is going to be a wild ride. Just the way I like life.
Marathon training is going...ok. The weather is cooling down a bit and I soon need to take my runs outside since they are starting to be more than an hour (6 miles). My brain just can't take that long on a treadmill and my mind gives out before my body does. I never leave a run feeling like I gave my all. And that's a problem.
Yesterday I was hauling on the treadmill - bouncing away with my red face and nappy hair flyin', when a Chi.nese girl who was waiting for a treadmill came and stood behind my treadmill. My gym is the "popular" one in the city, so during peak hours you have to wait for a treadmill. People usually scope out the treadmills and park themselves behind the one that looks like the person will get off soon. So it was obvious this girl thought I should be about done by the looks of things. Little did she know I was just getting started - 2 miles into a 5 mile run.
After a few minutes, she looked really impatient, and one of the trainers who was walking the floor passed us and noticed her waiting. He walked up to my treadmill, looked at my stats, and then told her, "She still has a long way to run, find another machine to wait for."
I smiled on the inside. Aw, my gym buddies know my routine. Presh. And thanks for getting her away from my personal space! :) haha
So that's my life update.
Gym, work, and Asians.
Same ol' same ol'.
walk slow. xoxo.