Thursday, March 29, 2007

And we're safe!...but not from pig bears...

China has apparently decided that Blogger is not a threat...once again I'm free to roam through blogs without using secret sneaky tactics. However, currently a greater threat looms over me and Asia. While being preoccupied with making sure the internet is a "healthy environment", China has evidently failed to recognize this new danger. The danger is the impending dominance of the pig bear. It is now quite impossible to make it through a day without spotting one of these "cute" creatures. Glancing around the classroom, you can find them sneaking up in every corner--on a glasses case, a pencil case, pens, erasers, notebooks... As if that wasn't enough, apparently the pig bear can now be "everywhere you want to be". A few days ago Wu kindly brought me a brochure on how to get a pig bear credit card. Apparently, China is not the only country in danger of being overrun by the pig bear. I also received in the mail this week a pig bear make-up bag from Vietnam. Yes, apparently I have (against my will) become a pig bear magnet. Yet the only pig bear item that I actually desire and would not mind being added to the collection...a nice pair of fuzzy slippers...continues to be the elusive item.
It's been a busy week of non-stop work, but the work will pay off as I go to relax in Beijing this weekend. I'll be meeting up with a teammate from last year and one of her friends from the States. Looks like I'm escaping Siping just in's snowing right now...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Great Firewall

Less than a week after my relocation and blogger has been blocked too! For an explanation about why this is happening, check out Sarah's most recent blog entry. However, since I'm a computer genius, I've still found a way to post (for now...). Last night we had a team taco dinner, thanks to the awesome folks in Hong Kong who sent us lots of goodies. We also did a little surprise birthday party for Sarah since we missed the real day. There's a bunch of pictures up on my photo sight.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Journal Wisdom

Right now I'm working on grading journals...a lengthy process with 90 writing students. At least the task is brightened with the priceless tidbits of wisdom I can gather from the covers of my students' journals. Here are some examples of the treasures I've been extracting:
  • When we rejoice in our fullness, then we can part with our fruits of joy.
  • I can dream about you, I'm gonna prass my lips against your and hold you to me. Let's keep our love secret till we fill our dreams.
  • This is the most comfortable notebook you have ever run into. You will feel like writing with it all the time.
  • Friendship is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world.
  • The night desert is burning for the love of a blade of grass who shakes her head and laughs and flies away.
  • The life melody is the combination of all small things.
  • Today is funny-day. My cuts friend, have a good time!
  • Smody burgundy softer than the rain length have in mind remember.
  • The capstone of any North Woods trip is an ascent of Mount Katahdin via the legendary knife edge, a narrow arete with 1,500-foot drops on both sides. (Where did they get this? And why did they combine it with a picture of an angel pig holding a heart?)

On another note, made spaghetti for some friends last night. It was their first time trying it...I think they liked it, but not surprisingly, the homemade chocolate chip cookies were an even bigger hit.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spring is coming!

Evidence that spring may eventually arrive in the Dongbei region of China...
  • Melting snow: the five feet snow drifts are slowly receding and creating nice little streams all over campus.
  • Swinging cranes: construction is back in full swing, which combined with evidence #1=very muddy roads.
  • Streetside small talk: no longer is everyone walking briskly, hunched over, just trying to survive to the next indoor destination; the temperature has risen enough to actually stop and have a (short) conversation.
  • Reappearance of children: no longer are children submerged in ten layers and smothered with blankets--they're actually permitted to frolick outside.
  • Chirping birds: actually wildlife! Amazing.
  • Warm sun beams: there's a distinct difference between standing in the shade and standing in the sun. Once again sun beams actually beam down warmth to your face.
  • Optional long underwear: no longer do you automatically reach for the long underwear in the morning...there is actually a debate of: can I get by without it today?
Yes, all evidence does seem to indicate that spring might be around the corner. But before that conclusion is reached, let me remind you of one more thing...our last snowstorm last year was in mid-April.

Went to the orphanage today...check out my photo site for lots of pictures!


Well, it seems like my life continues to involve many moves! Since Xanga doesn't work over here anymore, looks like I'll be residing at blogspot. My teammate Sarah has been trying to convince me it's way better anyways, so we'll see, I may become a convert.