Wednesday, September 17, 2008


"I was just about to find another activity. That's not a good activity....That's what we were supposed to come up with. That's the language my mom used with us, you know. We're four years old - 'Come up with a good activity.' We're like sittin' in mud. 'Is this a good activity?'" - BRIAN REGAN

Yesterday eleven of my students missed class to take part in a "dizziness" test. These students will be acting as guides at the Wudang International Kung Fu Festival coming up in October. To make sure they will be able to handle the altitude of Mt. Wudang, they were tested yesterday so as to avoid a potentially embarrassing spectacle in front of countless foreigners during the festival. Actually, I don't really understand what they did yesterday (I filled in the blanks with personal assumptions as to the purpose of a so-called "dizziness" test); all I know is that eleven of my best students weren't in class. So, instead of following my lesson plans for the day with a third of my class missing, I decided to play OUTBURST with them. I gave each group a category, and they came up with ten words/phrases that fit into that category. One category was - ACTIVITIES I MIGHT DO AT PEOPLE'S PARK. The following is the list of activities the students came up with:

1) save the people who fall into the water
2) feed the monkeys
3) fly kates
4) go to WC
5) take photos
6) climbing
7) catching fish
8) eat
9) watching flowers
10) ??

This list gives new meaning to a "good" activity. I think my new favorite activity will be "saving the people who fall into the water." What's YOUR good activity?


I currently have four mooncakes sitting on my kitchen table waiting for someone to consume them. It will not be me. I've tried for three years to love mooncakes - or to at least choke a whole one down. I just can't get my stomach to enjoy red bean, dried egg yolk, or strange, green pasty filling with unidentifiable nuts. I did have a fruit-filled one that was delectable. So, mooncakes - the bane of my Mid-Autumn Festival experience. All in all, though, I enjoy Mid-Autumn Festival. We have three days off for the holiday (except we don't because we never teach on Saturday and Sunday - two of the "free" days). We were blessed this weekend with visitors from Wuhan, Xiangfan and Danjiangkou. Saturday a few of us went to a reservoir nearby we just found out about - TouYan Reservoir. It has decent hiking (great scenery but not physically challenging) and plenty of places for swimming. Sunday we celebrated Zoe's 21st birthday. Monday we went to the large Yellow Dragon Reservoir that's about an hour or so from our end of town. We rented a boat, swam, ate, played games, socialized. Jessica, Barry and I swam a ways to these huge rocks where Barry led the way in jumping off of them. Not to be outdone (though we later were when Barry did a flip off of them), Jessica and I crawled shakily to the top of the rocks, regained some composure, jumped off mentally into the water and hit our heads mentally, stood shaking on the rocks awhile longer, regained composure, jumped off mentally again, froze on the rocks, then finally took the exhilarating plunge. Well, I don't know what was going through Jessica's head, but I assume her thoughts before the jump were about as schizophrenic as my own. It was great fun, and I'm so proud that Barry and Jessica are my fellow laborers and my fellow dare-devils.

Well, it's raining again. Aside from not wanting to descend the hill in the rain to acquire lunch (we're going to subsist on Jessica's stash of chicken nuggets if she isn't electrocuted by her temperamental oven first), my plans for the day lie unaffected by the weather. I have various tasks I need to complete that involve the Internet and our book of the month - One Hundred Years of Solitude - to get into. Cheers!

1 comment:

Susan said...

I think saving people that fall in the water and going to the WC. both favorites. :-)