I don't really have anything to say which should result in this being a short blog post. But, who am I kidding? I'm incapable of offering my readers a succinct post, and, as I learned in college, the less I have to say, the more I need to write.
Autumn has arrived in Shiyan. The past few days have been rainy, but promises of sunny weather have been made, and we're going to hold my Google weather forecast to its word. The rainy days are nice, but they make it hard to find any motivation to get excited about teaching. I have an oral English class this afternoon for non-English majors, and I'm currently trying to pep talk my way into getting excited about it.
Tonight I have a group of sophomore English majors coming over for our weekly discussion group. These guys are so full of energy and confidence. I don't have to worry about any lulls in the conversation with this group. They always ask so many questions and have so many stories to tell.
I think I may have mentioned a few blog posts ago that I helped the local TV station make a series of short English lessons teaching, in total, one hundred simple and useful English phrases. Well, those lessons have been airing on the Shiyan TV station for several weeks now, and I'm embarrassed to say that a LOT of people having been watching them. When I agreed to help my friend Romano out with this project, I hadn't anticipated that anyone I knew actually ever watched Shiyan TV. I was wrong. So many of my students have told me that they just happened to see me on TV. Even some of Finn's students, after looking at his October Holiday photos, recognized me in some of his pictures as the girl from TV. We ate at Happy Guy's today, and he told me he's been watching my English lessons too. He called me his English teacher. It was cute...but only because it came from Happy Guy, who is always cute. I'm actually rather embarrassed by it all.
I've been schizophrenic with my reading lately. I begin one book and then get distracted by another. I always finish every book I begin, with two exceptions (Charles Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities and Jared Diamond's Collapse - both of which still haunt me), but my inability to complete one book causes me to feel overwhelmed when I get to the point I'm at right now. I'm in the middle of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and just began A Wrinkle in Time. We're also reading Jesus for President for our book club. In addition, I'm studying Isaiah, John, and Acts. The latter three are interesting to study simultaneously. I'm constantly shifting my mind from prophecy to fulfillment, and the before, after, and present applications of it all.
Jessica and I are planning to use our Spring Festival vacation time for a couple weeks of traveling France and Spain. We have some serious money-saving to do before we go, but we've lived our time in China thus far with that old adage "Go Big or Go Home" and we're not about to stop following it now. If any of you know people we can stay with along the way, we would be indebted for your good word on our behalf. Our goal is to not stay in a hostel or hotel ONCE while we're traveling. We like a good challenge.
Love to all!