The chilly winter weather here put me in temporary hibernation mode, but I decided that I should get back to blogging and fill everyone in on what’s been going on for the past few weeks.
Christmas has arrived in Dalian– Slowly Santa head cut-outs began appearing on windows. Then I listened to “Jingle Bells” on repeat at my favorite coffee shop for three hours. (It’s not my favorite coffee shop anymore.) I had my last lesson with my Kindergarteners, where I taught them how to say, “Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas” and had several especially obidient students dress up as snowmen (complete twigs for arms and mittens stuck on the twigs). My college students sent me a ridiculous number of cheesy Christmas e-cards. Then, on Christmas Eve itself (after teaching a full day of classes), I headed to an American friend’s house outside of Dalian. Her family lives here and was traveling for the break, so we had free reign of their house for a Christmas sleepover complete with hot chocolate and Christmas movies. We woke up on Christmas morning, ate freshly cooked blueberry muffins, pancakes and eggs and had a hysterical White Elephant gift exchange. A video highlights reel of our gift exchange will make its way onto youtube eventually….
My classes are finished– The good news is that I finished conducting individual orals with all of my Freshman oral students, and my writing classes have all turned in their final exams. The bad news is that now I have to spend some quality time with excel grade sheets inputing all of their scores.. Enough said.
Saying goodbye to friends– A few weekends ago we had a goodbye party for a friend who was going back to the US. 99.5% of the time that we went out, Andrew wore the same black shirt, jeans and white cap. So Russell and Dan had the great idea that we should all dress up as Andrew and surprise him at a goodbye dinner. It was a great success!
Most of my friends are headed off to various Asian locales this week, so we had a nice dinner tonight to convene before everyone splits up. I won’t see some people until mid-February when I start teaching again! My plans for break include visiting Harbin and Chengdu, as well as several weeks in Thailand to thaw out and hopefully spend some time by the pool or beach! Living through this cold winter has really made me realize that I’d take a sweaty, hot, humid day over a windy, frigid, bone-chilling day any day of the week.