• About Julie

    NJ native without the accent or the big hair. Currently residing in Beijing. Teaching English. Absorbing all things China. Exploring SE Asia.

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Fall update: Halloween edition

Harvest Parties. As I mentioned before, the past two weeks have been quite busy.  I’ve been going straight from teaching and grading to some kind of evening commitment, which leads to doing funny things, and now it’s nice to have a break.  My classes are canceled this coming week during midterm examinations, so I’ll be catching up on my email in-box and tackling the giant stack of papers that are waiting to be graded.  The harvest parties were great, with a big turnout.  I was so excited to see how many of my international students came out and the kids had fun trying on my big sombrero.  iPhoto and Facebook have been thwarting my efforts to get some pictures online, but I’ll post a few as soon as I can, because I know you’re all sitting on the edge of your seats waiting to see the reveal of my costume this year.

On a somber note, a 9th grade girl named Lucy tried to commit suicide last week at the branch school where Anna teaches.  Thankfully, she is in stable physical condition.  Having a harvest party at her school was a way to be a blessing to the students there in the midst of a very sad situation, and to hopefully bring them some joy and a little fun.  Continue to be in thought for Lucy, her family, for her classmates, and for us as we spend time with students who are asking questions.

Students. I continue to study with several students regularly, and they have really been asking hard questions and learning a lot.  I’ve also been spending a lot of time with some of the students in one of my classes.  The group has been coming early to class and staying late, and visiting my office hours regularly.  We’ve decided to have Friday dinners each week, and I’m never quite prepared for the wide variety of questions and conversation topics that arise during those times!

Saturday. Anna and I treated ourselves to Grandma’s Kitchen for lunch today.  We finished the afternoon with a little sidewalk book shopping in Wudaokou.  I’ve been getting to the end of the unread books on my bookshelf, and I was getting a little worried that I’d only have Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship left, which scares me a little.  As long as I’ve had something else, I’ve been able to put off reading it for about a year now.  I was able to pick up nine books for only 145 kuai, so combined with the new titles Anna bought I’ll be able to procrastinate Discipleship for a little while longer.  Here’s what I found:

  • The World Is Flat, Thomas L. Friedman
  • My Life (Volumes 1 & 2), Bill Clinton
  • The Essential Drucker, Peter F. Drucker (it’s probably a travesty that I have a BA in management and I somehow never read any Drucker)
  • How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie
  • Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman (reading something relevant to my major is to make me feel less guilty for never having read any Drucker)
  • Sophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder
  • Guns, Germs, And Steel, Jared Diamond
  • A Brief History Of Time, Stephen Hawking (but this wasn’t for me!)

International & dormitory students.  Today actually being Halloween, we donned our costumes for one last time this week and did some reverse trick-or-treating tonight to the students who are still on campus this weekend, handing out candy and midterm well wishes.  Chinese people don’t celebrate Halloween and many of their faces were priceless as they watched a bunch of crazily-dressed foreigners running around throwing out free candy.  The best was when we were in the girls’ dormitory and we went into a room where all the girls were in bed and they were all saying, “wo yao tang!  wo yao tang!”  Translation: “we want candy!  we want candy!”

It’s cold. We had beautiful weather for the parties earlier this week.  In years past my fingers and toes have been numb by the time the cleanup was finished, but I was actually warm this week.  However, it has since turned cold and snow is predicted for tomorrow, which is going to have a high of 34.  I’m not exactly sure when “they” are going to turn our heat on, but it should be soon.  Winter is here!  And with cold weather and winter comes Christmas, which brings Christmas music… but alas, my roommate has placed an official ban on all things Christmas until Thanksgiving has been celebrated.

Chinese New Year. January 7 should be my last day of class, and I’ll have a break until February 23.  I’ve decided to travel back to the States for this vacation time and I am so excited to be bringing a student back with me!  I am so excited to see as many of you as I can during this time, and to show off my hometown to Ellen!

Many thanks to all of you who read these updates and think about them and me regularly, comment and send encouraging emails, and make me feel loved in so many ways while I’m so far away.  =)

One Response

  1. Glad to hear that Lucy survived. We have thought of her and the group as you share with students.

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