• 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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Easter reflection, I

Foretold: Your king is coming to you.  He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey – riding on the donkey’s colt.

Accomplished: They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.


Eggs, dye and prepubescent boys

Any time I engage in a task that involves solitary repetition, I have flashbacks to my childhood when my Mom would ground me.  She had a home business and if it was mailing time or inventory time or anything else time, my sisters and I had to watch it because one step out of line meant we got to do the task as punishment instead of getting paid for it.  So any kind of envelope stuffing, counting, folding, etc brings me back to my adolescent years when I did a lot of this.  Once my parents decided to buy all new doors for the house – inside and outside.  My Dad thought it would be a good idea to finish the new wooden doors for the inside by himself – the sanding, staining, and polyurethane.  Long story short, I finished quite a few of those doors, and not willingly, if you know what I mean.

I’m about to give exams and I just finished collating and stapling all of them in preparation for my 8am class in the morning.  I couldn’t shake the feeling the entire time I was working that I was being punished for something bad I had done.  Good job, Mom and Dad.  You scarred me for life.  ( just kidding )  Actually I had that same nagging feeling when I was spending hours by myself (well, me and Pandora) refinishing my room at home this winter (pictures here, where you can also see those doors).

Other than giving exams tomorrow, I’m going to be attempting a brave undertaking: dyeing Easter eggs with Continue reading

An eggstraveganza

Each year we, the foreign teachers, have a huge Easter egg hunt.  We got all the eggs ready on Wednesday for hiding some time next week.  There are several thousand of them, and each contains a slip of paper saying, “Return this egg to the foreign teacher’s office and you could win 100 yuan!”  (100 yuan is about $14.50.)  Only one egg gets the 100 yuan prize and some get other prizes, but everyone gets candy.  We usually lose a lot of eggs each year because the kids would rather keep the plastic egg than give it back to us and get some candy.  They all say things like, “Teacher, the egg is so small and cute!  I want to keep it!”  (The Chinese have a propensity for small cute things that I can’t quite figure out, like college students loving Hello Kitty.  But that’s another post for another time.)  Continue reading

One of my favorite things to do on any holiday

…is to check the Google homepage.

Irish heritage is much more than corned beef, leprechauns, Guinness, or wearing green.  Read some Yeats today or listen to some Bill Whelan.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

New Year’s Day 2010

Parties with students:

Sr 1, Class 13

Sr 1, Class 12: Five MJ's

Games with the international students

Mark (Hong Kong) & Filip (Ukraine)

Koreans: Kevin & Min

Out to dinner with friends in the evening:

Anna and I with the Cao family (their cousin was taking the picture and the entire family was very insistent that the fish tanks provided a perfect backdrop)

Happy New Year!

All of us at Ren Da Fu Zhong wish you a happy and healthy year of the tiger, filled with increasing knowledge of our Father and the overflow of his love evident in your lives.  新年快乐!

(Should we say “two thousand and ten” or “twenty ten“?)

Random reflections

I was thinking a little today over the past ten years. The decade began when I was 14 years old and a freshman in high school at a New Year’s party. I only remember two things from that party: 1) The Johnson’s were at our house and their kids were really young, and 2) My Dad told me to flip all the breakers for the house at midnight in honor of the Y2K scare that never materialized.

Other personal events that happened included going on several m trips, deciding to graduate from high school early, graduating from high school with a class of three, applying only to Cedarville University and Houghton College and then attending both, buying my first (and only) car, spending two spring breaks in Chicago, getting my BA in Management, studying Spanish and Chinese, living in China for three years, picking up a couple surgeries, picking up a few more piercings (but not a tattoo, Mom!), and learning that I like to see new places.

In 2009, and the end of the decade, I was 23/24. I decided to spend a third year in China and also decided this third year would be my final year, made a concentrated effort to improve my spoken Chinese, visited eight countries, toured every major tourist destination in Beijing, read the Twilight series (mock me if you must), made my first pie crust, circumnavigated Beijing by bike, read through the NT, learned how to play poker (well), and read a lot of books (more about that in a coming post).

Even though this decade has brought a lot of changes (high school, college, living overseas, new language), I’m sure the next one has just as many in store.  I can’t even begin to guess what they might be since I don’t even have a good idea what I’ll be doing beyond this summer, but I’m glad I don’t have to worry about it.  The one who cares for the sparrow and the lilies cares for me even more than this, so I can trust in him for what is yet to come.  I once told him I didn’t have the tiniest bit of interest in China or Asia and look where I am, so now I’m trying not to do that anymore!

And now I’m off to bed because it’s an hour before the new year, and I must be getting old because I don’t care about staying up ’til 12am anymore.  I spent New Year’s Eve 2007 in Times Square so I figure I have the right to go to bed early on every January 31 for the rest of my life.  Although, if I don’t remember to turn my phone off my students are going to ruin that plan with all the new year’s texts I keep getting.  Happy New Year!