• 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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    Feel free to drop me a message: juliekhull at gmail

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National day of mourning

Yesterday (4/21) was a national day of mourning to remember the 2000+ people who died in the Qinghai earthquake on April 14th.  In addition to flags flown at half mast, newspapers and online sites honored the victims by going black.  Entertainment, video, and music websites stopped offering their content for 24 hours and featured black and white banners on their sites about the earthquake.  Performances and movie theaters closed their doors for the day.  I had planned to do a review period in one class yesterday and the students asked for a regular lesson instead, saying that the review activity would be a form of entertainment.

Here are some visuals of how China mourned:

the People's Daily, official CCP newspaper

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Today’s lesson: always log out of your email account

Apparently this morning I left my email account logged in on the office computer.  A couple mischievous colleagues (Jenny-M-soon-to-be-K and Cherie-T) happened upon my defenseless inbox and sent me this:

Dear Self,
How are you today? I just wanted to check in and see how you are doing.  By the way, those highlights look fabulous.  You did awesome in Chinese class this morning- keep up the hard work!
Don’t be nervous about going home, everything will work out ok.  Are you excited for Jenny to come visit? You should definitely go to the Great Wall when she comes.  And you should bring Jen with you.  🙂  And Cherie too.
Actually, Cherie has already been, so don’t invite her. Continue reading

Yushu earthquake pictures

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Wanted: eggs & suitcases

Easter is over, but we’re already looking forward to next spring!  We really could use some more plastic Easter eggs for next Easter.  If you see any, would you consider buying them and donating them to us?  Let me know and I’ll give you the drop-off places or mailing addresses in the States.

My Mom and my sister (and Amanda R.) are coming to visit me!  This is good on two counts: 1) They’ll get to see where I’ve been living for the past three years, and 2) They’re going to bring home a lot of my stuff!  Do you have any large suitcases they could borrow for their trip?

Earthquake in Qinghai

Many people have checked in to see if I’m okay after seeing China’s latest earthquake in the news.  Thanks for your thoughts and messages – all of us far away in Beijing are safe and didn’t feel a thing (we’re 1190 miles away).

Qinghai (pronounced ching-hi) is a remote area in China’s Tibetan region and the earthquake occurred along one of eastern Tibet’s most active fault lines.  Unfortunately rescue efforts are slow because Qinghai Province is so isolated and there isn’t very much excavation machinery.  From what I’ve read, people have been pulling the rubble apart with their bare hands to look for survivors. Continue reading

Life lately

I have a confession to make.  I was wearing flip flops around the apartment and wore them right into the shower today.  I don’t know why I suddenly reverted back to my college days and their accompanying grody showers, but I looked down and there they were.

Aside from wearing my shoes into the shower, two friends and I decided to take a break from Chinese food and eating in, and treated ourselves to TGI Friday’s tonight.  My Caribbean calamari salad (minus the squid, I had it replaced with chicken instead) was yum and a nice break from the ordinary.

My friend Victoria does a great job discussing and rating the movies Continue reading

3 book series I never thought I’d read

I always said I’d never read Harry Potter.  Not because of the usual conservative C mumbo-jumbo about it being witchcraft and morally off-base, but because I just don’t like that stuff.  I’m not big into fantasy or sci-fi.  Then I came to China and all of my students wanted to talk about Harry Potter.  I held out until the spring of 2008 before giving in.  I think I read all seven books in a three week time span, and if you’ve ever read them you know they aren’t small books.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them, and was a little sad when it was over.

Then last spring the next big craze was Twilight.  I didn’t even pretend to hold out, I just gave in and read them all.  (Note: Even so, I am no twi-hard.)

And on Wednesday I started to read The Lightning Thief, the first book of Rick Riordan’s series “Percy Jackson & The Olympians.”  Continue reading