This is my life

If I’m down to posting about once a week, sometimes twice, something is amiss.  My life is too normal.  I was a posting fool in Korea since I had complaints up the ying-yang.  Where are my complaints?  Am I happier?  Am I mellower?  Am I more tolerant?  Are things better here?  I’m trying to analyze it.

As I wrote before, my life has settled into “the usual”.  Just like you go to work, eat, maybe watch TV or play on the computer or read, and then go to sleep, my life isn’t much different.  I don’t watch TV but I do watch the occasional movie.

I eat dinner.  That’s a big shock.  I thought I’d love 40 pounds by the New Year by I don’t think I’ve lost anything.  I have chicken or steak for dinner and a potato that’s bigger than your head.  I think the potatoes are on steroids here.  I eat lunch.  It will be a sandwich or some rice.  I’m even eating an apple for breakfast, which is the most I’ve eaten for breakfast on a regular basis for years.

This normalcy is killing me.

Now there is the odd annoying thing that happens but it doesn’t annoy me as much as it would have at one time.  Yesterday I got a phone call at 1:33 in the afternoon from a student asking me where I was.  Why wasn’t I in class?  I said, “excuse me but class doesn’t start until 2”.  Ha ha.  The jokes on me.  They changed the schedule in the afternoons and everyone except one person was notified.  Guess who that one person was?  You win!  It was me.

Shujie asked Wang Jing whose responsibility it was to let me know what was happening.  Wang Jing is such a sweetie.  She said she would be sure that I knew about these things in advance.  But it’s not her job.  It was the job of the imbeciles in the English department.  However, since Wang Jing knows I think they’re imbeciles she’ll handle it.  I don’t want to discuss teaching with them, but I can handle them informing me of time changes.  Beware the scary foreigner!  Bunch of jerks.  But I’m cool with it.  What’s wrong with me?

We didn’t go anywhere last weekend and we won’t be going anywhere this weekend.  Shujie says it won’t be fun if the weather is too cold (about 6 or in the 40’s in F).  So we hang out again.  The excitement mounts.  There is a singing match on Sunday night that we’ll go to.  That means singing contest.  They don’t use the word contest but match.  It should be interesting for me and some of my students are competing.

Last Saturday we went for coffee with Julie (one of my tutoring students) and her friend.  Then Danny (a boy in another class came wandering by) and he joined us.  We were in the coffee shop for about 3 hours and it was quite nice.  Except it was cold since there is no heat in there.  There is no heat in the dormitories.  But I’m told I live in the south so it’s not needed.  Not needed?  It’s freezing.  The south means Florida.

Sunday we had coffee with Estella and she bought.  She was quite happy to buy so since the coffee at the student coffee shop is so cheap I let that happen.  She also bought popcorn with sugar on it.  Gross.  We spent about 90 minutes with her.  As I’ve said, we both really like her.

When she came to the Tuesday movie last night, she wore her pajamas.  If you look up cute in the dictionary, you’ll see her picture.  She always puts a smile on my face.

I showed “Goodfellas” last night.  I’m not sure how it went over.  I don’t think it was a hit.  I loved it.  I love it more each time I see it.  Estella said she won’t be able to sleep because of the violence.  It’s tough finding the movie that can show a story that’s easy to follow and the English isn’t too difficult.  I try.  I don’t know what next week will bring.

Shujie thinks we should stop for a couple of months since it’s so damn cold in the room (no heat of course).  I hate to stop although we aren’t getting overflow crowds.  I think we get a maximum of 15 viewers.  Lazy people who don’t want to try and advance their exposure to English.  I can lead these horses to water, but I sure can’t make them drink.

The big month holiday starts mid-January so that isn’t too far off.  We’re waiting for the travel agency to get some information about some tours.  We’ll probably either go to Hainan in the south of China, or Thailand, or the Philippine’s.  I’m psyched and something tells me I’ve mentioned this before.  Of course, a trip to Baoding is part of all this since it’s “family time”.  It’s good that I like Shujie’s family and they like me.

I can’t believe how easily I’ve settled in.  I have no “adult” friends.  My friends are about 20 years old.  Can students be your friends?  I’m starting to think they can.

Last week I played “Lola” in class and went over the words.  One girl almost understood it but the others were quite taken aback when I explained that Lola was a man.   They don’t get classes like this in school.  But music is good.  They enjoyed the tune so that helped.  Today I’ll do “Richard Cory” by Simon and Garfunkel, which is pretty simple.  I hope they like it.  I’d like to do “Sounds of Silence” but I’m not sure I know what it means.  I’d also like to do some 60’s protest songs but they might require too much explaining.  Of course I could just do the “Fish Cheer”.

“Give me an F”

“Give me a U”

“Give me a “C”

“Give me a “K”

“What’s that spell?”

And so on.  It might work.  I like to test the limits.

So sorry, no complaints once again.  Life is still fine.  I’m having fun and I’m learning.  Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get them to talk, but when they do talk I get to learn something.  It’s my motivation for getting them to talk.  But I really have no idea why some of them are here.

I’m waiting to find out if they want marks from me for these students.  They don’t.  I’m a very difficult marker and I have no problem failing those who make no effort.  I’m not sure the school wants that.   Most marks are basically the results of exams and I can’t do an exam.  I just would give a mark based on day to day.  Nah, they don’t want my marks.

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