Monday, December 22, 2008


Love this picture for many reasons, one being it was taken on my second favorite street.'s classic. The hustle and bustle at all hours, the varied signs delivering an assortment of goods.

I've talked about "stalls" before, but I can never accurately portray them. A lot of people run their business' out of the back of their 'modified trucks'. I don't know what this guy does, but he certainly hasn't been bitten by ambition. Notice the knee pads and expired military coat, these are all Chinese staples.

Mike is marvelous. Do you want to know why? Because he cleaned the dirty dishes, knowing exactly how much I hate to do it. And this is how we work. He does the dishes, I do the floor. And yes, he does them in his manties so the water doesn't get his clothes dirty.

I have a whole new appreciation for teachers. Coming up with creative lessons that both educate and entertain can be exhausting...and stressful. Because I think its fun to stress out about the little things. So when I knew that last week was going to be the final week of the semester, I was doing a little cheer dance inside my head. Just a little one. Another part of me was really going to miss getting to know the students. Hearing about their lives and seeing their excitement and they learned and tried new things.
This is one of my English classes. I tried to post my other English class but my computer was being a poo. I also have three other classes but they are 100 % MALE. Yea, as in120 guys taught by a foreign white women. Talk about being thrown to the wolves. Not a single male student dropped the class.
For the last day of class I brought candy to pass out to the students as sort of a going away present. At the end of class I posed for pictures with every single student, and then in groups, and then with the girls, and then with the boys, and then a roommate get the point. A LOT of pictures. But what really touched me were the gifts I received and the thank-you notes I was given. So a big THANK-YOU to all my Chinese students who made living in Jinan, feel like home.
This is just one of the letters, but you get the idea. Tell me this doesn't make you want to stick around!
I am both a touchy-feely person and a klutz. Combine the two and you can get dirty pretty quickly. The first things to get dirty on my outfit are generally the sleeves, you know, dragging my arms across the chalk board as I erase the lesson. So what better gift than SLEEVE PROTECTORS to give me!@# These were farewell gifts from my students. I am also holding a traditional Chinese knot. What I'm supposed to do with it, I don't know. It's supposed to bring me good luck and God knows I could use a bit of that! The sleeve protectors are actually really common and all of the students wear them, just so you know this isn't some sort of fashion statement.


Brent Danley said...

I wouldn't drop your class, either. ;)

I am excited to hear all about your many wonderful adventures. I hope we see you soon!

jeannette Stgermain said...

hmm, sleeve protectors - do only women wear them? Haven't heard my son talking about those...
Yes, this is what surprised me in China - people are much more emotional than I always thought Chinese and/or Asians are. And the women are much more candid than I thought LOL
Bytheway, thanks for commenting on my Icelandic hats -
merry Christmas to you in China, jeannette

Anonymous said...

You never know when a nice set of knee pads will come in handy

Kirsten Danley said...

What a great sendoff! I'm not surprised your students like you so much.

Hayley walked in and asked if she could comment. She said "Kim's pretty! That's an awesome blog."

You and Mike have certainly had a lot of great experiences. We look forward to seeing you!

Anonymous said...

DearKim,do you still remember me? I am Echo,^-^,miss you so much.