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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals

Trip: Year in China

There are [154] stories from my trip: Year in China


I have a ghost

CHINA | Friday, 25 Apr 2008 | Views [368]

I'm sure he or she is Chinese speaking leaving little room for me to investigate why they are roaming an alternate reality between the living and dead.   I'm sure he or she is from the 15th century or something equally as untouchable. I'm sure he ... Read more >


Wikipedia

CHINA | Thursday, 24 Apr 2008 | Views [520]

is not blocked! Apparently, a major influx of English speakers and the absolute absurity of blocking the entire site finally hit the Commies.  Because I can now search for nationalism or chickens or Eugene Delacroix freely.  Of courese, only the ... Read more >

Tags: culture


Chaos theory

CHINA | Wednesday, 23 Apr 2008 | Views [547]

My classes are generally a random conglomeration of my students' reactions to things I say or do. I plan, but things often don't go exactly as I plan. And any teacher will tell you that there is a LOT of improvisation that goes on in a classroom.... Read more >

Tags: work


Trying not to laugh out loud

CHINA | Tuesday, 22 Apr 2008 | Views [566]

Midterms basically suck for me. I'm stuck in a classroom having mini-conversations with nearly 40 students for an hour and a half. They get to leave after two minutes, but I'm there the entire time trying to deal with the bull shit they're trying ... Read more >

Tags: work


Three fourths done

CHINA | Monday, 21 Apr 2008 | Views [488]

I'm giving my second round of midterms this week. Most of my students...wildly impressive. But there, of course, are a few outliers. One student didn't understand the question so he just talked about what was on his mind. I don't take off for ... Read more >

Tags: work


Threatened

CHINA | Sunday, 20 Apr 2008 | Views [577]

Today was a beautiful day. The rain never stopped. All the streets had the rainbow sheen of the separation of oil and water. The vines lining my windows dripped continuously. I made hamburgers for lunch and dinner. I drank cups of coffee. I planned ... Read more >

Tags: olympics, weather


Exercise

CHINA | Thursday, 17 Apr 2008 | Views [419]

I completely loathe the idea of exercise.  I rather enjoy my time with art, culture, books, movies, or friends.  Exercise...I often find it a complete waste of time. While living in Beijing, my excuse doesn't have to be my utter dislike of physical ... Read more >


In the air

CHINA | Wednesday, 16 Apr 2008 | Views [569]

It's official. Spring is here. And it's floating on the air along with some weird pollen/dandelion things. There are vines that run along the outside of my window. When I first moved in they were covered in green leaves, framing the view of the ... Read more >


What is American food?

CHINA | Monday, 14 Apr 2008 | Views [445] | Comments [1]

Very few people in the United States grew up eating like I did. Firstly, I lived in Louisiana, so Cajun food was a staple. Secondly, my dad's is from New York, so Italian food, pizza, and Chinese food were never to be missed. Thirdly, my dad's side ... Read more >


Mesmerizing memorizing

CHINA | Friday, 11 Apr 2008 | Views [427] | Comments [1]

It's a difference in culture. It's a difference in teaching methods. It's a difference in learning styles. And it's no surprise. In school, I was actually discouraged from memorizing. Learning, as opposed to cramming, it was said, is a better ... Read more >


Smokin'

CHINA | Thursday, 10 Apr 2008 | Views [484]

Chinese men smoke.  From the age of about 15, Chinese men smoke.  It's like a rite of passage.  Learning to ride a bike, getting braces, smoking. There's nothing abnormal about it in China, especially in the countryside.  Women, who rarely smoke, ... Read more >


Flip flops

CHINA | Wednesday, 9 Apr 2008 | Views [336]

It's nearly time to pack away those winter clothes.  Today was so pleasant that I actually wore flip flops -- the first time since about October that such a delight has graced my feet.   It's no longer too cold to put my clothes in the drying room.  ... Read more >


Don't they have machines for that?

CHINA | Tuesday, 8 Apr 2008 | Views [503]

Since arriving in China, it's become far too obvious that most of the work done by most of the people is just so they can have a job. There are A LOT of people in this country. A lot of people that need rice to eat. A lot of people that need money ... Read more >


Gallery: Just some stuff around China

CHINA | Monday, 7 Apr 2008 | Photo Gallery

random photos from the East
See all 21 photos >>
 


Fa piao

CHINA | Monday, 7 Apr 2008 | Views [700] | Comments [2]

With the fear that my four year old camera has been gracing the shelf of some antique market, I broke down and got a new one. My old camera was perfect for what it was, but it was starting to get on my nerves that the batteries died almost instantly, ... Read more >


Cheng De

CHINA | Sunday, 6 Apr 2008 | Views [577]

The Tomb Sweeping Festival is the traditional time for Chinese people to visit the graves of their ancestors, clean them, plant new flowers, lament over their losses, and have a big dinner. Like most traditional things in China, this isn't really ... Read more >


Gallery: Tomb Sweeping Festival

CHINA | Friday, 4 Apr 2008 | Photo Gallery

Cheng De, He Bei
See all 59 photos >>
 


I tried really hard

CHINA | Thursday, 3 Apr 2008 | Views [379]

I did.  I wanted it to happen.  But the fates were against me today. No matter what I did, I couldn't get out of class early.  I just kept talking and explaining.  I just kept asking questions and getting blanks stares and occasional laughs.  I just ... Read more >


This is China

CHINA | Wednesday, 2 Apr 2008 | Views [498] | Comments [1]

That's kind of the mantra of expats living in this country. When something seems ridiculous or doesn't go as you expect it, the only reason that ever crosses anyone's mind is "This is China." Friends have actually shortened it to T.I.C.... Read more >

Tags: culture


Plotting

CHINA | Monday, 31 Mar 2008 | Views [402]

I found out today that I have Friday off (one of the national holidays)! So I'm plotting, not planning a voyage out of the city. Where to go? What to see? Maybe a warmer climate? Maybe new delicacies to delight my palate? Maybe a coastal area ... Read more >

Tags: planning


Relentless

CHINA | Sunday, 30 Mar 2008 | Views [497] | Comments [1]

About six months ago, I mentioned that there are laws regarding the heat and air conditioning availability in China. Basically, it reads: Those who live above a certain point can have heat from November 15 to March 15. Those who live below this point ... Read more >

Tags: culture, weather


Whitening

CHINA | Thursday, 27 Mar 2008 | Views [507] | Comments [1]

Whitening products are popular all over the world. Teeth, hair, skin. Everyone wants something to be brighter than it naturally is. In Asia, they want to be a pale as humanly possible. They have products (from Western companies) screaming "... Read more >

Tags: culture


Train wreck

CHINA | Wednesday, 26 Mar 2008 | Views [546] | Comments [1]

This morning class was a disaster. A full on rocket ship explosion during the countdown. With a woman, a monkey, and a child on board. And like a years supply of tomatoes that just wouldn't burn. Awful. I will be the first to admit that my knowledge ... Read more >

Tags: work


A football (soccer) team

CHINA | Tuesday, 25 Mar 2008 | Views [590] | Comments [1]

The other day the class assignment was to think about ambitions. Then, tell your partner about your ambitions. Then, tell the class your most interesting ambition. "I want to travel the world." "I want to become a business woman."... Read more >

Tags: culture, students


So much candy

CHINA | Monday, 24 Mar 2008 | Views [500]

I have officially spent more time planning for my classes this semester than I did all last semester. And I'm only three weeks in. I just had lunch with another teacher, Kiri. She's also teaching the culture class, so we're working together to plan ... Read more >

Tags: colleagues, work


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