Monday, November 17, 2008

Some Random Comments

by Ruth


Last week in my Oral English lesson on family, I discovered that one student has six siblings and that another has a grandmother who is 105 years old!


Someone sent Kevin and I a surprise book package, which is really one of the best kind of packages we could ask for. I have started reading my beautiful new book which is called There Is No Me Without You. It is the story of the AIDS epidemic in Ethiopia and one Ethiopian woman who started taking in some of the thousands of resulting orphans. It is really interesting and one of those convicting books that makes you think, "Why the crap do we always ignore what's going on in the world?" It is also pretty long, which makes me happy because it will last for a long time.


This weekend, the heat was turned on! Having never had heat in China before, I was a tiny bit skeptical of it actually happening, but here it is! The apartment is almost too warm now, and I even cracked open a window. I love it…


Last night I went to a party held for several departments. Parties in China usually mean lots of performances. All the foreign teachers were separately urged to come to the party, usually several times, so we felt like we’d better make an appearance. When we arrived, they said, “Oh, you will give a performance, right?” I can’t say this was completely unexpected. We can rarely get away without giving a performance, whether we volunteer to or not. We sang a song (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen…Christina and I have established a tradition of singing one Christmas song every Sunday because it seems like a shame to wait until December. So that song was fresh on our minds.) After we sang our song, we prepared to slip out (I still had to finish my big huge research paper and was starting to feel bad from a cold). It was not to be. “Stay for a game! We need you to take part in a game!” So we took part in a game. Then we sprinted for the door before anyone else could stop us. Sometimes it feels like people are just so…demanding.


Today there was a rat in my class. Anyway, I’m pretty sure that’s what it was. Either that or the worlds biggest roach and I would definitely prefer the latter. There was a pile of papers and trash in the corner by the doorway (why, I’m not sure). Just as I started teaching, as the students got all quiet during a listening activity, I started to hear loud scurrying sounds. I looked over and the papers were shaking and moving around. Outwardly I was expressionless. Inwardly I was flipping out a little bit. Sounds of chomping and scurrying kept emanating loudly from the shaking pile. Which, I might add, was only a few feet away from me. I walked to the other side of the classroom and stayed there during the entire rest of class. The rat never came out (thankfully, although that could have made for a very interesting uproar). After a little bit it got quiet. Maybe it fell asleep, maybe it found a hole to retreat into. The students never noticed anything, unless they wondered at my nervous glances toward the corner.

To end on a more pleasant note, there are no rats in our heat filled apartment. That is always good news.


Anna said...

Yeah for random book packages and Christmas songs! Sorry about the rat - although I would rather have a rat than a roach that giant. Eish. Yeah for heat too! Apparently we had a few snow flurries yesterday and Saturday, but I missed them all. I've just gotten the cold. I hope you have a great week filled with books and heat and Christmas songs and no rats, eh?

Lauren Tilo said...

Once, in my old classroom behind the gym, a rat fell through a ceiling tile in the middle of the lesson. First, it was by all accounts a very sizable rat. Second, I promise that you have never seen a room empty as fast as mine did that day. LOL.