Friday, February 27, 2009

Back in China

So it's been almost exactly a month since I last posted.

In that time, I flew home, had a good time, and flew back and began the new semester.

I have to say, the weather since I got back, while not as frigidly cold as it was in the couple of weeks before I left, is rather gloomy. More than gloomy though it's just kind of gross.

Every day. Every freakin day it rains, and the daytime highs range from 40 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit. It just makes everything all messy and I have to remember to bring my umbrella with me everywhere I go and the bottom of my jeans are constantly wet and I can't ride my bike anywhere. Unless I wear a raincoat poncho, but even then, the roads are dangerous enough, I don't need to add limited mobility, vision, and reduced braking ability of everyone into the mix.

Speaking of the roads being dangerous, when Jean was walking to work the other day, she was hit by a car. Luckily he wasn't going too fast when he hit her, but it was enough to knock her over and she had a pretty mean scrape on her knee- a 2-bandaid jobber. Other than the scrape she's fine though.

As such I DO go the gym (3 km into town), but I end up taking the bus or a taxi. Usually the bus, taxi if I've just gone grocery shopping (or if I just really get sick of waiting at the rainy bus stop and I see an open cab). I am pretty proud of myself, I've been Really good about going to the gym regularly since I've gotten back. Granted that amounts to two weeks of being good about it, but last semester, I usually only ended up making it to the gym 1 to 2 times a week, as opposed to the 4-time routine I've got going now. You really just cannot make any progress going 1 or 2 times a week. Granted, better than nothing, but not enough to make some physical, visible gains.

By the way, I've come up with what I think is an ingeneous backup plan for my classes in case I happen to lesson plan too short (meaning the class is 90 minutes total and my prepared stuff only lasts 70 minutes or so). I have told my classes to pay attention to the news and make note of any interesting things they see or hear and then I make a discussion out of that topic in class. Some of the news items have not much more to discuss than the statement itself, while others lend themselves to lengthy tangents.

I also do this myself and sometimes tell the students about some interesting news topics. Like the chick who had octuplets. What's funny is that the fact that she was not married and did this got just as large a gasp out of the classes as did the fact that she had 8 kids at once.