All posts tagged: 30 days thanks

A Small Beginning

I’ve been so wishing and hoping for this. Not the traffic, I mean. The snow, of course. Well, I wanted it a little whiter, and a little colder. So that the snow would stick around for a bit. But it’s at least a start, and some wise person once said that you should never despise the small beginnings. He knew a thing or two! And that’s why I’m thankful still. And why, of course, I had to take my camera out and capture this tiny beginning – even though there’s not really much to look at! Let’s hope for more snow tomorrow!

Getting Ready: Christmas Greetings

  Ok, so let’s get one thing straight. When it comes to birthdays, holidays, etc. I’m usually not the most organized person. As a matter of fact, it’s rather likely for me to get my act together after the event, and I’ve been known to present birthday gifts, Christmas presents, etc. even months later. I even have one birthday gift sitting on my shelf that I meant to give to a friend almost three years ago. It’s still sitting there, all packed up and what not, just waiting to be handed over to its true owner. So, you get the point: I’m not an early bird when it comes to gift giving or even card sending, for that matter (and it’s not something I’m proud of, really!) This year, however, is special. As a matter of fact, I managed to mail out my Christmas cards a week before Thanksgiving (though psst! – I’m not telling you here that I meant to mail those cards last year, and the year before; just never got to it). …

About Santa Clauses, Purple Christmas Trees & Shopping in Town

Yep. It’s Christmas season. Even in China. How I know? Because you can see it in the streets. Well, not every street, of course, but certain places do show. Like this one, where we went shopping today. Now, I’m not going to start a debate here whether the stuff they sell is pretty, or worth buying or anything. As we all know, tastes differ – widely at times. So, I’ll let you make your own decision as to whether you like what you see, or not. Here. Maybe this will make your decision process a little easier: Anyways, going shopping into town, we got to see lots of Christmas stuff, and some pretty impressive decoration, too. Like the giant Christmas tree which was so purple that it hurt my eyes; or this castle that was so magnificent that we had to have our picture taken with it: Still not in Christmas mood yet? Well, that’s not my fault then. Showing you all these Christmas pics, I’ve done all I could to get you there, haven’t …

Why I Love My Job

There are many reasons for why I love my job. One of them is that working with freshman students reminds me a lot of working with first graders. In high school, Chinese students – generally speaking – have to work and study so hard that literally they hardly have time to live, enjoy life, spend time with friends, develop socially. So, when they come to university, in many ways they are like little children, just discovering the world. Many a times, therefore, I’ve had it happen to me that I’d run into one of my students outside of class, and their excitement about seeing me overpowers any reservations – they wave at me with great enthusiasm, give me a big hug – just like a first grader would do – and tell me how excited they are to see me! Or they keep telling me about how they love their English teacher (that’s me!), and how beautiful they think she is (that’s me again – though basically every foreigner is beautiful/handsome in their eyes). Or …

Fall Frolic

It wasn’t super early at the time, but I was still in bed the other day, when I received a message on my phone by my friend, telling me that she’d found a place on campus where there were plenty of leaves falling off the trees, lying on the ground, and no one around to rake them away – yet. Well, I answered, by the time I’d get there, everything was sure to be gone – remember the tree hitters? But then I decided to give it a shot anyways. I asked some of my photography friends to join, and we went over there, and were in for a nice surprise. There was the long, empty road, covered with leaves, and it was the perfect setting for this … And this … And here is even more  … Saying Thanks And I’m thankful today that I’m done with classes, and that it’s a new day, of a new week, with lots of new chances.

Why I Love Midterm Exams

Seeing my post the other day, you must think now that midterm exams for me are a thoroughly nasty thing. But to be honest, I also find enough reasons that actually make me like midterm exams – the most important one being that they usually give me an extra day or two off work. Now, who doesn’t like that, right? So, I’m guessing weighing the good and the bad of exams, it comes to a tie, which means that I haven’t spent an altogether awful week so far. And I’m really thankful that my house is warm and cozy now! Yay for heaters that work!

Why I Hate Midterm Exams

You would think that as a teacher I don’t mind exams, but that’s not quite true. Yes, it is true that I get to give the exams, not take them. But I still don’t like them. Because giving an exam is just as hard work as taking one. Because for two hours you have to pay 100% attention to each of your students; because you’re not allowed to slack – even for a moment (as it could mess up the students’ grades); because students come with expectations, and all are hoping that you’ll give them an A, which simply doesn’t happen; because you get to hear the same phrases over and over; because exams are just boring, and annoying, and really hard work – whether you give them, or you take them. I’m just glad that for me the midterm exams are over. And I’m glad that the heat in my apartment finally kicked in, which means heater day is in effect! Having heat now, is something that I’m really thankful for, esp. since it …

Heater Day Has Come

Finally! Heater day has come, and that’s supposed to be good news. Probably because of the recent chill, they decided to turn on the heat a day earlier than usual. After all,  remember – in China the heating system is regulated corporately, which means no one can individually control it, and it usually is turned on on November 15, and will last until March 15 – no matter whether you’re home or not, or whether it’s cold or not; the heat will be on. Except that my radiators have no sign of heat – yet. So I’m still hoping and wishing, and I’m very thankful that the last few days the weather has warmed up a little again. Still, I want a comfy home, and that means I’ll have to keep an eye on my radiators these days. By the way, talking about keeping an eye on things – I saw one yesterday. A tree shaker, that is. Remember Saturday’s post? And yesterday, I was out on my bike, enjoying the sunshine and what not, …

Saturday Feature: The Mystery of the Leafless Trees

I figured it out! I discovered the secret to the question that has puzzled me for such a long time (even in one of my last posts): The question as to why the trees on campus only have green leaves, or no leaves; and why there are never any leaves on the ground that crunch so wonderfully when you walk. (With all my “grown-up-ness,” I love crunching leaves!) The answer to that question: It’s the tree shakers. What? You don’t know what tree shakers are!? Well, let me enlighten you: Tree shakers are the people who shake the trees to make all the leaves fall off. Makes sense, right? Our tree shakers work on campus to keep the grounds clean and tidy (and they do a meticulous job at that, I assure you), and you could either call them gardeners, maintenance people, or – as a matter of fact – tree shakers. So, believe me or not, in China you can actually make a living with shaking trees. (Or, at least it’ll be part of …

30 Days of Thanks (11)

Today I was very thankful to meet people who came from Germany (though not Germans), and with whom I was able to have a conversation in German, and I’m very thankful for the German chocolate they gave me. I’m also thankful that I was able to play in the autumn leaves this afternoon, and for the caramel tea I had tonight. And, of course, I’m thankful that it’s only 3 more days until the heat will be turned on!