Top Ten Things That April Brought

1) A surprise holiday (April 4). Tomb Sweeping Day did not impact my work schedule, but I did take a trip to Daming Gong Park on Tuesday afternoon. I paid to walk through the historical palace grounds, and I smelled lilacs and pear blossoms. I also found public art and poetry. I felt like I was celebrating my own private holiday.
2) A New Class. Freshman Intensive Oral English started on Thursday. The students gave impromptu speeches based on which playing card they drew. People who drew spades had to talk about their least favorite household chore. It turns out that most people either don’t like to sweep or to do dishes.
3) Dr Pepper. If you are my Facebook friend, then you already know that we found Dr. Pepper on Thursday evening. This is the first time we have tasted the sweet elixir since we left the U.S. in August.
4) A New Task. I started visiting other teacher’s classrooms. I am supposed to evaluate their oral English teaching ability, but I am collecting data on teaching methods for my own curiosity. I love to watch other people teach. One of the few things I like better is talking to other people about teaching. I plan to do that soon, too.
5) TV. If God wants to bless the heart of a poor man, he causes him to lose his donkey and then find it again. I believe Ted Kooser shared this as an inscription in one of his poetry books, and it is so true. This week we thought we lost our “free” TV, but by the time the holiday was over, we had it back again without doing anything to fix it. So we have the same TV we always had, but now we are grateful for it.
6) Tacos. Thursday, we took a friend to eat TexMex food. We got to witness someone eat their first taco. It was awesome.
7) Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores. At lunch Jeremy and I were talking about a children’s book we read to our boys when they were little. It has such a great moral, and it is fun to read out loud. I searched on Amazon, and I could buy it for my kindle. So I can read Horace, and Morris, but Mostly Dolores any time I want.
8) Pine branch palm leaves. Today we celebrated Palm Sunday. At church the priest handed out little pine branches to everyone like someone in the U.S. might have handed out palm branches. Father Stephen explained that in this part of China, it is traditional to use pine branches instead. It then occurred to me that the church has been in China longer than the United States has been a country.
9) Manchester by the Sea. We watched this film on Saturday night, and then it lingered in my mind while I slept and on into Sunday. It is haunting and slow. It has a way of reeling you in and then messing with your emotions later. I won’t say more. No spoilers. But Casey Affleck deserved that Oscar.
10) Chinese Class. I’ve been taking Chinese class once a week since October. This week my schedule changed, and my whole class agreed to switch our meeting time to accommodate me. This made me feel so blessed. I can just think back on how kind everyone was to me, and it will carry me through days when the air is bad and the rain won’t stop.


One thought on “Top Ten Things That April Brought

  1. You did a tedious job. We real appreciate it. Keep forward and happy palm branches day. Say Hello to Jeremy and your son Asher. Jado and Dieudonne.


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