The White Safety

I’ve been trying to write an update for about two days now, and I just keep getting side-tracked, so though it’s getting close to midnight, and I’ve got to be up at 6:30… I’m going to do this damnit.

So what’s new, what’s new… Oh, right! I officially started my classes. I went to school all nervous and hyped bright and early monday morning to discover that the kids still had their regular school classes and didn’t start their winter holiday until today. In case I didn’t mention it – our school is a private English school, so the kids come to our classes on top of their regular school.

Anyway, my schedule got all shifted around, classes got changed, and now I’m teaching an adult class of college folks three times a week, which is just awesome. Mostly I just hang out and chat with them. We have a book of topics and stuff… but it’s real informal and a load of fun. Tomorrow I’m bringing in some music for them to listen to. I want it to be Canadian.. but I’m leaning towards Jack Johnson… I just dunno.

Classes are getting easier and easier as I find my groove. You start getting a feel for pacing, how long you should spend on certain parts, etc. The tricky part comes in making it interesting… and I’m still working on doing that and not just relying on games of Typhoon (sorta like tic-tac-toe but more complicated and more competative… and less stale mates).

I was starting to worry that with limited exposure to other foreigners I might be lacking in the social department, but yesterday I got invited over to one of the Chinese teacher’s (our teacher assistants) houses during Spring Festival and today my TA invited me over to her house so her mom could make me dumplings. Her name is, get this, Strawberry. See… imagine going to a country and being able to pick your name… and it could be anything… we’d all pick cool names right? We certainly wouldn’t choose Bob or something in another language… we’d choose something that means “Strong Like Bull” or “The Most Amazing Person In The World” or something… well… that’s how some Chinese people pick their English name. Many rely on foreigners who choose decidedly simple “Steven”, “Ted”, “Sam” etc. But sometimes the Chinese person gets creative and gives themselves their name… and you get Strawberry.. or my personal favourite so far – Iceburg. Big and cool, right.

What was I saying? Oh right, social life… so yeah, I’ve also got a party going on this weekend in Dalian – one of the guys from my training class is putting it together – and I’ve got the weekend off, so, yeah. And I’ve been getting somewhat chummy with Maggie, one of the receptionists at the school… and I might see if she wants to catch a movie or something sometime. So… maybe I’ll not be sitting alone in my apartment freezing for much longer.

Oh. I bought I guitar today. It’s crap, but it was cheap. I paid 210 yuan for it, which is about $30 CND.

Also, as some may have noticed, I’ve been changing things on the blog quite a bit – trying to sort out what I like and what I don’t. If something isn’t working right or looks really lame, lemme know. I know I promised some photos, but my batteries in my camera were dead when I went to take some shots… so tomorrow… I swear. But I did add some maps in the sidebar so you can see where I am.

One last thing… I think some people read this and feel it’s communication with me… it’s not! E-mail me damnit. I don’t mean to whinge about it… but aside from the standards (Cass and porn spam) I get very few e-mails… so in case you’re not sure if I mean you by this… if you’re reading this, you should be e-mailing me. Tell me what’s going on with you, mundane details are great, give me opinions on things, tell me about your rash… I don’t care.

Alright – bedtime.

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