Frosty and Miss Piggy go to School

snow

I have not been able to post much lately, because of internet issues. This past weekend was sunny and beautiful. For the first time this year, it finally felt like spring was near. Today, though it is gray and dismal again. I can almost hear a voice taunting to me that winter is not quite over! After spending a week in sunny Thailand (will share about this trip as soon as I can get a break longer than ten minutes), it was very hard to come back to the frigid air and gray skies here in China. So, I thought I would cheer myself up with some pictures of one thing  I do love about winter : the snow! Recently, I shared some fun in the snow with some students. A few of their creations are depicted below!

Mr. Snowman


Awoke to the sound of some giggling students outside my door. When I opened the door an hour later, Mr. Frosty was there to greet me.

Heard some giggling outside my door. When I opened it, Mr. Frosty was there to greet me.

Some of the girls apparently did not think Mr. Frosty was  colorful and stylish enough!

 

Some of you know pigs are one of my favorite animals. Miss Piggy, the snow woman, really made me smile!

Some of you know pigs are one of my favorite animals. Miss Piggy, the snow woman, really made me smile!

 

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Sharing the love!

Courtesy of  Artist Light blogspot

Courtesy of Artist Light blogspot

I traveled 21 days straight during the winter holiday. Sometime, soon, I promise to take the time to tell you about my travels, but today is the start of a new semester. It is a time for new beginnings. This time, I began my semester with a message of love. We talked about Valentine’s Day, and I shared about the story of Father Valentine, and how he died because he believed in love, and that marriage was a gift from God.

Picture I used in class to tell my students this is the message that Valentine died sharing.

Picture I used in class to tell my students this is the message that Valentine died sharing.

 

The maturity level of teenagers seems to be a little different in China. I find their innocence and devotion to their school work quite refreshing compared to my high school days. Even in high school here in China, there are many students who act grossed out (Ewwwwww!), when you mention anything about romance or love, but I tried to share a message today that love is about more than romance and couples. Here is a cute little poem, I shared with my classes today!

LOVE IS . . .

by Greg Scelsa

Love is … a tender feeling,

Love is … a way of being,

Love is … just showing someone you care.

Love is … helping with the dishes,

Love is … feeding your pet fishes,

Love is … just giving from your heart. Love is so very simple,

It’s not a mystery.

When you treat those around you The very same way You want them to treat you.

Love is … your baby sister,

Love is … playing with her,

Love is … holding her when she cries. Love is … sharing your candy, Love is … being all that you can be, Love is … lending a helping hand When someone needs you.

Love is …

L-O-V-E

Love is …

For you and me.

Oh! Love is the greatest thing in the world.

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year from the students of BDHS!

Happy New Year from the students of BDHS!

Hope everyone is having a good 2014 so far! I know, perhaps, I am a little late to say Happy New Year, but not in China. We like to stretch out the New Year festivities over a period of 6 weeks between the traditional new year and the lunar new year commonly known as Chinese New Year! So far, I love being a part of the New Year celebration in China. We welcomed the “first” new year here with a celebration including traditional Chinese dancing and lively music.

Two fellow teachers do a traditional dance and song at the New Year's celebration to ring in 2013.

Two fellow teachers do a traditional dance and song at the New Year’s celebration to ring in 2013.

Now, we are preparing for the lunar new year next week! The streets are full of vendors selling bright red decorations. Tomorrow, one of my students is taking me to shop for these traditional decorations for my house. I like the way the Chinese spread joy and happiness to others as they start the New Year!

Just a quick picture with the cell of a couple I liked! More to come soon!

Just a quick picture with the cell of a couple I liked! More to come soon!

So, I wish I could say I had a long list of resolutions for you this year. I would love to promise I will blog more, but the unreliability and lack of availability of the Chinese internet doesn’t allow that. Just during the last two weeks during exams, for example, the school actually used a machine to block all wireless internet and phone signals during the day. Cheating is not an option here! Actually, I believe they are about to start their last day of exams so I had better wrap this up. Last year, I lost about 25 pounds, but I was still 15 pounds shy of my goal. It is too hard to find the same foods in China I was using in America to diet (or any sugar substitutes or low-fat options in general). So, I am not resolving to lose weight either although I am continuing to try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I will surely start running again, when it warms up. I have decided my only resolutions this year are to fear less, trust more, pray more, and love more! Cheers to a happy life this year. Let us live well!

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In Need of Covering

This is what I told my students this week!

This is what I told my students this week!

Today was the toughest day of my teaching career so far. When I signed up to go to China, I honestly thought I would be teaching children. When they told me this summer that I would be teaching high school, I almost canceled my trip to China. It’s not that I don’t like teenagers (I have worked with youth groups off and on since I was 18), it is just I remember how difficult high school was. So, some days it is just as tough as I thought it would be. The lack of respect I see on a regular basis could really break me, if I allowed it to do so. But I remind myself that I love my students and now matter how hard my day is, I truly believe God brought me here.

So, what do I do, when I have a bad day in the classroom? Sometimes, I go for a run, but it has been a little too cold to run the past few days (the icy air burns my asthmatic lungs so I have turned to exercises I can do indoors). So, lately, I turn on my music and drown out all the badness. One song in particularly has been my theme song the last couple months. When, I listen to this song, my problems seem so irrelevant and small! It is “Grace Flows Down” by Christy Knockels. Some evenings, I put this song on repeat and just let the grace of my Savior flow down and cover me. Pretty soon, all I can feel is the covering of grace and peace all around me!

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for this video or any of its contents. Thanks to the other fan who posted it.

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Letters to Santa

St. Nicholas

The story of the original St. Nicholas (270 A.D – 343 A.D.)

I have been on holiday the past several days, but now I am back at school. Today,in my classes, we talked about the German tradition of St. Nicholas Day (December 6th) and learned about Santa Claus. After reading several letters from Santa, I gave the students on opportunity to write their own. I plan to send them out to one of the letters to Santa projects in America or Canada. I would like to share some of these letters with you over the next couple weeks. Here is one that touched my heart today. How would you answer it, if you were Santa?

Dear Santa Claus,

Christmas is coming and I am looking forward to your visit.  This year, I would like many things for Christmas:

First of all. I want to get a car so my mom would be warm, when she goes to work. As well, I hope my mom to be happy and healthy. Could you help me make it come true?

I have been a good girl this year, so I think I deserve these presents. Three good things I have done are:

I have been more generous.

I have done many things for my mom.

I have made big progress in my study such as some homework.

When you come down the chimney, please look in the kitchen. I am going to leave dumplings and noodles on the table for you to have. Thank you Santa, I am very excited.

Signed Du Wanfang

Template for Santa letter from 

www.bogglesworldesl.com

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Homer Hits Home

homer

Today was a very tiring day in my classes. The students were so excited about an upcoming holiday tomorrow that I could hardly keep them quiet. In honor of our text topic on ancient Greece, we recited some quotes today from Homer’s Illiad & Odyssey. I will just share one today that is very befitting of my mood.

“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.”
Today, is the time for sleep!
Hypnos, Greek god of Sleep

Hypnos, Greek god of Sleep 

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Leaving Chinchou

A portrait done of Tufu after his death.

A portrait done of Tufu after his death.

Today, I want to share a little Chinese poetry. When I found out I would be teaching in China, I read as much Chinese literature as I could find. I explored the poetry of this country, in particular. Tu Fu was one of my favorites. He was alive from 712-770 during the Tang dynasty. There was rebellion in the land during most of his lifetime so many of his poems speak of his hatred for times of wars. Tu Fu was constantly on the move. This week, I shared one of the poems from his travels with my students. It is called “Leaving Chinchou”.

图片1

Although I will not include the Chinese version here (unless requested), we talked in my classes about how the poem loses much of its beauty in translation. The poem no longer rhymes or has the same amount of words in each line as the writer originally intended. Some lines are left out altogether. Tufu has lines about the stars not included by the translator. The biggest difference we found though is the last line of this poem. In English, when we read,  “I must continue my past wanderings” we would think he is talking about his journey. In Chinese; however it has a deeper meaning. He is talking about the journey of life. Tufu is saying he has seen much in this journey of life, but he feels like he still has a long way to go. His journey is not over yet. He must press on!

To learn more about Tufu and read more of his work see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Du_Fu

http://www.poemhunter.com/tu-fu/

http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/people_n2/persons4_n2/tufu.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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