Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Female Trouble

Every day I have a couple of firsts - today was the first class I've had to cancel. Bummer. I got my period and while I always enjoy a reminder that I'm not pregnant, that was soon eclipsed by the realization that I didn't have any Advil or Tylenol on me. It was about to be a very long afternoon. First it was just terrible abdominal pain (also known as dysmenorrhea). Five minutes into class, I abandoned all dignity and appealed to my students. "I have a really bad headache," I lied, "Does anyone have any painkillers? P-A-I-N-K-I-L-L-E-R-S?" I wrote the word on the board. I mimed swallowing a pill. They all looked at me blankly. I gave up.

They were doing oral presentations today on their favorite musical group, so it shouldn't have been too bad, but I was just miserable. If only it was acceptable to teach a university class while in the fetal position. Instead I just sat there, nauseous, in a cold sweat, barely attentive - although I think I put up a good front. "That was a really interesting speech about Avril Lavigne," I would say weakly, "Who else likes Avril Lavigne?" (Note: they all do). Finally, my first class was almost over, and I tried to give myself a pep talk about the second one ("It's only another 90 minutes! You're already here!)" but all of a sudden I felt like I was going to throw up, and at that point I knew I had to go home. I wrote on the blackboard "SPEAKING CLASS 15:20. MS. GLASS IS SICK. CLASS IS CANCELED. WE WILL MAKE UP CLASS AT A LATER DATE" and then booked it home, swallowed a bunch of ibuprofen, and passed out. I genuinely felt terrible that I canceled class, but I was in no shape to teach. I can only say that I've learned my lesson that I should just carry painkillers around all the time, just in case.

Due to the miracle of modern science, I woke up a few hours later feeling like a million dollars. I was glad I felt better, because I had a meeting with my new speaking partner. It was our first get-together, so I really didn't want to cancel. With a speaking partner, you spent an hour speaking Chinese and an hour speaking English, and so it's really perfect for me, since I need help just getting comfortable with conversation. She's an awesome person and it was a bit of a lovefest ("Your Chinese is so good!" "No, your English is so good!" etc etc) and I am really happy it's going to work out. Some other good news of the day? Tae's sister had a baby! Welcome to the world, Lillian!

My internet was being funky for a while, but it's back on, so I'll write more soon. Next up: our Dalian exploration day (with fresh fish!) and photos courtesy of the one and only Kim Hagner

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