Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Only Warm Place In My House

My room! It's cozy and toasty - unlike the rest of the house.

The weather in Dalian has turned cold, very suddenly. After a mild weekend, the week started off with chilly temperatures and strong winds. I've never lived in Chicago during the winter, but I imagine it's a lot like this. Michigan had its windy days as well, so I think I'm well-equipped to handle it, but it's a rude awakening after months of sunny Dalian weather. Oh, and the heat officially does not turn on in this city until November 15th. So, there's that. Luckily, my room has a space heater and it's very effective, but the rest of the apartment is pretty cold and unpleasant.

Today was long, but my students are continuing to be my daily elixir. This week we talked about jobs and interviews and work vocabulary - I made half of them "employers" (bakery, law firm, university, construction company, etc) and half of them applicants. Then we had a mock job fair, where the applicants had to go find jobs and ask questions about salary and work environment and promotions. They enjoyed the activity and had a lot of fun ("He's going to clean the toilets in our restaurant!" "We will give him a high salary - and a car!") But by this afternoon, it was my fourth time teaching the activity and I was sort of tired, so when a student presented his job and said he wasn't going to get paid as much as his friend, I looked at him quizzically and said, "为什么?" (wei shenme?) which means, "Why?"

The reaction I got from them was totally insane - they just could not handle it, they were so amused. I don't know if it's because I have a terrible accent, or if they didn't know I spoke some Chinese, but either way, they loved it. I tend not to use Chinese in the classroom very much, but it's a good way to break up the tedium and make them laugh. Then I put on my semi-serious face and moved on to our next project, which was filling in blanks I had made in the lyrics of the song "Mad World," the Gary Jules version. Then I made them all sing it a couple times. Operation: Turn My Students Into A Bunch of Hipsters is underway!

Lastly, some important events that happened recently: Aebra Kelsey Coe - poet, journalist, rugby player, ginger kid, friend - turned 24 a few days ago. Happy birthday, love! I miss you so very much.

My former boss, rad feminist, and the woman who taught me everything I know about pelvic exams and patient's rights, Amy Jo Goddard, director of At Your Cervix. Happy Birthday AJ!

And lastly, not a birthday, but my mom went to an event commemorating Leora Kahn's service as President of The Blue Card. Not to harp on something superficial, but Charles Grodin was there. Who is he? He played C.C. Hill in Rosemary's Baby, the movie I've watched on repeat for days and am mildly obsessed with. Oh, New York. I miss you. But seriously, Leora is awesome. Congrats!

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