Now I know that most of you think that all I (Quasi Ed note: this is actually Geoff, not Terry, writing) do is sit around Starbuck’s all day drinking coffee and whiling away the hours until I get the opportunity to get back in the classroom with the kids and Terry (we’re doing team teaching for as long as Terry can stand it – or until next week, I think). Not so Grasshopper (just returned from Tibet). I want to let you know that I do a lot of other stuff, so here is what I spent MY day on today (at least until 2:50 pm).
6:00 up, turn on the hot water for it to be ready when Terry wants to get up and have her shower.
6:25 up, check for comments (only 1) on Terry’s blog from yesterday (Thanks Lois)
6:30 into the shower
6:45 told I better hurry up or we’ll miss the bus – shovel down last four teaspoons of breakfast yoghurt
7:00 get to school only to discover that because I was in a hurry/hurried out the door, I forgot my glasses
7:10 try on every grade eleven’s (20) glasses – how do they have such bad eye sight by 16-17 years of age? I was almost nauseous looking through them. Only one even came close to the 1.5 or whatever it is I need.
7:30 watch as Terry teaches Part I of the Terry Fox story, reducing me to my annual basket caseness of blubbering tears
8:10 out for weekly flag-raising ceremony. Nine boys march (think Russian May Day type steps) about 20 yards with the flag, then three trot over to the flag pole and then …
They actually play the national anthem three times:
- When the boys are running with the flags (now I admit I have only been to a few of these, but it seems to me that it is ALWAYS boys – guess girls just don’t attach it right or something
- When the flag is going up as in the video
- When it is flying and everyone then sings the anthem (well, everyone like at a Canucks pre-season game with no Mark Donnelly to lead them)
8:30 explain to Mr. Zhao that Pajama Day at a school has NOTHING to do with teachers getting free lunches
8:35 back to more of the Terry Fox story
9:30 try to skype with Ken to solve some of my other job related duties – bad connection – no contact
9:45 watch these gardeners – and get exhausted doing so.
9:55 spend 5 minutes trying to figure out why anyone would park their car so close to the shrubs that getting out would be next to impossible.
11:00 spend 45 minutes talking with Cici and Judy at Starbucks. Cici, the manager, and Judy, a barista and manager in training, want to learn English – and I have a plan! Andrei, one of our teachers, wants to learn Chinese (See where this is going?) Cici is married with a son, but Judy – well she is single. So on Friday at 4pm I am introducing Andrei and Judy and perhaps they can help each other learn a new language. (Cici is on her own).
2:00 I leave my office for the day, exhausted! But my day is not over – and I have discovered something. There IS a blind person in China and he lives right here in Jiaxing. We have shown you the sidewalks in China with the rounded bumpy tiles in the middle so the blind know where to walk. Well in a year plus WE HAVE NOT YET SEEN ANYONE WITH A WHITE CANE OR EVEN BEING HELPED! Until today. In the courtyard at our mall there is a stage where various events take place. Just as I was walking by, I saw a man on the stage take another man’s hand and lead him off the stage. It was clear that man number 2 is blind. It was also interesting, because unlike Canada where the blind take the guide’s arm and follow, here the guide just took his hand and led him – which worked fine until they got to the stairs… yes the guide had to catch the fellow since he had no warning he was stepping into space.
2:05 after that debacle, I watched someone lead an elderly man up on to the stage. I wasn’t exactly sure what was happening (Battle of the Disabled or Infirm?) until this happened: (Watch for the HUGE audience and listen for all the car and scooter alarms set off)
2:30 watch as a car from a half a block away keeps edging further and further over to the left, finally driving into the oncoming traffic rather than slow down or stop for the elderly woman in the crosswalk (and no Terry, that elderly woman was NOT me).
2:40 check on the vegetable garden
2:50 start blog
5:00 make dinner while Terry exercises