So, I’m teaching poetry to the grade 10s. How hard could it be, right? First, I establish that they indeed use rhyme and rhythm in Chinese poetry, next, I ask them to write 3 rhyming words for 3 words. We come to a full stop. Problem is they don’t know enough vocabulary to easily recall a word that might rhyme. So I do one word with the class, working through the alphabet finding rhymes. Half the words I have to explain their meaning. And so it goes. I skirt rhythm and move on to similes. It’s the “almost right” ones that are the most difficult to explain. Again, I back up the truck and arrive this morning with what I think is a very simple poem of similes. Wrong. After considerable explanation, they begin to figure it out. And only 6 more figures of speech to go!
Yesterday, Violet, one of our grade 10s, came in to my office with a get-out-of-jail free card from the school doctor. She has pink eye and has to go home for 3 days. She has pink eye. Why, then, is she wearing a mouth and nose mask? These things are inexplicable to me.
Violet started the year as Eland. I was so impressed that this young girl had picked as her English name, a form of the name of Tiger’s ex who handed him his butt when she found out he was screwing around with gawd knows how many tawdry women. Do you think for one minute that Elin whacked out the back window of his Escalade with a golf club because she wanted to help him escape the vehicle? Please. I can assure you, she was restrained. But I digress. About a week into the year, Eland joined our plant family of grade 10 girls and became Violet. We also have Jasmine, Ivy, Daisy, Lavender, Iris and Cherry. I can’t wait to read the inevitable saccharine-laced poems that are bound to be forthcoming.
Finally, a few pictures. I never fail to be amused by this wonderful juxtaposition of images between this safety poster extolling the virtues of cleaning up after one’s self and the paint drippings below it.
Here’s one of two of our teachers bundled up against the cold. But it’s not cold yet! Wait till the temperature really drops.
I had my hair cut the other day at my local establishment. It’s located on the main drag but is set back a little from it in kind of a strip mall. As I approach the shop, I see that outside in the parking lot is a crew of guys replacing the cushions and coverings of the seats from the salon. I imagine the arrangements go something like this:
Wei! (Hello, as yelled into a cell phone, always at top volume.)
Wei! We need to replace the cushions on our chairs in the hair salon. Do you think you could do the job?
How many chairs are there?
Oh, maybe about 45 or 50.
No problem. I will come right now and have a look.
But I don’t want to close the shop while the chairs are fixed.
No problem. We do it in the parking lot! We can start tomorrow. Is that soon enough?
How long will it take?
One afternoon, not longer.
This is what it looked like. The chairs were rolled out to the lot, had their seats removed, foam replaced and fabric recovered, then rolled back into the shop, replacing the ones that had to be done. I’d love to know how long the whole thing took but I’m willing to bet it was just the afternoon. The Chinese can get anything done in short order…except of course, if you really really need it to happen. Can you imagine how long it would take in BC? And could the shop be kept open while it happened? I think not. TIC!
Remnants of Xiamen
Ladies, in your opinion, a little sorry she wore these today?