Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ramping Up

Just to clarify, my laoshi (teacher) said that three of my characters were drawn incorrectly! Oops...that's what you get for posting your homework on the internet.

This morning I went on a hike with a bunch of staff. It was wonderful to get out of the city, into the little surrounding villages and hike up the mountain. What a long day though! I took the short trip back, and after leaving at 9:00AM, still didn't get home until after 4:00PM, though I did stop at the grocery store for about 30 minutes on the way home. And I was hoping to rest this weekend :-)

This week is the start of the end of the semester, I think. Even though we're not quite into fourth quarter, starting next weekend I have an Art Conference to attend with my students, a women's retreat, a week long trip around our province with our seventh graders, possibly a middle school art conference, the middle school play, and of course finals. And that's without signing up for everything (I promise)! Oh, and another conference I can't go to because I have one the same weekend. If we go incommunicado for a little while, you'll know why!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Too Long

I guess the time comes for all bloggers when you just can't find the time to post anything for weeks on end. The time had come for me to fall. In fact, I began this post two days ago!

But I am back, with a new commitment to finding time...somewhere...

So what have I been doing? Well with the new semester, the school has offered us more Chinese hours, and so I upped my tutor time from two hours to four. This has given me the chance to learn not only vocabulary, but characters as well. See below for the 96 characters I learned in the last three weeks!

From Chinese

Now, really, I had figured things out like yi (1), er (2), and san (3), before from seeing them around, but since this was my first formal introduction to them, I've included them in the list.

I've also started and completed my first painting since being here (outside of the classroom). This was very exciting to me. As sort of an "emotional" painter, everything has to be just right for the paint to start flowing, so this wasn't an easy task. But, this design was requested from me by a friend, so I decided it was time to finally pick up the paint again.

From My Art

My students have also created some pretty fun work lately, so I thought I'd put up a couple pieces. This is my high school Mixed Media class, and they were given construction paper (pre-cut into strips and triangles, but they were free to alter that if they wanted), ink and/or paint, and a piece of paper. Here's what they came up with:

I was really impressed with the design of most of these projects, and how they were able to be so creative and different from each other. It was a fun project.

I've also been going to the English book club that meets near our apartment. This month we are reading Three Cups of Tea , a very interesting book! I recommend it to all, although the ending gets quite political (but how could it not, based on the subject matter?).

Lastly, I am now leading pilates once a week for fellow staff and attending an aerobics class also once a week. Between all of this, the calm of our two weeks off has effectively ended!