Since it’s the month of Thanksgiving and it is too much of a challenge to participate in No Eat Out November in China. (I do some form of eating out everyday here for many reasons: lack of kitchen, convenience during travel, cost, need for heat/wifi.) SO while DJH is at home avoiding Taco Bell and I’m here eating dumplings, I thought I’d spend the month of November saying what I am thankful during my last 61 days in Shenyang.
I am thankful for long informal conversations with students in my favorite Shenyang Coffee Shop.
Feeling grateful for the ability to sleep in late on a weekday. Having afternoon classes has been great.
Blessed to have an amazing local coffee shop I can visit with students, get work done, use their wifi, and eat delicious waffles in.
Unbelievably happy to have the ability to go to lunch and laugh so loud and hard over stories shared over a “Chinese casserole”. Thanks to Vicky for the great lunch date.
Books! Love having a day to read, even if I should be doing other things. I’m so grateful for Kindle Unlimited and the ability to read for pleasure.
Thankful for friends to see movies with and so glad that the Chinese love superhero films!
The Best Spouse Ever Award continues to go to mine. I sent him a pinterest pin and he immediately sketched and started to plan out the new bed we(he) are going to make out of pallets and apple crates.
Feeling lucky to have met such am amazing people during my time in Shanghai. Love that we can catch up at a moment’s notice on wechat as if no time at all has passed.
Loving my students who have gotten so interested and engaged in this election. Cannot believe how interested they have been throughout the whole election. It’s been amazing to see things through their eyes and their thoughts. I love being able to take them to the Consulate Election Day Viewing Party.
Walking through campus on rainy days, avoiding puddles, and students’ umbrellas. Taking in my last few months here at SNU.
Grateful for country music to keep me company in my office on cold winter days in the Shen. Oh and candles for the ambiance and delight students have when they arrive in my office to the smells of Christmas!
Enjoying spending evenings conversing about the Chinese educational system with Chinese minorities in Tibetan restaurants. The diversity of a seemingly homogeneous culture gets me every time!
Yet another cultural dinner adventure! Dinner at a TexMex restaurant in Shenyang, China with a Canadian in which we only speak in German. Sometimes I forget how unique my life really is!
Today I am grateful for the school’s faculty dining. On day’s like today when I run from meeting to meeting and class to class, it’s great to be able to drop in, eat a warm meal, and get back to work.
Had a new experience today. This evening a student came for a scheduled meeting in my office. At the end of the meeting she asked me if the rumors were true, I wouldn’t be here for the spring semester. Upon hearing that I would be leaving at the end of the semester, she burst into tears. Apparently I have made an impression on her and she will miss me. Grateful to be loved and appreciated for my hard work.
Feeling grateful for delicious malatong on cold days.
A job that allows me to travel on a regular basis has always been a dream of mine, so grateful for the opportunities that being a Fellow has provided.
Another great workshop! Spent the day with 200+ teachers in Zhaoqing talking about reading and using authentic texts. Blessed to have such unique opportunities and got in the local paper.
Love surreal days like today. I went from swimming in Guangzhou in 27 degree weather to slipping and sliding on ice in -6 degree weather in Shenyang.
Good teacher training too!
Today I am grateful for long conversations with DJH and the knowledge that I’ll see him in only 54 days!
Grateful for homemade cookies and caramel machiatos while grading.
Enjoying the cold winter Shenyang weather and feeling lucky that I am not shoveling in NY this year.
Grateful for having a decent apartment to host student activities when the school facilities fail me. Happy to have students who are willing to accommodate me.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I am so thrilled to be heading to Shanghai today to spend Thanksgiving with my Shanghai Fambam! It has been far too long since I have seen them and I am looking forward to our reunion!
Reunited with Brandon, Kay, and Nat and it feels so good! Woke up and boiled potatoes on a gas stove and washed dishes in a kitchen sink! Major life highlight!
Potlucks with expats, wine with friends, cooking on a gas stove, western grocery stores, and custard filled creme puffs!
Meeting up with old friends while walking around downtown after eating a breakfast burrito makes for a great afternoon.
Thrilled and blessed to have had an amazing reunion with some of my favorite people in Shanghai. Loved having the weekend to cook for, eat with, work out, spend time, and drink with the most amazing of friends. Looking forward to our next adventure together. Loving that no matter how long it has been between visits we can just catch up and reconnect as if no time has passed.
The flexibility and patience that life in China has given me may be the greatest blessing of my experience here. For example, today when the power went out while I was using the PPT and a video, I sighed and then adjusted for a new activity.
Cannot believe that today is the last day of November. I am so grateful for the speed at which this month has flown by. One more month left in my China experience, I cannot believe I have spent 29 months in China. It’s been a long, frustrating, exhilarating, delicious, time-consuming, life-altering experience. It’s time for the next adventure. 32 days till end of contract 3 in China!!!!
This may not have been the most exciting of blog posts, but it was pretty meaningful to me. Some days were harder than others and many days were super easy and took no thought at all. I really am very blessed. I have a wonderful life and family and while there are things I would/could/should change, for the most part life doesn’t get much better than this.