Happy holidays indeed!
Not only did I have great classes this past week, but my week ended Wednesday afternoon. Unbeknownst to me until I attempted to go teach at 2:30 Thursday afternoon, junior middle school (seventh and eighth grade) students had exams and therefore did not have regular classes including mine. With Thursday and Friday classes cancelled, I stumbled into an unexpected but very welcomed four-day weekend.
I spent the majority of the weekend in bed recovering from a chest cold. I’m fine now and will be ready to start another week of teaching tomorrow.
When we weren’t inside hibernating from the outside daily temperature in the 20s and watching Harry Potter, we hung out with friends and took advantage of our free schedule and daylight so Duncan could practice his photography skills.
On Saturday we went to Samantha and Johnson’s apartment and had a baking party in celebration of her buying an oven. They baked a cake for the first time (which is more a feat than in the States considering there are no cake mixes and the ingredients necessary for a cake had to be ordered off the internet) and I cooked Chicken Parmesan. I wanted to make pigs in a blanket but I have yet to see anything similar to crescent rolls, and baking soda (so I could make dough from scratch) is impossible to find and Samantha didn’t use it in her cake or pizza dough because she said it’s unhealthy (she said she used white vinegar instead but I didn’t know that was possible). All of the food was good and we had a great time showing our friends how to make “Western” food and hanging out.
Saturday afternoon we went on a walk around Dong Feng Gong Yuan (East Wind Park) and people watched. It’s been so cold here the lake in the middle of the park has a layer of ice on top that is a couple inches thick.
This coming week is our last week of normal classes before the schedule gets rearranged to accommodate Christmas holiday, New Years holiday, exams, and end of the semester formalities. Next week will be very long (classes Monday through Sunday) but completely worth it since we’ll leave on Monday, December 30th for our week-long adventure in Xi’an.
Until next time,