Saturday, August 18, 2007

My does the time fly

I have been to the States and back again. Three weeks was not enough time, and so I didn't even tell most people that I would be there. Even still, I did not get to see everyone that I would have liked to see, or do even half of the things that I wanted to do. If you missed me, my apologies, I hope you can understand.

So, in three weeks, I a lot of time travelling. Drove down to FL. Fly to STL with a layover in ATL. Took Amtrak up to Chicago. Flew back to NYC. By my last count, I got to see about 35 relatives and freinds, including children. I spent 3 days in confined spaces (1 in a car, two on airplanes). It was a busy three weeks, and worth every minute. I learned some valuable lessons, that should prove useful in the future.

My flight back to Shanghai was bittersweet. I was not ready to go, but perhaps that is the best way to leave. And then it was interesting. Here are the numbers. 1 Hassidic/Orthodox Jew. 2 people being deported. 2 meals with pork (I knew I should have ordered the kosher meals). 3 people with brown skin (1 of whom sat next to me). 4 movies/tv shows that I watched. 6 hours that I spent trying, unsuccessfully, to sleep. 14 unaccompanied minors. I think that's all. Finally I arrived in Shanghai.

True to form, things didn't go exactly as planned once I arrived. In short, I am trying to find and move into my apartment...yesterday. Hopefully I'll be able to find one today or tomorrow so that I can move in ASAP. I would like to get settled before classes actually start.

Speaking of classes, work is going well so far. Orientation is on Weds., students report on Thursday, but actual classes don't begin until the followingMonday. So, right now we are preparing ourselves, our classrooms and in theory, our lesson plans. What I am teaching has changed, it's 9th and 10th grade English, two sections of Upper Level ESL (high school students reading at middle school level, so they can not be mainstreamed yet) and maybe TOEFL. My school is a young school, which has its challenges, but is also exctiting. Because it is young, the current faculty are instrumental in its development, which is so exciting. There'll be more on that later.

That's all for now. I'll keep you posted (no pun intended). Hopefully I'll have some pictures of my new apt up here within the next week.