Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Crazy busy week

It's Wednesday and I'm exhausted. This week, two of my classes end and my new class begins. Starting next week, I have it really good-4 day weekends and a little holiday to Beijing next weekend. I'm looking forward to my 4 star hotel stay. Anyway, since this is the last time I will have half of my juniors and the sophomores, after the final, we have a little party. As a result, I have been doing lots of baking. I made over 120 peanut butter cookies with a toaster oven for the juniors and 3 mixes of lemon bars. Plus, we had lots of fruit and dip, chips, drinks, etc. It turned out well, but baking and hauling all of the food to second campus wasn't fun. I'm now starting to bake everything for the sophomore party on Friday. Even though I'm excited for 4 day weekends, I'm sad I won't have these students anymore. I'm happy I was able to have the juniors both semesters and get to know the sophomores.

I went to Beijing last Saturday. I can't decide if it's a good or bad thing that I'm known at quite a few stores and many of the American restaurants. At the Silk Market, since I've bought so many paintings, the painter has learned my name and gives me free gifts (which are very cool). At TGI Fridays, my server recognized me and gave me an online survey to fill out to get 50 RMB off my next meal. This is an awesome deal since my meal/drink is only 56 RMB. So, next weekend when I go, my bill will be about $0.90.

Waiting for the train in Baoding

If I lived in Beijing, I would live in this area. It's by all the Embassies-it's quiet, clean, lots of trees, close to Western restaurants, and Jenny Lous (the imported food store)

The last of the junior poster presentations.
Even though you're not supposed to have favorites, I do. Out of the junior guys, Miles is my favorite.

Iris (super cute presentation)

Dylan (also super creative)


One of my Chinese best friends, Cassie


Summer (Jane Austen was a popular topic)


Friday, 17 April 2009


Well, the time is flying by. However, this has been a long week. I'm really glad it's the weekend and I'm headed to Beijing. I think a day of eating American food and shopping will be good for me. I'm going to TGI Fridays for chicken strips and french fries-I haven't had any since I left the States. I'm having serious withdraws.

I hung out with an American couple from another university this week-we met at the train station. We went to Sandy's for dinner. I think Sandy's is the favorite restaurant for all Baoding foreigners. Other than the staff, the restaurant was full of foreigners.

We all got together for dinner at Josh's Friday night. The others like a dish called "hot pot." Basically, you have a pot of boiling water with spices and such and you add meat, potatoes, vegetables and eat it. It's not a stew, you eat it with chopsticks. Anyway, I don't like it (shocker), so Josh kindly made me chicken.

The group eating "hot pot"

Garfield and Neville

Justin and Neville

Garfield with Garfield








Monday, 13 April 2009

Magnet for trouble

Originally, I was happy about the construction in front of the university. They're re-doing the road. It's much less crowded and more quiet without all the honking. Anyway, students made a path through the construction site to get to the other side. There are apartments on the opposite side of the university. So, my trouble magnet followed me today. It was crazy windy and blowing cotton and dirt all around. It looked like the perfect weather for a tornado to me, but they don't have tornados here. I took a cab home from the 2nd campus because of the wind. Since the road is under construction, the cab driver had to drop me off across the street and I would cut through the construction area (which I had done numerous time). Sure enough, as soon as I clear the passage through the fence on the side of the university, the fence crashes down on me. I was trapped underneath, it was about the length of 4 cars. A bunch of students had to come help me. My knees are bruised and scraped, but that's about it. It was mortifying though-it's bad enough being constantly stared at for being white, but being white and squished under the fence?!?! times.

Other than that, things are going well. We (American teachers) had Easter dinner. It was delicious-I hadn't ate that much food in one setting since I left the States. I made a banana cream pie from scratch. That's right, I had to make vanilla pudding from scratch. It was definitely an experiment. It turned out ok, it didn't taste/look like Carriage's banana cream pie. I think my pie had too many variables going against it. For one, I needed corn starch, but had to substitute flour. Also, I used powered milk and it called for whole milk or cream. Then, I had to use "dream whip" for whip cream. No matter how much I beat the dream whip and let it set up in the fridge, it still doesn't get as thick as real whip cream. So, as a result, the whip cream was super runny.
The road in front of the university

A couple of days before the fence tried to snuff me.

The aftermath

Little Easter party with my sophomores

More Junior poster Presentations: Nala








Monday, 6 April 2009

Here and there

My friend, Cassie, and I went shopping and walking around Baoding for almost 3 hours on Monday. It was a beautiful day-about 75 degrees and sunny. It was the the Tomb Sweeping holiday in China, so we didn't have class. Baoding isn't the most beautiful, but it's definitely a fun place to shop. Cassie is all about bargaining-I buy a bracelet or something for $1 and she think I paid too much. Even for costume jewelry in the States at most stores, I would pay $5 or $6, so a buck is a steal!

I'm seriously loving on the fresh fruit selections. Fruit is one of the few food groups that I'm actually brave and will try new ones-even if they look odd. It's mango season, I have had mango before, but I didn't know what it looked like on the outside. They're good, but kind of a pain to eat. I also tried yellow watermelon-it tastes just like the red, but a different color. It's delicious!

My juniors are doing their individual poster presentations. I did something very similar when I was an undergrad at WSU, so I thought it would be a fun change. However, I wonder how often they do "creative" projects. After I explained the assignment (slowly and detailed), I had 28 pairs of blank expressions staring at me. Anyway, the first five did awesome-they just worried me a bit in the beginning.

This is just down for the university-lots of places to shop

The cutest little truck ever!

Lil' van

Restaurant in Baoding-I like the building.

They are redoing the road in front of the university-it's much more quiet without all the traffic.

My yellow watermelon



Gilda (hiding behind her poster)