Wednesday, January 18, 2012

saying "water, water"

日期: 2012年1月18日,周三,下午11:27
主题: Hi Billy: I need water.

Hi Billy,

I hope you are relaxing and enjoying the holiday. Tom and I need drinking water for our apartment, and Reuben does too. We don't have any drinking water to use for drinking and cooking. Could you call the man at the school who can help us get 2 bottles of water for our kitchens.



Date: Thursday, January 19, 2012, 12:09 AM
Subject: 回复: Water will come this morning at about 9:30-9:40am

Hi, LJ,
Pls also inform Reuben that three bottles of water for each floor will come this morning at about 9:30-9:40am.

I asked the water-sending worker Mr. Qian (His cell phone no. is : 18915007065) to go to the school to put the water either in the kitchen or outside the front door of each floor if the front door does not open.

Pls check at it in due time and email me for confirmation.

If you still need water in future time, pls call Mr. Qian directly, saying "water,water",.He might understand for his only job is sending water to every office, dom and classroom.

Best wishes!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Room for Sleeping in the Cloud - Suzhou


New buds grace these branches at the Couple's Garden Retreat on January 3, 2012 in Suzhou.

Year of the Dragon

I tend to forget that the catalyst to any change I ever want to make is simply me. We have the control to remake our habits, to take at least some step to be the person we want to become, to act in ways we admire. “Our own life has to be our message.”
We shouldn’t rely on other people to propel us toward this, shouldn’t wait for an accident to push us into action. It takes effort to change and to start that change now. But I want to live in a way that won’t give me nightmares.

Heidi Go Seek Blog, Heidi Howland

Sources of inspiration are everywhere in life- in the bowl of ice cream that causes me to close my eyes and enjoy a moment of creamy pleasure, in the sound of my mother's voice echoing with advice through the corridor of time, and in the relationships we chose to forge with others- especially our significant others. My boyfriend and I are both setting off on separate journeys for the spring festival holiday. Before he left China, he spent several days with me in my tiny apartment outside the city of Shanghai. The night before he left on his trip, he cooked dinner for me and five of our friends. We went shopping together for the ingredients, and I served as prep cook under the guidance of his calm and assured voice scuttling around the kitchen happily doing his bidding. My knowledge of things culinary is restricted to the bile and bitterness my mother passed on to me when she tried to meet the standards of my grandmother's soup spoon and homemade fruit pies and consistently failed. In the kitchen, my mother was never good enough.

Watching Jon wash the dishes as I sat around the table with our female friends enjoying a steaming cup of jasmine tea after the meal was finished, I was proud of the man I had chosen. Linda and Charo-Summer asked where I found a man like Jon.

"Can you find a Jon for me?" Linda said.

Reuben, Linda's boyfriend, was not pleased with her comment, so I just laughed, but surrounding my thoughts was a warm glow radiating from a relationship that's blending human ingredients into a catalyst for affirmative and upbeat change in the year of the dragon.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Wisdom from my students: former and present

Grading essays and allowing myself to be too distracted by Facebook. I sometimes have trouble understanding my students' meanings, but they seem to understand each other, and this makes me happy! Facebook post on Tuesday, January 10, 2012-

We can’t acquire true knowledge from the tedious and formulate hard working; On the contrary, the most impressive skills are gained from the interests and the soul on the deep. - David, Senior 2

David, Senior 2 continued - Although the typhoid boy got heavy sick, he didn't fright to die but pursue the happiness in the world.

Steve's response to David: I like these. The real face of life is difficulties in a piece of peace.

Perhaps I should remember Mr. Cummings once again at these moments:

[e.e. surprised me on the page tonight

haven't seen him since Brazzaville
perhaps a reminder
the best gesture of my brain
is to forget good grammar and
proper punctuation
from time to time]

and pay attention to the
Asian beetle in a mild state of confusion
shuffling around my computer keyboard
her orange spotty curiosity
now in the palm of my hand
now on the number 3 key

Sunday, January 08, 2012

my old friend e.e.

since feeling is first
e.e. cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a far better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for eachother: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

[e.e. surprised me on the page tonight
haven't seen him since Brazzaville
perhaps a reminder
the best gesture of my brain
is to forget good grammar and
proper punctuation
from time to time]

Saturday, January 07, 2012

On the other hands,

Learning with Joy and Humor
...what students learn with joy keeps a long time in their minds and is hard to obliterate from their memories. - Jim Cheng, Senior 2
Least but not last... - Michael, Senior 2
He [Frank McCourt] would never deceive his students and no doubt, he was honest. - Bill, a student who cheated on this assignment, Senior 2

In response to the writing assignment for Frank McCourt's memoir “Typhoid Fever” from the novel Angela's Ashes


You are required to write a minimum of 3 pages to 5 pages in this essay. If you want to write more than 5 pages, that is acceptable. I encourage students who want to take the AP Language and Composition exam to write more pages. The first draft of the essay is due on Monday, December 26, 2011. A first draft means that this essay will have mistakes. You will be expected to correct the mistakes in the first draft and write a second draft after I return your paper. The writing processing is about revising and rewriting multiple times.

For the essay, you must read and understand the short story “Typhoid Fever” and the “Meet the Writer” information on page 234 in addition to the article “The Education of Frank McCourt” by Barbara Sande Dimmitt on page 235.

In the essay, you are required to use one key passage from the story “Typhoid Fever” and one key passage from the article “The Education of Frank McCourt” to support your ideas. You may use more than one passage from EACH story, but one is the minimum. The reason that we annotate the story and article is so that we can become better readers and writer and use our annotations to help us generate ideas for our essays.

If you plan to take the AP English Language and Composition exam, I would advise you to work with more than just two sources in your essay. If you want to take the exam, you should be reading four or five sources about Frank McCourt and using the information from them to write your paper. I will send you additional sources if you plan to take the AP exam.

The questions for the essay are as follows. Choose one.

1. (question 11 on page 238) Explain why you would- or would not- want Frank McCourt as a writing teacher.

2. Compare your view and idea on writing with Frank McCourt’s view. Explain why you agree or disagree with his view of what good writing should be.

As always, if you have questions, ask me.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Bathroom Company

I have had reliable and minute companionship in my bathroom for the past several months in the form of this insect who lives under a plastic Ziploc® bag in a dusty corner of the room. This graceful spindly-legged creature is mostly motionless, probably hibernating, but turns around periodically to face the toilet and then face the wall. I warn any visitors who need to use the toilet that this special guest is inside. Lovely, don't you think?

Floating in a Coffee Cup

I'm floating in coffee on Saturday afternoon.

The red wine we drank last night at the hot pot feast delayed my exit from bed until 10:42 this morning. Remembering the heavy slumber that 3 glasses of red wine brings to my brain and sluggish limbs accompanied by the slow, unforced journey into consciousness sans an alarm clocks is the relish on the weekend hotdog.

Chinese films have been on my mind lately, and reading this article in The New York Times this morning encouraged me start a list of films I want to see.

From: "A Filmmaker Walks the Line Between Outsider Status and Official Approval"
Edward Wong in The New York Times on January 6, 2012

It is telling that when asked what films in his oeuvre were his favorites, Mr. Zhang first named five early ones, all independent features made outside the censorship system: “Red Sorghum”; “Ju Dou”; “Raise the Red Lantern”; “To Live”; and “The Story of Qiu Ju.” (“And, of course, this one, ‘The Flowers of War,’ ” he quickly added.)

Jim's suggestion: One amazingly good film I saw while in China was called Aftershocks. It's a drama about the lives of a family for years after an earthquake devastated the town and the daughter was believed dead. Pretty heavy, really good.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

End Of The Line 2011

These elderly men playing a board game and those tongues and tangerines- were enjoying themselves in a public park and sold in a street market respectively- at the end of the line on bus number 16 in Changzhou, China.

Happy New Year/Welcome 2012!

About Me

My photo

What do I do? That’s a question with more depth than the deceiving three-word construction would lead us to believe.

I live on planet earth with other folks, and I’m involved in the field of education and learning. I’m a life-long learner with a passion for knowledge and the process of bending bits of ideas into new constructions of beauty.