gigantic, flying roach

Well, this week hasn’t been the greatest.

On Wednesday, Pizza left for Thailand. She’ll be gone for 9 months. She’s been tutoring me for quite a while, so I was really sorry to see her go. She set me up with one of her classmates, but it looks like her friend doesn’t actually have any free time outside of evenings and weekends. Sigh.

Yesterday, my other study partner, April, told me she’s starting some classes, so she won’t be free to study with me on Tuesdays and Wednesdays any more … at least for the next few weeks. Argh!

And now my iPod’s broken and there are gigantic, flying roaches (maybe just one… ok, two) in my home.

Real, Live English-Speakers

June 1st was Children’s Day. Jeremy and I celebrated with the kids from April’s English class. She arranged several games for us to play together. Seems a little torturous to make your kids practice English with real, live English-speakers on Children’s Day, but they seemed to have fun. We gave them a stamp on the hand every time they got something right, and then they could get prizes at the end of the day based on the number of stamps they had. It was fun. Her brother-in-law took a few photos:

Jeremy is always a hit with the kids!

Woo hoo!  You get a stamp on your hand.

And here’s a nice photo of our incredibly serious badminton team. In Chinese, it’s Yumaoqiu 羽毛球 — feather ball!

Badminton or Yumaoqiu (Feather Ball)

More photos on April’s blog.

Wild Tigers in Yunnan

Wow! Wild tigers were spotted in Xishuangbanna:

For the first time ever, scientists recently captured clear footage of a wild Indo-Chinese tiger in a nature reserve in China’s southeastern Yunnan Province. The researchers used infrared cameras as part of wildlife monitoring and protection project supported jointly by the Xishuangbanna National Nature Conservation Protected Areas Management in Shangyong, Beijing Normal University Institute of Ecology, and the International Species Protection Project.

Source: World Watch

flippin flickr filter

Hey! I noticed a few days ago that some of my flickr photos weren’t appearing on my website. If you’re in China and you may also be experiencing problems viewing photos from flickr. Install this magic addon to Mozilla Firefox and everything will reappear.

flickr loves you

Thanks to John at Sinosplice for pointing me to the fix!

Discussion about the disappearing photos on flickr forum.

(Confused? “What is Firefox?,” you ask. It’s a web browser! If you don’t know what browser you’re using you might be using Internet Explorer — the one with the big blue “e”. Firefox is a safer browser, download it here.)

more at the door

I talked to my friend April about that poem I memorized. And she had a different take on the last few lines. Of course, I doubt she’s wrong on this one!

谁言寸草心, shui2 yan2 cun4 cao3xin1,
报得三春晖. bao4de2 san1chun1hui1.

word-by-word translation:

who (nobody) / calls / short / grass / heart (feeling)
tells / for / three / spring (the season) / sunlight

Here the small leaves of grass are not a metaphor for the child, but in fact refer back to the clothes the mother is weaving/sewing. Meaning, the clothes are such a small token of her love, that although they will remind him of her love, he will eventually wear them thin. The clothes she sews for him so lovingly cannot last forever. Ah, yes. I like that message a little better.

Today I found even more treasures abandoned by American students, including the March issue of Harper’s Magazine. Woohoo! Also another two coursepacks: “Social Issues/Arts and Humanities Seminar” and “Minority Areas Field Excursion Readings.”

The original source of all of these coursepacks is presumably SIT, a study abroad program for undergraduates. Their course syllabi are online (includes full bibliographies of readings).