China, news, The China Chapter

Live Aid Nepal

“I can do things you cannot,
you can do things I cannot;
together we can do great things.”
-Mother Teresa

In an effort to help the Nepalese people, the city of Chengdu will hold a Live Aid concert next Friday, May 15.  All proceeds will go to carefully selected charities.  Please click the picture below for information on how you can help, whether you are here in Chengdu or thousands of miles away.  Thank you for all your support!

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China, creative writing, films, poetry, songs, teaching, The China Chapter

诗意搞乱- A Poetic Mess

It’s a moment,
then it’s gone.
Your heart catches in your throat
and you wonder if it was ever real
or,
perhaps,
just a figment of a life you could imagine for yourself.

I realize I’m not making much sense here, mostly just waxing poetic.  I had so much to say about last week, but yesterday, when I went to write, my words froze in my fingers, hovering but a breath above the keyboard.  I spent time rearranging my discombobulated mind to the tunes of Cat-Stevens-turned-Yusuf-Islam and bathed myself in the comforting knowledge that music can wrap you in a tight embrace and make you feel so magically whole despite how crazily confused you might be.

But, being as though none of you have any idea what I’m talking about, I’ll stop with the self-analysis portion of this update and move into what’s actually been happening here in Chengdu…

Well, life’s been busy.  The first week after getting back from Bali, I spent a lot of evenings just eating Chinese food (Shao Kao and Chuan Chuan) with people.  Agh, I had missed that in Indonesia!

Last week flew by, but was punctuated with a few memorial events.  Wednesday afternoon, while the kids were working with partners to turn picture books into Reader’s Theatre scripts, I felt a bit of shaking.  It was a small, but noticeable undulation, especially when I saw the Smartboard rocking back and forth. “Uh…guys, let’s go ahead and get under our desks, okay?”  The kids immediately crawled under their desks, then peered up at me.  “Um.  Ms. Hannifin?  Why are we doing this?”  I love them and love that they would follow my directions first and then question me.  “Eh, I think there’s a earthquake.  And we just need to make sure it’s not a big one.  So we’re gonna stay under our desks for a few minutes and see what happens, okay?” “Yeah!  We don’t want things to hurt our heads,” one girl called out.  After a few minutes went by, it was clear the small disturbance was over.  “Alright, kids!  I think we’re good to go back to work. But if we feel anything else, we’re gonna get back under our desks, okay?”  “Okay.”  And back to work they went as if nothing had happened.  Earthquakes here might be fairly common, but I was very happy that the first one I felt with kids around was distant and handled very well by second graders.

Last Thursday, after Girl Scouts, two parents took June and me out to dinner at a Shao Kao restaurant.  It was completely unnecessary, completely delicious, and completely appreciated.  Then on Friday, I went out with coworkers to the typical hangout: The Beer Nest.  It ended up being a late night as more people stopped by as the evening stretched on.  But I made it home safely, albeit completely tuckered out, in the wee hours of Saturday.  I didn’t accomplish anything, really, on Saturday aside from Skyping with my old flatmate, Diana, and…napping.  On Sunday, Melissa and I went to go see the movie Seventh Son, which was…a rather interesting movie going experience, primarily because I am naive and China greatly confuses me.  It was a decent flick, though, and well worth the…$6…the entire outing cost us.

So that’s been about it, save my poetic nonsense (oh, brace yourself.  more terrible poetry is heading your way soon!).  I leave you now with a song that is probably going to be stuck in my head the rest of this week: