Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Beginning of a New Semester

As much as I dreaded the beginning of a new semester when I was a student, I also loved it. I loved being able to choose my classes. I loved buying new notebooks to fill with notes. I loved getting a syllabus, dreaming that I would do things ahead of time. I even loved scanning through my new textbooks. Nerdy I know.

Beginning of new semester as a teacher, not so much loving. I wish I could choose my classes. I have had one class of the same students all 4 semesters I have been here! (It's a love-hate relationship...) The only thing I buy is new whiteboard markers. That is a hassle...making sure I get the kind that erase. Typing out a syllabus takes hours and then I get off track the next week anyways. My textbook instructions are in Chinese (helpful!), but most of my classes don't have textbooks so I get to make curriculum. How much notice you ask? Try day before class starts.

School was supposed to start on the 20th. Everyone I know started on the 20th, except guess who? Yeah, me. I started ahead of time. I am teaching IELTS Speaking courses again. (I still know nothing about this exam and the certified guy is teaching basic oral courses...) Everyone is teaching 17 weeks. That is except for me once again. I have 20 weeks to teach. (My teammates will be settled in the States again by the time I finish!)

Beginning of semester as a teacher... like that taste of milk that has turned sour in the carton... might be something you want, but boy does it leave a bad taste in your mouth.

There was some good news. I only teach in the mornings. I am done by noon each day. I have no classes on Fridays. So really I guess I cannot complain too much. If it is a really bad day then I can just have lunch and crawl back into bed. :) I am actually truly grateful for such a schedule because it makes meeting with students and other Work much easier.

*Update on Bobby...
"I talked with Aunt Patty today. Currently Bobby is in Germany. They had to do some work on his leg and are going to take some chest scans to make sure he can travel to the U.S. The surgeon said he should make a full recovery if no complications arise but it is going to be a long process. She thinks he will arrive at Walter Reed tomorrow night if the scans show positive things. So hopefully things are looking better for him. While on the phone the surgeon also told Patty the Head General over European and Middle Eastern Operations is flying to Germany tomorrow morning to give Bobby the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal. This is the highest medal a soldier can earn next to the Congressional Medal of Honor. He earned this on a mission a couple of months ago when his helicopter was shot up by a convoy of enemy fighters. He was able to get his helicopter back to the base jumped in another helicopter flew back and destroyed the convoy of trucks carrying explosives while under heavy gunfire. I attached some information about the medal.Well that’s all I know for now …will update you when I hear more.Love,DAD

The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself in combat in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918."

Thanks for praying for him!

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