So nothing big has happened recently, but some small things have.
On Tuesday I went with Zeno to the primary school since they were having an English performance. The students did a bunch of different stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, the Emperor's New Clothes, and the Boy Who Cried Wolf. I thought we were just going to watch, but we were given sheets of paper and sent to the front row where we were "judges". At the beginning of the performance the student announcers thanked the judges for coming and introduced them all to the audience. All the other teachers were introduced with their names...I was introduced as "the foreign teacher". Haha. I don't know what's weirder, the fact that I was the only non-asian in the whole auditorium or the fact that it didn't feel strange.
My favorite story was probably either The Emperor's New Clothes which was hilariously acted by the students and included both intentional and unintentional slapstick. I also liked the Little Red Riding Hood because the students included a bunch of other stories and fairy tales just for fun. It also included Harry Potter. Red met a wizard in the forest who said he was Harry Potter. She said he couldn't be since he wasn't wearing glasses. He said, "Glasses? Please! Glasses are SO out of fashion...I'm wearing contacts!"
On Thursday, one of my students came up to me while I was getting ready for class to start. He asked me if I liked Chinese tea and I told him that I did. He said that he wanted to get me tea for Christmas but that he wanted to make sure I liked it first. I thought it was very sweet. :-)
I played a version of Jeopardy with my students this week which they seemed to enjoy. I also had a discussion with Class C about dreams that went pretty well. Students talk SO MUCH MORE when I ask them stuff about themselves. I try to start every class out with them being able to tell me stories. Some had some pretty interesting dreams. One student had a recurring dream when he was younger that he was with a girl on a beach. She asked if he believed in ghosts and he said no. Then they walked away from each other. Then a man appeared and shot the girl. My student said that often he would realize he was dreaming and change his actions but the dream always ended with the girl getting shot and screaming.
Yesterday I felt this wave of contentment. I think it might be because things are feeling familiar and routine. I was walking back from Family Mart with my usual items (a loaf of bread, soda, apple juice, sushi, shrimp pocket bread and chips) and just thinking about the weekend and feeling good it was a Friday and all that. I also understood a whole Chinese conversation as some students were passing me. It was nothing big. One student was asking whose milk he was holding since he couldn't remember who gave it to him, and another student was asking for help carrying a box because it was heavy. But still...small victories. I was also happy because there was sunshine. I feel guilty for enjoying the relatively nice weather when Christmas is 5 days away. The New Englander in me wants a white Christmas.
Friday night I met up with Ron at Enoteca (the wine bar) for dinner. Dinner was SO GOOD. We shared a bottle of the Van Lovern Pinotage (one of the wines at the last wine tasting). We got a bunch of different things to share. We had mushroom risotto cakes, salmon spring rolls, whipped goat cheese tarts with marinated tomatoes, we even got oysters. It was the first time I had oysters, I think, and they were delicious. We also shared a creme brulee for dessert. It was a pricey dinner but since I knew it was coming the whole week before I had sandwiches or baozi for dinner. I think that made friday's dinner taste even better.
Ron leaves for California on Tuesday. I really am going to miss him. He's the first and only real friend I made here in Shanghai outside of work. He was really sweet last night saying that I helped make his semester here in Shanghai even more special. We had a lot of fun hanging out and who knows if and when we'll see each other again. We made tentative plans for dinner again on Sunday but I told him I would completely understand if he was busy packing or wanted to spend time with other people before he leaves.
Bah...now I need to go through the effort to make another friend here! Ron is going home and Isabelle is in Vietnam for a month. I'm glad Lucy is here. We have plans for Christmas Eve dinner.
I'm pretty hungry and I don't really have any food in the house so I should really head out for some dinner. Guess this is all for now.