Sunday, November 13, 2011

Singles Day

November 11th is Singles Day here. For some it's quite a "sad" day. Mostly girls are pretty dramatic about still being single. Some people embrace their sadness. My day started with class at 8 AM. However, my Friday classes are my favorites. The personalities in those classes are just plain fun.

Just before dismissing the class, Blaire asked me what my plans for the day were. I told her lunch and some parties in the evening. She curiously asked who I was going to lunch with. I told her no one. She said she hopes next year, I'll have someone to be with me. I giggled inside and smiled politely.

Off I went to lunch when I walked into this...

That's right. Their signs say free hugs. I asked if I could take a photo and then asked what they were doing. They said they wanted to give free hugs to anyone who was feeling sad today because of Singles Day. I inquired whether or not others were going to join them. Sure enough, more friends were going to join them. I received/gave a hug from each girl and felt like my day was just going splendidly!!!

Lunch was DELICIOUS. It was eggs and tomato on top of clay pot cooked rice. Just come and try some because words cannot express it well.

The afternoon was spent reading and miscellaneous work. Then the 11-11-11 Party. Some friend here have their parents visiting and they are really into the number 11. Like seriously. So, we had some calzones and one-shaped cookies. HOWEVER, I had a birthday party to go to.

The Tuesday before Will had shared with the class about his past, uneventful, slightly horrific birthdays. I was so sad for him. He said he just wanted his birthday to fade away. So, the class decided he should celebrate anyways. And I just had to make him a cake because his sob story got me. When I arrived at KTV (KTV is karaoke), I presented the cake to him. He was so excited!!! I thought he might cry. Seriously, then he told me he had never had cake on him birthday before. I was REALLY glad I had made one. I sang a little Avril in true KTV style and then it was cake time. People here will SAY they don't like sweet things...

But I think the above photo is how they really feel.

After that, I returned to the 11-11-11 Party for a game of Boxers or Briefs. Or Boxers and Briefs? Anyways, it's a super fun game with lots of laughs.

In the end, it was a pretty swell day :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Will you give me some...?

Jessica is an old friend. She had always seeked me out to talk to. Mostly she wanted to talk about politics and practice her English. I was okay with that.

Occasionally, I would bring up my beliefs. Okay, more than occasionally. But most of the time, she would listen and never showed any interest.

Last week, she invited herself over to have salad. Salad, for some reason, is super interesting. Of all the things students want to make or eat together, salad is usually one of those things. I've always been reluctant because they hardly ever eat raw veggies and that is pretty much all a salad is. But I decided to go for it with Jessica.

Long story short, she liked the salad and the chicken and broccoli rice I made. We chit chatted about politics and medical expenses and sporting scandals. She was going to study the Bible with a friend of mine, but then she asked if I had time to study with her. I said, "Of course!" So we set up a day and time.

The reason I love communication and the reason for this post is this:

This is what I heard next:
"Will you give me some sex?"

I almost burst into laughter. But I KNEW that could not possibly be what she really said. So, my mind began to filter through the possibilities...


This is what she said:
"Will you give me some snacks?"

I agreed to bring some snacks to our meetings and chuckled to myself.

Thank you Asia and thank you brain.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Well, this post doesn't have much to it. But I thought I should update.

First off, near my apartment there is a street full of snack foods, restaurants, and shops. It's always changing and becoming more hip. The newest addition is The Drinking Express. Milk tea, among others drinks, is popular here. stret

Here are some comical photos of the menu.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shouldn't It Be Easier?

Ahhhhh!!!! Sometimes I HATE America. I usually don't get all crazy about things. But every once in a while...I just crack.

My wonderful sister and lovely mother are putting together a care package for me. They bought a bunch of goodies. Some edible, others not. I requested a little free space in the box so I could order some new workout shoes so they could toss them in.

I found a great deal on, $64 shoes instead of $85. What a deal! So, I picked out a color and placed my order.

I received an email saying that my order was cancelled. So, I called them up to see what the deal was. Turns out they cancelled it because they needed to verify my address. They tried calling my bank, but it was closed because it was Sunday. The next day I called and they said my bank was closed. The day after that I called and FINALLY got connected with my bank and verified everything.

But this is the part that gets me:
The lady was all chipper about it all getting worked out. I was super annoyed by her good attitude. THEN she was like, "Oh, I just have to place your order again and it will all be done. Oh! And there is a special deal going on right now, free shipping!" At first I was super excited, I was like, "Yeah! That's right! I deserve that because this has been a headache."

Ten Minutes Later:
The email confirmation came in. HOWEVER, the total was NOT $64. It was $67.50. So, I took a gander at the details. The price of the shoes had increased by $3.50. The shipping was indeed free. BUT Lady conveniently forgot to tell me the price of the shoes had increased. Was it really a deal? I don't think so.

Don't lie to me, America. Don't lie.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Favorite Things and Not So Favorite Things...

Sanfu is one of my favorite places. It's just fun to go to. There's a lot of trendy stuff. But when Fall starts, my favorite accessory is ALL over the place. Scarves!!!

In Sanfu, there is a whole wall of scarves. I love to go browse in my free time or when I need a pick-me-up.

And here is one of my not so favorite things. My phone cost about $50. Which isn't that bad. However, it's not the best quality. One of the do-hickeys broke off within 6 months. And ANYTIME I drop it, the back falls off and the battery falls out. Without fail. Most of the time, I pick up the pieces and put it together again and reset the date and time.

HOWEVER, things had a different outcome this time. I have heard of stories about people's phone falling in the toilet and gruesome details about retrieving it. That never had happened to me. Until today. HOWEVER, Asian toilets are a bit different. Instead of a toilet bowl, you have kind of a slide and deep hole. Where, essentially, there is no retrieving.

So, as I fatefully, rose from my squatting position, I dropped my phone. It all happened in slow motion. I knew I had to some how stop my phone from falling into the dark, stinky, abyss. I also knew the back was going to fall off and the battery would skid off somewhere. HOWEVER, I didn't want to touch gross floor. So, I waited to see what would happen. And sure enough, the back of my phone slid right into the squattie. Now, my phone is super ghetto.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shao Xin Cao

This is my all-time favorite drink! I remember having it for the first time with Lydia. It was soooooo strange. But now I love it!

Main ingredient: MILK TEA (What is this? Just that. A little milk. A little tea.)

Most Shao Xin Cao will have most or all of the following:

Black Jell-O
Jellies (long, rectangular, firm, almost hard Jell-O)
Red Beans

You get a nice, fat straw to suck up the goodness and a spoon for when the straw just isn't cutting it :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Class Quotes

New students and a whole bunch of new memories...

Americans eat sandwiches every day. Like the TV show Friends.

Student-Americans are ego.
Me-Do you mean they have a big ego?
Student-I mean they only think about themselves. They are selfish.

Student-I know someone who is suitable for you. I have a friend. He is 24. He is single. He is a Christian.
Me-Thank you for the suggestion.

Where are you from? Your earrings look like they are from India.

Can you teach me how to make friends?

I want to learn how to be optimistic.

Do you remember me? You told me I looked old.

Can you tell us about Western Kentucky University?

I want to know why the Apple president resigned.

Can you dance?

Can you teach me how to make-up?

Male Student-Can you tell the girls not to be shy with the boys?

My name is Will. Like where there is a will there is a way.

Haiby-My name is Haiby.
Angie-Strange name.

Why is the divorce rate in America so high?

You should smile more. It will make us feel more relaxed.

Your eyes are very big.

Your nose is very high.

Your smile is so kind and warm.

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day of School

School is wonderful. Sometimes during the semester I think, "Is this my life? Semester after semester...Over and over again...?" And I doubt what I am doing. I doubt why I am here and where I am. I remember my desire to be famous or important and have some sort of status in the world. I want to leave my mark. I want to be known in the world.

But then I remember my call to be minial. To be normal. To be regular. My call to a mundane and repeitious life. When you first read that, it might seem bothersome or sad. But I see the beauty in it. Dying to myself and my own selfish desires for something higher.

Who says I can't have an impact as a teacher? Who says I can't have influence? Who says I can't be used in the smallest of ways? Who says what I do is insignificant? Who says what I do is small and useless? Well, the Lord stomps out those lies.

Monday Classes from michelle on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Moon Cakes

A couple blog posts back I told you about my new baking friend. I will now refer to her as Sara Lee. Sweet Sara Lee. I really LOVE her. She is a true gem and I think there is a lot in store for our friendship.

I also love zucchini bread. Recently Wal-Mart had some zucchinis, so I shredded it and froze it. I decide to thaw some out and make some muffins for her.

I went to her shop around 4 that day. She was really excited to see me and greeted me with a warm hug. I gave her the muffins and she was eager to try them. Then she said she had to make something. I could tell I had surprised her a little. But I told her I would just sit and talk and help if she would let me. She said she needed to get things ready and then I could help. So, I sat and waited.

Later, when all things were ready, I found out we were making moon cakes. There is a Mid-Autumn Festival here. And moon cakes are a must-have. They are a sweet or sour or meaty or fruity pastry. I had never made them before, but I was really curious how they are made.

Fruit filling is rolled into a ball. The outer batter/dough is wrapped around it. Then a moon cake press is used to force it into the final shape. It was really fun. For the first 20. I’m pretty sure we ended up making 200+.

I should tell you moon cakes are like a very dense pastry. When I heard moon cake, I thought of moon pie. Chocolately, soft with marshmallow filling.

I really enjoy practicing language with her. She really tries to help me understand. Her English is better than she thinks it is. Anyways, she was asking me if American men are “big?” Or I thought she was saying big. I also heard her say something about wife. I was really confused, but I said yes anyway. I know most people here think Americans are big. We are. But we are bigger than the average national here. I then tried to tell her men in America are bigger than national men. She starts cracking up!!! Like really laughing. I couldn't understand. But then it all came together. She said, “Not big! Beat! Do they beat their wives? Do American men hit their wives?” I literally said, “Oh!!!” And then said I sorry and embarrassed. But yes, it happens sometimes. But I said I’m sure it happens here too. She agreed.

When I think I've got a handle on the language, I’m reminded there is so much more to learn. In all things…

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Olympic Day (Part 2)

If you have not read Olympic Day Part 1, you should go and read it now.

Olympic Day Part One

There is a large square in my city. I don’t know if these things actually exist in America. It’s a large flat area where people can go hang out. Sometimes there are dances, performances, movies, celebrations, lots of people. It’s a free-to-use-space for anyone. It’s fun to go to. This particular night was a the Olympic Celebration. The city wanted to encourage people to be healthy and remember the Olympic Games from 2008. So, there was a performance from different sports.

As my friend, Summer and I were waiting for it to begin, we went to say hi to her friend. When we found the Latin dance “team,” I found out I had two friends of my own who were in the performance. They were quite excited to see me there. Then all of the sudden, there was a woman shouting at me to come to her. Quickly! So, I ran over there and Summer told me we were supposed to wear these sporty shirts and represent the ping pong group. But I told her, I can’t play well and I didn’t want to perform. Summer said she didn’t think we actually had to perform; it was all just for appearance purposes. So, I agreed to it, but I was still a little nervous that I was being lied to.

The show began. There was a TV station there and there were some boring speeches. But THEN everyone stood up and my friend told me we had to take an oath. Of course, just for appearances. I became really nervous. I didn’t want to take an oath. I didn’t even know what was being said. Summer said it was something about promising to be healthy and encourage others and help the city, blah, blah, blah. However, I refused to raise my hand or repeat the words.

After the Latin dance, Summer and I decided to do a little walking. We mostly talked about nothing. But I moved the conversation to spiritual things. She said she wants to read the Bible sometime together. And she said she’s interested, but so busy right now. She is studying for a bunch of tests. But she is confused about Christianity. She thinks it’s all based on what you do and don’t do, how much good you put in the world. That is one of the most frustrating things to hear from someone. She then told me about a “Christian” she met in another city. She smokes and drinks which other than doing those things in EXCESS and UNRESPONSIBLY, I don’t really have a problem with. But then Summer told me about the girl’s other activities with boys and saddened my heart to know she was tarnishing the name of my Lord and God. To ruin His reputation is one of the worst things she could do.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Olympic Day (Part 1)

Who knew it was Olympic/Athlete Day on 08/08? Well, I have heard two different things. Today is the second Father's day. The number 8 in language sounds like father in the language. I also heard that today is the day that the Olympic Games opened in 2008. So, it's like "be fit" day. Little did I know what was in store...

I had a lazy morning but started my afternoon with lunch at one of my favorite restuarants. It's rice and veggies cooked in a clay pot. Yummy! Then I headed to my favorite coffee place to read a while. PAUSE-BREAK While in language tutoring this morning I said a little prayer about wanting to find someone to practice with. UNPAUSE I enjoyed my Blue Berry soda while reviewing memory verses and got a Iced Americano to go from the coffee shop. I walked across the street to the "Bakery Store." I wanted to buy some cream to ATTEMPT to make Mango Sorbet.

After finding exactly what I wanted, I went to the "register" to pay. And that's when the humbling began...I believe the cream cost 40 units and I had 38. I was so embarrassed. But because I go "often," the boss-lady was super nice and said it didn't matter. As I'm getting ready to go, I hear everyone talking about me in language, which is not uncommon. They are saying I'm a teacher at the university and I am American. All true. Then one of the customers asked me if I wanted to be her friend. I misunderstood, because I'm awesome like that, and thought she asked if I had a boyfriend. So, when I said I don't have, everyone burst into laughter. She smiled and repeated herself. Then I told her I could be her friend. The plan was she was going to help me with language and I was going to help her with English. Prayer Answered

So, we decided we would go have tea together. But first she had to go to somewhere to make something. I should've guessed what, we did meet in a bakery supply store. Then she told me we could go on her motorbike. It's more like a scooter, but I was super excited. Then it got even better. She had a helmet for me to borrow!!!! So, we hop on and scoot all the way across town. She is giggling the whole time and every time she speaks or I speak. This is really okay with me because that is how I feel about the whole situation. We arrive at her place of business. She bakes cakes. So, for about 2 hours I sit and watch her make cake things and ask about her family and life. It was super fun!!! I really loved it.

I have to tell her I have to go though because I'm supposed to watch a Latin dance performance with a friend. She walks me to the bus stop and she lets me know she really wants to meet again and practice English again. I tell her I would love to see her again. Maybe next week I'll make cookies and visit her.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

For a friend I would...

What would you do for a friend?
Would you humiliate yourself to save their face(respect)?
Would you sacrifice your happiness for theirs?
Would you do something you don't like to do for them?
Would you put on a brave face for them even when you're shaking in your pants?
Would you do your best to make them feel special?

Some friends and I went to a mutual friend's birthday party. Her name was Sarah. But when I got there, I found out it was a joint party. It was three girls I knew, Lucy, Sarah and McClever. The host of the night promptly told Natalie, Jess and I that we were supposed to bless the birthday girls in language later that night.

I immediately became nervous. I have never spoken to 30+ people in the language. Maybe like 5 or 6. But the thought of all eyes and EARS on me for even the briefest moment made my heart race. Along with that, my mind went completely blank! I forgot all this vocabulary I had just studied and couldn't think of any sentences to form, even on the simplest level. On top of that, I don't know how to BLESS someone. What does that mean?

When the time came, I volunteered first, so I wouldn’t look as stupid compared to Natalie and Jess. Their language is much better than mine. And this is what ended up coming out in the language:

“My chinese is really bad. Really, truely. I don’t know what to say. Read your Bible everyday. Pray everyday. Wear…Wear? (Checked my pronounciation with the audience) Wear pants. I love you all! Happy Birthday!”

Everyone burst into laughter. I think they were expecting me to say something else in place of WEAR PANTS. I knew even if I couldn't fully express my feelings yet, I could make them laugh. I was proud of myself.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Leaves is one of my most extraordinary students. He's opinionated and likes to share those opinions. He energetic and movie savy. He's taller than the average Asian and toothpick skinny.

At the beginning of the year, he openly rejected and criticized my belief and devotion to God. I wasn't surprised and tried my best to not take it personally. He thought the whole idea of a divine, all-knowing, all-powerful Creator was "stupid and unbelieveable." But when my students say something is unbelieveable, they don't mean awesome or amazing, but impossible or not realistic.

He challenged me in the Bible class I taught. He openly questioned me in Oral English class when talking about Christmas or Easter. But over the semester, his questions became more curious and softer. They were no longer threatening or trying to de-bunk my beliefs.

One eventful class, Leaves actually publicly humiliated me. He yelled at me and said that he nor the class needed me. Unfortunately, in my own anger and annoyance, I yelled back and told him not to come to class, if he didn't like the way I taught. A week later, I asked to talk to him outside for a moment. Before I could apologize for losing my temper, he asked if he could say something. He apologized for what he said and did. He then told me he lost his temper with me because of what his instructor did. I told him I forgave him and it was all okay. I told him I was sorry for losing my temper and yelling at him. I also reminded him I am more than willing to help him in any way and he can always talk to me.

The more time passed, the softer his heart got.

Some friends came to visit and I knew it would be a really good chance for him to hear some stuff from a guy's perspective. And he did. Some of my friends got to share with him a lot. The day before my friends left, he decided to believe in God. It was all quite beautiful.

Today, was his Oral English final. He was in a group with three girls. But before we started he asked if he could say something. He first was super grateful for being allowed to meet my friends. He then apologized for ridiculing me about my beliefs. He also he said he learned a lot about his lack of religious freedom.

I let him know I forgave him and was grateful that he could spend time with my friends.

I'm not sure I expressed the joy of my heart in all this. But it has been a beautiful journey of friendship and forgiveness along with a revelation of God the Creator.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Accquital, amnesty, dismissal, exempt, exonerate...

I've been thinking a lot about forgiveness. Not because I was struggling with it, but there was a book for free on Amazon. And I LOVE reading, so I downloaded it and began.

The forward is written by a Pentecostal man. So, I was already a little weary about continuing in reading. But I figured, I should finish and then make a final judgement.

Forgiveness is a choice. Not a feeling.
Forgiveness is a command from Jesus.
Forgiveness is ONLY possible with/through the Holy Spirit.
We (Believer and Followers of Christ) are called to RADICAL forgiveness. Meaning when it seems impossible.
Forgiveness is hard.
Forgiveness is not a feeling. It's grace.

I'll edit this post as I continue to read...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Love and Lies


This week in class we discussed Love Languages. If you haven't heard of these before, I'll fill you in real quick. Some guy wrote this book about how people show and feel love through different things...

Quality Time
Physical Touch
Acts of Service
Words of Affirmation

Most students say they SHOW love with Acts of Service. Which I'm not entirely surprised. This culture tends to be more indirect than direct. But I would have thought Physical Touch would be high on the list. But it's not.

However, a surprising number said that they FEEL loved with Words of Affirmation and Quality Time. They thought Gifts are too materialistic and Acts of Service is more spiritual.

There was also a consensus that Gifts are the least important to everyone.

...and Lies

If the teacher was not looking, would you give the answer to a test to your friend?

Yes, they need my help. And I don't think it's cheating. I should help them.

Cheating is subjective. Or if they don't know, it's not cheating.

If 10 people were beating up 1 person, what would you do?

Call the police.
I don't think this would happen.
I should take care for my own safety first. I'm not strong enough to stop them all.

I must think about me first. Our world is good. It's not my responsibility to stop bad things from happening.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

I would give everyone money.
I would make sure everyone has food.

The things of this world are more important. Physical need comes before spiritual need.

If you were God and had a message for your people or wanted to tell them about you, how would you do it?

I wouldn't do anything.
I would send some angels.
I would make them believe me.
I would use the media, like the internet, TV to tell them.

God is distant. God is a tyrant. God doesn't care. God is limited.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

what a sweet sunday?

I'm not a morning person at all. But when it comes to my students, I'll do just about anything for them. So, when Kathy asked to meet me at 9 this past Sunday morning, I agreed. She's a sweet girl. She is one of my students more interested in stories about Christmas and Easter than the typical student. On several occasions she has told me she believes in God. But what does that mean?

I've always encouraged her to call me and we could meet and talk because I can't just talk freely about that in my classroom. As we began to talk, she asked all the perfect questions.

"When did you believe in God?"
"How long did it take you to believe?"
"What are the qualifications for someone who believes?"

I told her my story in short and explained she couldn't just rely on a good feeling to believe because our hearts change, even though God doesn't. And I gave her a quick explanation about what a person should believe if they truly believe. She asked how I know what God wants me to do. We talked about boys and marriage. We talked about the purpose and goal of life. We talked about dreams and ambitions. We ended up talking for 2 deliciously, heart-fulfilling hours.

In the end, we decided to study together every Saturday morning. I think she might genuinely believe, but doesn't know exactly what she believes. I think she understands the very basics, but I want to teach her how to read her Bible and understand it. I'm very excited about it all.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Learning. . .part 2

If you have not read Teaching...part 1, then go do that before you read this post.

One week later.

My roommate Jessica, gave me a little pep talk and helped me sort things out before class the next day. I was planning on talking to the student in private about his actions. The student I'm referring to is to the one that yelled at me. I was hoping for the best case, but also prepared for the worst case. I was going to ask him if there was anything wrong. Then apologize for losing my temper. But there has to be punishment. I was planning on making him give a speech about respecting authority. Here's what happened.

I'm waiting for class almost to begin. I ask to talk to him out in the hall. He starts out by saying he is glad I asked him to talk because he wanted to talk too. I let him talk first. He SINCERELY apologizes for yelling at me and talking to me the way he did. He was having a bad day and the teacher from the class that he has before mine made him very angry. The teacher is supposed to help them study for a big test, but instead told them to study on their own and played games on his computer. He apologized again.

A wave of peace filled me. I was so grateful that God had orchestrated things this way. I forgave him and told him if he ever wants to talk, I'm always willing to listen. If he ever needs help, he can call or email me. And if he's having a bad day, just don't come to class or take it out on me. And I apologized for yelling at him and losing my temper, explaining that no matter what students do, I need to respect them if I expect them to respect me.

End Story.

Writing Class.

The class is busy writing cover letters while I grade old argument papers. The three girls come up to my desk. The ones with the 0s and comments to come see me after class. They hand in their cover letters. The first thing one of the girls says is, "We know." I don't even get to put on my teacher voice or face. Just in case, we are not on the same page, I ask them if they know why I wanted to talk to them. They all nod with these goofy smiles. I ask them why. "Because this is not our work," the spokesgirl says. I sigh and nod. I then proceed to tell them the bad new. They get 0s and cannot make it up. This is not okay to do in America or anywhere. They must do their own work. It is NOT okay to cheat in my class. I will not tolerate it. Those goofy smiles have fallen from their faces and next comes the plea. The spokesgirl asks if they can re-do it and bring it next time. She ask twice I think. Both times get a no. Then panic is on her face. I assure her they will not fail the class. They have other assignments that can improve their grade. But if they continue to cheat, they will fail. I tell them I am here to help and all they have to do is ask. If they needed more time, they should have asked. They explain they were just lazy. They promise not to do it again.

Lesson Learned.

I think God prefers it when we go to Him with our mistakes. When we seek Him out to ask forgiveness. He is more than willing to give grace and mercy, but we have to acknowledge and lay our faults before Him.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Duck Couple

This little couple is the funniest little thing to me. They have a pet duck. They walk it around. It's like their little kid. Or dog. It's really kind of cute.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Teaching...part 1

The last couple of weeks I had to do some. . .disciplining in my classes. I guess, that's what you could call it. I try to keep my posts short, but the detail are kind of important.

About two weeks ago, a student in my oral English class kind of lashed out at me. At the beginning of class, I had kind of called him out about speaking not speaking English in class. I told him and the people around him that they would have to split up, hoping that they would speak more English. They are all proficient in English, so I wasn't really sure why they did that. Anyway, at the end of the class, I announced that the class was going to prepare for the following week. I encouraged them to be as creative as possible and we could do anything, absolutely anything, as long as we all spoke in English. Most of that class seemed excited. Except this one student. He then began to question me about what was my role, what was I going to do while they taught the class, why was I going to even be here, if they were going to teach the class, they didn't need me.

It's really difficult not to take things personally. I explained that this was a one time thing. I wanted to test their creativity. I wanted to give them freedom too because they don't always like what I plan for class. And I told him I would fully participate in whatever they planned. He just wouldn't have it. He started yelling at me. My heart quickly sank and rose. I was sad and hurt that I was being attacked so directly and completely humiliated and embarrassed. But then my temper kicked in. I didn't yell, but I raised my voice unneccessarily. I told him that he was not required to come to class and that my rules from the beginning of the semester were still true; if you don't want to be here or participate, don't come. I told him not to come next time if he didn't want to. It didn't matter to me. He kept saying they didn't need me. I kept telling him, this was a one time thing. They other students were clearly uncomfortable with it all and tried to get him to stop yelling. The bell rang and I told them I would see them next week.

Pause-Break in that story...

Last week in my writing class I assigned a How To paper. The students were supposed to write directions about how to make something or cook something. This week, I graded them and came across three exceptionally good How To papers. As you might have guessed, the three girls that had turned them in usually have less than average writing. Cheaters!!! I hate giving 0s. I really really do. But I had told myself that if I caught cheaters they would get a 0. So, I just wrote a note on the grading sheet that they needed to come see me after class.

Tune in later to hear what happened...

Friday, April 1, 2011

ya got me!

Well, today is April Fool's Day. I was unaware that people here or I guess students would participate in such a day. So, I had some questions about what kind of pranks I have done in the past and if I had any ideas about what they could do.

Anyways, class ended early. Most of the class went outside to hang out before their next class. I went to go buy a water bottle. I saw them bunched up under a light fixture down the hall. I decided to take a gander at what they were taking photos of and looking at.

As I walk up, I say, "What are you looking at?" and look up.

They all snicker.

I shush them because a door to a class in session is open and I can see the teacher eyeing us.

They point up, saying, "Look! Look!"

I look again, seeing nothing, but really thinking I'm missing it. I look at the other side and still nothing. So, I ask again what they are looking at. And that is when I'm 99% sure that they are fooling me!!!!

They bust out in laughter and I shush them and shake my fist at them!!! I know I've been pranked. Then I scurry off as the other teacher approaches to possible rebuke the class for being too loud.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

refining moment

The end result is usually good. Right? Like after a good, hard workout, I feel rejuvenated and healthy. Or that clean feeling after a shower or brushing your teeth. Or a sigh of relief after tidying up my room. Finishing something, even in the smallest degree, usually gives me a good feeling. But getting to that end point can be messy or uncomfortable sometimes. Maybe not when cleaning my room, but in reference God refining me. And I'm in a season of refining. When it starts, it mostly catches me by surprise. But then I acknowledge the upcoming changes and welcome the cleansing and changes that God wants to make. But the refining exhausts me and isn't always pleasant. And I know and trust that the changes will be good in the end. They are supposed to grow me in my Christ-likeness. But it's hard to see the end to this time of refinement. I want to be at the end. I feel like I'm at the love-hate moment. When I love it because I know the end is good. But I hate it because it's messy and unpleasant. But as I get closer to the end, it will get better.

But thinking about what God tells Jeremiah about refinement, I should expect it to be hard. Refining involves going through fire. Burning out impurities. Which is exactly what my soul is going through.

Okay, well, that is my mind garble.

Monday, March 14, 2011

a heavy heart

This week in class we are doing some discussion questions. The students bring in topics and I choose a couple for us to talk about.

The hot topic was the earthquake in Japan. Which I figured would be a buzzin subject. However, my heart fell when I read how some of the questions were asked; Do you think Japan deserved the earthquake? Do you think it is right for people to think Japan deserved the earthquake? I know the people of this country don't typically like Japan because of their sour past, but my heart was crushed and I just wanted to cry. Students gasped when I read off some of the questions. And then I was quickly annoyed by their false innocence. I have previously had conversations with some students about Japan. And most of them have said, "We hate Japan because of what they did to us." But it seems so unreasonable. And when I joined in some discussions, I heard things like, "I don't think the people of Japan deserved it, but the country deserved it." But I was thinking, "The people are the nation! The nation is the people!!!"

It just made me sad.

On a higher note, I taught some girls how to use air quotes :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Food, Friends and Fun

My tutor and friend, Dawn, finally returned to the city. I was REALLY excited to hang out with her. I really love her. I prayed for a close and good national friend and she is just what I hoped for.

Anyways, she came over with another friend, Michelle. I have hung out with Michelle before and really like her. A new girl came along too, Fun. So, we cooked some wonderful food. Preparation and cooking was full of talking and good conversation. We ate and had a conversations full of laughter. Then, because Fun was the last one to be full she had to wash the dishes. So, I showed my photos of Korea to Dawn and Michelle. They loved them! I loved talking about my friends and telling them stories about each photo. Then I told them we should do some Korean face masks some time. They loved the idea.

I also taught them how to play Peanut Butter and Jelly (aka Kemps). They really loved it! It was great fun watching them play and try to be sneaky. These girls are just a little to giggly and smiley to be sneaky. But my partner and I lost. And with any game in this blessed country, there is a punishment. Ours was eating a packet of powder/mix to flavor your water. It didn't taste bad at first, but as it began to dissolve it got worse! After a little water, it wasn't too bad. Dawn made a really big deal about it though. But afterwards, it was really cute, she came and whispered in my ear, "It wasn't really that bad. I just wanted to scare them." How cute is she!

Anyways, I was really blessed by that time with them and their friendship. I keep praying for them. I'm still going to study with Dawn. Even though Michelle doesn't care much about spiritual things, she'll still hear it from Dawn. And Fun has done the study I'm doing with Dawn. And each week I tell Dawn to share what she has learned with someone. She chooses Fun. So, Father is really at work with all three of them.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Jin tian shi wode shengri!

(Today is my birthday!)

My day started with waking up at 7 am because that is the time my kids get up...Just kidding! But I feel like most people that I know that get up at 7 am do so because of their offspring. But really, I have an 8 o'clock Oral English class to teach.

I brush my hair and start the coffee maker. AND I excitedly heat up a chocolate chip banana muffin that my most loving roommate, Jessica, made for my birthday breakfast! I pick out what I want to wear and get ready while singing, "This is the day that the Lord has made," in my head. I eat a muffin and prepare my coffee for my 25 minute walk to class. Unfortunately, I spent too much time trying to straighten my hair so I slip on my Toms and head out the door. I listen to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on the way.

I happy and excited to teach. I want to tell all my students that it's my birthday. But I decide it's a little conseated to do so. Some times I chat with my students when I have them discuss a topic in groups, but I am currently reading Life from Scratch, by Melissa Ford. And it is quite exciting. So, selfishly I read instead of joining discussions.

For lunch I meet Jessica. Little did I know that she had a crazy activity in mind. She gives me a crown, shiny necklace and earrings and tells me I have to tell 24 people that it is my birthday and that I am 24 years old and would they please take a photo with me? in language. Oh, and a couple friends have joined us for lunch.

Then I had a little down time reading before dinner at 6. We all met at this Korean restaurant. None of us had eaten there before. But it was pretty good food, considering I had just been in Korean and eaten the real thing. Then some red velvet cake and a game of Peanut Butter and Jelly. Some people also know it as Kemps.

All in all, it was a pretty great day.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

24 hours of Joshua

Recently, I wanted to do something a little wacky. I got this idea. There are 24 chapters in the book of Joshua. There are 24 hours in a day. The reason I looked at Joshua is because I'm about to finish the book of Deuteronomy. Anyways, I decided that I would read a chapter each hour for 24 hours, starting at midnight on February 18th. Now, you might be thinking, "But she has to stay up 24 hours?" Which at first, I didn't mind or think it was a big deal to sacrifice a night of sleep.

However, at 5 am I was reading and not retaining anything or understand it. So, from 530 am to 10 am I slept. From 11 am to 2 pm I caught up on the missing chapters. So, at every hour I read a chapter.

Some things I learned/remind of:

Family is important.
Love and duty go hand-in-hand.
Obedience is a command.
Sin is always brought to the light.
Sin does not only have consequences for the sinner, but for the people around them.
Consulting/Inquiring of the Lord is essential.
The Lord provides rest.
The Lord's promises are always fulfilled.
The Lord is true to what He says; whether it's promising rewards or punishment/consequences.
Every person has a choice to make; to follow or not follow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Christmas Videos

Here's a couple videos of stuff I did with my students. I hope you enjoy. Sorry they are so long. There was just so much I wanted you to see.

xmas1 from michelle on Vimeo.

xmas2 from michelle on Vimeo.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Well, all our foreign friends in the city had tried this Japanese restuarant in town except my roommate, Jessica and I. So, Jess and I said Let's Go! So, we did. And I have to say it was amazing!!! Sometimes people over use that word and use it to describe just about anything. But this place was truely great. It felt like I was in Japan. Not that I have ever been there. But anyways, I had a tuna roll and assorted tempura, which is fried stuff. Delish!!! I really was hoping for some spicy tuna roll, but the regular tuna roll was good anyways. Jess got the California roll and wrapped beef with mushrooms. I wish I had taken my camera. The beef was wrapped AROUND the mushrooms so they looked like little squid. So cute. And I had fried shrimp, sweet potatoes and onions. DELISH! I don't feel bad about the price. Some of the other people thought it was a little pricey. But I'm okay with spending a little more than $2 on a good meal. Well, it was a little more than just a little more. But it's one night out.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Need Directions?

What a wonderful language day today!!! It's fun to practice most of the time. But sometimes I just don't know how to use new words in every day conversations. Or sometimes, words I learn aren't really words for conversations with shopkeepers or taxi drivers.

Anyway, I tutor a boy and girl Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. On my way to their house, my taxi driver asked me the typical questions; how long have you been here? what do you teach? where are you going? how old are you? I politely asked him: do you have kids? how old are you? what's your name?

Then he asked some other questions and told me about his kids. I could actually answer and understand him. BUT that is not the great part...

My tutees live on a side street. So, as I approached a bigger street to hail down a taxi, a giant semi-truck pulled over in front of me. The passenger got out and walked towards me. At first, I couldn't hear him or understand him. But as he approached he said, "Ooooh," realizing I was not Asian.

Now, keep in mind the following conversation took place in this countries language.

Me: I'm so embarrassed. I'm so sorry.
Man: Do you know where BuBuGao is?
Me: Uhhh...?
Man: BuBuGao. The supermarket. Do you know where it is?
Me: Oh! Do you know YY Tower? Do you know where YY Tower is?
Man: Yes. I know. I know.
Me: It's near YY Tower.
Man: I understand. Okay.
Me: Okay.
Man: Thank you. (Then in English - "Shank you.")

He hops back in his truck and drives away.

And I am a happy duck. I gave someone directions in the third language I kind of know. And he understood me. I also felt very Asian, in the sense of helping a complete stranger.

What a good day~!