Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Week 2

It's Week 2, here on the East Side. The semester doesn't really feel like it's in full swing, but I'm sure by next month, I'll be ready for a little break.

In my normal oral English classes, we are learning a couple of new vocab words and idioms. As well as having a discussion on questions students brought to class. So, far, these are some of the questions we've discussed:

What is your opinion on Syria?
Why do you prefer tattoos? (Just to clarify, I never said I PREFERRED tattoos. I have one, so I must prefer them, right?)
Are you for or against Cosplay? (I had to look that one up!)
Is it possible for you to marry and Chinese man and live in China forever?
What was your impression of Chinese before coming to America?
How do you deal with your meals on the weekend? Eat at a restaurant or cook at home?
What do you do when you face difficulties?
What kind of music do you like?
Do you like horror movies?
How many kids do you want to have? (They were shocked by my answer, 3 or 4.)

In the Bible class, we are discussing the creation of humankind. We also talked about human freedom, peace and love. When I asked "What is freedom?" This is what I got:

To be an individual
To have choose your own personality
To do what you want
To say what you want
To be able to NOT do something
Financial independence

When I asked, "Can you have rules and freedom?" There was a resounding YES. They thought there is no way to have a concept of freedom if there are no rules.

We also discussed how there is risk in love. You can give your love to another person, but there is a chance that they will reject that love and not return love to you. Rejection can be painful. They could easily understand this idea of freedom and rules and love and risk. When I related that to man and God, it was a little more difficult to accept.

Why would God give them a rule?
Why would God test man like that?

Overall, good discussion and good questions. What a good time.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


So, this is my first Pinterest post. I first saw the idea last year. I REALLY loved it and was determined to figure out how to do it in China. Things take more time here and it takes more effort to find stuff. I first realized it was possible after I bought a few canvases from the local art store. I didn't like the paintings I had done and tore off the canvas. Not like a crazy person, but I was just bored. AND low and behold a simple frame waiting to be painting and hot glued!!!

So, after choosing some "color schemes" I got more canvases, tore off the canvas and got busy!

I suppose this is Stage 3. I should have taken a photo. On the back of the frames I hot glued twine to stretch across the back. I soon realized, a tighter line across was better than a looser one. And then on TaoBao, the Chinese Ebay, I orderd some adhesive velcro like 1" square. I stuck them on my wall and stuck the opposite one on the top corners of the back side of the frame. No measuring needed.

Getting some photos clothes pinned.

The Final Stage. I really love it. I think the colors work well, but I might have to repaint the center right frame. It was supposed to be bright pink, but it looks more red than I want. I'm thinking orange...We'll see...

More home repairs and Pinterest posts to come!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pinterest Welcome Sign

 About a month ago, I painted this "Welcome" sign for my door. Originally, it was going to be a monogram, but there is too much confusion about which is my first name and which is my last name in China. So, I just decided to go with "Welcome"

It was a lot harder than I thought. Well, the chevron look anyway. You have to draw out a grid and then tape from corner to corner. Sorry, I don't have photos of that stage. Just look on Pinterest ;) 

Here is the final project and a photo of it on my door. I feel like it looks much more welcoming. Its a big hunky, green, steel door. Not very friendly. I wish I had thought through the colors more. Originally, it was going to go in my house, but I thought it would be a nice touch on my door. Next, I need to scrape all the locksmith stickers off. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

You are so fashion!

From leggings to fishnet stocking. From t-shirts to maxi dress. From mini skirts to tube tops. Fashion is always changing and being recycled. Even though not everyone dresses like Heidi Klum or Cindy Crawford, I think everyone has a fashion sense/style of their own. As far as I'm concerned, I'm into a more casual and comfortable style than anything else. On occasion I like to be snazzy and fancy. But when I'm home alone, cleaning, working or watching TV, I go with my "lazy wear." I rarely go out if I'm wearing my lazy wear and if I do, it's usually to go jogging or ride my bike.

Now, let's rewind to English Corner last Friday. I was the only American available for English Corner and was happy to make the most of it by myself. English Corner usually starts at 7:15 pm. I was just about to cook my dinner when I got a text from one of the other American women that live here.

Text as follows: Thanks for doing English Corner, appreciate that! Text received at 6:50 pm Friday night. 

Reply to text: Oh my!! I completely forgot and my reminder didn't go off!! On my way!!

I quickly put my dog in her kennel, grabbed keys and a water bottle and my purse. I sighed knowing it takes AT LEAST a 15 minute taxi ride from my apartment. And I could make it just in time, but only if there was already a taxi waiting outside the school gate. NO TIME TO CHANGE MY CLOTHES. When I arrive there are only 5 students. But just before we actually begin another 7 or 8 students arrive. I begin to wish I had taken 2 or 3 minutes to change clothes. Low and behold, the topic was FASHION!!!

English Corner questions included, but were not limited to:
Do you read fashion magazines?
Who do you think is the most fashionable person in your family?
Who is the most fashionable teacher you know?
What would you never wear?
What color looks best on you? 
Does your fashion change with the seasons?

But the icing on the cake was: ARE YOU FASHIONABLE TODAY? I can't make this stuff up. So, you tell me...Was I fashionable?

And in classic Chinese style, all the students say, "Oh Nila, yes! I think you are very fashion!"

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This is Venus.

This is Venus. She is one of my favorite students and very good friends. She is a junior and an English major. I thought I had posted about her decision to become/try out lesbianism. I'll give you the quick version. Re-Cap Venus has always liked boys and never considered becoming homosexual. But she became really good friends with Kevin last year. This is Kevin. Kevin is a lesbian. They hung out a lot and talked a lot and became really close. Kevin, from the beginning of their friendship, made it very clear that she was interested in being more than just friends. At the beginning, Venus was very opposed. But everyone surrounding Venus and Kevin seemed to be pressuring Venus to consider the "lesbian" option. That's when Venus asked me what I thought about it. I let her know I was not okay with the idea. I believe man is meant for woman and vice versa. And no matter how much the girl looks like a man or acts like a man, she is still a woman. I also told her, China is not so accepting of that kind of lifestyle. And if she wanted kids, that is definitely not going to happen. Anyway, after a LONG discussion she decided to go for it. They were together a couple of months and then broke up. Venus' Conclusions: Kevin is not a man. Kevin chose to prioritize another girl over her. Venus could not see their relationship going any further than girlfriend/girlfriend. However, it's not uncommon for couples to break up and make up often.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Love hurts...

Do you know that song, "Love hurts! Love blah!" Ok, well, I can't remember the rest, but I think it true in the Christ-sense.

I find myself crying over my students. They have never hit me, throw things at me, or called me names. Ok, on occasion I have heard them say I'm factor my clothes are weird. But I can handle that. My love for them goes deeper than any other love of this world and lasts longer than any other thing man has made. That includes Twinkies.

But we I feel afflicted over my love for them, I remember Christ. How he loved. How he loves now. How he continued to love in and after opposition. How he loved when that love was not returned. How he loved enduring more persecution or resistance than I have ever experienced.

My difficulties and tribulations in loving my students are nothing compared to what he experiences in loving lowly humans. I was never flogged, beaten or nailed to a cross. So, I continue in love...even if it hurts.