Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cooking Cereal?

Ahhh...the awesome stories that we collect while teaching English in China.

For the past few weeks, one of the courses I teach features coteaching; I am paired with a Chinese English teacher and together we share the teaching responsibilities for our class. During the course, my coteacher, Maggie, shared this story from her first week in America (she lived there for about a year):

One her first day in America, Maggie was introduced to her home and town by a fellow Chinese citizen living and working in her her town. This new friend took Maggie to WalMart and helped her find items to get settled into her new American life. One of the first items she showed Maggie was a box of cereal...saying that it would become one of her favorite American food products. Maggie bought a box or two and went on with shopping.

The next morning, Maggie prepared her first American breakfast. She poured the cereal into the bowl, boiled some water, added it to the cereal and began to eat.

At this point in the story--I began to laugh uncontrollably. Maggie joined the laughter. Our class waited, confused. No one understood why this might possibly be funny.

Maggie then went on to explain the joke. After trying her first bite of cereal, Maggie called her friend and asked how she could love it so much. The friend didn't understand. Then she asked how Maggie had prepared it and also began laughing.

Anyway--we then told the class about cereal and how we eat it for breakfast. I thought we did a good job explaining, until I recieved this email tonight. I thought you guys would enjoy:

I bought the kind of oatmeal you and Maggie mentioned in our class when she told us her first breakfast in America . I think I cooked it according to your description. I put some in a bowle and poured some cold milk into it . I waited for about 5minites. But it seemed the oatmeal stayed the same as it hadn't been cooked. I sure I bought that kind which can be cooked with cold milk . so ,what's wrong?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tomorrow's the big day: Eclipse 2009

Sorry it's been a month since I last posted...I'm on the 10th day of a stretch of 16 straight days in which I'm working 7.5-10 hours a blogging isn't exactly on my mind! But with all the excitement, I had to update:

July 21 (Bloomberg) -- The longest full solar eclipse this century, lasting 6 minutes and 39 seconds in some areas, will plunge cities, including Shanghai, into darkness as it passes over India and China tomorrow.

OH YES, my friends, I'll be experiencing the wonder of TOTAL ECLIPSE 09!! Tomorrow morning we'll be experiencing the darkness of a total eclipse, and WUHAN is right in the line of shadow.

Ok so, of course, I was one of the last to know about the eclipse...well, except for the poor farmers who have never heard of such a thing, and will probably have a major freak out tomorrow morning! Anyway, for about a week, I've been noticing these "3D" looking paper glasses being sold on the street. I guess I've been in China for too long, because for quite some time I just walked past them without thinking much of it..."Oh, China's into 3D now...maybe it's like when the SuperBowl halftime show was in 3D and we all got the glasses attached to Pepsi bottles...whatever." I really just figured that there must be a hit 3D movie out or something...

But no, they're not 3D, they're SOLAR VISION glasses. Wearing these foilish covered glasses will allow all the Chinese to stare safely for about an hour and a half at the slowly diminishing and reappearing sun. This definately beats the "pinhole in a cardboard box top" method that I remember from my childhood.

I think that there was actually a full or almost-full eclipse when I was in kindergarten or first grade in the US. I'm not sure and I'm too tired to look it up... Anyway, all I remember from it was a SEVERE distrust in the people who told me I'd go blind from looking at the sun ("But I stare at the sun all the this!!" "NO LUCY!!!"), and the annoyance of looking at the shadow of a pin hole in a shoebox lid waning and waxing when we could've just looked up and seen the thing for real.

Anyway, I'll be teaching tomorrow morning when it hits, but I'm sure such a momentous occasion will call for a break from I'll be sure to take pictures of the fun. For now, pray for our retinas and sanity as we experience TOTAL ECLIPSE 09!!!!!