And as usual, we were just told we are going to Liling on Monday so we have to reschedule our site visit/classroom observation with the assistant field director. We were also told nothing about the upcoming tests until: 1) I saw the signs. Literally saw the signs with the dates on them that told students which room to go to for exams in Chinese all over the school. 2) One of our students told us and 3) Our liaison finally confirmed it with another teacher. So I have tomorrow free because my students will be testing. This weekend is also Qing ming jie, the tomb sweeping festival, a time to go pay a visit to ancestors and to celebrate the beginning of spring. All the trees have bright new green leaves and the shopping center across the street from us has workers planting new trees and bushes. I'm thinking of visiting a park near our apartment to see what's in bloom there, though I'm already sweating after having turned the heater on a mere three nights ago I've switched everything to air conditioning at my apartment and in the office. Vanguard, the big fancy, pretty upscale market across the street from us has expanded its selection of ice creams so I picked up a small tub of vanilla ice cream and a large bottle of Sarsae (which is root beer, I think it's called sarsae because of sarsaparilla but I'm just guessing). I was a little surprised to find that I could get Sarsae/root beer here even though I'd heard that Watsons (a drug store) produced sodas, I expected lighter flavor or next to no sugar. More like plain soda water, but no it's sweet, it's sugary, and I'm going to enjoy a rootbeer float for the first time in a long while. The ice cream was about 12RMB but the large bottle of soda was about 4RMB so it feels pricey but I'm splurging. I withdrew enough money to eat until Tuesday so I think I'll still have saved quite a bit. I'm going to ask about the cost of a name seal tomorrow too to see if I have enough for one. It's been a dream of mine and it would be much more significant to get one from Zhuzhou than ordering online or going to another city, though Hong Kong's "Chop Street" did have a pretty wide selection of stones and script styles.
I was really off this week. I was going to play mad libs but I heard at the mid-service conference that mad libs didn't work out so well, but then I tried it for the last class of the day and it worked out just fine so I've stuck with a lesson I found online. I'm trying to figure out how I'll bridge from them writing a story to turning those stories into skits for their final exam. The kids are asking about the next teacher and how long I'll be here, and if I'll remember them. I'm trying to set aside a time before school is out to take a class picture. I'm counting the days, both towards their vacation and the end of my time here and in terms of how much I can fit into that time. It's not easy, and since Spring Festival came a little later this year the second term is even shorter so I'm really feeling the pinch after break.
I'm also feeling much better than before. Today I felt hungry for the first time in a while. About two nights ago I wasn't hungry at all, slept from 5pm to 10pm, woke up, made instant noodles, went back to bed, got up 7AM feeling really good and realized I just need to make sure I'm sleeping as much as I need to to make sure I'm not as vulnerable to all the things passed on from students to teachers and teachers to other teachers. The sky is a little more blue since the wind and the air is moving around more than it did in winter. My allergies haven't been unbearable though I still feel a little congested. It feels like I had 2 days of spring and now we're on our way to summer already.