Below are the last two e-mails sent me by Mark from China. I delayed putting the first one up until I got his permission to edit and post the e-mails even when he hadn’t specifically designated them as meant to be posted. I’m hoping to get him set up to post directly to the blog shortly.
You’ll notice a bit of a downer attitude in the last e-mail, sent just before Thanksgiving. Mark’s been in a very different culture now for more than a month. Such travel always involves culture shock and home sickness. I haven’t gotten his permission yet to give out his e-mail address, but I’m sure a note or two from home would be appreciated as the holiday season comes on, so I’ll make an effort to forward good wishes to him. Comments on this blog, of course will be visible to him as well, but, if you put “please forward to mark” as the subject line of an e-mail to me, I’ll do so. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Holidays to everyone.
[Editor’s note. I’ve been urging Mark to find time to write, emphasizing how interesting his adventure is, even in little bites, to our readers.]
Sorry I haven’t written.
I was tossed mid-semester calculus last week and I’m scrambling to get things going. so, I now have two sections of stats (11th and 12th) both at different places in the same text, and 12th grade calculus that has a very tight timeline. I do have some stories and I’ll try to get them written down soon. I also have a formal evaluation today in a couple hours. A little busy, but I know that’s no excuse.
I’ll write soon,
Nov 24, 2010
[Editor’s note: Mark, being in the far east, is something on the order of 14 hours ahead of us, so, if you want to offer him a timely “Happy Thanksgiving,” do it on Wednesday (assuming you even see this posting before that.]
So today was rather interesting.
We, the eight of us foreign faculty, are referred to as ‘ex-pats’ (short for ‘ex-patriots’). Today, being the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, one of us gave a presentation to the Chinese students in the AP program entitled ‘Thanksgiving.’
It was interesting to see a room full of 10th, 11th, and 12th graders, about 120 or so kids, enthralled with the ‘concept’ of Thanksgiving. They were asking so many questions about what we Americans take for granted: the understanding of a traditional holiday like Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving for me will be a work day like any other day except it will probably be a little busier because Friday is an ‘open house’ day for parents. Yes, I’ll not only be working on Turkey Day, but Black Friday as well. So, my family will be gathering in the US, without me, for a family feast while I’m here in China with no turkey, no cranberries, and no pumpkin pie. I’m just another ‘ex-pat’ trying to survive on the globe.
If I may sound a bit sad, well, I am. But the excitement and reward I get daily from teaching these great kids ‘kind of’ makes up for it.