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Published: December 23rd 2006
It occurred to me in the past week or so that it’s been nearly 3months since I last posted a blog! With the demands of a new semester, ongoing issues with uncooperative computers and slow internet connections, a broken camera and an increasing social life outside of this campus, there never seems to be quite enough time to do all the things I’d like- including updating this blog! It took the realization that Xmas was just around the corner to finally put fingers to keyboard!
EXCUSES ASIDE, I DEDICATE THIS XMAS BLOG TO MY FAMILY AND MY MANY FRIENDS, BOTH OLD AND NEW, AROUND THE GLOBE. I ANTICIPATE WITH RELISH MY RAPIDLY APPROACHING “WINTER BREAK” IN AUSTRALIA. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHOM I WON’T SEE SO SOON, MAY YOU HAVE A JOYFUL FESTIVE SEASON AND MAY 2007 BRING A YEAR OF PEACE AND FULFILMENT TO YOU AND YOURS.
The past few weeks at Taizhou Teachers College have been a flurry of activity, with ongoing preparations for government evaluation, the launching of the month long Student Festival and for the students, preparation for the dreaded CET 4 and 6 National College English Exams. Without passes in these subjects, the students
cannot graduate from this college, so the pressure is immense. My hearts go out to each and every one of them today- this day of “reckoning”.
As Xmas has rapidly descended upon us, everyone, staff and students alike, has gone out of their way to ensure we feel as much at home as possible. From the simple act of putting up a Xmas tree, complete with flashing lights, outside our staffroom, to gifts, cards and sincere good wishes, it’s all a bit overwhelming. That’s not to mention the myriad of Xmas functions to which we have been invited. In fact, the Chinese seem to make more of Xmas than even we do! From the surreal experience of walking through the “fresh” food (see earlier blogs) section of our local Chinese supermarket to the sound of English Xmas Carols to the glitz and glamour of the modern shopping complexes- this is a retailer’s dream! This is despite the fact that their own Spring Festival (in February) is just around the corner.
This has been my last week of official classes for this semester, with the next two weeks being dedicated to Oral Exams. I took the opportunity to share
the spirit of Xmas with my wonderful students, as a welcome respite from the seriousness of this and their other exams looming largely over their heads. The results are in the pictures below!
SO TO MY FABULOUS NEW COLLEAGUES, STEF, HANS AND HIDEYUKI; THE SOON- TO- BE- MARRIED VIVIAN, THE FUN, SUPPORTIVE CHINESE STAFF OF THE FOREIGN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT; THE EVER HELPFUL DEAN FAN; MY EVER EFFICIENT BOSS, ARTHUR; THE GREAT NEW CHINESE AND FOREIGN FRIENDS I HAVE MADE DURING THE SUMMER AND THIS SEMESTER; THE STUDENTS FROM LAST SEMESTER WHO HAVE KEPT IN TOUCH AND FINALLY THE 343 WONDERFUL INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MY STUDENTS THIS SEMESTER- YOU HAVE ADDED SUCH COLOUR, FUN AND DIMENSION TO THESE PAST FEW MONTHS, I THANK YOU WHOLE-HEARTEDLY! MY LIFE HERE IN CHINA WOULD NOT BE THE SAME WITHOUT ANY OF YOU. I HAVE ENJOYED MYSELF SO MUCH, IN FACT, THAT I SIGNED A NEW 1 YEAR CONTRACT YESTERDAY!
MERRY XMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!
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