Peanut

The Tale of “Peanut” She is a small, sprightly girl. She is in the sixth grade. Her name is Peanut. I must refrain from smiling too much as I call her name. Her classmates don’t seem to think anything is askance. In China, some students choose English names close in pronunciation to a given Chinese…

It’s the little things

Like the extra 35 minutes I have now. My Chinese homeroom counterpart is taking care of the Chinese moral/character class. Full Chinese, mandated by government. Friday afternoons, I teach the 50 minute Character Development in English. Now that colleague confirmed with me that I need not attend, I’m off writing to you all, thankful for…

Collecting Kids, and Cake

Day III back in school since March 11th: Someone somewhere was collecting our kids today. Some just could not be found. I don’t think they were in danger, but even our department head was wondering who was collecting them and bringing them to where. I had to collect my own before last period. Round them…

Tangled

How could I not gallavant out here to Fantasyland and have a nice relaxed patio dinner of vegan pork, veggies and rice—green tea included? After dinner, I took a pirate ship to Neverland,walked alongside the artwork story of a wooden toy who became a boy in Pinnochio Village Kitchen’s dining rooms, and spent a bit…

Saturday in the Final Frontier

Saturday in Shanghai’s Final Frontier: New park stretching all around canals—boardwalks, various pathways, marshland, and only about 20 people seen within nearly two miles of running. This is what makes “countryside” living so worth it.

The Kids Are Back, Day II

The Kids Are Back For First Time Since March 11th, Day II: Highlights —Somehow yesterday I became “Mr. Kyle” after two colleagues called me this in front of students. Now new sixth graders are calling me “Mr. Kyle.”🤣 —A sixth grader in my homeroom who I just met was involved in FIVE different “violent” incidents…

Students are Back! First Day in Class Since March 11th

Some witnessings of the day: A sixth grade boy removing ear wax from the ear of a fellow sixth grade boy. A girl brand new to our school offering to give a brand new mask she had to another student—five of whom did not have a mask within an hour of arriving at school. “I…

Chill the **** Out

You know that feeling, the gnawing keeping you up night before a big event—such as students returning to campus for the first time since Friday, March 11th? Chill. Just chill the **** out. What else is there to do? Burn ourselves with stress for what? Life is oh so short. The kids are all probably…

Surprise

Return to the office (school), Day VI Some surprises are not welcome. Finally settling in, actually kind of looking forward to meeting the homeroom no one in job interview ever told me I’d have, my Chinese co-teacher & I had plans. We’d established good rapport. We put up background paper and border over the cork…

Pizza in Shanghai

Vegan, of course. One week into my quest to record something of every day here in Shanghai, I would be remiss to not encourage every visitor to stop by and see Chef Lorenzo at Topolino. 685 Xikang Road, Jingan district. Take the 7 train to Changping Road (昌平路), exit 4. Just a few short minutes…

So it was written

In my novel, written last year, it was the Voyage to the Crystal Grotto which helped fortify me in pandemic separation from Serena. This very afternoon, Serena & I took the Voyage together. And so Shanghai Disneyland yet again fortified our relationship. In what must be at least our 16th trip together, we meandered, walked…