Smoothest First Day of School. Ever.

Wednesday September 2nd

…I don’t even know how I managed this. Except for a ton of planning and a fabulously organized and detailed powerpoint and more activities than time allotted for. Done. Check. And on top of everything I had a whiteboard, markers that had useable ink, a working and updated computer fixed for powerpoint, and on top of everything…a projector. Hello big screen. Oh, and the room had enough desks, windows, and air conditioned. I feel spoiled. Completely spoiled. Those of you who teach ESL or who have taught ESL or who have followed my past few years of teaching experiences know what luxuries these things are! I also had someone to meet me at the bus stop and show me my classroom and how to work everything…because all the buttons are in Chinese. She was the sweetest lady and she introduced me to some of her third year students who gladly showed me around campus as well.
I may show you all the happy things and accomplishments. But my behind the scenes work called for most of Saturday and all day Sunday and Monday compiling everything, not to mention completing grad school assignments. Thus, very blessed with a cozy apartment and 85*C (a Taiwanese coffee shop) within walking distance. Literally surviving on out to eat dinners with friends, peaches from a nearby fruit stand, coconut cakes, and lattes. I really need to find a supermarket and translate the various unidentifiable vegetables. And I need to scour the dishes provided for me and clean up the kitchen area. Clearly this has not been on my priority list. This weekend. Or tomorrow (Thursday) because it’s the 70th Anniversary of the Victory over Japan.

I do allow myself to go out with friends in the evenings after my days work is complete. On Monday, a group of MAIS students met up with one of the guy’s fiance’s friends. We met at Shanghai Min, a restaurant along the river. We shared traditional Shanghai cuisine overlooking the river and shimmering lights of the reflections below. It was delicious food and great company! On Tuesday, I met my friend Ann for Ashtanga yoga practice. I am thinking of joining her studio even though it’s a mission to get to. The studio is on the 27th floor amidst the city lights. (See a trend with the city lights? Since I don’t have my Nebraska open skies and crystal clear million starry nights, then I’m going to talk about the glitter and glam of the city sparkles.) It was exactly what I needed with the overwhelming feeling of trying to play catch up on life and being friends with productivity for far too many hours with little sleep. Prasarita Padottanasana C is possible…I had assistance of course, but oh my goodness what a freeing feeling.

The first test of grad school…completing a video assignment with a classmate…whom the professor thought was in China, but realized after assigning the teams that she hasn’t arrived yet. So we are collaborating two videos together to make a 15-30 minutes presentation over the Constructivist Learning Theory…seriously we’ve got this. Also take into account that the internet can be awful slow in China and she is trying to spend time with family and friends…and pack! because she leaves this weekend and that’s when the assignment is due. So basically if we can juggle all this we are rockstars.  I’m so grateful to be paired with such a chill and productive person! *high-five to this grad school classmate*

Thursday night I completely crashed out at 5pm for a 30 minute nap, woke up 5 hours later to brush my teeth and proceeded to go back to bed for another 8 hours. I must’ve been tired. My Friday has been a productive day of completing a classroom management plan, discussion board questions, and chatting with my sister and cousin. I ordered in for the first time via from Organic Kitchen. Hello, Thai coconut soup, mango smoothie, and cappuccino cheesecake delivered right to my doorstep. This is me having a lazy day. I’ll get out and about tomorrow. I really just want to spend my evening reading and getting ahead on schoolwork. This upcoming week will be packed and more people will be arriving to Shanghai. And yoga will start full time.

And now it’s Monday morning (September 7th). Blue skies and pretty fluffy clouds here in SH. Always good to chat with Nebraska friends. My Chinese friend took me to the bank this morning to wire money home. That was an experience. People were already lined up at 8:45 to get a number. For any service here you get a number and wait in a seating area (bank, post office, doctor’s etc). There are many counters so when your number is called you go to your assigned counter. It’s a very efficient way of doing things, rather than standing in a line. Because lines don’t really exist here… It was a relatively easy process once our number was called. Today will be a day of lesson planning. I also ordered groceries online from a local farm. They also have gluten free items, imported fruits, frozen fruits, and almond milk, just to name a few things! I need to buy a blender so I can start making green smoothies and eat healthier. 🙂 Anyways, I’m really excited my groceries will be at my doorstep tomorrow morning! Thank you Kate and Kimi!

My week in photos below…


postcard from a girl on the plane from Hong Kong to SH




traditional Shanghainese cuisine at Shanghai Min


MAIS crew reunited





Mongolian food



Am I in Shanghai? My campus is beautiful!


new cafe…and they serve brunch!


such a quaint street


Blue skies!


and this traffic isn’t the worst…


why yes! that IS a lady with an open umbrella riding a scooter…



China has happy mushrooms!

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