And 2016 begins!

I hate telling people how long my winter vacation is…because it isn’t fair…and I feel slightly guilty. But the truth is…it’s exactly what I need…to re-energize and re-juvenate my creative thinking for my students…and to complete a ton of grad school work before the semester begins!

So far this winter vacation, Laura came to visit and I vacationed in Thailand (and did some thesis work, don’t worry!) with Jajaida and Kassi. I also got ahead in grad school work and lesson planned for part of next semester…I’m keeping busy…and Now it’s FEBRUARY 11th! Oh my dear goodness. My brother turned 21 a few days ago. Oh how I wish I was there to cheers~! Love ya Jake, can’t wait for this summer!!!!

But seriously. I am looking forward to a Nebraska summer indeed, fresh air, country music, blue skies, and patio sitting drinking wine, beer, or margaritas with the ‘rents…and most importantly… writing my thesis. I simply cannot wait…This past year has been a blur…this time last year I was in Makassar, Indonesia, then in Nebraska, and off to California for intensive summer of grad school courses before heading to the largest city in the world. My world will come to a dead halt (except for porch swinging) this summer…before “the next thing” happens. You’ll find out soon enough…have to do some things this spring to “figure it out.”

A few weeks ago (I must admit I probably started this blog post a month ago…) …this week is one of those weeks that I question if I do anything right. Like I’ve never designed a survey or evaluated and gave students grades… but according to my advisor I’m doing a great job, and the Dean suggested I be a part of a panel to present and *hopefully* publicize my work; my errors in grading were fixed and my students still love me (per their wechat posts and detailed emails *heart melt*). This week also brought more pollution issues and lack of hot water in my apartment. OH the *glamours* of abroad living…also keep in mind to voice the water problem to my Ayi, I communicated via charades. Oh the first week of 2016 has been an interesting one indeed!!! (reiterating the fact I started this over a month ago…)

New Year’s Resolution? I’m usually over the top with a detailed explanation of goals and how to achieve them, but this year my brain is fried and all I can come up with is survive grad school and write thesis by August. Is that good enough? Maybe I can make up more resolutions for the last half of the year…is that allowed? I hope so.

I read somewhere in my internet skimmings that I should smile in public more for a New Year’s Resolution. Now that would be a challenge here in Shanghai, as half the time people are hacking and spitting and glaring and pushing and shoving and I go through the metro half the time gagging and pushing right back. Probably not the best of me. So I wish you could experience the Shanghai Metro so you could see what I mean… I really do wish that. Because I know my explanation does not give the insanity justice. There’s really no possible way to describe. Like the other day I wanted baozi (meat steamed bun) and the lady serving it to be hacked up a good one and spit on the ground right before she served it to me. I almost lost it. I promise that besides all those actions I just named, Shanghai is a fabulous city with pretty sparkly lights and other great things, but in the everyday nitty gritty it’s kinda appalling. A phenomenon that this small town girl is still shocked by every single day.

The same article also said I should go somewhere I haven’t been. Maybe that’s more appealing than smiling in public. I could probably manage to go somewhere I haven’t been…Thailand (check). New Year’s Resolution accomplished in the first month. Score.

It went on to say just explore your own backyard. OK I think I can manage to get off on a different metro stop or see a different neighborhood in Shanghai…when it gets warmer? I’ve become such a cold weather pansy from tropical living. There is, however, so much of this city still to see!

More to come…but for now, have a fabulous day!!!! Xoxo from the ‘Hai (or so it’s called.)

Vacation blues…time to get outside and start track workouts in this spring-like weather…Beach to the Bund in 24 hours…Happy Chinese New Year!!! It’s the year of The Monkey!!!!


If I handstand everyday…
I will get stronger…



blue skies
with a line of pollution



I really need to get back to running


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