cat on roof – Shuijingfang Well, I managed to post one entry using the Blogger Dashboard software, but it hasn’t worked since. My new “privacy surfing” software works sporadically, but I don’t have the patience for it tonite. I really did have a freaky day. I woke up at 6 am, then spent 4 hours preparing my PowerPoint presentation for my American Architecture lecture this afternoon. It was all perfect, and I thought I’d saved it repeatedly to the hard drive. I also saved it to my new USB storage key. When I checked back after lunch, the presentation wouldn’t even open on my USB – it was corrupted or infected by a virus. The hard drive version had only saved half the changes. Long story short, it took another 2 hours to re-do the presentation. I did manage to do a decent job with the lecture, in front of my biggest audience yet, about 400, with every auditorium seat filled and people sitting in the aisles. I did my thing, answered some questions, and then even managed to show the first part of the Frank Lloyd Wright documentary I’d brought with me. The technical challenges of the day were forgotten, I had fun with the two student assistants I took with me, and afterward I took myself out to dinner.
freeze frame dog – Sichuan University Magic touch I’m feeling MUCH mo’ betta. I had my second medical massage today, to work deeper into the issue of my blocked energies and upper back/neck problems. I also confessed to a 10-year-old weightlifting injury to my left rotator cuff, for which I’d never received any treatment (probably because I was uninsured at the time). Now we have more issues to deal with. Ah, what a tangled web we weave…. Meeting the dysfunction head-on I don’t have a high opinion of meetings to begin with. This was especially true when the meeting in question was an “orientation” for midterm exams, held at the tail end of Week 9 of the semester, and the exams are to be completed by Week 10 – i.e., this week. I inserted the bold type out of anger, in case you hadn’t guessed. The first lesson I learned after arriving in China was to never, ever expect any information from an educational institution…until, that is, the last possible microsecond before the information is actually needed to survive or to do your job. I wasn’t exactly shocked, then, when I was informed that my classes’ oral exams would commence on Monday (this was Friday). When I protested, “Shouldn’t the students have some advance notice?” the reply was, “We’ll tell them that morning.” OK, whatever. During the meeting itself, I was unable to concentrate on the important information being given by the leader, for the simple reason
teahouse gate I woke up at 7 am to the sound of a loudspeaker voice shouting something unintelligible that echoed echoed echoed. There’s always something going on at the sports stadium across the street – usually it’s just soldiers shouting responses, but this voice is scary, like something out of 1984. There’s a squadron of white-uniformed people all holding red Chinese flags, and still the voice echoes…. I’ve almost completed my online practicum class requirements. Yesterday another teacher observed me teaching my class. The 8 students were on their best behavior and slightly nervous, and so was I. Now I have to write up my report, as well as the other teacher’s suggestions, and submit it via the UCLA “Blackboard” virtual classroom software. In the meantime, it’s my day off (Friday) so don’t expect me to talk or even think about teaching. I need to, like, zone out….
Sweeping – River Viewing Park, Chengdu
After my post on Friday about sampling Puer Tea, it occurred to me that I should have explained my reference to settling for the “farm” after you’ve seen “Paree.” The reference was to a World-War I-era song about soldiers returning to normal life after seeing combat in foreign countries. Would you be able to keep them on the farm after they’d tasted the delights of Paris, even in the midst of wartime violence? Here’s a sample of the lyrics: HOW YA GONNA KEEP ‘EM DOWN ON THE FARM  For Me And My Gal : The Musical (Words by : Sam M. Lewis, Joe Young / Music by : Walter Donaldson) Reuben, Reuben, I’ve been thinking Said his wifey dear Now that all is peaceful and calm [after the war] The boys will soon be back on the farm [home again in the U.S.] Mister Reuben started winking and slowly rubbed his chin He pulled his chair up close to mother And he asked her with a grin How ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm After they’ve seen Paree’ [Paris, France] How ya gonna keep ‘em away from Broadway [bright lights, big city] Jazzin’around and paintin’ the town ["whooping it up" – having fun] How ya gonna keep ‘em away from harm, that’s a mystery ["harm" = temptation] They’ll never want to see a rake or a plow And who the deuce can parleyvous a cow? ["parlez-vous" – how can you speak French to a cow?] How ya