Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kountdown to Kindergarten ended yesterday




So the big boy began kindergarten yesterday. After a one-day orientation on Thursday, he found out who his actual teacher and classmates are. Mom walked him home at 3 and heard all about it. By the time I got home at 4:30, he wouldn't say boo about it. Oh well. We are excited and will both get to stop by his classroom periodically during the year. It is about 20 yards from Mom's office and about 200 yards from mine. So nice to be so close.

As for little, he started at the Wonderful World of Learning on Friday. He'll go for half-days, then home with ayi (nanny) in the afternoon. His teacher seems very nice, energetic, fun. Soon he'll be hearing nothing but Chinese in class. Only 10 kids in class, and 2 of them are kids of nice people we know from SAS.

We have been quite busy of late, with work, fun and reading/watching Olympics with the boys taking up most of our time. And don't forget shopping! With the generous resettlement allowance school gives us, we have money to set up our kitchen, maybe get some nice beds made, find soy yogurt somewhere in Shanghai (we did!...at Carrefour). So each Saturday so far has seen us hitting one or more stores. We have bikes now, a toaster oven, blender, dishes, towels, you know, stuff a family needs if it is to eat, shower, be healthy, have fun. No luck finding baseball gear though.

Which I mention as a segue into announcing that I am the assistant coach of the SAS Eagles varsity baseball team. I know what you're thinking: Why not head coach? I'm excited, tryouts start tomorrow, and our China Cup tournament this year will be in Beijing. So I'll get to see the capital, the Olympic aftermath/hangover, and the fam is likely going to join us. 

So Go Eagles and check the blog starting in 2 weeks for score updates. I'll try to create a page within the blog just for baseball. We play on Saturdays, and several of our opponents are teams of Chinese men, like 40-year-old guys. How cool is that? The umpires speak only Chinese, I think, so we'll need our players to translate if there's a rhubarb or dustup of any sort.

What else is going on? On yeah, work. I finally got to meet my students. Half of them Thursday, half on Friday. Seem very nice and capable. I have 2 study halls, all ESOL sophomores. And I see those same 18 or so students in other periods, in their history class when I "push in." So I work with 3 other teachers, and see about 5-7 of my kids at a time in a given History course. I've got a US History since Civil War and 2 Modern World Historys, which is basically 20th Century blood and guts, plus le French Revolution (don't ask). I'll also man the high school's Writing Centre for a few periods a week, editing papers, etc. I'm reading The Crucible so that I know what I'm talking about. All 10th graders read it and have to (get to?) write a paper about it. Devils, sex and witches, so far so good in Act One.

I hate to stop, now that I have my blog mojo ("blojo"? mmm...no) working, but it IS 11:11 pm and the USA women are done whuppin' the Aussies, so it's bedtime. I'll be better about updating, and you faithful readers (all 4 of you) would really brighten our day if you'd fire off an email every now and then. My dad gets the prize for writing lately, and Larry wins for Skyping the most. If only that dang camera would work better...

Photo above is from 3 hours ago. 2 sweaty boys after partying at the annual welcome back to SAS barbecue. Lots of fun, best weather day since we've been here. Can't wait for it to cool off.