1. Let me apologize to everyone who has sent me email and received either a short reply or no reply whatsoever. Honestly, If I don't check my computer for one day I have dozens of emails to read. I intend to reply to everyone but it is taking some time. I'm not trying to brag about the extremely high number of congratulatory emails which reflect my high skills in all areas of life, but I did want to apologize.
2. China is slightly warm. If you've never really understood what air is, you will in China. That's because the air gets to know you by pressing its warm, wet self against you hard enough to force your pores on a futile mission of saltwater production. I don't know why the body does it, none of it will evaporate anyway (therefore the intent of the sweating is lost). I wish I could have a conversation with my body and set it straight. Every day I am a mass of lumpy goo, in a culture which is completely different, learning more than I ever have. Oh yeah, business casual all the way: make sure you wear long pants and collared shirts because you can keep out the heat better that way.
3. Classes are intense. In the last week I learned how to barter at a local vegetable market, order food in chinese and pay the bill, and communicate with my host family about basic things. The language program is unbelievable. I've never experienced such learning.
4. The culture is vastly different. I don't know where to begin here.
5. We begin model school in two weeks. That means in addition to language learning we will be teaching university classes and getting feedback. Right now I'm working on lesson plans for a lecture on idioms and perhaps the singing of songs. Any good song ideas? I'm going with Yogi Bear for sure. I know someone you don't know, Yogi, Yogi... How about some basic folk guitar song ideas?
5 1/2 My family is awesome. They had an air conditioner installed especially for me. One of our instructors came over to check things out and she said that the family is being incredibly welcoming. Even small things the instructor noted: The father was getting me a cup of water which showed a deep respect. I couldn't ask for more in my blob-like state.
6. How about sending me some coffee? Cheese? Actually, I don't know if the address above will work. Better try a letter first. Mom, Dad?