* Obligatory message about how I haven’t posted in forever, but have been meaning to, and have delayed it
I just read the last post I made in the Summer of 2020 and it’s wild to reflect on all that has happened since then. I could make a list of 2022 things that happened, both big and small. But I have a brunch to go to, papers to write, and spring cleaning to do. Firstly, Happy Chinese New Year! Here is a look at the biggest events since August 2020. I will attempt to do one for each month that has gone by to where we are now in January 2022.
Summer camp has officially ended and I am thrilled! It was a long push with no break between the end of last school year and summer camp. My school every summer does a summer camp for six weeks. This summer it was a little more complex as we extended the school year by two weeks. For the most part it just extended into the summer except for the students who have graduated. My school has students from age 2-6 and I teach the oldest class that is preparing for primary school. I thought I would share some of the themes and projects we did the summer for fellow teachers and just everyone else who wants to see all the fun we had!
And just like that the school year finished! It doesn’t feel like it in many ways with the changes because of the virus, but it’s over and my little zebras are off to primary school! We have started summer camp right away with a mix of my students and another class and and have finished a week about Albert Einstein and Tu You You. I was so happy when kindergartens in Shanghai were given the clear to open at the start of June. I really had missed my students, a sense of routine, and being in the classroom. We did online classes for two months and I was ready to be done with that! Online teaching is a lot of work also and required a different type of energy and innovation compared to the classroom. I learned a lot from it but was super glad we didn’t have to continue it any longer. I thought I would share memories from graduation night as it was spectacular and what we had practiced for 5 weeks. Nobody does a kindergarten graduation like China!
After returning to Shanghai at the end of March (a week before the borders closed to foreigners), I spent two weeks in a hotel being quarantined. Truth be told it wasn’t that bad and I felt lucky to have had the privilege of mandatory quarantine given the state of the world right now. Life has slowly transitioned back to a new “normal” in Shanghai with the opening of Kindergartens at the beginning of June. Other grades had resumed prior and they slowly phased in lower grades. So what does life in Shanghai look like now? When I look at the rest of the world, I know I’m one of the lucky ones who has returned to work and able to go out and about.
The Christmas season is here and I am on vacation in Philippines as I write! It was a crazy first two weeks of December that involved an unexpected move! I loved my past apartment, but after deliberation with my roommates and landlord we decided not to re-sign. It was an amazing place to call home for a little over a year and I’ll miss that place a lot! However, I am super excited and loving my new place. I have my own apartment in the Former French Concession. It is in a lane house with creaky stairs and only a block away from my yoga studio and gym! Amidst moving I also was working like an energizer bunny on work for the students while I’m on holiday and preparing for our Christmas party. The foreign teachers go on holiday in December and our school hosts Chinese science week! The kids love it. So here’s our super fun holiday party!
This past week, we took a class trip to an organic farm. Our school has a fall and spring outing and my coworkers warned me prior that it is one of the most tiring days of the year. Very accurate! This farm was about 40 minutes from the school on the Pudong side of Shanghai. We had a wonderful day and it reminded me of all the amazing field trips I had growing up!
Surprise I’m 25! On my birthday, my coworkers totally surprised and pranked me! They had a decoy cake on the morning followed by a prank in the afternoon where they told me our December holiday was canceled. I actually was fine and said I would be gone no matter what. Ha! Needless to say, I had a great day and wonderful dinners with friends. 25 feels so good and I’ve had an amazing year. Here are 25 memories that I have loved and will cherish forever. And I truly believe the best is yet to come! Cheers to 25.
Yes it is still raining rainbows and sunshine in Shanghai! It’s been a while since I’ve posted so there’s no time like the present going to work on the metro! I am still loving life here and so many exciting (and exhausting) things have been happening! This picture above is our class picture. Look how cute they all are in their white polos.
The school year is in motion and I am loving my class of 20 interesting, funny, smart, and energetic students! We are the Zebra class and are settling into our daily routines and having so much fun getting to know each other. Here we are at circle time playing a guess the word game with one kid acting it out. We have a lot to do everyday and these kids are just so amazing. They all know each other and have been coming to the school for 2-3 years since they were little babies! This really is such an incredible age.
I took an incredible three day trip to see the Rainbow Mountains which are a geological phenomenon! I planned this trip Sunday night and left Tuesday morning. I’ve had this past week off post-summer camp and pre-school year. My passport is currently at the bureau to transfer my work visas which means I can only travel within China! If I had my passport I would’ve left the country, but I’m so glad I had this opportunity to visit another corner of China! I stayed in a yurt for two nights, gazed at stars and decompressed from the insanity of city life in Shanghai. Currently I am in Xi’an for the day before I head back to Shanghai.