October was a whirlwind month for Jason and I. Thankfully we came back from October break rested and ready for the busy month ahead. For me, October was the month I started my masters program. The program is offered though SUNY (Southern University of New York). The classes are on campus at SCIS and online. The on campus classes are given over 2 weekends, which means 15 straight days at school. Thankfully, my first class was low stress and and quick to get through!
For Jason, October was the month of the SCIS Music Festival. Jason had been working very hard to prepare for this event. The festival showcases all of the middle school muisc ensembles: guitar, percussion, choir, band, and orchestra. For band, Jason invited retired Iowa band directors Jim Fritz and Leon Kuehner to guest direct the bands. Jim, Leon and Leon’s wife Linda arrived to Shanghai the weekend before the festival. On Saturday we went out to eat at Di Shui Dong for some good “Chinese” food! Afterwords, they wanted to see the city so we took them to Captain’s Bar on the Bund.
On Sunday, I had my masters class all day, so Jason took them sight seeing. I was able to meet up with them for dinner at our favorite Hot Pot restaurant by our old apartment. After dinner we took them to the train station and they were off to Beijing! They returned to Shanghai in time to meet the staff and other festival directors. The festival was over 3 days and was a huge success. Jim and Leon loved working with the kids. It was great for Jason to have his former mentor teachers give him some reassurance that he’s doing a great job.
After our Iowan guests left, we were looking forward to our next weekend, a birthday trip away to Moganshan, China. On Friday, we had UN day at school. UN day is a fun day where students dress in their cultural/country outfits and parade around the school. The Band played for the start of the parade! Below is Jason, Lee (the orchestra teacher) and Sean (the lower school music teacher)! I’m wearing my brothers Minnesota Windchill Jersey!
We left school on Friday and headed to House 23. We actually stayed in House 24, but either way it was perfect.
We decided to have one meal prepared by the lodge (which was fresh tomoto soup and roasted chicken) and then cook the rest of the weekend. We ordered a large amount of food from Kate and Kimi and we all brought various beer and wine! It was ridiculous the amount of food we brought…but we did a pretty good job of eating it! The house was modern and cozy. It had an open kitchen and living area that was perfect for preparing meals. It also had an outdoor patio with a huge table overlooking the mountains!
The weather couldn’t have been better. We literally spent the entire weekend chatting with friends, drinking and eating outside! It was perfect. Returning to Shanghai was rough but it was great to get away!
For halloween we decided to opt out of dressing up and instead had dinner and drinks with the Orchards! Today, we went to the pearl market to get a winter coat made for Jason! Even though it’s November we are still having some warm weather!
Oh and how could I forget! Jason bought a banjo!