Angela recently agreed to share our blog on a website called Shanghai Bloggers. I was initially excited about the prospect of sharing our blog with a larger community, but then I felt a little bad about being a ‘seasonal blogger’. By this I mean we typically only post after we’ve taken an exotic vacation somewhere, and we have a lot of pictures that we need an excuse to share. This led me to the decision to write a post about our normal lives, which for the past few weeks have seen some interesting activities.
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.
We have arrived to our last month of our first year abroad! We have been keeping busy with work and the city! Two weeks ago I danced in the school dance production and it was amazing! The performance was about the environment and the students and teachers did a great job. It was so fun to dance with my fellow teachers and our dance was a hit!
We’ve done it! We’ve survived our 1st semester of international teaching! *Side-note: Jason still has 2 concerts this week* Otherwise we’re done! I had my concerts last week on Tuesday and Thursday and they were a huge hit! Parents, teachers, and administrators loved them! Besides the fact that we’re awesome, my co-worker and I think that our concerts went so well because we both come from being band directors and know how to run things! The kids were also really cute! It did make for a long week. Monday and Tuesday were spent rehearsing 2nd and 3rd graders with a full dress rehearsal and concert on Tuesday night. Wednesday and Thursday we did the same thing all over again with 4th and 5th grade. I also received 2 huge flower arrangements. The packaging is a little crazy!
It’s hard to believe that it is already December 8th and that we’ve been in China for 5 months! We only have 2 weeks of school left until a well deserved 3 week break! As you may have heard in the news, Shanghai has been hitting some crazy high pollution levels. The beginning of the week, the pollution was over 200. By Thursday it was pushing 400 and then on Friday Shanghai broke records with air quality above the index 500. It is hard to explain what it’s like, but I”m really hoping this 500 business is not a reoccurring thing.
Angela and I are taking it easy after a pretty eventful weekend. On Friday, I received some bicycle tools that I ordered from an online store. My newest goal is to build my own bicycle. See below.
Today was a very successful day! After venturing out at 8 am we went to find the school and fix our SIM cards! This sorta worked but using the phone was more difficult! After leaving school we went to find a pedestrian mall known as Golden Street but to our dismay, everything was closed. At this point it was 90° and we were hot! We went to a bakery with free wifi, ate, and FINALLY contacted our parents! We then went home!
Later We had to go back to school to deliver our passports and find Jason a new SIM card. Apparently my $50 worth of photos didn’t make the trip! We went to school ( about a 10 min walk) and met a lot of helpful ppl who gave us directions to a better cell phone provider! and we made dinner plans with the vice principal! After a long walk we finally got cell phones with 3G! Facebook is blocked here so for now we will be posting updates here or via Instagram! More later…exhausted!