Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Irish Blessing

Although I'm quite a few generations past my Irish roots, with a bit of French and Scottish thrown in along the way,  I still feel a strong pull and connection towards all things Irish.  Tonight I was looking for a quote to add to a note for a co-worker who is moving back to the US to pursue other dreams and as soon as I came across Irish Blessings, I knew I have to choose one of those.  There is something special about the honesty and simplicity of a traditional Irish Blessings like the one I choose for the notebook, so I would like to extend it to all of you:

May the sun shine all day long, 
Everything go right and nothing go wrong. 
May those who you love bring love back to you, 
and may all the wishes you wish come true. 
-Irish Blessing

And for a touch of humour, I  hope you appreciate this next one as much as I do:

May those who love us love us
And those who don't love us
May God turn their hearts,
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.

-Irish Prayer

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Contrasts and Contradictions

Today I decided that the thing I love most about Beijing is its constant state of contrasts and contradictions.   There are highly modern and sophisticated buildings neighbouring hutongs.  A hutong, by the way, is an alley.  In there you will find an eclectic mix of shops, desolate third worldly residences, and comfortable western cafes.  In western countries the old and new, poor and rich, are usually in distinct locations somewhat apart from the other.  In Beijing a beautiful restaurant might have a bathroom that Canadians would consider worthy only of a campground; a dingy, out of sight alley will lead you to a fabulous club. It is an experience that is ever changing the way I think about the world. I've learned not to attach myself to any one place or idea because Beijing is perpetually shifting and evolving around me.  I've discovered the pleasure in expecting the unexpected and am loving every minute of it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Surprise Package

They arrived today completely unexpected.  I felt a surge of excitement when Caroline, a fellow CIS teacher, told me there was a package in my mailbox.  A care package from home you suppose? No- I knew it could only be one thing. The one thing that I wasn't expecting to arrive until early December.  The one thing that could make my pulse quicken and my blood run warm.  I opened the package with anticipation.  And there they were- the four books I ordered from Amazon about two weeks ago.  Four brand spanking new books that I hope will help me become a better writer and a better writing teacher.  All four books are about writers notebooks and the writing process.  My hope is that two of them will help me think about teaching writing in a new and inspiring ways, and two are for me to share with my students.  These are the moments I realize that teaching is what I am meant to be doing.  It helps me get through the times when the administration duties and politics of the job are overwhelming.   I can't wait to get reading (and writing)!

p.s. my cough is much, much, better!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sleepy Snowy Sundays

I knew I was going to miss the snow while living in Beijing, so I was ecstatic when I woke up this morning to see Beijing covered in a thick blanket of snow. Despite the previous nights' exposure, I had that cozy first snow of the year feeling that I can't fully explain but get every first snow. It was a little stronger here since I'm told it doesn't snow very often, and the other teachers have never seen that much snow at once. We read that the snow was artificially induced to help combat the drought in Northern China:

No matter how the snow came to be, the warm and cozy first snow feeling was wonderful. My friend Melissa and I made crepes, doused in real maple syrup that she brought with her from her hometown in Quebec. We ate them and watched some of the teachers and their children playing in the snow. Even the guards were getting into the spirit of things! They were throwing snowballs, helping with the snowmen and lending their gloves to the snowmen builders. Later in the afternoon I went to Yashow market, bought a gucci knock off purse, and a prada knock off purse, some chopsticks to send home for gifts and a couple of picture frames. I love shopping, although it sucks when the vendor won't go down in price and you KNOW they are really trying to rip you off. I really have learned not to get to attached to any one item, and to just walk away from the really grouchy merchants. Mostly shopping is really fun, especially when you are dealing with a funny/friendly vendor and manage to bargain a great deal! AFterwards we stopped for coffee, which was the prefect ending to a snowy Sunday afternoon of shopping.

Notice the brooms they are using to sweep the snow?


The night began with the funniest floor crawl I have ever been on. Each floor had a brilliant theme. First was fifth floor with a redneck wedding theme. But they didn’t just have a redneck theme- they staged an entire redneck-wedding. It included a drunk and pregnant bride, a cheating groom, programs and buckets of beer at the end of every ‘pew’ (school bench). It was a riot. Next came the Mexican floor, with music, sombreros and tequila. Then my floor, Junior Prom ’94 where everyone enjoyed spiked punch, cheesy 90’s music, voting for prom king and queen and posing under a banner. Last was the Channel 4 team theme (from Ron Burgundy). Afterwards we headed out to find the best Halloween party in town. The clubs were a little to packed, (I am pretty sure any Canadian fire marshall would have a field day in there), but the DJ was really good and the music kept us dancing until there was just no room to move.

The walk home from the bar was another matter. No one was dressed for or expecting snow. To our surprise we were met with gigantic snowflakes outside after the club.   Since we were all in our Halloween costumes, we were terribly underdressed for the weather. I was wearing sandals, so fortunately we didn’t have to spend very much time outside! The walk from the bar to the road to catch a taxi was a nightmare because the snow was melting as it hit the pavement, and we were often walking in a half-inch or so of cold, dirty water- yuck! At least we stopped at fish nation which has the best french fries I've had in Beijing, and enjoyed some chicken sticks from the only street vendor I'd dare to eat from. After all was said and done, we had a great time. I love Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Beijing Cough and Halloween

About a week ago I developed a cough. I thought that I was starting a cold or, hopefully not, the flu. But I'm not sick. Not really. I just can't stop coughing. There is nothing sick about my cough or anything to indicate an infection, and then last night someone told me about the "Beijing Cough". Apparently it is quite common for newcomers to Beijing to develop a cough not unlike a smoker's cough. This morning I decided to do a little bit of google researching and as it turns out there are others who developed a similar cough while in Beijing, and most of them report that nothing helps except for leaving Beijing, which won't be happening anytime soon. I don't know how long I will be able to stand myself with this cough. Hopefully it will go away on its own once the change of season is finished.

Other than the coughing fits, I am having a great time here. Yesterday we celebrated Halloween at school and the kids seemed to really enjoy themselves. Tonight the teachers are celebrating with a Halloween party and then many of us will likely hit the town. I will be sporting a funky blue wig, skinny jeans and hilarious shades along with a blue cape and flashing guitar pin. My theme song for the evening is "So What" by Pink.

Last night I went out to the most amazing restaurant. It was fairly expensive costing 258 RMB a person (roughly 40$), however it was an all you can eat/ drink buffet. And it was a buffet like I've never seen before. The food was incredible and very diverse. I tried as many things as I could. The Sushi was amazing, not to mention the crab legs and pasta and steak and deserts. I think we spend about 4 hours there sampling all the delectable foods and drinking wine. Afterwards we went out a tiny little bar called Swing, a favourite amoung the teachers. They have an amazing band and we danced ourselves into a frenzy.

Hope you have a fantastic Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Birds in the school

Situation: It's Sunday afternoon, and I am in my classroom working on report cards. I hear a squeaking noise coming from down the hall. At first I think it's maintenance pushing around a squeaky cleaning cart. But the noise continues for some time. A funny idea comes to me, but no, it couldn't be. Could it? Birds? In the school? The sound is surely coming from outside. I decide to investigate. Alas! Two birds flying around by the windows and plants at the end of the elementary hallway.

I should mention that birds make me nervous. For a while I couldn't hear them anymore and thought they had made their way back outside. I discovered I was mistaken when I went to the staff room to make myself a tea. On the way back to my classroom one of the birds flew over my head and almost gave me a heart attack. Somehow I managed to only spill a drop of tea and thankfully not on myself. It could be worse; one of the teachers had a bird fly into her apartment the other week.

Only in China!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Made in China

One thing I learned very quickly after moving to China is that things here are made very cheap. Sometimes it seems as though nothing works. I've already had the school maintenance in my apartment about 3 times to fix things and I haven't even been here two full weeks.  First it was the glass door on a show cabinet that broke.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the door and it came right off. I was just lucky that it didn't shatter.   Next I couldn't figure out have to use my washing machine (who knew that it has its own faucet that has to be opened??), then my tub wouldn't drain, and today I had to tape my living room window closed with packing tape.  I hope that it holds because it is very, very windy right now and the last thing I want to hear all night is the wind banging my window open and rattling my door. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining, because I'm taking it all in stride- it's just the way things are here.  I've decided that living in china is going to take a really good sense of humour, a lot of patience and a few good friends to laugh at all the absurdities with you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

One week down!

I have been in China for more than a week now and am really beginning to settle in and enjoy myself! I cannot say enough good things about the people that I am working and living with. I just finished my first full week of school, and although it was overwhelming at times, I feel very good about my week. I still have a million and one things to do and learn, but I am taking it one day at a time.

Tonight I am feeling brave and I think that I will try real Chinese food for the first time. With the jet lag and workload I just wasn’t feeling up for the adventure during my first week here. I am not a horribly picky eater, but I can’t stand fat, and I’ve been told that the Chinese love fatty meats. On the plus side, it means chicken breasts are EXTREMLY inexpensive and easy to find at any grocery store.

Last night I went to a German restaurant with a few of the other teachers and ate delicious mashed potatoes- comfort food at it’s finest. We walked home and stopped to ride the glass elevator at the Starlight hotel. The view was amazing (even if I am terrified of heights). At the very top is a rotating restaurant. Then came the awkward part: explaining to the restaurant hostess why we were there. We thought about sitting down for a drink, but it was getting late and we all had to be up early for work today. Eventually we said that we would make a group reservation after consulting the rest of the teaching staff. They must have thought we were crazy, which I guess now that I say it, wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

One thing I find very interesting here is the billing customs at the restaurants. In China only one person pays for the bill. This either ends by us splitting the bill, or sending the waitress back to make a new bill for each of us.

Hope all is well on the home front!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Busy as a bee in Beijing

I just can't believe how busy I've been lately.  I am finally getting over my jet lag, I have a pile of work, and I go out for supper and a drink almost every night. I am really starting to love the lifestyle here.  The only trouble is I've been hanging out more with the retired teachers and less with the other broke young teacher. As a result I'm probably spending a bit more money than I should be considering where I am living.

Today I worked until 4, had a mandarin course offered by my school, then worked another hour. I could easily pt in a few more hours but I'm still just trying to get used to everything including my class and school routine. I gave up around 6 (when I knew I would waste a lot of time being unproductive) and went out to supper with some fellow teachers to a German restaurant about half an hour walk away.  It was a really wonderful walk and I wish I had brought my camera.  On the way home we decided to go into a hotel just to take the elevator. It was a glass elevator that rose into a rotating restaurant.  Even though I'm terrified of heights- the view was AMAZING! I think we will go back sometime to actually eat there.  .

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I discovered a way to access my blog- yippee! I'll write more soon, and post some pictures of my apartment. But for tonight- a 2 hour massage for about 25$ Canadian... I think I could get use to this!

With love from China

I have arrived in China! I have actually been here a couple of days now. I just received my school computer Friday, and was disheartened to discover that blogger is, in fact, blocked in China. To overcome this, I will simply type up my blog posts on office, and ask my sister to post them for me from time to time. This post will be a bit delayed because my sister is gone to a camp up river (in the woods) for Thanksgiving. Another traumatic discovery I made while trying to access the Internet in China is the ugly fact that Facebook is also blocked. It certainly makes connecting to home much more limited.

On another note, the teaching staff here is amazing. They are without question the most helpful and generous group of people that I have ever encountered. They also love to party, which has helped me to feel right at home! I have been taken out to supper, brought to grocery markets and taught how to cross the street. Crossing the street here, I should note, is the scariest thing I have ever, ever had to do. The cars do not stop for pedestrians here. Pedestrians are on the bottom of the traffic food chain. We have to stop, often midway across the street to let the cars turning left pass. Then, we have to scuttle the rest of the way across before the light changes and the oncoming traffic begins. It’s a seriously terrifying experience that I once heard compared to playing Frogger. It was no exaggeration.

In case anyone is wondering- I did not end up going to the Great Wall on Thursday, on account of the all you can eat appetizers and drinks the night before. I will make it there sometime, as people are always planning trips to go there. I was suppose to go visit some caves outside of Beijing today, but the school has my passport in order to finish my Visa process and I guess I need to have my passport with me if I want to leave Beijing (just in case they ask for it). This sucks because I was really looking forward to this day trip. Hopefully I will be able to convince someone to go to Ikea and grocery shopping with me today to pick up some desperately needed items instead.

I’ll write again soon! I will receive comments through my inbox, but will not be able to reply because of the Internet block. So please send comments!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Z Visa has arrived!!

This afternoon I was out picking up all sorts of pharmaceuticals and personal items to bring with me to China.  There was a pleasant surprise waiting for me when I returned home.  I saw it as soon as I came in the door- a letter size Purolator package on the ledge where Mom puts my mail. I knew it could only mean one thing- yes- my Chinese Working Visa has finally arrived!!

My flight is booked, my e-ticket has been emailed to me by the travel agent, and the last piece of the puzzle (my visa) has finally arrived.  I will be leaving from Moncton, NB Monday at 10:00 am to Toronto, leave Toronto Monday at 2:55 pm, and after a total of about 15 hours in the air, arrive in Beijing on Tuesday around 4 in the afternoon - yes... I will be travelling through space AND time!  But don't worry, when I return I will get my day back!

Once I arrive I will be met at the airport by someone from the school.  I have supper plans already for that evening and I am also booked for a tour of the Great Wall and Ming Tombs for Thursday, Oct. 8th.  China here I come!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

For the love of Hunter

I want to introduce you, my blog readers and whomever else stumbles across my little piece of the web, to one of the great loves of my life, our family dog Hunter.  I love him and I will miss him very, very much while I am in China.  We saved Hunter from the local SPCA two years ago around this time of year.  He was healthy, rambunctious, completely untrained, six months of puppy, and a ton of work (you did wonders with him mom!) and is a wonderful addition to our family. If only he could fit into my suitcase! I would go on about how beautiful he is, but I thought it better to let you see for yourself.   

This is Hunter:

He loves to swim:

He loves to play fetch and will often catch the ball mid-air:

He loves the beach:

And he loves me!

...Or at least tolerates me and all the pictures I take of him :)

Love you Hunter!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hanging onto summer

Even though the fall season has officially arrived, I found myself buying lime flavoured beer today.  Lime flavoured you say? But that's a summer flavour! I guess I'm just not ready to give up summer and the flavours that go with it.  I have always taken the adjustment out of summer and the progression into fall and winter a bit hard.  There are many things I love about this time of year, the changing leaves and the moderate temperatures for example, then the first snow and all the fun outdoor winter sports (snow shoeing anyone?). But I hate waking up in the dark; I hate having to close my window at night; I hate feeling tired at 8pm because the sun is already set.  

The fall season also means a cold. It happens almost the same time every year, and happens the same way almost every time.  For a minimum of a solid week every September I find it almost impossible to breath through my nose.  I am miserable to the people around me and I hate getting out of bed.  The only thing that makes it tolerable, or maybe the only that makes me tolerable is a good dose of night time medicine. The nighttime sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, so you can feel better the next morning kind of medicine to be exact.  I know there are way worse things in the world than the common cold, but I can't help complaining. I think it makes me crazy because I don't feel bad enough to stay home, but I don't really feel like working or going out in public either. I take it as a good sign that my seasonal cold has caught up to me now because this (hopefully) means I will have lots of time to re-cooperate before my big move.

This is probably my tenth attempt at editing/posting to this blog entry, but during my comment about how much I dislike this season, I forgot how much I love Halloween.  It is my favourite holiday after Christmas.  From the time I was very, very young, to my late high school years, my mom made me an amazing home-made costume.  Sometimes she wouldn't make what I wanted (Halloween is about being ugly and scary or at least original she would tell me), but always was the costume outstanding and a thousand times better than anything that could be purchased in a store.  The costumes that make my most memorable list:

A ninja turtle (the one with the nun chucks)
Marvin the Martian (I won first place at the middle school dance) 
A monarch butterfly (still amazed she pulled this one off, I was about 5 and very insistent) 
Lunette the Clown (Big Comfy Couch anyone?)
Frankenstein (originally made for my brother, re-used by me the next year)

I can only hope to live up to my mom's Halloween costumes with my own (future) children.  Or maybe I will just enlist her to do the job : )

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Modern Dating

My cell phone bleeps,
For a moment I hold my breath.
Is it a text from you?
Just a friend
Wondering what I am up to.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shop Class

If you read the 'about me' section, you would know that I am a teacher, and that I will be moving to China to teach very soon.  What you might not know (at least from reading my blog) is that I decided to stay on the supply teaching list to make a few bucks and get back into the groove of working before heading out into the big unknown. Supply teaching is one of the craziest jobs in the world.

I got my first call on Monday. It was at 7 in the morning and I couldn't figure out why the phone was ringing, and ringing, and ringing. That was when I remembered that I was on the supply list and it might be work.  They asked if I could fill in for the shop teacher.  I said yes, because I never say no to work.  I hung up the phone and wondered if that was a mistake.  I don't know anything about shop class; I never took shop class; I certainly do not know how to handle a room full of bored teenage boys.  I think being young, female, and having a sense of humour about the situation worked to my advantage because both days (yes, I even went back a second time) the kids were all in all pretty great.  They didn't get very much work done, but at least they were nice about it.  Most of them even humoured me by opening up their books to look like they were working. Some of them even did the assignment. I came home exhausted but happy enough to do it again the next day.

Supplying at the high school is an interesting experience for me overall now that I think about it.  I would say that Monday was fairly successful as I was only mistaken for a student twice (once by a teacher, once by students). And it is much better than the time I was mistaken for a student at the middle school (I know I look young...but middle school?!)  I heard my younger cousin's friend say "she can't be a teacher, she's too pretty to be a teacher" and while that was a nice boost to my already inflated ego, it made me wonder what that implies.  Is it because she just thinks [women] teachers should be frumpy middle aged women? Or does she think that young, pretty women couldn't possibly be qualified to teach?  Coincedentally I went to parent/teacher open house the other day with my mom (for my brother) and she noted that all the teachers seem to be in very good physical condition. I thought about it for a moment and she is right.  At the high school the teachers are, as a general rule, in great shape.  I also noted that many of the women teachers are quite pretty, so I came to the conclusion that the comment had a lot more to do with how young I look than anything else.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If only I would have known

If only I would have known how difficult it is to stay unattached! I started dating someone about a week ago and I am so totally a wreck about it. I'm a wreck for no other reason than because I'm leaving so soon.  We have so many things in common and get along so well it's like a dream. I don't even know if I've ever dreamed up someone who fits with me so well.  I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but I think there could be  something really solid here.  I don't know if or how things will change after going away for nine months (re: China) so soon after things began, but for right now, its perfect. If I knew you weren't reading this I'd probably go on a bit more, but for the sake of things I will leave it at this.

p.s. I can't believe how lucky I am lately!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Time to leave is fast approaching!

I got my travel itinerary for China a couple of days ago.  This is still going to depend on my Visa, but right now I am scheduled to leave October 5.   Unfortunately this will not be in time for the big Military Parade/Celebrations, but maybe that's a good thing?  On the other hand, this means I will be arriving during a holiday and will have a few days to settle/explore/prepare before jumping into the classroom.  I received a very enthusiastic email from the school principal yesterday with a few details and some very welcoming remarks.  Starting this week the supply teacher should be emailing me and keeping me updated on the class- on what will soon be my class!  I think the hardest part will be joining a class already a month into the school year.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Musical words of wisdom

In middle school and high school I didn't want to admit this, but I am and always will be a band geek.  Over the years I have learned to play french horn (well technically called the double horn), bass clarinet and clarinet.  I also took piano lessons for a short period of time, and tried to teach myself the guitar (with no success whatsoever).  This may sound impressive, but I am ashamed to admit that I was really lazy about practicing so I never really became accomplished with any of these instruments.

Lately I find myself playing the horn a lot.  From the first time I heard it in grade 7 I was in love. I am trying very hard to find the words to explain how I feel when I hear the horns playing in music without sounding cheesy or cliché, but I think that would be impossible because it is cheesy and cliché. And I'm okay with that.  I know that I am really going to miss the local community band that I played in all last year.

Because I am struggling a bit with a new piece, I had a conversation with my extremely musically talented and knowledgeable friend  the other day.  I am trying to learn the song Romance by Camille Saint-Saens.  It is a very beautiful piece and so I'm trying very hard to do it justice.  I was having trouble understanding what the composer wanted me to do with the music.  This is exactly how the conversation went:

Me:  I have a music question for you - on a song Ive been learning they have a half note tied to a quarter note, the notes are both in the same measure and both have a staccato. Also in the same song there are slurred staccato eight notes- which seems to be contradicting. So what on earth should I do? lol

Friend: Play with your heart

Maybe he was just avoiding the question- but his answer made more sense than I think anything else would have.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Holy smokes a follower! I am surprised to admit that I was actually a bit excited when I noticed someone bothered to click the little "follow" button at the end of my blog.   Thanks!

What I Want

I took a solo drive to the beach the other afternoon to enjoy the last bits of summer.  For companionship, I brought along Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I don't usually re-read books, but this one seemed to be just what I need after my break up and with my up and coming move to Beijing.  I was reading the part where the author realized that for the first time in her life she was able to ask herself what she wanted, and not only able to ask herself that but listen.  So I tried it out. I ended up writing this list in the back of the book:

What I Want
I want to write
I want people to read what I write and like it
I want to be part of a spiritual group of people who share my beliefs and doubts
I want my life to be full of love
I want to travel
I want to be passionate about life
I want to teach and share my passion for reading and writing
I want to be a positive influence
I want positive people to be drawn to me
I want a partner who makes me want to be a better person
I want to experience everything!

The very last thing on my list was: I want to swim.  After this thought came to me I had a short conversation with myself that went something like this:

"What do you mean you want to swim? The water is cold- you never want to swim when the water is cold"
"I just want to swim"
"Well go swim then"
"But its cold"
"Maybe I will"

And so I did.  And it was cold, but it was great.  And it was what I wanted.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My life In the meantime

Lately I've been thinking a lot about my life, who I am, who I want to be and it's led me to make a few big changes.  I think that leaving my longterm relationship was the best thing I could have done for myself, even it that was hard to see at the time. It's like a huge weight has been lifted and I feel better than I have ever felt in my life. It even seems to have affected me physically as I have been told a lot lately by people of both genders that I look really good.  It seems like many of my conversations have been going something like the one I had with an old girl friend I ran into the other night "you look really good! Not that you didn't look good before, but now you look, like,  REALLY good."  I never really understood how much how you feel on the inside can affect how you look on the outside until now.  It's like happiness is oozing out of my orifices. And yes, I did just use the word orifice; I couldn't help myself.

It also brought me the opportunity to leave for China guilt and (somewhat) attachment free.  I say somewhat attachment free because not so long ago I realized that I am completely smitten with on an old friend, and as luck would have it he seems to be equally interested.  Normally I wouldn't be brave enough to admit my feelings for someone, but since I am leaving for China and I didn't want to go without expressing myself, I told him.  I will reluctantly admit that a little bit of liquid courage and instant messaging may have played a part in my gutsy move.  To my utter disbelief, (because really, how much better can things get??) he reciprocated by telling me that I'm the most beautiful girl he ever met and he can't live without me.  Okay, maybe I'm stretching the truth the tiniest bit, but he did say that he likes me too <3.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Trip preperations

I can't believe how smoothly everything is going as far as my big move to China is concerned (not that I'm superstitious - but knock on wood - just in case).   I managed to get my passport, medical exams/form, vaccines and contracts signed all within two weeks of my initial job offer.  I think that this is due in part to the fact that I live in a small NB city with no wait times for normal outpatient tests at the hospital. All I really have to do now is wait for my visa, purchase some insurance and get myself packed and out the door.  I am hoping to be in China just before October, so that I can be in Beijing during the celebrations/military parade which is taking place in Tian'anmen Square:  Although I wonder if that would be a much to overwhelming time to arrive to an country that is such an overwhelming change to begin with?

Monday, August 24, 2009

China Here I Come!

I got offered a job in Beijing teaching at the Canadian International School of Beijing. I am SO taking it, and very excited at that. I expect to be blogging a lot more, since I have a feeling my life is about to become a whole lot more interesting. I think that I will also rename my blog to fit the appropriatness of my new living arrangements. This is assuming blogspot is available in China and I have a sneaking suspicion that it is not. This would put a dent in my plan to blog more. Check for links to a Chinese approved blogspace if this turns out to be the case.