Tuesday, March 31, 2015


It is Spy Wednesday in Jing'An, the day Judas betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin. It is hard to imagine betraying a friend like that. Judas surely knew that it meant Jesus' death.  He was at the end of his rope, though. It appeared that Jesus was just throwing it all away, that there would be no overthrow of the Roman oppressors. And Judas was right. But to have hope slip away like that... it was a lot to bear, I know. Still, betraying a friend. I don't know. I am glad it was Judas and not me.

Spring is officially here. I am not even going to wear a coat to work today. In fact, yesterday, it was hot. I actually sweated. So, goodbye winter! I enjoyed the winter here. I would have liked a little snow, but it was nice to wear sweaters and bundle up. I haven't done that in several years.

I have taken  a long walk every night this week, just through the back streets of Jing'An. The weather has been nice. Even though Jing'An is the smallest district in Shanghai it is still pretty big, and I haven't been to all of it yet. I have found a few places I want to revisit during the day, though:  Some Thai restaurants and a pawn shop. What do Chinese people pawn? They don't have guns. Of course, that may be my Texas showing. But I do think it's interesting, and telling, to see what gets pawned.

I started ukulele lessons a few weeks ago. My teacher is a young guy from The Philippians. He is near-native in his English. I don't practice as much as I'd like, but I am learning new things and some new songs.

Work is going well. My students are motivated and they really try. I am not very impressed with the so-called curriculum. I think there should be a little more grammar. I mean, you can't teach articles without teaching articles... and that's why our students don't know how to use them. But most people do learn some English. I have a reputation for being very strict and for failing people. I also have the highest student satisfaction marks of all the teachers so... I do not, btw, think that it means I am a good teacher. It just means that I am good with the customers. And, let's be clear, that's all education is anymore. Even the "good" schools have to make the money. We have a staff member at our facility who "graduated" from Fordham, which used to be a pretty respectable institution, but she is an idiot, even the Chinese think so. But even Fordham can't resist that out-of-state tuition, all cash money.

The lights are bright in Jing'An, and I am still enjoying living here. It's far from work and I have to commute for about three hours each day which gets to be a drag. But I use the time to check in on my messages and to read.

I am reading a short biography of Thomas Cranmer. He certainly lived in interesting times.

That's pretty much the news.

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