Saturday, July 7, 2012

Thursday, April 22, 2010

happy earth day!

The tribe in Ohio really came through for me. I finally made it here to my other home, the mile high city, and am needing my denver family to help me with the following items.

REMEMBER THE ENVIRONMENTAL RULE - RECYCLE, REUSE, REDUCE.

You are helping the environment AND helping Katie. Two birds, one planet. Kum ba ya!

Candles
Knives
Step stool
Waste baskets
Hooks
Rolling pins
Blender
Flower pots
Mortar/pestle
Bath mats
Broom
Microwave oven
Toaster oven
Juicer
Area rugs
Mop
tupperware
Bookcase
zester and ladles

Saturday, April 17, 2010

getting closer

the response has been wonderful. the list is dwindling.

delaware and ohio people: drop stuff off at the Schnaars or call me and I will pick up.

colorado people - let me know what you have and when i arrive, i'll pick up from you.


Candles
Blankets
Knives
Step stool
Waste baskets
Hooks
Rolling pin
Blender
Flower pots
Mortar/pestle
Bath mats
Broom
Microwave oven
Toaster oven
Juicer
Area rugs
Mop
tupperware
Bookcase
zester and ladles

the farewell cookout last night was fantastic. it was so lovely to have so many people i love to congregate and to enjoy each other.

all of my crap is out of the attic and ready for staging. woo hoo!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

a virtual shower UPDATE

A Virtual Shower - UPDATE
Thank you to those that are starting to send me stuff. Below is an updated list of needs:

Candles Blankets Salad plates Knives Step stool
Christmas lights Mugs Waste baskets Hooks
Rolling pin Blender Flower pots Mortar/pestle
Bath mats Broom Microwave oven Toaster oven Juicer
Area rugs Mop Cookbooks tupperware Bookcase

Remember, this is a virtual shower with a deadline of April 19th. You can do either of the following:
1) Leave your items at the Schnaars house at 200 W Lincoln Ave in Delaware

2) Call Katie at 303-931-2808 and she’ll pick up the items!

Make sure you forward this message to others that might be able to help.

Thanks and enjoy the spring!

Just in time for Spring - A VIRTUAL SHOWER!!

‘Tis the season to celebrate new beginnings! The flowers are blooming, grass is getting greener (on both sides of the fence!), and Katie is moving and is in need of help with her new nest.

In this economy, it is not smart or environmentally sound for Katie to go out to Target to buy all new things. What would be so much better would be for her community, nay, her TRIBE, to help her with this task. It is her hope and her goal to get almost everything she needs for her new house (sans the bed) through friends and family. She doesn’t want you to buy things for her – rather this is a call for you, while you are spring cleaning, to help get rid of things you don’t need and give them to the needy (read Katie)!

The following is what she is need of:

Towels Queen sized sheets Candles Free weights
Blankets Salad plates Knives Step stool
Christmas lights Mugs Waste baskets Hooks
Rolling pin Blender Flower pots Mortar/pestle
Bath mats Small TV Broom Microwave oven
Toaster oven Area rugs Mop Juicer
Cookbooks tupperware Bookcase


Since this is a virtual shower, we are asking you to gather what you have for Katie at Syd and Jasey’s house at 200 W Lincoln Ave in Delaware. Just drop it off on their side porch! Or call Katie and she'll pick it up from you!

Make sure you drop off your offerings BEFORE APRIL 19th. Any questions? Call Katie 303-931-2808 or the Schnaars at 740-369-3344.

Make sure you forward this message to others that might be able to help.

Thanks and enjoy the Spring!!

Colorado friends: Hold on to it and I'll pick up your stuff AFTER April 19th.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Last Month as a PC!!

It's been a long time since the last posting, and yes there has been a lot going on and sometimes it’s difficult to reflect for the blogging audience. Tonight changed things - I must tell you what happened; this is what everyone should read.

Usually I have my women's salon for sophomores and freshmen on Thursdays and women's salon for juniors on Fridays. Last night was a "Zai Jian" party for class B. In both women's salons, the students provide the snacks and I provide the space; but I decided that I should provide more. Tonight we held a joint meeting in which they got to experience my 3 bean chili and garlic bread bing zis. Twenty women (my living room can usually only fit 13) crowd together eating a small morsel of the western food in order for everyone to enjoy. This was the first time for some to experience butter for the first time.

Four hours of English speaking! Mingling, small groups all speaking a second language. It's amazing to watch. And that is what I did for most of the time. A couple of students and I start talking in the kitchen about the difference in conversational dynamics within cultures and what we appreciate about each other. They wanted to know if everything can be explained - I said yes - that is what poetry is for - when you cannot find the words, use the literary techniques to explain yourself - our definitions are subjective; what is "interesting" for some might be considered "horrible" - that's the beauty of language.

Then the best thing happened - I felt it - when they changed their view of me - not as a teacher or other, but as a friend. We have made plans to have a slumber party; to spend as much time together as possible.

One student, Katherine, wanted to take a few of my beers because she wanted to learn how to drink - an essential skill for any potential Chinese business person. Once everyone left, Katherine and I had a small tutorial. I got to teach Chinese etiquette to a Chinese person! How cool is that! So much to learn - how to toast, what to toast, the position of your glass (if host is a superior, make sure when you clink your glasses your glass is lower than theirs), how to pour beer, how to avoid hangovers - it was amazing - to jump that boundary of teacher/student and into something else.

We were a bit drunk and I insisted on walking her home and she did something that I have been dying for - she entwined her arm with mine - the symbol of friendship in China, especially with women. Full moon, pleasant and clear skies, quiet streets, just walking arm in arm.

I explained to some of them that my heart was the size of my torso, begging to expand even more.

This last month (nay, three weeks!) could be the death of me; the most defining moments of my two years here. I want to cry, can't sleep, digging my heels - I don't want to go. This is the glow time – the time when everything is sprinkled with glitter, the time when everything is perfect and real - felt this before I left the US.

But I feel it - many of these students will be my good friends for life. My impatient part is pissed and wants to yell "about damn time! I've been waiting for this since day one!" I'm so glad it did come. NOW it feels real, substantial - my time here I feel like I have made a difference and they have scarred me - never to return to who I was.

These are the times that spank me. Today I love China!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Odyssey in China 11/4/08

This is the first time in Lanzhou University's 100 year history that a foreign teacher ever directed a play.

Insert gulp....

There is an old Chinese saying (there is ALWAYS an old Chinese saying) that in order to achieve greatness, there must be great struggle, or obstacles or something akin to that. After living here for over a year, I believe it and it does happen. Right before you embark on anything, there will be times when your heart’s like a squirrel’s and you think all the worst things will happen and rarely do they. I almost had a few anxiety attacks from snafus or sudden changes or abrupt switcheroos, but I gotta tell you something....

When I was watching last year's play, an adaptation of Tagore’s "Chitra", I envisioned myself standing on stage and feeling it - the energy, the love of my students, whatnot. As I stepped onto the stage Tuesday, it was a deja vu. Exactly how I thought it would be - perhaps even better. The auditorium was packed. Even some of my students from last year, who are now on a different campus, showed up - even bearing flowers for me.

Before the show, the custom is to show a short video of the rehearsals - I taught them the banana dance to get them energized and they loved it. Then the two hosts arrive on stage, welcoming the faculty from Lanzhou University as well as visiting faculty from other local universities (most PCV friends of mine, god love 'em). Then the Dean of the Foreign Language School comes up and delivers a speech.

Finally it was time for me to come out and say something. I expected the gasps and the "whoas" from my students, since I was wearing a skirt and makeup - both rarely seen in the classroom, but the fierceness of the outburst made me believe that my skirt was bunched up in my underwear or that boogers were covering my face.

While the show was going on, the left side of the stage showed the English text and the right side the Chinese version. It was a short one act - only 45 minutes, but the entire time I kept my guard or anxiety at a high level - always awaiting something.

When the cast came back from their curtain call, they all quickly shuffled to me and stood silently beside me, waiting for my reaction. I opened my arms and we all got into a big group hug - unorthodox for Chinese, not wanting to show affection. Many said afterwards that they wanted to perform it again and again!! Check out the pictures. picasaweb.google.com/macdirty/theodyssey

I now can sleep, but I am back to being bored. Back to learning Chinese, reading voraciously and walking around the track late at night. Last night, my site mate, Joe, Kathleen, and I were talking about what I plan on doing with my life (10 year plan crap). After many beers, we started fantasizing about putting on ANOTHER play, nay, MUSICAL next semester. It took me 6 months to put on the Odyssey, but we think wecould do it in 3. Don't know if it will happen, but it was fun talking about it.