All I want for Christmas
Actually, I don't want anything for Christmas.
Teaching a Primary School Grade One
You may know that I went to a Primary School Monday afternoon to teach. It was an experience that I would rather forget, as the class went out of control. I got the kids too excited and then couldn't control them. It was going off the rails and the plot was being lost. Still, I persevered and brought back a semblance of civilization at the end. But since they weren't my kids, and I was there too short a time to work on discipline, I couldn't employ the tactics I would have liked on some of the little runts.
God, I pray Tony doesn't become a runt.
Santa and Jesus
Never having talked about the Nativity Story at Christmas time before, I have been talking it up a vengeance this year. I have found that the students have little knowledge of it. I had a student tell me that Joseph became known as Santa Claus. I had a student, I told you before, say Jesus was born in the Garden of Eden. Telling the students of the conflict between Santa and Jesus, they seem to prefer Jesus and not to understand why there would be a conflict.
Interestingly, I had a student tell me that Jesus was born in a garage, which in modern terms is true. A stable is what people parked their animals in, in the old days.
What Shall we do for Christmas?
Jenny and I got around to talking about this last night. For Jenny, Christmas means that we get Friday off. She asked me if I wanted to go out, do some shopping. In the West, of course, this is not done. I told her that I would prefer to stay at home which raises the question of what we are going to eat...
I am no source of the doing of other Wuxi Expats. I have overheard that some are going to the Provence for a big dinner.
I will intend to enjoy my last semi-bachelor-don't-have-to-do-anything Christmas best I can. I think next year I will have to start impressing the tradition, as it were, on Tony.
Tony and Jenny in a bus accident
Taking the bus to school yesterday morning, I thought to make an entry about how terrible and unprofessional most of the Wuxi transit drivers were. I can't count the number of incidents, anymore, where I have seen a driver make a quick brake causing all the passengers to tumble over and gasp in fear. How many times I have gone home and seen a driver acting like a F-1 driver because he wanted to go home and it was the final run of the day for him.
Well, yesterday, my wife and son experienced the height of Wuxi Bus Driver unprofessionalism when a driver, of a number 25 bus which was following too closely another bus, had to stop so suddenly that passengers were thrown on the floor. Jenny and Tony were sitting and had a woman sit on them. Two people, a passenger and the driver, had to be taken to hospital to fix facial wounds which had resulted in profuse bleeding.
Funny how my wife mentioned this story to me in passing.
Do people pleasantly surprise or disappoint you?
I may have told you that I have been more disappointed by the things people will do. Maybe, it is something about being far away from home that does that to people. Maybe, it is just an universal quality of man's fallen nature.
The students, when I asked them this question at my English Corner last night, took a different view -- a large majority of them told me that they were pleasantly surprised. I suppose this is because they have low expectations of human nature to begin with.
When you have no expectations, you won't be disappointed.
Who has Christmas Day Off?
Foreigners in China may be given Christmas Day from their Chinese employers. I am grateful to my school because I do have that day off. Chinese employees of foreign companies may get the day off -- for instance, Caterpillar employees in Wuxi. But all schools and most companies will be operating as usual that day.