Saturday, November 25, 2006


Happy belated Thanksgiving.  I wish I could have been in Cincinnati to share it with you all.  Fortunately, I did get to eat some turkey, but there's no way it was as good as it would have been shared with you at home.

Early this week, Monday I think, there was a knock at the door and I heard English voices -native English speakers- outside.  It was Keith (the Texan who's here studying English) and his first-grade daughter Génesis.  It was a pleasant surprise to see them, and it wasn't until they invited me to their house for dinner on Thursday that I realized Thanksgiving was this week.  They also invited a few other people. namely Ron, the other foreign teacher here, Sarah, their Chinese teacher and a fellow English teacher here, Nana, a Finnish teacher of English at another university, Larry, a Hawaiian teaching English in Xi'an, and Larry's wife.  We had turkey cooked in the toaster oven (the closest thing to a real oven, but unfortunately not big enough for a whole bird), cranberry sauce, cornbread, real baked bread (another rarity), and both pumpkin and apple pie.  Quite a Western feast.  The accompanying vegetables, though, were cooked in a Chinese style, which made for an interesting mixture.  The food was all very good; Mixy's an excellent cook, and I got to complement her in Spanish.   Actually, that complement unintentionally derailed a conversation she was having with Nana as, after saying a few more words in English, she unconsciously slipped into Spanish, which, as you know, is not commonly spoken in Finland.

After dinner, we had to play some games for the kids.  The first was "Pin the beak on the turkey," with children being blindfolded and adults forced to squat and waddle backwards, using only one hand to fix the beak in the (hopefully) right place.  I think I came in fifth.  Then there was an Easter-egg-hunt-esque turkey hunt, competition-style, males against females.  Of the 14 paper turkeys, we were able to find 9, and the girls fared just as well.  A draw.  Which lead to the next activity: coloring.  There were all sorts of festive pictures of cornucopias, pilgrims and Indians, family dinners, etc., and your choice of crayons or colored pencils.  I voted for crayons, and coloring outside the lines.  Someone needs to show these kids what it's like outside the box.  As we colored, instead of football, the TV showed Nanny McPhee, which, in my mind, was a poor substitute.

In all it was quite a nice evening, though as I said early, no match for Thanksgiving at home.  It did, though, beat my Chilean Thanksgiving in terms of culinary quality.

Other than the holiday, not much else has happened here.  I signed the extension for my contract yesterday, hopefully guaranteeing that I won't be teaching as many hours next semester.  This week I had 16 (plus the 8 spent going to and fro in the bus), and the next three weeks I'll be teaching 20, since the freshman started late and all of their classes need to fit 3 make up classes into the semester to meet the minimum requirements for the duration of a semester-long course.  Quite a pain, if you ask me, but again, one that won't occur next semester.  Also, I'm told that I'll be moving to the new campus on or around December 15th, which would eliminate the wasteful and boring commute.

Not much else to add, so I'm going to brave the 40 degree weather in search of a winter hat, slippers, reading lamp, and maybe some more tea.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you were missed at the urbana thanksgiving.

- mo