Field Day CISS 2011-12

The tents are down…….
The clown noses are on the shelf……..
The animals are back in their cages…………
The circus has moved on to another town……..
But the memories you helped create will last a lifetime!!  
None of it would have been possible without your generosity!  
We cannot put into words how much we appreciated your contributions today! 
You have earned an entire year to rest………
But be ready next year when the 'circus' returns :)  
Until then……


My weekend in review.. only 18 days until summer break!

WOW! This year has flown by! The faculty of Concordia celebrated with the class of 2012 at this weekend's Graduation Ceremony. The gymnasium was beautifully transformed into a beautiful ceremony space, parents and siblings were dressed to the 9's, and the graduates looked amazing in their traditional cap and gown with a Chinese twist. Graduations are always an exciting time, as you close one chapter, and anxiously await for the next one to begin. Good luck to the class of 2012!
In other news, I ate delicious Dong Bei (northern China/Beijing) food with Veronique,
saw an amazing sunset from my terrace,
played with my handsome dog,
and finished the newest Federico Moccia book, "Esta noche dime que me quieres".
The plot was a bit unrealistic and drawn out. The main character was an absolute stalker, and perhaps this is considered romantic in Italy, but in America, the female character would have gone to the police to get a restraining order. I could not really relate to the characters, and found them kind of annoying, almost pathetic. The author gave a lot of background information that was not absolutely essential to the plot. I would have liked to hear the voices of the other characters, especially Andrea, the husband of Sofia. The author also threw out brand names left and right, which made some parts feel like an advertising campaign. I found it to be super distracting and annoying. Plot aside, I am especially proud because it is a pretty long book (376 pages), I finished it in about three weeks, AND I didn't need dictionary assistance. I could feel myself reading faster, and I'm using new expressions I learned from the book in daily speech. One last strange thing I noticed about books in Spanish vs English. Conversations can be a bit tricky to follow because the authors do not include "s/he said" after someone speaks. Therefore, you have to pay close attention to who's saying what. In any event, I cannot wait to get to Mallorca and buy more books for summer reading. Only 18 more days left!
Cada vez que conoces a alguien tu vida cambia y, tanto si te gusta como si no, nosotros nos hemos encontrado, yo he entrado en tu vida y tú en la mía.--Esta noche dime que me quieres. F.Moccia

Hasta la próxima! que tenéis una buena semana!

Happy Mother's Day! Fitness Class

I hosted an hour-long mother/daughter fitness class last weekend to celebrate Mother's Day. It was a great success, with a nice turn out of about 22 women/girls. We performed aerobic movements, yoga/pilates fusion movements, dynamic stretches and muscular strength exercises-special attention to the abdomen area! ;) The group also responded well to my music selection, all songs about sun and sunshine, to celebrate the light mothers' and daughters' bring to each others' lives. It was especially rewarding to get positive feedback: "I think this is a lovely event so all daughters can show how much they care about their moms'. Thank you for the opportunity". Thank you again to all the mothers and daughters who came out for the exercise fun!

My dog thinks he's a swan!

Maybe he's thinking, "C'mon guys, I want to play too!"

"Wipeout" workout.. Operation Bikini!

Middle School Field Day, May 25, 2012

MS Physical Education is leading Field Day this Friday, May 25th. We are using a "Circus" theme, and students will competing on animal-themed teams in competitive traditional sport activities, minute to win-it challenges, relay races and final team challenges. We are very excited for the other planned activities, such as our flash mob, photo booth and moon bounce castles. It should be a wonderful day! (Now let's hope it does NOT rain!)

Anyone can talk to students; how can you help them listen?

Many students struggle with the idea of failure. They want to be good at everything, and want to win at all costs. Some students would rather practice only what they know they are good at, so they are successful every time. Middle school has been an exciting age group to teach, because they are a captive audience at a pivotal time in life. Beyond just talking to the students, I write quotes on our hallway whiteboard to inspire them through tough days. Though they might not be cooperative all of the time, it is a HUGE accomplishment when students are willing to try new things, and develop a positive attitude about change. Our world is changing faster than ever. I hope I inspire my students to be the change they want to see in the world. It's okay to fail, but it's not okay to give up completely. As they say in Spanish, "Las cosas son difíciles, pero no imposible. Siempre hay una manera".

Vegetable and Mushroom Bun.. yum yum

So as the seasons change, and the weather is getting warmer, my favorite cold weather food street vendors are unavailable (no more roasted chestnuts and yams). Have no fear, I have found a new favorite treat! Bi feng tang dumplings without meat, just vegetables and mushrooms inside. The street vendors make them fresh and hot, but they are a little too ethnic for our Western bubble here in Jinqiao. I have been buying the pre-made ones from Family Mart, which just aren't the same, but they are sufficient until when I'm back in the "real" Shanghai. I was tempted to buy the frozen version today while food shopping, but that's just taking my new obsession a bit too far! ;) Do you ever go through food phases? For good or for bad?
I was enjoying my snack when all of a sudden, a creepy crawling thing brushed up against my leg!! EEEK! To my delight, it was only a little kitten! :)

Shanghai Zoo Trip with Migrant Children.

This post is very overdue, but these are pictures from the zoo trip I volunteered for. It was a great outing that was sponsored by Sacred Heart Church here in Pudong to support children of migrant workers from rural villages of China. Despite our language barriers, I had my group of little girls giving high fives, jumping, skipping and hopping by the end of the day. They were too precious! What a great gift from God, to be able to spread love to children who need it the most.

Cuando es necesario cambiar tus metas?

Libro: Todo lo que podríamos haber sido tú y yo, si no fuéramos tú y yo. Autor: Albert Espinosa.