Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring rolls

"Does it often get this hot in winter?" I sweatily asked a student in mid-February, which is often considered part of winter in the northern hemisphere.
"We don't have winter," was the response. The not-winter period featured rather cold, damp periods punctuating by warm summer stretches. Now deep in March, the humidity has been low at times and high at times with temperatures in the 20s. In such conditions with a breeze, it feels like a sheet, fresh from the drier, is caught on your body, flapping around, but without the air resistance. I guess this must be Spring. Many of us in the office have simultaneously developed sore throats. My theory is that the far-flung sandstorm shredded our throat linings, ever so subtly. My body has been playing tricks on me as it grapples with the demands of living in this warm, dirty, pressurized metropolis.
"This is a subtitle. This is a subtitle. This is a subtitle. This..." ran continuously across top of the big LCD screen in English on the biggest shopping mall as I waited across the street. Postmodern, perhaps. Time hasn't generated much traction lately: it runs through my fingers like dry sand and street dust. The milestone of the fourth month in China past two weeks ago, but I didn't had the accompanying unease as at the end of the third month. This time has featured the whirlwind arrival and departure of my sister; increased responsibility at work; plans for travel forming for both June and July and some clarity appearing for what I may do at the end of my contractual year. In terms of the latter, I'm placing myself well to be promoted to a senior teacher before the end of contract, whether it be in my own centre or another. In my own centre, I'm arguably the academic head (although with the imminent arrival of a new director of studies, that may change).
With my Chinese learning coming back into focus once again, I'm enjoying the prospects of the next month...