Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Children's Day, Teacher's Day, and a birthday!

It's been a while since I've posted, mainly due to laziness on my part, so I thought I'd do a quick update on recent goings-on.

Two weeks ago we had level-up tests at school, which are the end-of-term exams that decide whether a student will go to the next level next term. Unfortunately, Children's Day happened to fall smack in the middle of test week, so while most of the students were able to skip out on their regular school, they still had to come to English Academy to take a 3-hour test. And their poor teachers had to show up too to administer the test. Sigh. I actually think Children's Day is a pretty sweet invention (and is also a Japanese holiday). Because the kids get the days off, so do their parents (so that they can spend the day with them) and their teachers. Pretty much everyone wins!

And then, to make things better for students and teachers of regular schools, Teacher's Day is just a week later. This is the day where students write letters to their teachers and give them gifts. Many students have that day off too in order to give their teachers a break. It happened to fall on a Saturday this year so I did not get an extra day off, but I was fortunate enough to receive a bottle of perfume from one of my students.*

Last weekend was the lantern festival for Buddha's birthday, which I believe is this Friday. I wasn't able to make it to the lantern parade, but I will try to take some pictures of the lanterns that are up in my neighborhood park and upload them here. Next weekend I'm hoping to go check out the lanterns in the old downtown area.

In other news, I officially have a plane ticket home! I'll be heading to Beijing on August 21st, then Shanghai on the 27th, and San Francisco on September 7th. Yay!

*It was actually from his mother, which was evident from their embarrassed way he handed it to me and muttered "My mom told me to give this to you" before scampering away.

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