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It is hard for me to believe that I have been in the classroom for 7 years. It seems like only yesterday that I was entering the classroom as a teacher for the first time. It was the beginning of the spring semester and I was scheduled to teach Oral English to freshmen students majoring in English Education. As a college student, I used to dream of becoming a college teacher.

As a foreigner teaching English in China you are bound, sooner or later, to be invited to a Chinese wedding. In fact I just attended one a few days ago in the lovely city of Chizhou.It’s only a couple of hours away by bus from Anqing, where I have been teaching English to college students for several years.

Each year I get a lot of apples from my students as a Christmas gift and this year was no exception. This is a unique Christmas custom in China, especially popular with young people and oddly can be traced to homophones*. In Chinese pinyin Christmas Eve is PING AN YE (the evening of peace) which sounds like apple- PINGGUO.

It’s the holiday season – slightly more than a week to go before Christmas – which means it is time to make sure dear old grandma’s insurance is paid up.  I’ve been recruiting ESL teachers for 10 years, and have a decade’s worth of data showing that more grandparents die the week before Christmas than any other week of the year.

From the time it was founded, America has a strong tradition of being one of the most innovative countries in the world. From the time of Robert Fulton and Alexander Bell, Henry Ford, NASA, IBM, and Boeing, to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs- the US has been at the forefront of technological revolution in the last two centuries.

My husband moved to Korea to teach English about 10 years ago. His boss picked him up from the bus station and promptly brought him to the school where Stephen would be teaching all the little darlings. First day off the plane ended up being his first day of work. If you have worked in Korea before, you know this is not out of the ordinary.

Each year when I tell my students that Canadian Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October I get the same bewildered look and this year was no exception. It seems that they only know about American Thanksgiving and this comes as no surprise. For example, my oral English textbook’s chapter on Holidays and Festivals only mentions the American one.

The world went into panic mode when the media released news of the Ebola virus. Spreading rapidly through parts of Africa within months and eventually making its way internationally, the Ebola virus poses a serious threat to those who come into contact with anyone infected.


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