Friday, December 23
I can't believe it's already Christmas Eve. Of course, it doesn't feel like it, because we're at the office grading and getting stuff done this morning. We gathered at the office today at 8:30 AM to share breakfast and grading. It was actually worth coming just for the breakfast offerings. One girl made omelets, I made breakfast casserole and banana chocolate chip bread, and one girl even found bacon to bring. Now, we're just working together to the tune of Christmas music. Yesterday, some of our classes finished their finals, so we're getting the first round graded before the last set of tests comes in on Monday. I got my two beginner classes graded and their averages are finished. That feels really good!
I'll be in Yanji until Thursday night, then I'm going to Beijing with some of the other conversation teachers for a few days before heading home on the first. I think I already mentioned that in a post a few weeks ago...but what else can I write about here?
Tonight, some of us are having a Christmas Eve gift exchange. We might go ice skating at an outdoor rink later this afternoon, but other than that we don't have any special plans for the holiday. We're all a little too caught up in getting stuff finished. I did get two cookies - one gingerbread and one decorated sugar cookie - made for all my 80 students and 17 teachers in the English conversation department. You can see my box with some of the cookie packages and cards under my baby Christmas tree in my room. I bought it downtown a few weeks ago for about a dollar. Very worth it. I also had some of the students who I got to know this summer over to decorate cookies with me and take some home as their present. All that baking has helped put me in the Christmas spirit, and I think I'll do a little more for the party tonight and hopefully some for a local orphanage before I give up baking for the year.