We had some snow in Jingzhou over the weekend…in the air but never accumulated on the ground…which was OK with us. We had some highs in the low 60’s for a few days and got fooled thinking spring might be here early…then it got back into the 38-41 degree range as the high for the day! Ouch!
We’ve had our teeth cleaned and it proved to be a public event. There are no appointments and future patients are allowed to ‘hang around’ the doctor for many procedures. It took some ‘getting used to’ but was OK, because the technician was so thorough and professional…we will definitely do it again. I plan to get a crown on my tooth in a few weeks, when we can find the time.
Our dental cleaning was at the Central Hospital, where all medical practice is conducted. While Terry was getting her teeth cleaned, Howard heard 3-4 people talking and volunteered that “they are talking about how young Terry looks.”
I told him that she had heard it before, in several different places. “She does not have many wrinkles on her face,” he said. “Yes, you are right, she does not have many wrinkles,” I agreed. He tapped me lightly on the shoulder, and said, looking straight into my eyes, “You are fortunate.”
The cleaning cost was 171.25 yuan each ($26.55), and we’ll get most of it back through our medical plan through the University. We have not received reimbursements yet, but we either get full reimbursement or 90% for all doctor visits and medicines. We are very grateful, since we’ve gone a few years at different times in America without medical insurance.
We learn something each week about our students….found it amazing to hear two of the girls say they had never washed/dried/put away dishes before…they were early for a Life Lesson and TJ was finishing up the dinner dishes…they both offered to help, and acknowledged having never done it before. It speaks to the ‘one child’ mentality to keep their minds/hearts on their studies and ‘doing everything else for them.’
Learning to work while at home, or literally ‘being at home’ are two things lacking in many homes, since many middle and senior school students live at school, rather than at home, or with grandparents, and go to school from 6:30 am—10:00 pm, with a break for lunch and a short ‘rest break 11:30-1:30 pm.
Stella came for lunch one Saturday…she is one of TJ’s better students and we are enjoying her very much…we look forward to having her on our campus as a sophomore next semester! She said that as soon as she was with us, she felt very comfortable, “…like I do with my relatives. The communication is also very good.” Of course, we are thankful.
I found a kindred spirit again in Ling, one of my students. In the middle of class, his eyes brightened as he looked at my paperback text book, with a spiral binder I had installed while in America. I like the ability to lay the book flat and also hold it ‘in half.’ He also liked those features, and is working now to find the process somewhere in China.
Little by little, we are finding items we need here in China…two of our teacher friends helped TJ find cough medicine that would help ‘finish off’ her lingering cold…and I again found Metformin in the pharmacy here outside our front-gate….two yuan (16 cents) for three-week supply.
One of our students gave us some sausage, from her hometown. Not sure we wanted to try it; I overcooked itbut would not buy it for myself…missing the spices that make Jimmy Dean so good, I guess 🙂
TJ’s dermatologist here is willing to send medicines to America for those who have Vitiligro, after he sees pictures of their ’spots’ and looks at any medical history issues. We are surprised but grateful that perhaps some friends (and friends of friends) can also get some help.
We’ve hung a rope in our office area to dry laundry during this cold weather. I brought some hooks from Home Depot back and drilled/installed them into the concrete wall. I am amazed that wet clothes will eventually dry outdoors, or at least the Chinese say they do, because that is their method during the winter.
I have enjoyed getting to know better so-o-o-o many of the students, since we’re now spending a 2nd year with many of them. One sweet young lady, an angel named Angel, was concerned that she was having to miss some weekly discussions because she had a schedule conflict. I told her we understand that their schedules get fuller when they are finishing their junior years…she seemed relieved…and I told her we also have realized that they will soon be leaving…that is the way it is with the university environment. “We miss you when you are not here, but we understand,” I said. She had a big smile.
Greetings from Terry: This week I discovered where the teachers go before class on the West campus in the morning when the bus drops us off 20 minutes before class. It is just a room with table and chairs but it is nice to have a place out of the weather where we can sit and visit instead of going to the room so early.
Keven went home for his grandmother’s funeral this past weekend and was not able to be with us Sunday so we had him over for dinner Tuesday evening. We had chicken spaghetti, stir fried veggies, garlic bread, fruit salad and a Milano double chocolate cookie. After the water was turned off all afternoon till 4:30, and the gas for the stove running completely out just as I finished cooking the chicken and putting the noodles on to cook, I was really thankful it all came together and was quite tasty after all. So glad we had a microwave so I could finish the dinner.
Today I greased all the door hinges with the Crisco I brought from America. I do believe it has taken care of the squeaks. I learned that from the book, The Help. Reading is so beneficial. 🙂
This semester I don’t have any classes on Wednesday. I love having a midweek break from classes to catch up on all the other parts of life. As it turns out, the fact that I have eight classes using three different books isn’t as difficult as I had thought it would be. The different books keep me from going crazy repeating the same lesson so many times.
Also, Gary gave me a great idea for my lesson plan to use in my sophomore class. He had the same students the previous two semesters. So he knows how they think and what level they are. I am so glad, because teaching the older students is more intimidating to me. So far it is going well and I am enjoying all of my classes. Three of my classes are brand new to me and four are repeats from last semester.
I was not able to get my teeth cleaned as planned in the states so Howard made arrangements at a place close by that his family uses. So that will be a new experience for me. I am requesting all goes well and will let you know how it turns out. (It went well…very professional and well done…very public, with several other patients stopping by to look us over with our mouth wide open.) C.Y.H. (Consider Yourselves Hugged) — Terry.
News from China: BEIJING – Producers and sellers of “gutter oil”, or illegally recycled cooking oil, could face the death penalty, China’s top court reaffirmed on Thursday. The reaffirmation is the country’s latest effort to crack down on a cause of public concern over food safety in the world’s most populous country.
“Courts should fully consider suspects’ subjective intention, the amount of money involved and the harm that has been done to the public and the market,” read a circular issued on Thursday by the Supreme People’s Court, China’s top court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the top prosecuting body, and the Ministry of Public Security. “For those who deserve death, death penalties should be handed down resolutely,” it said.
Gutter oil can contain carcinogens and other toxins that are harmful when consumed by people. The government launched a massive crackdown last year after media reports said gutter oil has been rampant in China.
Police have busted 100 gutter oil manufacturers since August and arrested about 800 suspects in 135 cases in the campaign, Xinhua News Agency said.
The notice issued on Thursday also said the court should impose “harsh punishments” on government officials if they fail to fulfill their duties and that “causes damage to public health” and “erodes the government’s credibility”.
According to a law amendment enacted in May, criminals convicted of food safety crimes that cause death will be put behind bars for at least 10 years. Life sentences and the death penalty could be also handed down. In the past two years, 726 criminals have received jail sentences for producing and selling tainted food. The most severe punishment was a death sentence with a two-year reprieve.