Not to disappoint my legions of fans, I’m answering their deafening cry – “What have you been doing since October?” Good question. Here’s my answer:
I’ve completed two Toastmaster speeches
My first speech was a general introduction about myself and my second speech was about why time flies!
I’ve been elected VPE of my Toastmaster Club
Originally I planned to be the person who sets up the meeting room (Sergeant At Arms). You see, I wanted to keep things easy peasy lemon squeezy. However, I ended up being elected Vice President of Education (VPE) which is basically the biggest job after President. Thankfully, I have four assistants (and counting…) that help me with the role.
I’ve taught writing and speaking classes for 16 weeks
At the start of term 16 weeks felt like a long time, by week 7 it felt like a really long time, and by week 15 I wondered where all the time had gone – although I didn’t miss it – I’m happy to have a break.
I’ve fostered a rabbit
A friend asked me if I could help her by looking after a rabbit she had rescued from the streets. I agreed but boy was the rabbit messy! Never again. After 11 weeks I was free of the daily cleaning. Though I do miss the rabbit a wee bit; I like talking to animals.
I’ve discovered the beauty of improv comedy
Beijing Broads, a group of funny women, hosted a free improv workshop in November. After almost chickening out – I know… me? chickening out? It can happen! – I attended the workshop and loved it. Then I attended two improv shows and loved them too. There is a place in my heart for improv, I only wish there was a place in my schedule for the free weekly workshops, but they clash with my Toastmaster meetings. #SadFace
I’ve read four books
Two years can pass and I’ll read no books. Then all of a sudden I’ll read five in a couple of weeks. Well, one weekend, boredom hit me and I asked my neighbors for spare books; not wanting to loose any more time to my internet addiction. It’s a good thing having English teachers as neighbors. I was lent The Road (scary), Wild (inspiring), My name is Aram (fantastic), and Lean In (motivating). All great in different ways.
I’ve been to the dentist
Half my face swelled up, half my pain killers ran out, so I had to see a dentist. I’ve not had the best luck with dentists in the UK, or other countries, but China is an exception. What an experience. Marble floor, chandelier, and a dentist who had time to chat. China provided me with private care at an affordable price. Give me the full works! I’ll be trying to fix all my dental flaws at this place.
I’ve given a speech on volunteering
Not that the kids cared. When I arrived the event organizer told me the students preferred “useful topics” but by the end I think they were swayed, and at least 10 young minds will consider volunteering either in China or oversees. So the future looks bright people, don’t fret!
I’ve graded 456 essays
Sadly that’s not a typo. I had 38 students in 4 classes, and each student had to write 3 essays. After seeing the same mistakes time and time again I started to question myself. Is it possible to write more than one word after using the phrase “in a word”? How is “convenient” really spelt? Are contractions acceptable in an academic essay? The list goes on.
I’ve tried a hula-hoop dance class
My ribs didn’t enjoy it but I did. Years ago in Colombia I’m pretty sure I broke some ribs, but I never went to hospital to confirm it due to my lack of Spanish. Anyway, the hula-hoping brought back the pain. Hula-hooping was harder than I remembered but more fun than I imagined. And thanks to hula-hooping….
I’ve been in a magazine!!!
I believe you’ve not “made it” somewhere until you’ve “made it” into the local paper. And let’s be honest, Beijing has a population of 28 million so I’m basically a superstar now. Thanks to hula-hooping I’ve been featured in print media in yet another country (previously Austria. Thanks Austria). Tragically, the photo only displays my back, but my oh my what a back it is!
I’ve won four competitions
Who knows why, but I’ve been lucky enough to win four competitions since winning a free ticket to the pizza festival in September. My prizes include:
- A Christmas tree – thanks Tibet Vista Tour.
- Three free floating therapy sessions and a box of tea – thanks TruLiving and AWA Health.
- 100RNB food delivery voucher – thanks Sherpa’s.
- A free ticket to a StartUp Grind event – Thanks JingJobs.
Prior to this my luck in competitions was negligible. I only remember winning one competition; a 6-months supply of kitten food when I was in primary school, but by the time I received it my kitten was a cat.
I’ve made frog cookies
I was lucky enough to be given a free spot on a Sawada Kitchen cookie making class.
I’ve celebrated a Swedish festival called Lucia
I mainly want to show off the cool photo, but the traditional singing, food and drinks were nice too.
I’ve rehearsed for a dance show
Sadly I didn’t make it to the stage. Half way through rehearsals I got too busy and had to drop out. I know – crazy! Probably the only time in my life I have put work first! Haha
Last but not least, I’ve fallen in love with Beijing
Not enough to learn Chinese mind, but enough to stay another year if I’m asked.
Das ist alles!
Ich bin fertig!