Picture 1: Escalator warning pictures inside an elevator on B’s campus.
Picture 2: the Christmas tree in B’s building.
Picture 3: Apparently, the students didn’t really get dressing-up for Halloween but it turns out they dress-up for New Year’s. And the majority of the costumes are military with realistic guns.
Picture 4: The group of students B mentors were supposed to pick out a costume for him. He showed up at work the day of the carnival and his costume was this pink wig. Visitors from other Chinese schools lined up to have their pictures taken with him. The teachers/staff of the other schools.
Picture 5: The school had a carnival for their New Year’s celebration. There were some fun rides set up on the field but it was super frigid that day and each ride had a long long line so we skipped it.
Picture 6: For some reason, a lot of shrubs/bushes had these wooden frames built around them for the winter and then were covered with tarp.
Picture 7: B and I took Buddy with us on a trip to Sam’s Club so he can be my GPS/navigator on future trips. We found this giant stuffed dog.
For the first year, B’s school had a Christmas party for the international department teachers (and their families). It was really nice. We all got dressed up, everyone complimented the kids on how nice they looked and how well behaved they were. The kids stuck around for the appetizers, dinner and some of the Christmas caroling before they declared boredom and requested we let them go home. And since we were traveling over Christmas, this Friday night (Dec. 19) was our Christmas Eve (we’d done all our Christmas Eve stuff before the party) so they wanted to go home, leave Oreos out for Santa, put Squirt in bed and watch movies.
B’s school field trip (Oct. 31), his report on it:
It seems my school makes a yearly field trip to a World War Two museum, which, in an effort to produce reasoned dialog and international cooperation, the Chinese refer to as “The War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.”
I had no interest in going. I lived in the Washington, DC, area for four years and made sure I never once entered the United States Holocaust Museum, and I was not about to spend an afternoon looking at exhibits detailing the Rape of Nanjing (link intentionally not included).
I’ve already told you that I hate Holocaust deniers and downplayers. I don’t need to see a murdered Jew to fully understand the severity of what happened. Maybe some do, and so I’m not going to generalize to a condemnation of such museums. I just don’t see any benefit to my life, while I see a giant downside.
Worst of all would be treating these tragedies as a type of entertainment, or manipulating them for political purposes. Holocaust museums aren’t trying to hold something over Germany’s head for the rest of history, they are opposed to modern antisemitism.
I feel I’m making my point very poorly. A partial reason is my tiredness. Another is my reticence to criticize the internal workings of my hosts. And another is my desire to not really think about these things more than absolutely necessary.
Denouement: my school allowed the international faculty to opt for a visit to a nearby bridge instead. It was a nearly-unanimous decision.
Part two, Coming Soon!
These uploaded in reverse order, so here goes:
Actual Halloween night. We lit them but didn’t put them out or go Trick or Treating.
B’s school had a field trip on Halloween so their party and pumpkin carving contest were after school on the 30th. Only a handful of students and teachers were dressed up in addition to our kids but several students carved pumpkins.
PS had a church youth activity across town where she carved her pumpkin.
The Saturday before Halloween (was a bad air day) and there was an unofficial Halloween party at church for the kids.