Alright. Thursday. I didn't forget. Unfortunately, neither has my arm forgotten. It has felt like it is on fire ever since I got that ridiculous shot. Anyway, Charlene (one of the secretaries for the school) is the one that took us to the hospital. We were there for 2 and a half hours! We had to wait a long time to see the doctor, and she asked us some questions and was surprised when we told her we had already had our MMR. Then we had to go pay somewhere else (it was about $25 USD, give or take). Then we had to go get the vaccine at the medicine distribution counter. After that, we had to walk across the street to the emergency room, which is where they give you the shot. Almost they gave mine to me standing up, even after I told them I would probably pass out, but I asked if I could at least sit down first, and they said yes. It hurt almost as much as the Hepatitis shots. I had to sit there with my eyes closed for a few minutes because the room started spinning on me, but then I was OK (sore, but OK). After that, we had to go back to the doctor to pick up some more paper work, and then finally we had to go get our papers stamped by the government officials (I think?) that are at the hospital. THEN we got to come home and I just stayed on my bed for 2 hours until it was time to go to AK.
And a picture of Christina and her ow:
Friday I was very busy. I worked on my lesson plan for a good 3 hours before class, and that was even after having worked on it 3 hours the night before. Turns out I prepared too much to cover, but more on that later. Fridays are also my really long days; I teach from 1:30-8:50 without any breaks (well, I've got about 10 minutes between each class, but I always spend that time setting up or running upstairs just long enough to use the bathroom). Frances came into my 5G class yesterday as it was starting and rearranged the way I had the desks set up and also my seating chart. Jenny says this is normal Frances behavior. What bothered me is that she didn't say anything to me at all, she just started shouting at my kids in Chinese and seemed really angry. She was in my class for about 10 minutes arranging things and shouting in Chinese the whole time and never even looked at me until she was leaving and she told me "This way is better," and that I needed to keep my eyes on George and Eric (which I have already discovered for myself), and then she left. I don't mind the way she changed things (in fact, I actually really like the new arrangement for the desks), I just minded the way she handled it. I felt kind of embarrassed and belittled because I had no idea what was going on and my students kept looking at me. We actually did end up doing the exercise rotations, we just didn't use the weights. (The exercise rotations are part of our DPVE's, which I don't remember what that stands for right now, but it has to do with verbalization things. We were trying to teach them new vocabulary based on muscles and exercise and how they felt after exercise, as well as get them to use their muscles because children here aren't really used to that sort of thing. Wednesday a child got hurt using the weights, and so we thought we weren't going to do them anymore.) It was absolute chaos and I am glad we are not doing that any more, especially since I didn't have time to get through even half of my lesson (we barely had time for the spelling test, and I still have not graded all of them). I actually had to make one class just sit at the desks without talking to anyone for about 5 minutes because they were all being so rude, and then I asked them if they were willing to try again. The last group of kids I had in rotations I took one downstairs to the secretaries because he was very much so not listening to me. He was running around in circles around the room and wouldn't stop, and then he just laid on the floor and wouldn't get up. Finally I just grabbed his arm, forced him to stand, and marched him out the door. He was in Heather's class, and when her students were going back to their room, I heard Heather asking the only girl where the boy was. The girl said "He made the teacher really mad and she took him downstairs. Teacher was really angry!" I hadn't realized I was angry, but I guess when the threat to take a student to the secretary becomes a reality, that is the way the teacher is perceived as being, namely ANGRY.
Christina and I then walked to Amart because Jenny told us we should probably have our own toilet paper and at least one gallon of water to be prepared for the typhoon, worst-case scenario. (Oh, yeah. There was a typhoon warning for Saturday, in case you didn't catch my tweet on Twitter about that.) I bought another pillow there (now I have my fortress of pillows! Yea!) and decided to buy a lot of instant noodles, too, hoping that they will be good (the one that I've tried so far is SO GOOD! I will have to get some more).
As we were approaching Amart, though, this guy (probably in his 20's) was walking the other direction and he just stopped dead in his tracks and stared at us. Except, neither one of us could really tell if he was staring at us or behind us, but he looked like he was thinking really hard, like maybe he had forgotten something and was trying to remember. We had almost passed him when he said "Excuse me!" Do to the look he had on his face, I thought he was going to ask us how to get somewhere or if we knew where he could get something... I was so confused how he thought we would know what he wanted, but turns out that is not it. "Where are you from?" When we told him America, he got really excited and asked, "Are you study Taiwan?" (Translation from the Chinglsih: do you study in Taiwan?) We told him no, that we worked here at a school and he asked us which one. Please note that we were also wearing our school shirts yesterday (which mine is ginormous and could almost be a dress) so we showed him the logo and he said "Oh! Teachers! You teach [children]?" (Instead of actually saying "children," he held is hand out at waist-level.) Then he wanted our phone numbers, but we don't have a phone. So he asked for the school's phone number, but we don't have it memorized (I know. Every child knows they should memorize their phone number, but I don't even know how the phones work in this country!). In final desperation, he asked us if we had Facebook and if he could add us. Christina wrote down her name on the back of one of his business cards, and I started to write my name, but it finally dawned on me that he had mentioned "Facebook," so I told him that I don't have Facebook. His face fell momentarily, but then he asked "MSN?" Yes. I have MSN. I haven't used it in well over a year, but I do have it. So I wrote down that email address for him. He has yet to email me/add me to his contacts. He also gave each of us one of his business cards, but not until after he had written down his English name (Kelly) and put a check mark next to his phone number. I don't know that either Christina or I will ever call him, but who knows, right? It was really amusing and not at all creepy like it would have been at home in America. He just seemed so excited to have met someone that spoke English that he desperately wanted to keep in contact with us to practice his English.
Yesterday was a pretty boring day. I had to get up early for a special "Planning meeting" where we all thought we were going to get trained on making lesson plans, but no. Baptism by fire yet again. No training, just jump right into it! I just kind of clicked around the folders in the network for a good 15 minutes not knowing what I was doing when Gerald finally came over and tried to help me. I finished around noon, but realized that I forgot to do my DPVE (ie horrible sports project/activity) for Elementary around 7:00 tonight. Oops. After planning, I made lunch (a cup of instant noodles that turned out to be a very delicious tomato soup type thing that DIDN'T MAKE ME SICK) and then contemplated taking a nap. I didn't, but I did just stay in my room until around... 4? Something like that. At that point, Sara came in and asked if we wanted to go somewhere, anywhere. We did. We didn't leave until after 5, though, and about 5 of us just rode our bikes down to Amart again. I decided I wanted some more junk/snack food because I didn't have any left (didn't buy it yesterday, and I need my sugar fix!), and Christina wanted the same. I am not sure what the other teachers were getting, but I think some of them needed actual groceries. While we were walking around the store, I suddenly heard in a very clear "American" accent "I want lychee fruit." My head whipped around because it was not a voice I recognized, and there were 3 or 4 Asian girls speaking in native English! We saw them again a little later by the junk food, speaking English again, and I couldn't stop staring at them. I suddenly know what it is like to be Taiwanese and not be able to look away from the "Foreigners," except the reason I couldn't look away was because I was in shock at being able to understand someone that wasn't a teacher speak in public! I told Christina that I couldn't stop staring because I could finally understand someone and she said, "It's the gift of tongues!"
We came home and dropped off our food stuffs, then Jessica, Christina and I rode our bikes down to the Pochinko's aka Orange Chicken restaurant. It is right across the street from Night Market, though, which takes place on Saturdays, so it was CRAZY TRAFFIC! Don't worry, we made it safely, but it was a little nerve-wracking. We had to wait for our food forever and we had to get take-out because they were so busy that they didn't have any seats left inside (and there are no seats outside).
Entrance to Night Market while we were waiting for our food
Crazy traffic, but mostly I was taking a picture of the sky/buildings in the background. You just can't avoid cars when taking pictures, though. Still waiting for the foods.
To demonstrate why we had to wait so long, but also to show the way people park here. There aren't really sidewalks, and people just park in the street. Not on the side of the road (I mean, you try to park on the side of the road, but there's not much of a shoulder to park on), so then cars just park in the road. It makes the whole driving/riding-your-bicycle thing very interesting.
When we finally got home, we took some chairs and plates up to the roof and ate up there. Jessica went in before Christina and I because she was getting eaten alive; Christina and I came back in around 8:30.
The typhoon never hit. It didn't even get close to us. It only rained for maybe 45 minutes on Saturday (and that's being generous), and then it cleared up and got sunny again. I was kind of upset because, had we known that would have been the case, we would have gone to Taichung to shop at Costco and get some real, familiar, American food. Now it will probably be another 2 weeks before we are able to go because next Saturday is Taipei Temple Day.
Today has been another nice, quiet Sunday. I had the "opportunity" to play the piano for Relief Society, but it didn't go very well. I think the problem was two-fold: 1. I haven't played the piano in about a month, so I am out of practice; 2. I haven't played out of the hymn book much in nearly a year. There is a piano on the third floor in the Big Room here at the school that Gerald said we can use (when the school is open), but I am not sure if there are any hymn books to practice with... We might just have to start playing top hand only for some hymns if I keep playing for the RS.
Other fun thing that happened today, Stake Choir practice! The Wuchuan 1st ward asked our little branch to combine with them or the choir. We will be singing "The Iron Rod" in, wait for it, Chinese! It was quite the experience. I think it's going to be fun, though. Luckily, Stake Conference isn't until October, so we have a little while to practice. One of the ladies in our Relief Society is going to try to find some time to help us to practice pronunciation and stuff.
Now for my not so subtle hint (for those of you still reading despite the lack of pictures). I haven't heard from hardly ANYONE yet, and it is making me sad. JUST BECAUSE I LIVE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD DOESN'T MEAN I'M DEAD!