I am so happy and proud to read your posts and see how well you are adapting to China and your new lives as teachers. What I am most impressed with is your flexibility in the face of such new and ever-changing circumstances. At some level, even with our semester-long orientation seminar at Skidmore, there is really no way to "prepare" for China! Now that you're there, you understand what I mean. Your adventurous spirit, friendly and generous approach to your work, and keen observations about the excitement that your students feel about having you as their teachers make all of the confusions of everyday life worthwhile. I read your posts and immediate feel "homesick" for the China I so warmly remember. Someone has even posted a photo of my old apartment at Qufu!
This blog has now been introduced to the entire Skidmore community in this week's issue of Scope. I received lots of positive feedback, so keep those pictures and stories coming. As you get further into your teaching, I know you'll have some wonderful experiences to relate. Hey, Lucy, I hear you've been asked to give the welcome address to the entire freshman class at Qufu, standing in front of the statue of Confucius! Don't be nervous - whatever you say will be welcomed with cheers and applause, and it's a great honor.
More later. Collectively you're making a huge difference in the lives of thousands of Chinese students, and Skidmore and I couldn't be prouder!