After spending the month of September getting into a good routine, I spent the month of October adjusting to all the changes to my schedule. It seemed like I got to the end of every week and declared, “That was a weird week.”
The first week of October was the October Holiday (a.k.a. Mid-Autumn Festival), so we did not have school. I made five trips to downtown Shanghai and visited the water town Zhoujialou; three of these trips were with other teachers, and three were with groups of students. I spent only one day at home resting, so by the end of the holiday, I was quite tired.
The second week of October was filled with appointments with students. Before the October Holiday, we started an English speaking project with the second-year students that requires them to speak to an English teacher for twelve 30-minute segments. I spent many hours this week with students going to meals, walking around the track, answering questions about homework, and traveling to Zhoupu for dinner and shopping.
By the third week of October, I was worn out and got a bad cold and then a stomach bug, so I spent much of the week trying to get better. We also started choir practice for the Christmas play this week, so that is now part of my Monday schedule.
During the fourth week of October, I had to catch up on the grading that accumulated while I was sick. I stayed up late several nights in a row grading essays and then a test. However, the students had several tests this week, so most of my appointments ended up being canceled, and I had more time to grade.
Despite the craziness in my schedule this month, I am very thankful for the many opportunities I had to spend time with my students. Each appointment or “interruption” to my routine represented a chance to love my students and share Christ. And that is worth the sacrifice of a few hours of sleep and the occasional cold.