Does anyone know an exorcist?

Yes, it’s that time of year again, even in China. And I am be haunted by a few mysterious problems beyond third graders in monkey masks.

First, my electronic grade book got possessed. A supervisor brought it to my attention when she noticed a first grader was receiving a failing grade.

Fail a first grader? That’s something I wouldn’t do even to the kid who was licking the glue stick.

Shortly after I called the IT department, my headed started spinning like Linda Blair. My first grade information possessed the 9th grade report and the 3rd grade information was where the first grade should be. And, the scariest thing was that their  “Cheese Juice Participation Grade” was mysteriously missing.

What’s cheese juice?

Cheese juice is something nature never intended but something my first graders dreamed up and demanded to try. And you thought durian and fried bugs were the weirdest thing Asia had to offer. Desperate for a recipe, I dumped Yakult, milk and a heaping scoop of Tang into a pitcher. It looked like melted cheddar but tasted like a Creamsicle.  The kids happily licked their orange mustaches. Maybe it’s something astronauts drink.

Back to the ghosts.

Between grading and dealing with a divorce that spans two continents and 13 time zones, I landed a new tenant for our Chicago rental. He’s a young guy from Taiwan who loved the space, including the flood of sunshine and antique mirror in the bedroom. So I clicked open his message.

He was wondering if I could remove the antique mirror as it was bad feng shui  (literally wind, water but together the signs mean harmony). Mirrors in a bedroom are a passageway for ghosts. Actually, it wasn’t his request, but his one from his mother.

Really? A ghost in my condo?

I asked my students if mirrors in bedrooms were bad luck.

I asked my brainiac 9th graders (not the first graders who drank cheese juice). Their eyes got as serious as if I were sharing tips on how to ace the SAT exam. Ghosts travel through mirrors, they explained. When I suggested throwing a blanket over the beveled glass, one responded it would only piss off the ghost, especially if it was a girl ghost who liked coming her hair at night. I wanted to flunk them all!

But there’s another reason I want an exorcist: ghosts from my past. My soon to be official-ex has been haunting my dreams lately. Last night, he showed up during my REM cycle, his presence so real, I could smell him on my sheets. During the dream, he wanted to join me in China for the divorce hearing. That’s when I cut off his hair and Trevor Noah showed up.

I googled Wikihow on how to get rid of evil spirits. It suggested leaving out raw rice. No shortage of that in China. 

Hmmm…maybe I should send a bag to my tenant in Chicago.

My grade book may be haunted and so might my old bedroom mirror but that’s stuff I can laugh at. But the ghosts from my past? I pray they disappear, especially when I look at my lawyer’s fees. Now that’s the real nightmare.

Anyway, ghosts, cheese juice, haunted grade books and ex husbands….it’s time to move on.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Isaiah 43:18


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