only see in the lunchroom of an international school in China.
I pause for a moment, thinking about the oil and water concoction of abortion and religion.
So many things I learned about my students, thanks to a twenty-five cent mask.
I don’t remember learning grammar. I remember Kathy Lawton throwing up in the fifth grade, Richard Elliot drinking the water in the fish tank, but the rules deciding when to use raise or rise?
Hopefully, someday, Easter will be restored to a holiday where I can enjoy going to church, biting the heads off chocolate bunnies instead of eating frozen pea-sicles, and thinking about the nails of the crucifixion, not mine.
My Huawei phone went through the washer, literally, and it still works!
It’s sad. Folks spending eternity in a cemetery really are forgotten. We have don’t even have a word for them. We have words for the grounds (cemetery, necropolis, catacombs), words for the urns and burial stones, words for that stupid piece of plastic on the end of your shoelace (aglet), but no word for our collective of loved ones that left us their Hummel collections.
In China, who knows what the flavor Pink would be. There are firecracker red hot dogs, black eggs, purple rice, orange mushrooms, green oranges, and clear grain alcohol that can clean your clock. But pink?
Banking from China is ludicrous no matter who you bank with. For starters, you have to get up before Five AM to talk with a human, that is, if you are granted the right to talk.
I just don’t know the meaning of the meaning.”
If your school’s reading scores are in the bottom 33 percentile, you shouldn’t be banning books. Do whatever it takes to get your students to read.
This is not the place you’d want to be during an earthquake. These old houses are made out of mud brick.
Hospice is both the most wonderful and hardest endeavor I have ever experienced.
A week’s worth of Covid Testing in Xishuangbanna. China in order to get a coveted travel certificate.
the only thing that can top earthquake on vacation is a city-wide lockdown for mandatory Covid testing.
his year for Christmas, I travelled to Xishuangbanna, where rice is anything but a bland side dish. There are rice stuffed pineapples, purple sticky rice, speckled rice dumplings wrapped in Bamboo leaves, and rice stuffed bamboo shoots.
Bird walking in China is a popular hobby with men. It’s like car shows. but with songbirds, not T-birds.
I–like everyone else–thought the world would be spinning by now, but no. We are right back where we started, well sort of.
, I was very patriotic this holiday in China. I ate my part. How did I work off those calories so I’d avoid a New Years Resolution of losing a few kilos? I took an after-dinner stroll in the Yunnan countryside.
I went to Kunming’s Museum of Contemporary Art this weekend and viewed what I thought was an abstract poodle. While I enjoyed the art, I found the streets just as colorful. This bean lady at the market reminded me of my mom. I really think it was her. She didn’t have her own booth or her own QR code, but […]
Working at an international school, I have been trained for fires, earthquakes. Hostage Takeovers. But what if a student gets stuck in the bathroom? It was photo day and my class was right after the snapping of pictures. Mars’ bow tie was next to the crayons. Albert’s jacket was on the back of his chair. But Yael’s kitty cat ears? […]
Unlike video games that give a hit of dopamine, reading will never make you high. It is work but it will take you places you’ve never imagine.
Lou, like many of the students at an international school, is a SPAMMER, which some call a Third Culture Kid or TCK. I prefer calling them SPAM. They are a mystery found in every country that’s actually a blend of lots of things.
My guide, who I swear was a reincarnated goat, does the Abugi trail six times a week, hauling snacks of Baozi and hard boiled eggs for the trekkers and a pack of smokes for himself.
I’ve started a lot of posts that I didn’t finish about Kunming. Oh well. Maybe if I post the photos that inspired them, you can write your own endings.
It was the kid’s version of a drug pat down at an international airport. “Do you mind opening up your milk carton?” The command came from Miss Kindermen, my second-grade teacher, her hair spun into a black beehive while my eyes were mesmerized by her psychedelic dress. She looked like she belonged on Laugh-In, not a classroom. Her blue-shadowed eyes […]
the bat (literal translation of 蝙蝠 侠) has caught over six-thousand thieves over the past forty-two years in Kunming, Yunnan, with this home-made spiked club.
You know it’s going to be a long day when the rules for the English Speaking Competition are written in Chinese.
What’s there to see in Wuhan China? Don’t expect to find a “Covid Memorial”.
Oh yes I did! I have just completed the Covid 19 Triple Dog Dare. I went on a cruise, ate at a buffet and ended up in Wuhan, then lived to blog about it. Actually, it’s not as insane as it sounds. Since I’m “land-locked” in China this summer, I thought I’d finally see the country. It’s not like I’ve […]
So what’s an expat to do when it’s time to get back on the saddle again–wait–I mean back in the stirrups? Make an appointment at Women’s Angel Hospital for a pap smear and mammogram. Considering China makes more babies than any other countries, maybe it’s time we trust them with other female needs.
Some signs should be changed. But changing Lake Shore Drive signage in Chicago? That’s crazier than Chenglish.
So, just what do you wear to a temple or monastery, even if it’s one for chickens in Shangri La? It depends on if it’s a Buddhist temple, monastery, or the Hundred chicken temple.
Does anyone know of a good wine pairing for yak? That’s what you eat in Shangri La. And don’t laugh. Yak is where it’s at. I was referred to this little hole in the wall, a Tibetan version of a blue plate diner. I ordered Diced Yak with noodles and Yak Meat Pie. The crust was amazing. Plus, I had […]
Sometimes, it’s wise to try something new, while other times, maybe you should just uh, not give a pluck.
In China, you don’t have to go to funerals. The funerals come to you.
In America today, I officially turn into human wallpaper. It’s my birthday, or 生日快乐 shēng rì kuài lè, in Chinese. But no Barbie dolls or pin the tail on the donkey games this year. I turned sixty. The big Six-O. In dog years, I’d be dead. In America, childhoods that pre-date Google means you have become as desirable as panty […]
Somewhere over the years, the quest for knowledge has been replaced with a desire for a better GPA. And whatever their Grade Point Average it isn’t good enough.
For less than the cost of your monthly Verizon bill, you can get a colonoscopy in China.
The plate is just one of the relics that followed me back to China, packed in bubble wrap, between Costco size jars of Nutella and cylinders of Parmesan Cheese.
The three words silenced my room: “What the hell?” They weren’t from a junior high student, because the utterance would have been in Chinese. The slip of the tongue was from a second grader. From the same kid who doesn’t know his sight words. I looked at a coworker, who heard it too. While I was thinking about school policies […]
There is a famous Chinese proverb: 不到长城非好汉. He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man. And after he visits the Great Wall, he picks up a pack of cigarettes. Smoking is huge in this country, even with doctors, including my “no chicken, no OJ, drink broccoli juice” acupuncturist. Before the young doctor light his cigarette, […]
Huǒ guō or hot pot, is to Kunming, China what deep dish pizza is to Chicago. It’s a combination between a meal and a game of Truth or Dare
Today, I entered a new door. I moved into Jesus People USA, aka Hippies for Jesus. It’s community style living where the residents serve the poor and homeless in Uptown, Chicago, of which I am one of them. It’s where I’ll be staying until whatever door opens next. Julie Andrews, the housing director, let me into my new home. Make […]
If you’re in urban ministry, you know someone who is hooked on: Methcathinone, better known as Crank. Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, better known as Ecstasy. Or oxymetazoline hydrochloride, better known as Afrin. You’re kidding? People are addicted to nose spray? Nasal decongestants aren’t hip enough for their own TV series, but let me tell you,they are just as addictive. And you’re not alone if […]
Imagine you sent your only child eight thousand miles away to go to school in Chicago. Not a suburb, but Chicago, the murder capital of America with shootings heard around the world. You trust your child at a faith based school, spending as much as $40,000 a year to live and study there. And this is the only thing […]
Peeing. Taking a whiz. Draining one’s dragon. Going to the can. Nothing can give more relief than finding a sparkling clean toilet seat at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. But as much as peeing can make car passengers feel good, peeing on a pregnancy stick can bring fear and stress to the typical teen. Strolling down that […]
In 2001, TastyFaith was created to equip urban youth workers with materials that cut the mustard with at-risk youth. At the time, I was a volunteer urban youth worker in Chicago and made it my mission to create lessons that were culturally relevant to city youth, hoping that they’d put down a gun and pick up a bible. These lessons were first […]
Ginger Sinsabaugh MacDonald I grew up in a small farm town in Southwestern Michigan that had more cows than people. After college, I moved to Chicago and worked at an ad agency with more employees than my home town had cows .I lived with him in a small studio apartment with a foam rubber Buddha until he was reincarnated into throw […]
While being a classroom teacher in China, I kept in mind that every seven seconds, those boys were not thinking about English grammar but scantily dressed Victoria Secret models. Honestly, how could a power point presentation on diphthongs possible compete with butt thongs? But that popular seven second stat has about as much validity as Big Foot. According to an […]
I remember the day vividly in 1999. It was pre-Y2K, pre-iPhone, pre-Tim Bartman getting blamed for the Cubs Play-off-Flub and there still two tall twin buildings standing in New York. A group of us were sitting in a small room at Solheim Center, the swank sports complex associated with Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. The meeting was with Larry the […]
Snoop Dog must have smoked some bad bud when agreed to perform in Wiggle Wiggle. If somehow you haven’t heard, the song is a recycling of back of the bus hit, Our teach is a nut, she has a rubber butt classic, paying tribute to the monster booty, viewing it as a status not a fat-us symbol. Now, I have […]