Deep cleaning my kitchen puts my China mask to good use. They’re Peace Corps issued in case of a bird flu outbreak, and we’re supposed to take them whenever we travel. @lemonywicket recognize this shirt? I wear it sometimes but the only person to recognize it was another volunteer. I guess Kid & Play wasn’t as popular in China as you thought!

Deep cleaning my kitchen puts my China mask to good use. They’re Peace Corps issued in case of a bird flu outbreak, and we’re supposed to take them whenever we travel. @lemonywicket recognize this shirt? I wear it sometimes but the only person to recognize it was another volunteer. I guess Kid & Play wasn’t as popular in China as you thought!

mymodernmet:

Lifestyle photographer Grace Chon recently turned the camera on her 10-month-old baby Jasper and their 7-year-old rescue dog Zoey, putting them side-by-side in the some of the most adorable portraits ever.

Reblogged from Put the Kettle On
fuckyeahmathandsciencetattoos:

"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
-Carl Sagan, Cosmos
The amino acid sequence on my arm is: Ile-Ale-Met-Ser-Thr-Ala-Arg-Ser-Thr-Sec-Phe-Phe, “I AM STARSTUFF”
Stay connected :)

I would probably marry this girl just because of her tattoo. 

fuckyeahmathandsciencetattoos:

"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”

-Carl Sagan, Cosmos

The amino acid sequence on my arm is: Ile-Ale-Met-Ser-Thr-Ala-Arg-Ser-Thr-Sec-Phe-Phe, “I AM STARSTUFF”

Stay connected :)

I would probably marry this girl just because of her tattoo. 

Reblogged from Put the Kettle On

languageek:

The English Language Infographic found here

I wonder if they used the wrong “then” on purpose to make a point. Well said.   

Anonymous asked: What are some things you are really passionate about?

Life; my own and others’. Helping people and just overall being a compassionate human. The pursuit of knowledge. Elephants (can one be passionate about elephants? I feel that I am). Travel. Culture. Peanut butter.

Anonymous asked: Loving your blog, keep it up!

Thanks, anon! You will probably never see this because I took so long to respond to my messages. Worst blogger ever is meeee.

Anonymous asked: I feel like I live through your experiences in China when read your blog and see photos of your experience! Great stuff keep the updates coming!

Thanks for the encouragement! I’ve been working on a new post so hopefully you’ll see some new stuff soon!

Anonymous asked: What 3 countries(excluding China) would you hypothetically be willing to live in?

Ooh this is an interesting question. It would be hard to say for sure having not been to these countries, but I’ll play my romantic, idealist card. 

1. Somewhere in Southeast Asia, probably Thailand.

2. India. Even though I have no real idea what life would be like in India, the religions and the places call to me.

3. Spain. Ever since watching Vicky Cristina Barcelona I’ve had this fantasy of finding a beautiful Spanish couple who will invite me into their relationship and feed me wine and fruit and sing me songs in Spanish. 

I think education was the one that surprised me the most. And the number of Asians ^-^

Reblogged from I Raff I Ruse

Anonymous asked: What do you believe stands between you and complete happiness? What are some things in this world that would really bring happiness to you?

I think the only thing that stands between me and complete happiness is myself. Happiness isn’t a feeling that can be achieved or gained, but something that is already within you. The tough part is figuring out how to cultivate that state when external factors seem to be pulling you to be unhappy. 

The Dalai Lama’s “The Art of Happiness" is a good read on this fact.
 

gods-warrior-princess:

zenpencils:

ERICA GOLDSON: Graduation speech

Oh wow.

Reblogged from Timing is everything

Anonymous asked: Did you feel prepared to teach ESL in China? What kind of background did you have teaching ESL- and how would you reccomend preparing for becoming an ESL teacher?

Before coming to China I taught ESL for two years in America. I felt really comfortable doing that and I think I did a good job, but working here has taught me so much more about teaching. Peace Corps China does a good job of training volunteers in teaching EFL but most of our training is aimed at teaching college level students. Since my students are low-level vocational high school students I don’t use a lot of the things I learned in training. I don’t feel like I’m the best teacher here, and a lot of my lessons fail. But I see little bits of progress here and there so some things must be working.

If you want to become an ESL teacher I recommend becoming TESOL certified. I’m not, but I’m planning on it after Peace Corps. If you can’t do that but are still planning on teaching English at home or abroad, here a few suggestions I just thought of:

1. Have open expectations. There’s no way to predict or prepare for what your class will be like unless you’re commissioned to teach a certain level or skill, and even then what you find might be very different from what you signed up for. Your students could be any level, and you’ll most likely have a range of levels in one class. They could have a lot of interest in English or very little. Opening your expectations will let you plan your classes around their needs vs. your interests or expectations for them.

2. Bring yourself into the classroom. Your students will probably find you somewhat interesting just based on the fact that you’re in front of the class. If you’re teaching abroad, there is no doubt they’ll want to know more about you. Bring some things from home that tell about who you are. You can turn it into an English lesson and they’ll respect you more once they know a little bit about you. Similarly, do activities that will allow you to get to know them.

3. Use the internet (or books). I read somewhere that one good thing about being a teacher is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It’s true. There’s a lot of sharing of material that goes on on the internet, and it’s really helpful. This is mostly helpful when lesson planning, but you could start by researching some blogs or forums that will help you later. But be careful! Trolling teaching blogs is like checking your cold symptoms on WebMD. There’s so much information and so many possible lesson plans that it can get overwhelming. 

Hope this is helpful! If you’re a future Peace Corps Volunteer, don’t worry! Peace Corps will train you to be the best teacher you can be. 

Anonymous asked: How do you stay healthy in Peace corps China? Did it take time to get used to the food?

It did take a while to get used to the food, and I think I’m still getting used to it. I love Chinese food more than anything, but the oil and the rice and probably the stress have added a couple extra pounds.
I think staying healthy is just as much mental as it is a physical endeavour. I try to exercise often, even if it’s just going for a hike or yoga or something. I cook a lot, and I don’t eat meat unless I’m out. I’ve started steaming my vegetables instead of stir frying them to cut back on my oil intake. And every day I do something that makes me feel good, like talk with a friend or go for a walk or look at a Chinese baby.

In Chongqing this weekend to help support these two incredible young ladies as they participate in an English competition against students from vocational high schools from all over the province. The first time I met with them a little over a month ago, they said to me, “we feel nervous because we can’t speak english so we can’t talk with you or understand you.” In just this month, I have watched them grow into confident and competent english speakers, and contrary to their original belief, communicating is hardly a struggle for us. #peacecorps #peacecorpschina #englishcompetition #chongqing #china

In Chongqing this weekend to help support these two incredible young ladies as they participate in an English competition against students from vocational high schools from all over the province. The first time I met with them a little over a month ago, they said to me, “we feel nervous because we can’t speak english so we can’t talk with you or understand you.” In just this month, I have watched them grow into confident and competent english speakers, and contrary to their original belief, communicating is hardly a struggle for us. #peacecorps #peacecorpschina #englishcompetition #chongqing #china

I’m starting to plan some summer travels, and getting really excited for the adventures that undoubtedly await me. Here’s a photo from a really cool experience I had during my winter travels through Yunnan. This was taken on one of our last days in Xishuangbanna, when a random peek into what we thought was a tea shop turned into two hours spent drinking different kinds of Pu’er tea with an Obama lookalike and discussing Chinese history and culture and life. #peacecorpschina #peacecorps #culture #travel #neverstopexploring #china #yunnan #puer #xishuangbanna #tea #teaculture

I’m starting to plan some summer travels, and getting really excited for the adventures that undoubtedly await me. Here’s a photo from a really cool experience I had during my winter travels through Yunnan. This was taken on one of our last days in Xishuangbanna, when a random peek into what we thought was a tea shop turned into two hours spent drinking different kinds of Pu’er tea with an Obama lookalike and discussing Chinese history and culture and life. #peacecorpschina #peacecorps #culture #travel #neverstopexploring #china #yunnan #puer #xishuangbanna #tea #teaculture