We learned in the morning that there was a parents’ meeting at school later in the day. So, Andrea and I arrived to attend the meeting with the other parents of the kids in my older daughter’s class. For 75 minutes, the teacher told everyone what the class had done and was planning on doing for the semester. I understood the very first 10 minutes…the kids are learning practical skills like using chopsticks, answering the telephone, being polite, learning how to greet people, using scissors, as well as some gross motor skills like throwing balls and dribbling. (This explains how, nearly all of the sudden, my older daughter can use chopsticks). I also understood the last 2 minutes when the teacher said something like, ‘[insert
my older daughter’s Chinese here]’s mother and father are here. Even though they don’t speak Chinese, they are sending their daughter to our class to learn Chinese. This has been a good thing. Please let us congratulate them.’ And we were embarrassed for the round of applause that we received from the parents and teachers. That said, it only solidified my position that the best part about this Fulbright experience is having my kids in Chinese school. They learn the language, and we socialize within a Chinese community. Please note however that for 63 minutes, I was completely lost.
Upon return home, we saw that the fish pond in our courtyard had only inches of water in it and was draining water. The bigger goldfish were in immediate danger of losing their lives. You see a Western English professor who lives in our apartment complex, buys most of the fish and feeds them everyday. This news would be devastating to him, especially since he bought five very large fish just 3 days ago. Andrea immediately grabbed a net to move the suffocating larger fish to a deepest area of the pond, and I ran to our neighbor’s apartment since he better understands the water input and draining mechanisms. He was furious!…Apparently, after buying the larger fish, he asked the apartment manager to have them add more water to the pond, and she agreed to do so. So today, a facilities engineer began draining the water so he could put clean water in….but unfortunately he informed everyone that he was going to add the clean water tomorrow, even though the pond would dry up over night. This is the very same man who cleaned the pond with bleach in the fall, while the fish were still in it.