Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Gift - The Christmas Promise

He brings us something for our own
Something from the heart not the bank
A vision of peace in a hate-filled zone
A vision so great we’ll think it’s a prank

He places it gently in the palm of our hand
Keep it forever and make sure we show
All our friends throughout the land
Make sure we have it wherever we go

His offer comes easy and is really free
Something of value that we can keep
An opportunity we may refuse to see
As we lay in our bed and try to sleep

He gives it to us freely with open heart
Something of value we all should want
To help us alive if we are smart
A present for love not for a taunt

He offers us this for us to use
To show his desire and his love
He hopes we see it and not abuse
For it’s not from earth but up above

He brings it to us daily
Not only once a year
People know this vaguely
When Christmas is near

He offers us peace and an inner glow
From the true tale of Christmas
Told two thousand years ago
In a place far far away from us

A Celebration Party Given By Charles (December 27)

We were invited to attend a party hosted by our head of teachers, Charles. It was also his birthday. We went to the restaurant with Robert and his wife and accompanied by Tom. The restaurant was tucked away down a typical Chinese alley in downtown Emei City. We had a very good time and the food was very interesting.

This restaurant was hidden down an alley in a nondescript area of downtown Emei City. AS we walked in there was a beautiful courtyard surrounded by private dining rooms.

When we reached our dining room on the second floor, it was a bit cold. We turned the heater on and soon the room was comfortable.

The room was decorated in bamboo with two large wooden tables set up to serve us. Overall it was a very comfortable and cozy.

The table was set up with two hot pads and a variety of appetizers. There were two tables set up in the room for us.

The party was set up to celebrate Christmas among us teachers in the Department of Foreign Languages but also to celebrate Charles' birthday. Happy Birthday, Charles!

The main item on the tables was a huge dish of dofu soup. As it turns out, the entire meal revolved around this dofu dish. The whole meal was made up of Sichuan snacks.

We were also celebrating the coming New Year so throughout the meal we had greetings and toasts for the coming year.

More celebrations.

Happy New Year from Susan and Bernice!

Sylvia also wishes all a happy New Year

Friday, December 26, 2008

Emei Poetry

Another Emei Dawn

I rise to see another Emei dawn
The cold night air is gone
Sunrise invisible in the mist
Rays of light in the fog resist
Breaking through the forest green
As the peak on Emei comes clean

Avenues among the misty white
Bring visions of a beautiful site
Dwarfed by clouds floating on high
The gold temple in beauty to defy
The peaks, the clouds and things unseen
Across the emerald forests green

The sites and sounds all come to show
The glory of the winds that blow
Across the peaks and bamboo trees
As pilgrims climbing up to seize
The awesome glory with their eyes
And behold beauty in the skies

I stand in awe of Emei’s glance
Her streams of clouds in misty trance
Dance and tumble down her side
As a silken veil on a smiling bride
This sight long lingers as in a dream
Light and mist in beauty supreme

And so it is now as in the past
A mountain refuge in living contrast
To the toil and work we often maligned
In a world of hate and pain combined
Where beams of light through mist so fine
Inspire the soul to drink in beauty’s wine

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Poetry

Somewhere In The Night

Somewhere in the night
A lovely vision flies
Christmas won’t make it right
But each year it really tries

We all sing songs of hope
As Christmas comes around
Doesn’t make one a dope
To wish for things not found

As Christmas comes and goes
We hope it’s better than the last
Since this is poetry not prose
I have to rhyme this really fast

This is a Christmas greeting
Bet you had that figured out
We hope this gives a meaning
To what Christmas is all about

Although we’re not close by
In fact, we’re far away
This doesn’t mean to imply
We don’t wish you a happy day

So I’ll say it in this line
Merry Christmas again this year
And hope you all are fine
From the ones who aren’t so near

My Christmas Wish

My Christmas wish for all of you
Is simple with a complex view
I wish you hope and joy that’s true
In everything you think and do

I hope the new year brings you cheer
With lots of laughter and fun
To fill your world with things so dear
And make your heart sing in the sun

I wish you love and friendship too

Throughout the coming year
May all your dreams come true
And may you keep your family near

May you make all high scores
When you study in my courses
And learn the stuff that opens doors
To be a success in all your choices

I wish you all of this and more
As we celebrate this time of year
I hope you have great fun galore
Even after the new year is here

More Christmas Poetry

I wrote this poem for the English Corner party Sunee and I was supposed to go to Christmas Eve. It was supposed to be a Christmas party about love and cherishing the one you love. I was to read this to Sunee at the end of the party. Unfortunately we ended up missing the party because of a previous commitment to attend a dinner given by Dean Jiang.

Twas the Night Before Christmas...Emei Style

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the dorm
All the students were listening, to this my Christmas poem
The weather was cloudy, as always is Emei
While these words of greatness, I was trying to say

My wife was staring as I recited the lines
Of a poem I had written just for these times
The verses came quickly and I spoke with a shrug
Twas another Christmas I read, so give me a hug

Her eyes followed my movements, as I stepped to her side
Thinking of these years she had been my bride
I held out my hand so gentle and warm
Hoping her stare would quickly transform

She thought I was stupid, and this a big joke
To ask for a hug in front of these folk
I begged her forgiveness and asked once more
A hug for old times sake from the one I adore

I wrote this next poem to recite to my writing and listening classes Christmas week. I was told that they would not have to have a final exam so I gave them an exam during the regular classes. A week before Christmas week, I was informed that these two courses required a final exam by the administration. No problem but I did have to apologize to my classes for this mistake:

Here I Stand

Here I stand
On this holiday
Was this planned?
What can I say?

I have some news
It’s pretty bad
Please don’t refuse
And make me sad

You have a test
A final exam
Don’t be depressed
No need to cram

I see your eyes!
Don’t look at me
Its Christmas guys
Don’t make me flee!

The Christmas sound
Floats high and low
And all around
With words aglow

Yet here I stand
At Christmas time
A simple man
Who’s out of rhyme

Christmas Comes To Emei Mountain

Christmas comes to Emei Shan.
What a great idea and fun so dear!
It’s now for sure! We must get it on
To celebrate the best day of the year!

Christmas comes to Emei Shan.
There ain’t no turkey and no ham?
We’ll just spend some Jungguo yuan’
Buy shredded meat and pineapple jam.

Christmas comes to Emei Shan.
I think we’ll have a Christmas tree.
We could get one before the dawn
Up on the mountain where it’s free?

Christmas comes to Emei Shan.
Time to make the joyful sound,
While hoping for a loud ovation,
For the words that are so profound

Christmas comes to Emei Shan.
Really it’s right here in our room,
So let’s all sing and get it on.
Let a thousand voices bloom!

Christmas Party (December 25) Sophomore Class 2

It's Christmas Morning! Time for another class Christmas Party. This time it is the Sophomore Two class of Newspaper and Journal Reading.

I arrived about ten minutes early to find a few students already preparing for the party. A Christmas tree had been set up in the front of the room and there were already a few presents under the tree. The party began right on time.

Here students are placing the gifts under the tree in hopes that Santa would soon be there.

Our beautiful Christmas Tree with the gifts ready to be opened by the students.

The students sitting around with smiles in hopes of seeing Saint Nicholas himself.

Smiles only allowed this Christmas morning.

We had a few minutes as the party officials were preparing the front for the party. Students lounged a bit and visited still hoping to get a glimpse of Santa Claus.

After officially starting the party, we were given Fantasy to lead us in Christmas caroling.

It is time to do some games so everyone is getting ready to participate.

Ladda gives directions to the class while the chosen subject is hidden outside. The class would do movements following a selected leader. The subject outside had to figure out who was the leader of the class.

A lot of the students did not understand so Ladda had to explain it again.

While the class was playing games, Harriet wrote the lyrics of a Christmas carol on the board that the class would be learning. The Christmas Carol of "It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas."

The games continue with another subject hiding outside. This time it is Terry forced to choose who is leading.

Terry has no trouble identifying that it is Tracy doing the bad deed of leading the group. How did he know?

Time for the gift exchange. Here Sunny shows her gift.

Ivy got something very small. I had no idea what it was but it was cute.

Daisy and Robin celebrate Christmas and their gifts.

Tracy tries to explain what her gift was and what it was for. I still had no idea.

Here Sunny tries to figure out the gift she got and explain what it is to Ladda. Good luck because I had no idea.

Hey this is a great gift! What is it?

Ladda smiles and shows off her gift. She was having a great time this Christmas.

These two were having a great time and showed it with their bunny signs.

The gathering of present grabbers in hopes that Santa would be good to them.

Nemo loves her present. Looked like a miniature something or other.

The Christmas 2008 Class picture. I ended up taking several of these pictures.

For this picture I had to hustle to get where I am in the front row. Still turned out great. Merry Christmas One And All!

Christmas Eve Dinner Party

We were invited to join Dean Harold Jiang and Zoe and the foreign teachers at a Christmas Eve dinner to celebrate Christmas. We went with Dr. Robert, his wife Jean, and Tom to the restaurant. We were told the restaurant was the AI Lai which seemed to be the same that we had celebrated Thanksgiving. Rober, however, got a little lost so we were about half an hour or so late to the restaurant.

Unfortunately, Sunee and I were also invited to the English Corner organization Christmas Eve party as well. I wrote a poem for that party and now it looked like we would probably miss that party. This party with Dean Jiang was obviously our priority.

This turned out to be the same restaurant that we had celebrated November and Thanksgiving. It is a nice restaurant.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Sunee.

Also Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Tom as well.

Tom here takes the opportunity to wish the greeter a Merry Christmas as well. it is Christmas Eve!

Dean Jiang and Zoe (she actually met us on the street to show us where the place was) greeted us in our own private dining room. The room was nice as it was before.

We started the meal with appetizers such as this hot peanut Sichuan style. The peanuts were great.

Hot noodles that were Sichuan hot. Very good.

Jean and Zoe having a wonderful time early on during the dinner.

Appetizer of pickled radishes.

Specially prepared fish sticks. These were absolutely marvelous. So good that we ordered another round.

We also got some Chinese spare ribs that were really good.

This was one of the hottest dishes of the lot. These are big noodles in Sichuan hot sauce. For Sunee and I it was almost too hot to eat.

This turned out to be one of the best dishes we have eaten in Emei City. This is shrimp on cellophane noodles in a wonderfully complex sauce. It did not last long.

Here Tom continues to celebrate Christmas Eve.

Christmas Party (December 24) Sophomore Class 3

It's 1550 on December 24 and that means it is time for another class Christmas Party with Sophomore Class Three.

I arrived at about 1530 to find Lisa "growing" the Christmas tree on the board. The class did not have a tree so they had Lisa draw one on the board. I told her it would work great!. The tree turned out to be quite large as trees goes.

Here is Lisa growing our tree on the blackboard.

Slowly the students began to show up for the party. Many brought along to record the fun. As preparations were being made, many of the students relaxed and visited as they waited for the party to begin.

Here Hellena and Hermione carry on a friendly visit prior to the party.

The 2008 Christmas Party for Sophomore Class Three was officially started with some games.

Games for English students. A line of students one after the other play charades with a supplied word. The last student had to guess the word from the charade of the other student.

Pete was the designated Santa Claus but in his spare time, he was busy taking movies.

In the back, we also had Oliver recording the party.

Here Ms. Hermione leads the class in singing Christmas Carols. She did a great job even though it was because she had been victimized by one of the games played.

Oliver was also victimized by losing one of the games so he was forced to make a funny face. Ha ha. We all laughed.

More Christmas Carols

More games.

Finally we got to exchange gifts. Here Isabella is happy to get a gift she drew.

Pete hands Killua her gift.

The gift sucked!

Killua gives her reaction to the gift. All in fun, of course.

Wow! An official T-shirt from Thailand. What a great gift!

Oliver with his gift. I took lots of these pictures but just did not have the space for all of them.

Pete continued to play Santa Claus.

Marian was wondering what was in this little box?

An interesting gift for Henry. Wonder what he is thinking?

Chocolate is always a great gift for Grace and any other student.

Happiness is getting a gift for Christmas in China.

Lisa and Angel arguing over whose gift is whose. Pete was unsuccessful in making that decision. No problem as everyone ended up happy.

See what a great gift this is.

Now this is a great and cute gift.

Even Alice got a gift to her big surprise. Not really. I just made that up.

Now isn't this a cute little gift! What is it?

This class put on a really big time Christmas Party last year but ended up being a bit reserved this year. We had fun but most of the students were not as excited as last year. Maybe I had just worked them to hard during the semester. Overall it was a good party but not as dynamic as I had expected. I did not even get to take a class picture as I normally would have done. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.