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swim coach 2

I have had a headache for about three days. And also random muscle spasms, mostly in my back, that cause me to feel like a geriatric. I am not the kind of person who likes to take medicines, but I have been fighting the headache with Bayer Asprin, only it is the heart-attack formula (for people who take one every day. My mom got them free at the hospital) so I have to take like six of them at a time.

I taught my classes sitting down today. One of my teacher friends walked by the classroom and laughed at me because I was sitting in the front of the room, leaning back in my chair with the textbook on my lap, making the kids do all of the talking. I probably looked like a drunken slob.

There is one faculty member here at school who totally puzzles me. He is a swim coach, (not to be confused with the afore mentioned Mr. Dong , who is a catch) is husky, I have never seen a kid hug him, and he always wears dress shoes with his wind suit. I just don’t get it. Number one, it is pretty darn hard to be husky in China. Granted, it can be accomplished through frequent McDonald’s-ing and snacking on western foods such as Pringles…but most of the men here have waists. I mean, a popular snack food is dried seaweed. I would estimate that seaweed is a negative calorie food. A popular dessert food is a bowl full of cherry tomatoes. Now that is indulgence for you! I always liked to act like the cherry tomatoes are luscious beyond belief, and make comments about how they are going straight to my hips...but I digress. Number two, why does he always wear dress shoes? There came a time in the first semester that the Americans were challenged by the Chinese teachers to a game of basketball. Our team was the four boys, me, and May May, and their team was the four gym teachers and Ms. Lucy, a teacher who later got fired for an undisclosed reason. Anyway, Fatty Swimmerton was wearing his dress shoes, and approximately twenty seven seconds into the game he rolled his ankle and hobbled away to the sidelines. I think really the main injury was to his pride, but still…

Number three, why do the kids not like him? Any other teacher who walks down the hall is greeted by 1,000 hello’s, or, in my case, a scary monkey-pile of affection. But when the swim coach waddles down the hall, it is like he is invisible. I asked the kids before if they liked to go swimming (they used to swim three times each week before all of the pools were closed down as a precaution against SARS) and they said no, that it was too cold. Hah. They were so cute in their little Speedo’s and swimming caps. A lot of my kids wear floaties. I don’t even want to know what the swim coach looks like in his Speedo and swim cap.

I got a love note today. It said “Teacher, you and good. Paly bus.” I don’t know what a paly bus is, but it is the thought that counts.

Yesterday a bird ran into our window and hurt itself. I heard the sound of wings flapping, and I asked Nick if he had left a dead bird in the office (jokingly of course), and then I heard the bird screaming because a man had picked it up and was looking at it. I hope they didn’t kill it. They probably did.

This entry feels a little discombobulating. Must be the headache.



Friday, May. 30, 2003 at 3:01 PM



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