Snow, Winter Vacation and More

I haven't posted in a while. Sorry about that. There hasn't been a particular reason, but I've been busy with other things and just haven't felt like making the effort to post something. This is just kind of a generic update for how things are going.
  • Yesterday we had the first snow of the winter. It started snowing during one of my classes, and surprisingly, there wasn't a rush to the window and a "wow, look it's snowing!" like I would have expected. It snowed for about 3 hours. It was cold enough to stick on the concrete, but it quickly melted in the afternoon. It probably only snowed about a 1/4 or 1/2 inch before melting, but at least it was something.
  • There are only a few weeks left for this semester. Christmas week is our finals week, and then I have about 2 months (until Feb. 26th) of paid winter vacation. It's definitely one of the main perks to teaching in China, because you get to travel around and see a lot of China while still being paid :). My plans are still in the works, but as it stands right now, it looks like here's how I'll be spending my winter break:
    • The first couple of weeks, I'll stay here at the school. A couple of the people I'll be traveling with are flying home to the states for Christmas and to make it to a wedding. They'll be back in mid-January and that's when the travel will start.
    • For the rest of January, travel around the south of China (where it's warmer!) with some of the other ELT Edge teachers.
    • The first week of February, I'll fly to Japan to spend a week with my cousin Tim, who is in a PHD program in Sendai, Japan right now. It'll be good to see him and to see some of Japan while I'm in this part of the world.
    • I'll fly from Japan to Shanghai on February 8th, to meet my parents, who are flying into Shanghai on that same date. My parents are going to be here in China for 3 weeks, so I'm in the midst of planning a travel itinerary for their time here. Here are the places I've been thinking we'll visit: Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Huang Shan, Xian, Pingyao, Beijing. We'll wind up back here at the school in time for the start of next semester on February 26th, and they'll get a few days to experience life here at the school.
  • I got Skype setup recently and bought a headset to use with it. Now I can make cheap calls (2 cents a minute!) back to the US and free calls to other users of Skype. If you have Skype and would like to chat, my user name is myron.marston.
  • A while back, I posted about the fact that my mp3 player had died and I was looking into buying an iPod to replaced it. Instead, I managed to find somebody here who could fix it. He charged more than I liked (360 RMB, or $45), but that's still much better than having to spend more than $200 on a new iPod plus go through the hassle of having it shipped here. So I'm thankful to have my mp3 player up and running again. I don't use it that often in day-to-day life, but I love having it with me when I travel...and that's coming soon.
That's it for now. Hopefully it won't be as long to my next update :).
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About Me

Husband and father, musician, software engineer at SEOmoz, open source developer specializing in Ruby and Rails, world traveler and Christian.