Week 19: 2018.1.15-2018.1.21

The last time I took an exam was in January 2012. I took the required class and then studied for six months, only to fail by two points because something that my instructor had assured us would NOT be on the exam, WAS on the exam.

Fortunately for me, there had been an ice storm on the day of the exam in December, so a makeup exam was scheduled in January for all the Ameren employees who had missed the exam because they’d been busy restoring electricity across the area.

My instructor was able to get me a seat, and I reviewed the material which had caused me to fail the first time. I passed with a comfortable margin and a week later received my Six Sigma Green Belt certification.


Right now I’m thinking that giving tests may be worse.

With only a week’s notice to create five 90 minute exams, and still experiencing the after effects of jetlag, while teaching my regular schedule; I managed to cobble together the exams by Friday last week.

finalsBut, there was still more work to do. I had to create report cards for each of my 80 students, grading them on Attendance, Participation, Assignments, Behavior/Maturity, Reasoning Skill, Verbal Expression, Writing Skill, Personal Initiative, Academic Aptitude, and my Overall Impression. I also had to include comments in both English and Chinese.

final phonesAfter grading the exams, I put the scores on each report card, and for some I added an additional comment:

Doesn’t put in the maximum effort, and this is reflected in the final score.



lunchIn between exams and grading, my coworker C took me over to the main Canteen for lunch. It’s over by the ATM and main dormitories. It’s quite large and has many more options than our little Canteen, including desserts and beverages. I tried a rose flavoured milk tea. It was delicious! I also got curried chicken and it was much better than the curried chicken at our Canteen.


All the teachers were told to stop by the office. We each got two stuffed dogs for Chinese New Year. It’s the Year of the Dog.



Thursday was the Teachers’ Talent Show which was pretty fun. There were several singing acts, a few skits, and a beautiful Chinese traditional dance and martial arts presentation by the PE teachers. Our skit was funny- the male International Department teachers pretended to be Olympic swimmers. But it was no contest, the PE teachers won.


On Friday evening, some of us went to KTV to celebrate C’s birthday. Even though I lived in Japan, I managed to avoid karaoke. KTV is basically a large building full of party rooms. Each room has a TV and  at least one couch and low table, with a small kiosk where you can select the songs you want. There were two microphones so people can sing duets. Since we were in a private room, and because C asked me, I agreed to sing ONE song. The only one in English we could find that I knew the words was Blondie’s The Tide is High.

Shortly after, more people showed up and fortunately they could sing. Most of the songs seemed to be from the Chinese version of a popular television singing contest, based on the videos that were shown.


My iPhone hasn’t been updating properly and I haven’t been receiving texts or emails, or been able to get onto the internet all week. I’ve tried rebooting and adjusting the settings but all to no avail. It seemed like the VPN was wonky, so on Sunday I used my N’s computer to chat with ExpressVPN tech support. They advised me to download the newest version, but since I can’t get on the internet…..

Then my N told me he’d read that Apple had made a deal with the Chinese government. I’ve had my phone for awhile, so it looks like I’ll be getting an Android phone when I’m back home.

dogs walmartIn the evening we went to Walmart, where I hoped to find a suitcase to replace the one that had been damaged on my return trip in December. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of a selection and they seemed flimsy, so I’ll need to go to another store to find a replacement.


#RobinSTL  #bloggingabroad

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