International Travels & Services

Be Tight but Peaceful-- Shirley's America Travel Diary 106 & 497th Friendly Greeting - Oct 5, 2015

How are you? Did you have a good week? Have you started a better new week?

For me, it was really a tight but peaceful week.

When I said tight because I had not only given 19 lessons (17 at the 3 k-12 schools and 2 at the library in the park central), but also I caught 2 English lessons at OTC. Though I was working in a hurry and sometimes I had to call taxies 3 times one day while suffering the stomachache.

When I said peaceful because in my heart has been fulling of the appreciations to the world and the local people and my students since I came to Springfield, MO, USA. Therefore, several mornings, when I was woken by a stomachache, I could not help asking myself, maybe you should stay at home to have a rest for today? Then I still kept going to give lessons 4, 4, 6 and 5 for free from last Monday to Thursday.

Do you know?

--- Ms. Vicki, my English teacher at OTC moved her classroom into the library on Wednesday morning. Fourteen of my classmates (they are on the 2nd photo) from Asia, Africa, Europe and South America did not only attended my presentations, visited my art works at the library, but also, they wrote articles to discuss something about my art exhibition next day. Though I could not join them for I had 5 lessons on Thursday, I was happy for some of my classmates from Europe and South America would like to join my weekly lessons at the library, and I got a message on my cell phone from Ms. Vicki:

This morning, the class wrote about their experience with your Chinese painting, poetry, and music, We really enjoyed you sharing your dream and passion with us. Thank you.

Mrs. Glad Eyerman, who is my work partner in the 3 K-12 schools not only organized her 20 classes worked with me, but also, she has brought many feedbacks from her students and parents of students:

This e-mail is from the 8th grade teacher at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton:

I want to let you know that my 8th graders….loved, loved, and loved Shirley! They really enjoyed your class and her!
Thanks so much!

This is from a parent, Julie Straus (she used to be an art teacher and has 2 boys that go to school at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton).
I have had a lot of good verbal feedback from some other teachers about how much their students loved your visit and presentation!

Hi Glad

I have to tell you that both of my boys (Ethan and Michael) came home today and told me how great art was! They talked and talked about Shirley’s art and poetry and stamps and said her art was “really cool”- to put it in their words!

And this is coming from my boys who never have too much to say about anything!

I completely forgot about coming in today- I am planning on coming next Thursday to check it all out!

Thanks for all you do!

--- Ms. Peggy Hana, the Assistant of the Library and her colleagues not only sponsored my art exhibition at their library (128 Park Central of Springfield, MO, Sept 4 to 30) but also they would also like to continue to support me by offering a place for me to teach (Chinese Poetry course with music and painting; traditional Chinese painting course ) at their library after my art exhibition was finished until I left for China.

-- Mrs. Carissa Carran (she is on the last photo)a parent of my best student and also my student on Chinese poetry and painting, not only tried to pick up me at 10:35 am at Immaculate Conception School to the library and to ensure me to catch the 1 hour to work at the library and then a classmate Maryna who is from Ukraine sent me back at 12:25am between my 2th and 3th lesson at Immaculate Conception School and she told me that I can call her at any time I need to be helped.

-- Mr. Zhao Yunfei who is a graduate student of Missouri State University and is waiting for his offer to be a doctor student in Canada specially helped me to make a video in my last Chinese classical poem lesson with music and paintings.

--- So many teachers and students at Immaculate Conception School, Elisabeth Ann Seton School, and St. Agnes School have given me their friend hands during I worked at their school.

-- At my rental house, a small but beautiful heater has been fixed there. It was carried from the house of my landlord Miss Mary for she was afraid of I would feeling cold in the full. Also, in my refrigerator, includes the food and fruit from my landlord and some of my new neighbors.

-- Also, every time, before my classmate Zhu Bin and his wife would like to go to shopping at Wal-mater, they would like to call me and asked me whether I need to go with them together.

So, though I was quite busy with a stomachache often in the past a week. I did feel good when I saw my students in the library have been able to recite 3 or 2 Chinese poems; when I saw these lovely children loved Chinese poems and painting so much so that some of them recited the poem after their painting lesson on their own initiative, I did feel so much comfort in my heart.

As same as all of the teachers, when I saw those best students, I did want to give something more to them. So, I have decided to give an added lesson to the best class, though I myself will have to miss my English lessons for 2 or 3 hours.

An interesting thing was: In the past 2 weeks, I have called the taxies from the Yellow Taxi Company many times, so that I have met 2 drivers 3 times and 1 driver twice. : - )

A best news was: in Sydney, Australia, my son has gotten a new job with a better salary. Instead of working on 2 jobs for supporting his house, now he can work on his study and examinations with more time for becoming a CPA ( Certified Public Accountant)...

The worst and funny thing was: I focused on my painting too much so that I thought today is Sunday and I had not only missed 2 lessons which I should give at a K-12 school but also I missed to attend 1 of my English lesson at OTC… :- )

I mean after giving a classical poetry lesson with music and painting, a Chinese Baimiao (line drawing)Painting lesson to about 1100 person-times; I will give a Chinese Xieyi Painting to more than 500 students from 20 classes. So, on the weekend, I prepared 6 kinds of paintings with different colors and sizes for my demonstrations for my different students and for I had to account my paper and teaching time and styles... I had bought and sent two different paper from Beijing to the USA for 800 -900 person-times respectively, but now, I will work with 1500 person-times. Therefore, Mrs. Glad Eyerman had to book some more paper for our work in the USA.

Then I forgot the time difference (since my Iphone dropped into the water, I have been using an old cell phone and its time later than the local time for 12 hours )... :-) And also for the time difference, Friday morning, I went to a school earlier for 1 hour so that I had cooked my breakfast ok but I did not eat anything for I was afraid of being later. That time, I saw the time on my Chinese cell phone and it is earlier 13 hours than the local time. :-)

I am so sorry to my students, Mrs. Glad Eyerman and the K-12 School. I am goint to do my best to make up the lost. :-)

How about you? Do you have anything special to share?


Shirley Yiping Zhang
Oct 5, 2015 (American Local Time)

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