After leaving Qingdao for my winter vacation last month my first stop was Korea.
Unfortunately, I dropped my camera my second day there so I do not have many photos. Luckily, I was able to get my camera fixed in my next port-of-call, Frankfurt. Due to a somewhat random chain of events my father was able to take some time off and meet me in Europe. We had a great time traveling around doing the museum-church-historic site-museum route.
To say it has been a while would be a major understatement. I don’t know if there is anyone still reading this little blog of mine; I have been away from keyboard and mouse for sometime. At first it was just the cold weather which was making me lethargic, then the end-of-term push that kept me away, eventually I left China for a while to do some traveling.
But never fear loyal readers I am alive and well. I will get photos and entries posted of my misadventures to Korea, Germany, Switzerland, and back to Korea soon. In the meantime enjoy this taste of things to come.
I want to thank my brother Kris for stepping in and shutting down the comments before the spammers had a chance to really take over. I am going to keep them turned off for the time being. If you really want to reach me you’ll just have to stay tuned.
(This is actually Kris, Stew’s brother.)
Due to the proliferation of comment spam, I’ve temporarily disabled adding new comments for Stew’s blog. The comments link still appears, but there’s no way to create an account which is now necessary to add comments.
Once I’ve researched and implemented an better way to combat the comment spam, I’ll turn comments back on.
As loyal readers may have noticed Stewsnews has been unavailable for a few days. My hosting provider had some down time due to unknown reasons. It looks like things are back up and running, but I am considering switching hosts. In the mean time enjoy this photo of one of the many modes of transportation found on the roads of China.
Just a short note to let everyone know I have arrived in Qingdao. Although today was the first day of school for the students， I do not start until next week. The school administrators figure I need at least that long to re-adjust to living in China.
Until I have some interesting to say I suggest reading about my friends Andy and Sarah and their new baby：http://lewisesintheham.blogspot.com/. Congrats！
I have accepted a position teaching in Qingdao, China (AKA Tsingdao-yes, where the beer is from). As loyal readers know, I have being trying to find a way to return to China for a number of years, and have finally found a position that will get me there, on what I think are pretty good terms. I will be working with a program administered by Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. The program prepares High School seniors for study in English speaking counties, focusing on the Canadian Assessment of English Language (CAEL).
The CAEL is a very unique exam, sometimes called “the Canadian TOEFL,” but it is really very different than that test. It is a centered on a single topic, revealed on the day of the test. Basically students listen to a lecture, read articles, answer questions, write an essay, and record a speech on the topic. The test is designed to truly reflect those skills students will need as an undergrad.
Qingdao is a moderately sized (for China) city on the northeast coast. It is an hour flight from Beijing and Seoul and two hours from Tokyo. I briefly visited Qingdao during my travels in 2002 and was impressed with its seaside beauty and friendly citizens. It reminded me a little of Seattle. The city has been chosen to host the 2008 Olympic Sailing events so there is a lot of money coming in these days, should be anything but boring.
I am very excited about the move and new job; unfortunately this means I will not be seeing most of you anytime soon. I should have easy access to email so please keep in touch. I’ll try and be a little timelier with updates to Stewsnews.
As I was driving into the parking lot at work today I noticed several police cars throughout the neighborhood. Later I spotted a police helicopter circling the campus. Turns out an escaped burglary suspect had made off with a patrol car and abandoned it nearby. He also happened to be hand cuffed at the time.
For more info here is an article from the Seattle Times:
Suspected burglar drives off in deputy’s patrol car
I spent the past weekend in British Colombia with my parents. It was nice to get away from Seattle for a couple of days, and Vancouver is a great city. Enjoy these photos while I try and think of something interesting to say.
I really like this photo, even if it is mostly out of focus. Check out the large version.
In other news, I’ve updated this weeks ESL links page to our current topic: articles.