Independence in Africa

Picture yourself as orators for African nationalism.  Write a brief speech urging your listeners to seek independence from colonial rule.


Recent Random Thoughts

  • Earlier this week my beloved Indiana Pacers were eliminated from the NBA playoffs.  At least my Colts are still the Superbowl champs.
  • The form on the standardized tests my students took this week doesn’t give me an option for race/ethnicity.  I’m an other.  What up wit’ ‘dat?!  Let’s update these things people.
  • I’m not big on quotes, but my desk calendar had a great one from Martin Luther for April 16th.  “Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”  I love that.
  • We went to the post office recently and the wait was a short one.  They stamped my eight postcards for me which filled me with delight.  Normally I have to put a few stamps on each postcard, and things get a little messy.  Maybe one day we’ll get to use stamps that don’t require glue over here.
  • I let Grace hold my post office receipt during our recent post office visit, and it was like I just gave her a million bucks.  I bought a Sprite on the street for Rose for approximately 40 cents, and that purchase brought a huge smile to Rose’s face.  I became the new owner of a used Nokia cell phone for $12 which made my wife very happy.  That means I’m happy.  We’re happy people.


Sweet and Sour Cat Anyone?

This morning I read a crazy Newsweek article that talks about chompin’ on some feline friends right here in my very own backyard.  The pet market mentioned in this story is not too far away and is one I have strolled through.  Here are a couple paragraphs directly from the source.  You can read the rest of the report by clicking on the link at the bottom.  Bon appetit!

Here in China, animals do fall victim to bad pet food—and a lot worse. Such as pets as food, which animal lovers apparently discovered earlier this year in a market in Tianjin. Many cats sold in the Hebei District pet market are bought by entrepreneurs who ship them to the southern province of Guangdong, where the felines wind up as restaurant fare. (Guangdong residents are notorious for eating “anything with four legs, except for the kitchen table,” as a proverb goes. One popular dish of sautéed snake and cat is called “the dragon battling the tiger.”)

So when pet cats belonging to Tianjin residents started going missing with unusual frequency, owners became suspicious. Earlier this year the discovery of fresh cat entrails near the gate of the pet market seemed to confirm their fears. Convinced their kitties had become cuisine, up to 100 cat owners gathered at the market gate on Feb. 11, hoping to rescue any remaining live felines. Their entry was blocked by dozens of security guards. Then, some 80 police showed up to prevent a fight between vendors and pet owners. When she heard of the fracas, Beijing animal activist Lu Di hired a truck and arranged for the animals to be brought to the Chinese capital. “We rescued 415 cats who would have been killed,” says Lu, an octogenarian whose Little Pet Protection Association cares for abandoned and traumatized animals.


What’s Happening in April

April 14th:            Middle School Basketball Tournament – Who can pat the rock?  Are you the Windex man?  Not shootin’ hoops?  Come support your Eagles.

April 16th-18th:  Achievement Tests – Yeah!!!

April 21st:            Middle School Drama – Enjoy Saturday being entertained by your classmates.

April 23rd-27th:  House Soccer Tournament – Will the black and white of House #4 defend their championship or will the TGI Piggies, U Can’t Touch This, or the Chewy Mushrooms be crowned best on the pitch?

April 27th:            Mid-Quarters – Already?!?

April 30th:            No School – I know you would rather be in my classroom, but you’ll need to refrain from coming to school.


Shopping in Beijing

On our last Saturday of March, we decided to go shopping in neighboring Beijing.  This was the first time the four of us have been to China’s capital as a family.  We hired a driver to take us up to BJ, and the fun started soon after we left the city limits of Tianjin.  Apparently, Grace does a better job on long train rides as opposed to long car rides ’cause she got seasick during the morning ride.  Fortunately, Megan packed some extra clothes for Grace and not too much nastiness flowed onto Megan’s clothes.  A slight aroma lingered in the air after we cleaned up the mess, but we certainly smell worse smells changing diapers.  When we arrived in Beijing we visited three shopping meccas – Panjiayuan Jiuhou Shichang (the Dirt Market), Hongqiao Market (the Pearl Market), and Xiushui Shichang (Silk Alley).  Panjiayuan Jiuhuo Shichang is a very cool place.  A whole assortment of goodies can be found here – wooden chests, Tibetan carpets, reproductions of 1920s cigarette ads, Mao alarm clocks, ceramics, and more.  Hongqiao Market and Xiushui Shichang are totally different shopping experiences.  Vendors here sell not so authentic goods such as Gap, Northface, and Prada.  It is not uncommon for the salespeople to grab your arm and pay you a compliment of some kind that is also not always so authentic.  Why do we come here then?  We can find products that are relatively inexpensive that makes others happy which makes us happy.  As the day wore on, my body became sore due to all the walking and carrying I had to do.  At least the exercise makes up for the lack of weight training in my life now.  I think the highlight of our day was eating dinner at my former employer, Subway Sandwiches.  Can we say roasted BMT?  Yum, yum to the tum, tum.  We can’t find those in Tianjin.  On top of that, my sandwich was free due to all those little stamps they give you when you make purchases there.  That’s what I”m talking about.  All in all, it was another great day in the life of the Wickershams.

Ice cream on a hot summer day.