Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How Hard Is It?

Image comes from here, a Chinese Roommates tumblr which is cracking me right up though sadly doesn't seem to have had a new post in a while.
The same stupid thing happened in our house in the same week. The first time this idiotic incidence occurred, it severely irked me. But twice in one freaking week? I'm mega-irked now.

We buy imported milk here. Always have. Even Jeremy doesn't want to drink the Chinese milk since you never can be sure what's up with it. Plus, imported just tastes better. Of the imports, we purchase what is on sale. Sometimes it's from Australia. Other times, it's from Germany. And sometimes, like this time, it's from Italy. The milk is shelf-stable until opened, at which point, it must be refrigerated. We usually keep unopened ones in the fridge too so that they are nice and cold when needed.

The first time this happened this week, we left the milk on the table for Jeremy, as he usually requests us to. He uses it shortly after we leave since he doesn't have to go to work until after we've gone. Normally, Jeremy is good about putting the milk back. Annoying as it is, I can forgive one slip of the brain in forgetting to return the milk to the fridge. What reignites the rage inside of me though is that MIL is here ALL day with the baby. And she leaves it out on the table. Because. Because she's a fucking halfwit. I mean, really!

But still, I tried to forgive her too. I sent Jeremy a stern message via WeChat and he promised he'd be more careful. And as for MIL? I snarled at her in Chinese to put milk in the refrigerator. I figured they'd both pay more attention after that.

You'd think so, wouldn't you?

But of course, men are idiots who do stupid things so it is no surprise my husband found himself in a rush and forgot to put the milk away when he was done with it. And MIL is a total moron, so should I be surprised that when I came home today, our lovely Italian milk was STILL sitting on the table? No, I shouldn't be. Just like she shouldn't be surprised when I get angry at her lack of attention to detail. Or anything, really.

At least I can find solace in the fact that we're leaving in 2 months and after that, it will be a long while before MIL can ruin our dairy products. WOOHOO!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

You Can't Take It With You

By now you probably know that we are moving to the US this summer. It sounds so far away, yet when you look at the calendar, you'll see that it's really about 9 weeks away. 9 WEEKS. Oh hells yes, I'm excited. I cannot wait to see my family and friends and enjoy all the things I've missed about America and to share it all with my husband and daughters.

But it comes with a big price, and we're not talking airfare here (which, as you may have guessed, is not cheap). We're talking about our things and how to get them to the US.

Originally, Jeremy and I had discussed shipping our favorite books, winter clothes and the children's toys through the mail. But when we recently sent gifts to my family, it became quite clear that if we had to ship a heavy box of books, the cost would be astronomical. Jeremy said we should just get rid of most of our stuff and start fresh. I know it makes the most sense. Especially since we sent 2 giant boxes of our stuff from Korea over here to China when we first moved. And what we found was that we really didn't use the stuff we sent. Well, my husband didn't. I'd shipped over my books. But shipping to China from Korea is MUCH cheaper than shipping from China to America. Plus, when we moved to China, we knew we were staying in one place for a bit. When we get to the US, we'll be staying with my parents for a short while until we get situated and get our own place. Which means if we move out of Florida, we'll need to ship whatever we've shipped from China again. And that, my friends, was the tipping point for me. Jeremy is 100% right. We can't take it with us.

We're still deciding on flights but we know we can have 6 checked bags and each bag has a weight limit of 23 kg. And so we must now decide what is important enough to go with us. And for what isn't, we must decide to sell, give away or throw away. This is not going to be easy.

This is going to be so hard! My books! My precious fucking books! Gah! My shoes! Oh my GOD! My shoes! Help! How do I choose? Clothes are easy. In 2 weeks, if I can't get into it, out it goes. Jeremy's made that decision easier by promising a shopping excursion when we get to the US. That's a good bonus. But still. My handbags. My Gucci! My Coach! Oh no no no. Those are coming with me.


Last week was really hectic. Our new English teacher started, taking over for Jon, my old work BFF, who taught the 6 year-old class. Cedric, the new guy, was a splendid choice. Not only is he doing an awesome job with the children but he's also totally cool. Plus, his wife is due with their first baby in early June and she might actually be the one who will take over for me. It would be ideal.

Anyway, in addition to helping guide Cedric with the weekly teacherly tasks and such, we also had Science Week. For all previous years, we had a Science Day. This year, Christina wanted to make it a week of science. It sounds like much more work but it wasn't. Each day, I had developed a new topic for the teachers to discuss with their students. Every teacher had the freedom to choose HOW they would teach the topic to their students.

The one thing that stayed the same was having the children create some sort of science-related display. Even Raelynn had to do one.
Well of course I helped her! She can't write by herself. But she chose butterflies as the topic. She colored the picture and then I sat her down in front of the computer and Googled butterflies for her. I read to her some cool stuff about butterflies. Then, I picked a few of the cool things we learned and wrote them out for her. After that, I traced the title and turned her loose on tracing everything else. She really loved doing it and wants to do more science projects.

Here's some of the other ones. It's not as exciting as last year, but I attribute that to less kindergarten students this year. Also, we had some students that didn't make anything. Bums! Ha!

There were some odd things this year too. One of them was created by a girl in Raelynn's class. It is just a box with snacks taped to it. Have a look see...
 A big thanks to Cedric for taking this photo and the next ones that follow. What is up with this so-called science project? Snacks taped to a box. With no explanation. We theorize that perhaps wee Elin wanted to see how long it would take before 1) mice came to eat it, or 2) one of the other children ate it. It turned out to be the latter, for we found some of Cedric's students had creeped off the chocolate that was on the top.

Being punished for that didn't stop them from continuing to do so. Or from attacking another not-so-scientific science project.
 Joy, who is a lovely girl in my class, made this structure out of uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows. I have no idea why. I cringed when she gave it to me though. Do you know why? Because my first thought when I saw it was "bugs." I wondered just how long it would take before bugs would begin to tuck into this. My second thought? "How long will it take until one of the children pilfers the marshmallows?" Well, if that was her intended experiment, then I'd like to report that it took precisely 1 week. It would have been sooner if not for Elin's snack shack.

 If you look more closely, you can see someone has taken bites out of the marshmallows. That someone was Alex. Boy did he get in trouble for that!
I already warned Cedric that next year when Science Week rolls around again to gently remind the parents not to use anything edible or else I'm sure he'll be emailing me more photos like this.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

My Incredibly Incompetent Assistant

Ever since the semester started, I've wanted to write about this but I thought, hey, give the girl a break. After last week though, I can no longer restrain myself from shouting from the rooftops that my assistant is totally useless.

I know, I know. I only have 2 more months of enduring her before we move away (HOORAY!) but I seriously am about to lose my mind. See, this year is different because my sweet Korean teacher and director, Christina, has to now teach Korean to our 7 year old class AND the 6 year old class. AND be a director. So to ensure we'd have assistance when needed, the school took the cheap way out and hired another Chinese teacher. Now we have 3 Chinese teachers, one for every kindergarten class.

This was SUPPOSED to make my life easier. But it hasn't. And Christina feels my pain. We sit and laugh over the things my Chinese assistant does. We laugh because it's funny. We laugh because we can't believe she could be that dense. We laugh because we can't believe this is happening.

So what did my Chinese assistant do? Well, for one thing, she's lazy. I've said it before in this blog - Americans get a bad rep for being lazy. And there are many lazy Americans. But in China, they take lazy to a whole new level. She's supposed to take out the trash in our classroom every day yet I need to chase her down to do it. She's supposed to stay in my classroom during English time but she often vanishes and it is ALWAYS when I need her help. When she IS in the room, she's playing around on her phone. I give her tasks to keep her busy and she always does a half-assed job on them or asks me if I'm going to help her. Um, no, sweetie. I'm supposed to be teaching these kids English. That's MY job.

My annoyance with her began to grow when they FINALLY hung my boards back up in my classroom, after 6 weeks of school. There had been a lot of back and forth with the chairman who wanted new boards but decided that hanging the old ones for now was better than having bare walls. So up they went. The problem was that the wooden borders made it look worn and old and it clashed with the new wood floors, wainscoting and wallpaper. So the other teacher had made borders and I thought that was a brilliant idea. I enlisted my Chinese teacher for help. I had to nag her several times but she finally finished cutting them for me. Then I asked her to put them up. She seemed confused as to why SHE should put them up. I have class, you dope! The students aren't here to sit and watch me have an awkward conversation in Chinese with you and watch us put these borders up! Derp!

I help her with some of them during snack time. Then I have a free period and I figure she'll do more with it later. But no. She doesn't do anything else for it. I figure when she comes back for my next English class, she'll get busy on it. But she doesn't even come back there and as I teach, I'm fuming that only one of my boards has most of a border on it. Lazy cow.

I had a lot of other stuff going on so my free time was filled with those teacherly tasks. But as I knocked out each thing I had to do, my borders just sat on the shelves, being ignored. I was so angry I just slapped them up there during one class when my kids were occupied with a writing assignment.

I created a birthday board with little cupcakes for each month. I made candles with each child's name on it and put them on the proper cupcakes. She laminated the cupcakes but only because I asked her to. I also asked her to cut them out, which she did begrudgingly. Prior to this, I'd made a "Happy Birthday" sign and asked her to laminate it for me while I was in class. I didn't realize then that I should have told her to cut it as well. She just laminated it and left it on my desk. Christina and I laughed about that one.

But this week, she made me so angry that I actually left the classroom. I had to. Because if I didn't, I knew I was going to scream at her and I couldn't do that in front of the children. What she did made me realize she isn't just lazy. She is also stupid. So incredibly stupid I simply cannot fathom what it must be like to be this dumb.

When they hung my wall boards, they also hung the ones in our gallery. Each class has to make a display on it. Teachers design the display and decorate it but we must use something the children make on our boards. So I looked online and found a delightful spring idea with a tree and butterfly cutouts as the leaves.
That's awesome, right? I thought it would be fun since I only have 7 students and we could see how many they could cut out. Anyway, I made a template and started tracing the butterflies so that my kids could just cut them. If I didn't have to let the students help, I would have just traced a few and then cut several at once. But that would defeat the purpose. Eventually, I was running out of time and had to go to my next class. So I asked the Chinese teacher for help.

My Chinese is not excellent. But it doesn't completely suck either. I called her over and showed her the photo above. I told her I was going to do this for my board and that I wanted the children to cut the butterflies. To be sure she understands, I point at her and tell her, "You trace these," and I hand her a pencil. Then I very sternly tell her "DO NOT CUT!" I tell her this 5 times. I point at the scissors and make the "NO" sign with my hands. And she tells me she understands.

I go and teach class and at the end of it as the children are packing up to leave for the day, Dummy trots back in holding the butterflies. She cut out every single last one of them. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. I stare at her incredulously. What an absolute imbecile! I bet MIL was this dumb at this girl's age too.

I glare at her and tell her, "I said DON'T cut them." And she realizes suddenly, "Oh! Don't cut them!" THAT IS WHAT I TOLD YOU IN THE OFFICE! I SAID DON'T CUT THEM! GAH! But instead of shouting at her, I just stalk down the hallway to the office. Christina is in there and when she sees my face she looks alarmed. I tell her what happened and she's as annoyed as I am.

Now I had to start all over again, tracing on new little squares of colored paper because she screwed it up. She wasted all that paper, though I did turn it into hearts and made her glue them onto the border of our classroom mirror. Part of me wonders if she's really that dumb or if she just messes up everything so we'll stop asking her to do anything. I won't be surprised if Christina has her fired after this year. I don't think she's thrilled with her Chinese lessons either.

When I told Jeremy what I'd told her about helping me with the butterflies, he assured me she was the idiot here. He said I'd explained myself properly in Chinese and only a moron would have done what she did. So there you go. She's an idiot. I feel sorry for the teacher who will replace me but at least that person will have borders up on the classroom boards now. When I leave this place behind, it will be hard to say goodbye to some people at the school, like Christina, or Kelly - Raelynn's teacher. But I will not miss my lazy and dimwitted Chinese assistant, that's for sure!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Beyond 'Ni Hao' - Find Out How To Learn Chinese

Recently, I was contacted by Learn Mandarin Now to find out what resources I use to learn Chinese. While I admit my Chinese is not the best (hey, cut me a's a tricky language plus I'm a working mom with 2 kids and a constant case of sleep deprivation), I was happy to offer my input to help them out. Now they've gone and created this vibrant infographic that makes me want to be a little less lazy and work a little harder on learning my husband's native tongue. It is, after all, one of the most spoken languages in all of the world.

If you've ever been curious about learning Chinese, check it out. The following is from Learn Mandarin Now...

Learning Mandarin Chinese is on a huge growth curve—but do you know the best way to begin to study the language? Well, using our blog: several weeks ago, we made contact with 50+ bloggers and asked about the top resources they use to learn Mandarin Chinese. We received so many recommendations that we decided to put together an attractive, colourful Infographic of the results—and nows the time to share this with you!

However, firstly, we really must thank Jennifer for her recommendations and for letting us share the Infographic with you in her blog: A Broad Abroad (a blog a blog), a blog all about her life living in China. It’s well worth checking out Jennifer’s recommended, useful resources and also getting some other tips and advice from our article: How to learn Chinese: 50+ blogger’s top resources.

We hope you find learning Chinese easier after reading all about our Infographic!

Monday, April 20, 2015

We're Coming To America!

I just want to share the awesomest of most awesome news with all of you - after mountains of paperwork and lots of stress, Jeremy and I are so excited to tell you that we've received his immigrant visa. We're coming to America! WOOHOO!

This is, of course, incredible and amazing in and of itself. But when you are sitting down to a plate of slop for dinner, at least when you know you are moving away in a few more months, it makes the turds MIL serves up a little easier to swallow.

We'll be there in July. Stay tuned for when and all that good stuff. Oh and of course, if you know anyone who needs a totally fab writer (that's me, duh) or someone who can translate between 3 languages (Jeremy) or is a certified chef (Jeremy again) please let me know! Thanks for reading my blog and sharing my joy!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Engrish Birthday

You know what I love? When you give someone a meticulously-printed piece of paper that says "Happy Birthday Raelynn" on it so they will copy that exactly and write it in frosting onto the cake you pay them to bake and then they give your child a new name: REALlynn. Thanks, dummies!
Sigh. At least it looks pretty.

And speaking of pretty, you know what I really love? I really love Raelynn. I cannot even believe she's 4 now. Four years ago, I posted this post about my first born. Now I look at her and am stunned she was once a tiny, helpless little infant. She now does everything herself. She dresses herself. She picks out what she wants to wear. She has an opinion about EVERYTHING. She's a total drama queen. Not like me. What? Oh all right. She's EXACTLY like me. I love my mini-me with all my heart though.

Some days she makes me completely nuts but no matter how crazy she drives me, I just love her to pieces. She makes me laugh so hard my sides hurt and her smile makes my heart melt. I love the way she looks at the world. "Mommy, why is the sun following us everywhere?" And she's such an awesome big sister.
Raelynn, you're such an awesome kid. You're so smart too! You speak 3 languages! You are a good girl at school and everyone loves you. I say this every year but man are we lucky to be your parents. You truly make our lives complete. May this next year be full of new and exciting adventures for us together. We love you!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The New Nastiest Bathroom In Qingdao

What's your biggest fear? Sharks? Plane crashes? My MIL and her cooking? How about having to go to the bathroom while you're out and about? And no, I don't mean #1.

Have you ever been walking around somewhere and suddenly, your stomach decides with an evil cackle of glee that it's going to drop and you realize that you HAVE TO go to the bathroom NOW? Hear me now, dear friends for I swear to you all that I will NEVER EVER EVER complain about any public bathroom in the US again. My worst fear right now is having to take a dump while out somewhere in China. There is a HUGE difference, believe me.

We went out to Taidong today to do some shopping for Raelynn's upcoming birthday. We went to the Babies, Women's and Children's store which has hundreds of vendors and lots of good deals. We'd noticed last weekend that Raelynn had outgrown her nice dress shoes so we thought buying her a new pretty pair would cheer her up. As we walked around through the different stores, I felt my stomach pitch. Crap, I thought. I'll try to hold it. But I realized that was going to be impossible. I turn to the guy manning the shop we were in and ask him where the bathroom is. He kindly points as he tells me to go left and then straight.

As it turns out, I could have found it based on smell alone. Chinese public bathrooms smell like death warmed over, rotten urine and low tide at the pier, and that's on a good day. Jeremy urges me to wait. "I can't," I tell him. I know I'm not going to walk into the Ritz or anything. I know it's not going to be pretty. I know it's going to be like one of these nasty bathrooms I've seen before. But honestly, I wasn't expecting it to be even worse than the worst ones I've seen.

I feel like I'm going to explode as I round the corner, Seoul curiously staring up at me from the carrier. "Sorry, girl," I tell her as we further immerse ourselves into the stench that had wafted into the corridor to welcome us to the bathroom. And suddenly, I stop short. There's a woman standing and waiting and as I line up behind her, I see the most horrifying thing a gal who needs to take a shit could possibly see in a public bathroom...NO DOORS ON THE STALLS. Not on any of them!
I found this photo here, from someone who apparently had a similar reaction to finding a bathroom like this. I didn't have my camera with me and even if I did, I had more pressing issues like trying to poop without being watched.

In the bathroom I encountered, the stalls were taller at least but there were no doors. If it were a matter of having to pee, I'd have held it. It was either poop here or poop in my pants. I scurried to the last stall because there was no stall across from it. A shred more privacy than the others, I thought. But as I hurried to do what I'd come to do, some of the others doing their business had spotted me and my darling baby come through and I could hear their commentary. Oh what a pretty baby! Look at that baby! All the while, I'm thinking, NO! DON'T look over here! I'm trying to poop in peace! Yeesh! GO AWAY! 

I guess I should be grateful that there were stalls at all. A friend of mine here had once told me about how she and her husband had been on a bus in a rural part of China and when the bus made a pit stop, she desperately needed to pee. She followed the other women to the bathroom and discovered the bathroom was no more than a room with holes in the ground. The other women all crouched down and pooped, talking to each other as they did. THAT would be the only thing more disturbing than what I experienced today.

To top the whole crappy (pun intended) experience off, there was no sink in the bathroom. NO SINK. Fortunately for me, it's not my first day in China so I am never without hand sanitizer. And because I have 2 kids I always have wet wipes. Still, the whole thing left me with a disgusted feeling. I'm not sure what was the worst part - having to poop like that while out, having to poop like that in a bathroom like that, having to poop like that in a bathroom like that while other people are actively talking about me and how pretty my baby is, getting ready to pull up my pants when some woman and her young son come to wait for the stall I am using and then start talking about me and how pretty my baby is, the lack of a sink...yes, I think ALL of this put together makes me say with certainty this is THE nastiest bathroom in all of Qingdao.

That Does It

I know it's been a while since I've written about MIL. I seriously and very sincerely mean it when I say I have been trying so hard to be nice and just let things go. But if you've been a reader of this blog for any amount of time, you know that sometimes I need to vent before I explode.

On Fridays, MIL knows she isn't supposed to cook. It's my night to cook. But still, she asks me if I want her to cook. I gave her the are-you-completely-crazy-or-stupid face and she nodded in understanding. Yes, go away. Now. Please. Before I throat-chop you. I've had enough of you for this week. You have no idea how hard it is for me to be nice to you or to restrain myself from hitting you over the head with my frying pan that once was nice but is now scorched on the bottom and is dirty because you didn't wash it.

I take Seoul, who is so happy I'm home that she's clapping her hands, into our bedroom and nurse her privately while Raelynn plops down on the sofa in the living room to watch Nickelodeon. I hear MIL making some cleaning-type sounds in the kitchen and then I hear her leave. Good, I think to myself. I don't have to look at that woman for 2 whole days.

When I'm done attending to Seoul, I come out and discover there's not much she's really done in the kitchen to clean up. It's the typical messes. Vegetables on the floor. Crap all over the counter. You know. Except for this...
What IS this, you ask? Your guess is as good as mine. It could be tofu.  It could be meat. The liquid looks like milk but is very likely oily fatty yuckiness. She just left this nasty, unappetizing crap sitting out all day and couldn't be bothered to take it away with her. Like any of us will eat this.

And then, for good measure, she left this apple core. On a dirty oven mitt. WHY would you leave that out? WHY would you save that? And why would you put it on something that is in desperate need of a wash?

These 2 things completely set me off and I realized I could no longer keep quiet about all the stupid shit she's done lately.

Like when she inexplicably dug through my wardrobe. Why the hell was she in there? I have no idea. But she found part of my vortex. I know this because when I'd gone into Raelynn's closet, there staring back at me were 4 of the ugliest pants ever, all of them with polka dots and all of them I'd shoved into the vortex last year. I confronted her on it and she said Raelynn should be wearing these things under her clothes because it's so cold. Not like she doesn't have a shit-ton of other non-vomitous garments to serve that very same purpose. I used Google Translator to tell her that I'd tucked them away because Raelynn refused to wear them. Before MIL could say anything more, Raelynn chimed in with how much she hated them. So take that, Goatface. Oh and yes, I also used Google Translator to tell her to stay out of my closet. Don't touch my personal items. Cow.

And of course, there are days I come home from work and I notice she's given Seoul some of Raelynn's toys to play with. This wouldn't be a problem if the toys were safe for babies. But they aren't and this is why I have repeatedly told her not to do that and repeatedly shown her which toys are for Seoul (honestly, it's quite obvious but MIL doesn't seem to grasp this concept). Yesterday, I came home and found a small box with a shower cap I'd had stashed away on the upper shelf in our bathroom now out in the living room. When I asked her about it, she told me her idiot husband, my FIL, had given it to Seoul. I just can't even with these people.

The list goes on and as you know, one thing here or there doesn't get to me but after suppressing my annoyance constantly I feel a full-on rage boiling over. Bits of luo bo left out everywhere. Insisting Raelynn eat some snack after school when she's already had one. Telling me everything is "hao chi" which is Chinese for delicious and telling me "hao chi" about everything when it clearly is not "hao chi." Putting an extra shirt on the baby to keep her warm inside the house now that Spring is here and city heat has turned off the radiators but NOT putting socks on her feet. Her hagly voice. Washing the dishes with cold water (thankfully Jeremy saw her too and shouted at her). Drinking tea out of an old rinsed out jelly jar which I don't know why it bothers me so much but it just DOES. Using so much oil when she cooks that she ruins everything she cooks.

And so the story goes. There's more of course but I just don't want to waste another minute of my weekend complaining about her. I feel better after venting, for now at least. Until she leaves another bowl of grossness on my counter that is.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Engrish Names

The last couple of times I tried to poke fun at the Engrish I found around me, it turned out that those things were totally legit. See here and here for those. But this time, I have some real Engrish for you! I promise!

Lately, I find myself becoming more and more frustrated with being here. Not just China specifically, but with Asian culture as a whole. No disrespect. It's just hard being a fish out of water. It's hard walking down the street for exercise and seeing elementary-aged children shrieking "foreigner" in Chinese while pointing. It's hard to endure certain tidbits of the cultures (especially my in-laws!), even if there are still things I do find endearing. I just need to go home and I want to before I lose all love for the continent that more or less shaped my 30s.

One thing has always driven me crazy here. And lately, it's making me so nuts I cannot even pretend it doesn't bother the crap out of me.

Engrish names.

What is an Engrish name, you ask? Engrish names are the bane of my existence. As a professional writer and as a paid teacher, when a new student joins our kindergarten and the mom INSISTS on making the Korean name into an Engrish name, it makes me stabby. It is SO hard to smile and politely suggest something else. "No, no. I want to call my kid (insert Korean name spelled phonetically here)." Yes, what a brilliant idea. You want to send your kid to an INTERNATIONAL school and then give them a name that no business associate will ever be able to properly pronounce. Good job.

Last year, I had a lovely little girl named Juily. When the semester had started, I asked my work BFF Jon, who had her the year before, if her name was July. No, Juily. Despite his protests to the mother to spell her name Julie as is traditional, the mom insisted it be spelled this way. Because she's some English expert. Oh, I mean ENGRISH expert. Of course!

I've also had an Anny and Micky. This year in my daughter's class, she has a friend named ReiRei, which is Chinese last I checked. And in Jon's class, he has a boy named Onyu. I once had a Camille, which was fine except that all the Korean teachers had made her name tags say "Carmill." And no one noticed until I came along. *facepalm*

Come to think of it, the Korean and Chinese teachers have been rather entertaining when it comes to labeling the students' things. Like when this happened, for example. Why they don't just ask the English teachers to look it over first is beyond me. I'd rather stop them from making an Engrish mistake before it shows up in print. Sadly, no matter how many times I offer my assistance, I will always find something like this...
In Jon's class, I can tell you he has a darling little boy by the name of Philip. Not a darling little boy named "Philp." His name is spelled correctly on everything else. This is what happens when the school decides to make my poor Korean director in charge of teaching Korean to Jon's class AND my class. She had no choice but to siphon the task of name tags off onto the Chinese teachers, who are all lovely people but not English experts in the slightest.

Just below "Philp," you can see "Juile." Which SHOULD be Julie. This year, we have a REAL Julie. Again, her name is correct on everything else. This is not a crazy mom issue. This is a typo. Thankfully, Bonnie there is spelled properly but I'll be damned if I can't get these people to stop calling her "boney."