Nowism is the Western name for the Chinese social custom that embraces last-minute decision making and changes of plans.

I was told last week that I would have a five-day weekend this week. My students have exams on the 10th, 11th, and 12th–exams which do not require the presence of their foreign English teacher. I stayed up late last night in expectation of my undeserved but very gratefully-received vacation time, meaning I would sleep in, go for a long, leisurely run, take a shower, and complete my Chinese homework all before the van arrived at 1pm to take me and my fellow Longgangers to Chinese class.

Enter Rambo, my contact teacher. Rambo texts me last night at midnight–MIDNIGHT–to say, “We still have classes tommorrow morning,sorry to remind you to come to school” [sic].

There’s nowism with a vengeance. I went to class today and now I am (mostly) certain that I have a four day weekend ahead of me. Maybe I should turn my phone off…

In other news, my lovely roommate, Jessica, invited her contact teachers, Maggie and Kay, over for dinner last night. We had that supremely home-style American dish, chili. You don’t get chili from restaurants. Your mom makes it for you. Jess’s chili tasted a lot like my mother’s, so I was both homesick and very happy for the twenty minutes I was eating it.

I’m behind on my novel for National Novel Writing Month (, but plan to catch up during a write-in with friends. Two other women in CTLC are also attempting NaNo this month, so I am in good company and hope to make the most of it. Somehow we’re already into the second week of November. This year is flying by much more quickly than I expected. I wanted the year to go by fast, but not this fast–I don’t feel like I have enough to show for my time here yet. But that’s something I need to be continually working on.

Starting with this Chinese homework!

All my love to those at home and elsewhere in this wide world. Be well.


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