Sunday, September 23, 2012

Poppy's Progress

Last Christmas, when teaching in China was only an option on the list of Church service opportunities available, Kirk felt like he wanted some direction in his life.  Logan & Mark and their families were at the cabin with us and after all our celebrations, Kirk asked his sons to give him a blessing.  Logan was voice, and after the blessing was over, Logan remarked that he felt strongly that whatever Kirk was supposed to do, it was going to mean that he would be learning a lot and need to work hard at it.

Front door of our apartment building 
For a few months before we came, Kirk was studying Mandarin Chinese.  He borrowed CDs from the Weitzells and called Clyde to practice and get corrections on his pronunciation.  

Mark set Kirk up with a laptop computer, he and Logan gave Kirk some lessons, and Kirk began to learn how to use it for more than just checking his e-mail.  He learned to do power point presentations and download files.

Now that we are here, he has jumped in with both feet.  He tries talking to EVERYONE who will listen to him, especially taxi drivers who are 'stuck' with him.  He works hard to hear the nuances of pronunciation and learn new vocabulary.  He is trying to get good enough to tell a driver of a san luen che (3-wheeled car) like this one how to get to our house from the store.

Going to IKEA on a san luen che

Gated entry from the street to our housing complex
In the meantime, he carries all our groceries and always says "Ni Hao" to the guard at the gate and other neighbors. 

Shahe River near our home
I'm a teacher.  I have years of experience and a college degree.  It's exciting and fun for me to be teaching at the university level.  Not so for Kirk--he's a dentist.  Although he has taught seminary and countless church classes, he is not comfortable in front of large groups and doesn't like the spotlight.  That first day of classes was quite intimidating.  As he left for his first day of teaching, I looked out the window of our apartment and saw him going. I admired and respected the man who carried his briefcase and computer off to a completely new and different experience.  Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Kirk going to his first day of class; from our apartment office window.

1 comment:

  1. I have tears in my eyes and warm feelings in my heart to read about this journey. You go Kirk!