Sunday, February 14, 2010

So it's not okay to give your kid's teacher a digital camera...?

While we were in the U.S. at Christmas Buddy bought a digital camera for Grant's teacher. Mrs. Wang was Audrey's homeroom teacher for two years and now she's Grant's homeroom teacher so we feel close to her. She's played a big role in our kids' education.

Now a digital camera is kind of extravagant and not something I would give a teacher in the States, however I tend to defer to Buddy on these sorts of things because he grew up here and I figure he knows what's acceptable.

We wrapped up the camera and sent it to school with Grant last week.

Today the camera came back with Grant, neatly wrapped back up in the wrapping paper.

When I asked Buddy why the teacher returned it he said it was probably too expensive.

You guys know I love this man more than life itself but he is useless when it comes to explaining any of life's mysteries.

Dear readers, can some of you shed some more light on this for me? Do students ever give their teachers gifts in China? If so, what is appropriate?

And for that matter, what do we do in the US? I don't remember ever giving a teacher a present. Is it done today? If so what's a typical gift?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wear This or That?

I don't know about you but when I was a teenager, any outfit I was going to wear to a significant event (a trip to the mall, a day at school, a Civinettes pancake breakfast) had to have a stamp of approval from at least two of the women in my family. The women in my family were my mom and my three sisters.

Then when I was 17 I moved to Germany for a year as an exchange student. I got dressed for the first day of school and modeled my outfit for my host family. Their reaction was a mixture of confusion and disapproval. You see it turns out I had landed in a place where academics were actually the reason people went to school. Not fashion!

(I had this one classmate in Germany who wore the same sweater every single day of the week. He just changed the shirt underneath the sweater. And that was okay!)

(With everyone else. Not really with me.)

Over the years life has taken me further and further away from the women in my family and today I am half a world away from them. But this morning my baby sister Amanda sent me a website that can bring them back into my circle of wardrobe consultants.

It's called and it's exactly what it sounds like.

People post pictures of themselves in a couple of outfits and you vote on which looks better.

If you go there please be on the lookout for said baby sister Amanda, who is asking for feedback on her wedding dress.

Please do not adjust your screen, one of the dresses is indeed orange.

Option #1

Option #2

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Sister Christi is Awesome - Part 2

One thing I never grow tired of is gushing about my sister Christi.

Christi Parsons, White House correspondent for the Chicago Tribune.

She started her journalistic career as the editor for the Central High School Falcon Flyer in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. And look at her today! She covers the President of the United States.

She flies on Air Force One, you know.

I was perusing her bookshelf last summer and I found this one book that looked interesting. So I started flipping through it and I found the bookmark was a menu from Air Force One.

As a bookmark?!

In my house that menu would be framed and hanging above the mantle!!!

This is probably why they don't let me on Air Force One.

So anyway, Christi recently appears on the Gwen Ifill show. Please watch her here and leave me a comment telling me how smart and GORGEOUS she is.

I know, I totally know.