Well for those of you who are old enough to remember the TV series....I had cause to celebrate my big 50 on NYE. Thought I had managed to keep it a secret from my students so off to work I go (first year I've worked on my birthday in years!!) with the first lesson at 0730. Not being a morning person I'm never at my best with the early class but I was well and truly woken up....75 students standing up singing Happy Birthday at the top of their voices will do that...
The school bought me a magnificent cake - I cant actually recall when I last had a birthday cake - and of course it was beautifully presented as everything is in China. Naturally my students helped me eat it after lighting candles, making wishes etc.... I think I was given about 3000 birthday wishes as word soon spread around campus and all the students would rush up to me and sing out "Happy Birthday" and then run off again!!
I was given some lovely, thoughtful gifts and cards from my students - just one example, one student made me a cross stitch picture of a famous Chinese opera heroine (cant remember her name) and said to me that she had chosen to do that as it was very light for me to take home. She then told me that it was her first effort at cross stitch and others told me she has been working late into the night to finish it in time.....talk about bring a tear to your eye.
I may have crossed another milestone in the journey of life but my wonderful Chinese students have made this one so memorable that I really don't actually mind!!