General News, MsSonia

Teaching Rants- Sonia A

Being the boss vs being the teacher. 

Sonia School
My school in Liaoning, China

When I first came to China I really didn’t want to be a teacher let alone owning my own school. But that is exactly what happened.

Having your own school has its advantages and disadvantages like; not enough free time to do the simple things. Simple things like family time, as my children go to school and are only home on the weekends. But unfortunately, the weekends and evenings are the busiest time for an English Training Center like I have.

Recently I have felt the exhaustion of going to work which has included grunting upon entering the school, much to my employees delight. I feel being the boss sucks camel nads and I would much prefer to focus on being a teacher. But when I walk into the classroom it is impossible to feel annoyed. When I see those little brats faces smiling at me, my heart melts and all my negative energy and thoughts are gone.

Those tiny humans (as Barb likes to refer to them) really do brighten up my day.

Sonia Science
How adorable is this Tiny Human?

It is the small things they do that make me feel happy to have my own school. Things like;  smiling at a shoe squeak, being able to sing the song from last month, or simply making an effort in class that day just because they want give a little more makes me want to give a little more too.

Teaching different age group also has its challenges. As Barb likes to call those young teens, “hormonal time bombs”. I teach a wide range of ages; 3-16. I would have to say my favourite ages to teach are the young ones. The Tiny Humans. Every lesson from beginning to end is full of fun, smiles, tears and high energy. And when you work with Tiny Humans? You see more things you shouldn’t but do. We’re talking boogers, hands in pants, hand licking, wall licking, chair licking, hug boarderline hump and lots of snot. So much snot, I hope you were not eating.

Sonia- kids bday
The older ones are always thrilled when someone remembers the little things like a birthday at school. 

The older ones are great too and I am not being sarcastic. But it seems they are at that age where they don’t know how to be a kid. Granted, they were never allowed to be a kid in the first place. They focus from a very young age on school work as Chinese kids are the parents retirement fund which brings so much pressure freshmen into high have grey already.

I wish there was something more that we teachers in China could do to help them.

My older students are pretty easy going and we trade. As Barb say, “I bribe those angels and I’m ok with it”. They focus on their school work which I think is important, but they have no time to learn who they are as a person or learn what they and who they want to be. I think it is important to teach them that there are some people who will listen to them in this world.

Soap, The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

Margaritas, Himalayan Salt and Bars

It’s Monday here in the Middle Kingdom and I am at home relaxing my tender tootsies. My feet are tired and I’ve got a lovely itchy little blister forming on my baby toe. Damn summer shoes.

Weekends for many teachers in China mean long IMG_0819[1]hours spent in the classroom which takes us away from The Scrub Me Down Kitchen. And that makes me sad. Rather than creating or perfecting recipes, I get to spend my day with tiny humans who don’t realize that hands down their pants or coughing in your face is not ok or playing with their snot is actually not funny. But it also means I get to sing and dance and beam with pride every time they get something right or ask for a book exchange or want to know more about dinosaurs. And that alone makes up for every single inappropriate fart, nose pick and shirt yank I get.

IMG_2134[1]On Friday we tried our second attempt at making a foaming hand wash, and it was an epic failure. We wanted it in a foaming bottle, so that meant diluting it down a heck of a lot, but when it cooled down and actually used it, it had very little foaming action. Which made me sad. So I get to go back to the drawing board and try again!

Another awesome thing coming out of The Scrub IMG_2195[1].JPGMe Down Kitchen once its cured is our Margarita Salt Soap! And this one I am soooooo excited for. My skin+salt=HAPPY! We have Margarita Salt Scrub, Margarita Summer Silk Hand/Body Lotion and now we can add Margarita Salt Soap to the mix! I wanted to have some Margarita Room+Body Spray too, but I ran out of that fragrance oil. And our suppliers don’t have any more! So we have to stop at three products in this line.

Let’s talk about salt. There are many types of salt. For clarity, I am not talking about table salt here. When I talk about salt and using salt, salt in recipes, do not think all salts are equal. I am talking about Himalayan salt, Dead Sea Salt, Sea Salt (various kinds). Dead Sea Salt is very expensive here in China, so I use it sparingly. Mainly I use Himalayan Salt as it is the most cost effective as easiest to obtain.

When I tell people I use salt on my skin, many react in horror and one of the first questions I get, “isn’t it drying?” Everybody has different skin. My skin loves the salt, and some people find salt too much for their skin. It’s learning about what your skin likes. And not so much what you think your skin likes or doesn’t like.

When you go into the ocean and then you begin to dry off, of course your skin is going to be itchy. That amount of salt left on your skin is never a good thing! Even I scratch and itch (You need to rinse it off). But I feel so good and happy and relaxed and and and after playing in the ocean. So how can someone like me who lives inland and far away from the ocean, who doesn’t have a bathtub to soak in, get maybe some of the benefits of salt?

IMG_2192[1].JPGNow, as I’ve mentioned before, I am lazy. And as much as I love the thought of an actual bar of salt in my shower, you have to rub it all over your body, let sit for a few minutes then rinse it off. Yeah, I that’s just too much for me and besides, my coffee just sits there brewing away calling my name. So the salt soap for me was the answer to a few of my wants. 1) easy 2) convenient 3) simple 4) shower friendly.

How to use: Lather up. Rinse.

Ingredients: Himalayan Salt, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Coconut  water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, sodium hydroxide, parfum, mica, titanium dioxide.

Warnings: Avoid contact with eyes. Do not eat. Not for internal use.  As with any skin product, if you notice any skin issues pop up, discontinue use.

Magarita Salt Bar pre-mix.
Shameless photo of all the ingredients before they were mixed. That is really 2kg of Himalayan salt right there.


For further reading on the wonders of Himalayan Salt.