Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The Breeze that moved the couch
I was just thinking how monotonous life can feel sometimes. I know that might strike you as odd. After all, I am living in a foreign country and having new experiences pretty much everyday. But sometimes, the mundaneness of life overwhelms me. I was having this thought only an hour before as I was now sitting in the office designated to us foreign teachers. The office time was just getting started, and only one other student had joined me so far. We were enjoying a quiet moment, the breeze gently flowing through the window and rocking the couch. Wait a moment. Breezes don’t gently rock couches, do they? I asked my student if she could feel the room swaying. She could. It felt as though we were in a tree house that was moving slightly back and forth. We simultaneously looked at the door that also seemed to be shaking a little. All the sudden, we heard the students from the nearby classrooms stream into the hall and flood down the stairs. We didn’t know what was going on, but we decided we should do the same. In front of our buildings, all the students were starting to gather and look upward at the buildings. The students said that it couldn’t be an earthquake because Hengyang never had earthquakes. I wasn’t convinced. How can you say that it couldn’t be an earthquake when clearly 80% of the people on our campus felt the buildings moving? So, the afternoon classes were canceled, and I had office time with students outside…which was much more pleasant anyways. We learned later that the quake happened in the Sichuan province. People downtown, in the center of our city, hadn’t felt anything, but our school definitely felt some after effects from the quake.