2005 Archive

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I've stopped updating this website, though it's pages will remain for a while. See "current update" for details.

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(▲ Links to the pages at the same level as this page. If you can't see the label, put your mouse over a button and look at the bottom of your browser.)

Jan 2005

Feb 2005

Mar 2005

Apr 2005

May 2005

Jun 2005

Jul/Aug 2005

Sep 2005

Nov 2005

Note: various links or other references may be mentioned below that no longer apply.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

January 2, 2005


Dear Friends,


The new year has begun, but we are still mired in the papers and exams of the old one! Michael has also been coughing again for over a month (Andrew and Vivian are coughing, too, but not as bad). Michael suffered for over three months last year--and much worse--so while we are thankful for the shorter duration of this hacking cough, we are also rather tired of the sounds, medicine, tiredness and other pains that go with it. Doctors say the cause is something in Xi'an's pollution, so the only cure is to move to another city. During the upcoming break, we will leave town (for Hong Kong and Xiamen) in the hope of a reprieve. Both the end of term duties and the prolonged illness mean that this update will be short, but we'll try to add a bit more once the NPU semester is over.


May you and yours experience a happy and healthy 2005!

Michael, Vivian and Andrew    (back to top) 




Feb 2005 (Actually Jan 28)

Dear Friends,

My students and I suffered through exams January 4 and 6--they suffered by taking them and also by having to listen to me cough while grasping my side in pain. The day after my last exam, I was feeling so bad that I asked a co-worker to serve as translator and we headed for a nearby hospital. There, I was told that I had pneumonia (肺炎), and thus I spent the following two weeks in the hospital with an IV (输液) dripping medicines into my body for about six hours a day. I was treated well, and my Chinese was good enough to entertain the nurses and do whatever they asked. I also learned several new medical terms that I hope to never need again! The doctors wanted to keep me a few extra days, but I had already purchased a ticket to fly to Qingdao (on China's northeastern coast). The doctors said the change in air would probably be good for me, so on January 20 I flew out a few hours after being liberated from the last IV. (By the way, while I was in the hospital, Vivian was under a doctor's care for bronchitis--支气管炎--so we really gave our colleagues something to worry about!)

This was the first time I'd been in a hospital since I was in the fifth grade (and I think it was for a similar reason). Before I came to China, I caught colds frequently, but I was never sick enough to miss work. All of this makes my persistent illnesses in China both disturbing and depressing.

A western doctor in Qingdao ordered an X-ray and said the pneumonia was gone. However, after a week in clean air I am still coughing up phlegm, and my side/rib still hurts when I cough/clear my throat/sneeze/etc. I am writing this update at a hotel on the Hong Kong border, where Vivian and Andrew will fly to meet me later today. We will spend the next week in Hong Kong (with Jian Hua Associates), followed by a week in Xiamen (see the map) for a mini-reunion with a few classmates from 20 years ago. We are praying that by the time we return to Xi'an my lungs will have recovered enough to face the rest of this school year. 

Trying to breathe in China,

Michael Krigline for the family        (back to top) 



March 2, 2005 (sorry, but we were too busy to add an April update!)

The new term started Monday. Fortunately, before it started I was able to finish grading all the papers and exams I could not get to because of my stay in the hospital (see last month's update about my bout with pneumonia).

Three weeks in cleaner air was certainly refreshing. By the time I finished my week in Qingdao, I was not coughing, and then I almost never coughed in Hong Kong or Xiamen (one week in each). Then, within 24 hours of arriving home, my cough returned, and tests confirmed that I picked up a staph infection somewhere. To top it off, a local bug hit me last Sunday and I spent the day in bed, shivering with a fever! However, I'm taking antibiotics again, and we hope this round will take care of any unwanted bacteria that are still fighting with my body. I am also grateful that these various bugs and coughs have not forced us to cancel any classes--we really hate to miss our time with the students!

Meanwhile, Vivian also picked up a little cough upon our return to Xi'an--she began teaching this week, too. Andrew's health remains the strongest. He has been in school for over a week now, and is enjoying the pleasures of being in familiar surroundings after a couple of weeks on the go.

We had a nice time in Hong Kong, and a wonderful reunion in Xiamen. I have posted a few photos on our updated Xiamen page and on a temporary page called "Spring 2005" for lack of anything more creative!

Staying busy,
Michael Krigline for the family
        (back to top) 



April 1, 2005 (see March)     (back to top) 



May 2, 2005

The fever and pneumonia that dampened our New Year seem like ancient history now. Once the coal fires stopped burning, the haze parted to reveal things more than a block away again. We still live with a morning cough, but the doctors say to expect this (or worse) as long as we live in Xi'an.

With that sobering thought in mind, we decided to look for bluer skies, and we have found them in Kunming. Two days ago I received a contract to teach next year at the Yunnan Normal University Business School (you can see a few Kunming photos by clicking here).

We will miss NPU, XIS, and the historic city of Xi'an. Words can't describe how well we have been treated at this university, and we will deeply miss the colleagues, staff, and students here. We have also really been privileged to be part of Andrew's great school: XIS. As few days ago (on a visit to the famous Terra-cotta Army) we were also reminded of the unrivaled history of this area (see new photos on our revised Xi'an page). But as much as we hate to say goodbye, we will not miss the sickness that has become a daily part of our lives.

As Shakespeare said, "parting is such sweet sorrow," but we are also looking forward to a new start. Kunming is lovely, and everybody says we are lucky to be moving there. Our new university has expressed a very warm welcome, and we feel confident that it will provide a nice place to continue serving China's bright young generation.

The weeks and months ahead will be packed with packing, as well as with all our normal teaching duties. I give a teacher-training lecture later this month, and my weekly "English Free Talk" grows every Friday. Over 200 students also showed up as Vivian and I led a lecture/discussion about the Titanic on April 16. Andrew was in a presentation at school last Friday, and Vivian flew to Shanghai today (along with a dear friend who had been visiting us over the weekend). Andrew and I therefore have to spend part of the May Day break alone, but there is always plenty to do to keep us busy!

Thanks for stopping by,

Michael Krigline for Vivian and Andrew       (back to top)  




June 1, 2005

Back in America, our teaching colleagues are enjoying a well-earned rest and their children are already complaining: "I'm bored--there's nothing to do." While summer vacation may be underway there, it is still a month away over here in China. In fact, Vivian and I won't technically be finished with the term until mid-July. Andrew, however, will be finished June 17.

May was a nice month. Andrew won second place in his school science fair with a project about Tsunamis. We also hired a new tutor to help Andrew with his Chinese. Meanwhile, our daughter celebrated her first wedding anniversary, and we got in on the fun from over here by showing a video of her wedding to almost 100 enthusiastic students (we just put up a few signs on campus, and they came!). We also managed to stay healthy most of the month, though I caught a virus about a week ago and still suffer with a cough and cold symptoms.

June will be a busy month as we create final exams, finish grading papers, pack for the move to Kunming, and take care of all the other things that generally keep us occupied. One of our last official acts will be taking part in NPU's first International Workshop on Foreign Languages Teaching and Research. There is even talk of me giving one of the keynote speeches. Once all of that is finished, maybe I can finally get back to work on my book so I can use it next fall!

Michael for the family          (back to top)  




July 11, 2005 (for July and August)

Vivian and Michael turned in grades this morning, officially ending our faculty responsibilities at Northwestern Polytechnical University. Our foreign affairs bureau will be busy this week getting the official papers signed that grant us permission to move to Kunming in early August. Most of the goodbyes have been said, and many have touched us with expressions of love and gratitude for the three years we spent here.

Everyone in the family has received special recognition in one way or another. Last Friday, at an official ceremony, Michael was recognized as one of the "Teachers of the Year," and he was particularly gratified that this important designation is mostly related to student evaluations. A few weeks ago he also received recognition for his part in NPU's first International Workshop on Foreign Language Teaching and Research (he was both a keynote speaker and a member of the International Advisory Board). (You can see some new photos by clicking here.) A few weeks ago, Andrew was selected as "Student of the Year" for grades five and six, and we are very proud of his academic achievements. Vivian probably got the most touching recognition when one of her freshmen classes presented a memory book to her, complete with a photo and a personal letter of thanks from each student. Each of these tokens, and all the other notes, photos, calls, and goodbyes we have received, are deeply appreciated, and serve to reassure us that our time here has been worthwhile.

Meanwhile, our home is strewn with boxes, some sealed and others still waiting for their temporary contents. A truck is scheduled to pick them up on August 5, and we board a train the same day--hopefully arriving in SW China together on August 7. Our new apartment is not supposed to be ready until mid-September, but our new school is really looking forward to our arrival and we know they will take good care of us. Several parties are also anxiously waiting for Michael to complete work on a writing textbook, so needless to say the weeks ahead will be as full as ever.

The next time we update this page, we will be in a new city, facing new challenges, and making new friends. To those we tearfully leave behind, we can only say THANK YOU for sharing your lives with us, and may God bless you!

Wishing you all a full measure of faith, hope and love,

Michael, Vivian and Andrew Krigline
          (back to top)  




September 5, 2005

We have moved to Kunming, and Michael has begun teaching at Yunnan Normal University Business School. There is a lot going on, and frankly we just don't have time to update this website yet. You can learn a little more by visiting our Kunming page and following the links there.

Thanks for your patience.

Michael, Vivian and Andrew
       (back to top)  




November 14, 2005

It would take an hour to list all the little things that are keeping me too busy to properly update this website. But I know many people are interested in our lives, so I'll at least add a photo page and some captions. SORRY, again, for the inconvenience. Maybe I'll get the time I need by Christmas!

Thanks for your patience.

Michael, Vivian and Andrew       (back to top)  


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