2012 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/Feb 2012

Mar/Apr 2012               May 2012

Jun 2012

Jul/Aug 2012

Sep/Oct 2012

Nov/Dec 2012

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


January/February update (Jan 13, 2012)      


        We had a wonderful Christmas (see photos, plus more Christmas photos on our new Christmas 2011 page), and now we are looking forward to Chinese New Year (Jan 23 this year). It is a beautiful time of year in China, with lots of colored lanterns and other decorations everywhere! In fact, I first arrived in Xiamen just after Chinese New Year in 1985, and I was amazed at how beautiful the sidewalks were, decked with lots of red lanterns. I was really disappointed when they disappeared a few weeks later! But now I know that, like Christmas trees, these decoration are back every year, and that gives us a seasonal treat to cherish.
        The other good thing about Chinese New Year is that we get a break from school. I love teaching, and I put a lot of time and energy into my classes. So, it is nice to have a few weeks off to catch up on email, file some of the many photos we are always taking, watch some movies with my wife, and start planning for the next semester. Every "Spring Festival" we also participate in a conference for foreign professionals who work in China. This year it is in Hong Kong, and I'll be presenting one of the training sessions for teachers. Since Vivian and I have been in China for over a decade, we often have leadership roles at these conferences, and we especially enjoy helping "new people" prepare for the challenges that await them in China.
        One of my own challenges is finding time to be a webmaster. Even with the holiday break, I know I won't be able to attend to the many
problems at Krigline.com (outdated text, broken links, useless buttons, etc.). But in spite of the problems, there are also lots of good things to see and resources to use at Krigline.com (see the Home page). Thanks for stopping by, and have a Happy New Year!

Michael Krigline


PS: Among the many holiday activities we enjoyed this year, these students made Christmas cards for their friends at our home. Yes, that is our son Andrew on the far right: after he finished his first semester exams (which come before Christmas in the US), he flew to join us for about three weeks. It was great to be together again!

March update (Mar 11, 2012) 


        The new semester started in mid-February. I’m teaching four evening classes (7-8:40 pm), plus a few in the daytime. By the time they get to me, my students have had a long, tiring day, so we try to make English class enjoyable and to give them the chance to talk with classmates in this foreign language. I’m grateful that most students can still show enthusiasm and participate actively, so late at night. They make class enjoyable for me too!
        April is birthday month for both
Beth and Andrew. We’ll especially miss Andrew on the second, for it will be the first time we’ve not been there to celebrate with him (often with a trip to Pizza Hut, and a party for his friends—you can see some past birthdays on Andrew's page).
  In April, we’ll also be busy with our volunteer responsibilities. We’ll spend a weekend in Kunming for important meetings related to the Jian Hua Foundation, and Vivian plans to stay in Yunnan for a few days to return to the orphanage we served as Trustees for a while living there. Vivian is also working on the Foundation’s important Annual Report.
        Finally, this year April has both a Chinese and a Christian lunar holiday related to "graves." April 4 is Qingming (清明), or "tomb-sweeping day." Many friends and colleagues will go off to mountainsides or graveyards to clean the grave of an ancestor. An interesting custom related to this holiday is that they burn paper copies of things the deceased person might need in "heaven," like a car, new clothes, a cell phone, a house, and (most popularly) money. The other holiday is Easter (复活节), April 8, when Christians in China and around the world celebrate the “empty tomb,” i.e., the resurrection of Jesus after he was crucified. He told his followers that they didn’t need to fear death anymore, because his sacrifice provided everything we need for eternal life. (You can read a
children’s story I wrote about Easter by clicking here, or see a "holiday handout" here.)
        So, March and April will be busy months, but Easter in particular makes April a wonderfully joyous time of year for us, and we hope it will be for you too!


Michael     (back to top) 


May     (back to top)  

June update (June 14, 2012) 


        I'm too busy teaching summer school to update this page, but click here for a link to Beth's page where you can see our new grandson! Also, if you know of any nice, cheap apartments in Xiamen, we are looking! We need to move to the island this summer, before my classes resume on the old campus in October.         (back to top)  

July/August      (back to top) 


September/October update    (Sept 11, 2012) 


        Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday when Vivian and I were saying goodbye to my sophomore students, and looking forward to our first summer in Xiamen (well, first summer together--I'd spent two summers here in the 80s when I was single, and before air conditioning was available!). Now it is mid September, and we'll meet the freshmen in just a few weeks! And although it's been a busy summer, there is still so much more that we wanted to accomplish before our busy fall begins.

        Our only regret for the summer was that we couldn't afford to fly back to the US when our second grandchild was born in June. But our daughter was in good hands, and all went well. This longing made us all-the-more grateful that we were in the US for the birth of her first child over a year ago.

        As summer school ended, we were busy packing, moving and unpacking. We're thankful to all those who helped us in that arduous process. You can see a photo montage on our Xiamen Apartment page. Of course, actually moving was just the beginning for us, as it took a few weeks to unpack and find our way around our new home. If you care to visit us, you'll find directions and a map on line. (Click here for pictures of the new apartment.)

        A lot of Vivian's early summer (and spring) was invested in editing the corporate Annual Report for the Jian Hua Foundation (see photo to the right). This 30-page color booklet is an important means of communication between the Foundation, Chinese officials, and others who benefit from JHF's work in China.

        Once we got settled in Xiamen, Vivian started tutoring again (to help pay our increased rent!). She now has five students, who love her very much! Meanwhile, Michael has found two English Corners to volunteer his time at, and he's also enjoyed being closer to the international church so that he can help with music and other things, like a project to add subtitles to a music-related teaching video.

        What's next? Vivian will keep tutoring, and Michael's Xiamen University classes resume after the National Day holiday (early October). We can't wait to meet the new students, offering them the chance to improve their English (with lots of hard work) both in and out of class! We're also eager to keep in touch with former students who want to "keep up" their English skills. Our apartment has a large living room, so we think we can invite a nice crowd over for movies and parties. "Let the good times roll!"

Still lovin' it in Xiamen,
Michael & Vivian
        (back to top)  


November/December update (12-12-12) 


        Today is the last time in 89 years that we'll be able to write the date with the same three numbers, so it seemed like an auspicious time to add an update!

        I think this fall has been busier than normal--though we are always busy! The photos and captions on this page will show you what we have been doing.

        One "extra" thing is that I've had to make numerous trips to a "local" hospital, dealing with ear trouble. The Chang Geng hospital (on the mainland) is the best in the area, but it takes four hours or more to get there, wait for an appointment, and get back. Such large blocks of time are hard to squeeze into my busy schedule, resulting in far too many late nights getting ready for class.

        In addition, I've had registration troubles with "www.krigline.com.cn". After being on line since 2005 to help my students, and other Chinese English-learners, it suddenly disappeared in December; this has been a big distraction to me and the friends who are trying to solve the problems. (For the record, after paying extra money to the Chinese host, I was back on line Dec. 27.)

        Meanwhile, I keep busy as a volunteer at four English Corners that require varying levels of preparation. I also enjoy helping with activities at our international church (music, teaching, video projects, etc.).

        Vivian tutoring continues to be a joy and challenge. She now tutors six students, who love her very much!  SHe also enjoys the hobby of on-line scrapbooking. Visit her pages for more information! (www.scrapbookflair.com/China_Doll)


        But the best part of our "busy-ness" is the delight in sharing Christmas once again with our new students! We have special activities at our home every Sunday in Advent, as well as being involved in concerts and other fun around town. It has been wonderful to have such a large apartment to entertain guests! We love this time of year!!


        Looking ahead, final exams are in early January, and then we'll spend a week in Thailand for the annual JHF expats' conference (around Chinese New Year). The next term at Xiamen University begins Feb. 25. Further ahead, we are planning to visit the US next summer, to spend time with our son and other relatives, and especially to meet our newest grandchild!

        So, as always we beg forgiveness if I can't find time to be a "web master"! Nonetheless, there are lots of great resources at Krigline.com, and we hope you'll make good use of them!


Celebrating Christmas all year round,


PS: I'm too busy to look at my website statistics very often, but after my Chinese registration was canceled this month I thought I'd have a look. It was interesting. My ".cn" website got 8934 page hits in Nov 2012; most visitors were looking for English-learning resources (like help with essays, standardized tests, and movies), though 88 people found my song "Jing Ye Si"; my own students visited the "materials" page 159 times; over 200 were related to my textbook. It's good to know that so many people find this website useful!


Photo captions:

1. In early December, we agreed to adopt (or foster?) Zoe while her American family is away for the next year or so.

2. Every Tuesday, we reserve this corner of the university canteen, giving students the chance to speak English casually; 15-20 usually join us!
3. I work hard to make class interesting and active. One student paid me the following interesting complement: "Unlike my other courses, I can't sleep in your class!"
4. On the first Sunday of Advent, these special students got to help us decorate our apartment. Most had never decorated a Christmas tree (or eaten pancakes) before.
5. In mid-December, I was asked to help lead a Christmas music program on nearby Gulangyu island (in the historic Union Church building). These students volunteered to learn several songs so they could also participate.
6. The second Sunday of Advent was "game night" at our apartment.


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Don't forget that Vivian has a photo scrapbook website, too. She has a lot more time to play with fun things than I do, and she frequently adds a page or two. Her pages are more elaborate than the simple photo pages on krigline.com, so they load slowly in China, but you might enjoy seeing her nice pictures. Click here to start your journey: www.scrapbookflair.com/China_Doll      

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