Sunday, April 18, 2010

What's In A Name?

I have carried an unusual last name all my life. I was born a Maywald, which doesn't look that complicated, but people got it wrong all the time, including the minister officiating at my father's funeral and the dean of my law school, which is another story entirely. Most of the men I dated had unusual last names as well, and when I married a Rauschenbach, I figured at least I wouldn't be confused with anyone else, especially not in China. Well, this week we blew that theory.

You may remember that Joe's new boss is named Tammy Rodabaugh. I got the link to my SCIS email and checked in this week to find 24 emails in my box. That seemed like a high number to me, and as I scanned them, I realized that the good folks at SCIS have been sending emails to "Tammy" without checking the last name, which is similar as well. I learned a lot about who had chicken pox, who was substitute teaching, and the names of new students. When I realized people were trying to set up meetings, I took a little action and contacted the IT department, as well as Ms. Rodabaugh, of course. We are hoping to have everything sorted out shortly, but in the meantime, I'm forwarding emails and contacting those who haven't figured out the problem.

We've had a few more interesting tidbits about our coming life. For instance, did you know that the denomination approved by the Chinese government for church services is Catholicsm? I wonder if the communists have caught up with that church's line on human rights, at least here in the US. Maybe they approve of the hierarchical structure. Also, my email buddy Wendy mentioned that many Chinese apartments do not have ovens, but she makes do with a toaster oven. Oh boy, lemon cheesecake and pumpkin bread are going to be difficult! Our new curriculum and instruction director, Nancy, tells me that Shanghai has some Mexican food restaurants that are not great, but "passable." Well, the point is to learn about Chinese culture, not to take my culture with me.

We had some good news about renting the house this week. A nice group of music students, recommended by our friend Beth, came over on Thursday and were very enthusiastic about living here in the fall, so we emailed our lease agreement. If everything works out, we'll have Dan (the trumpeter), Bryan (the euphonium), Jane (the percussionist) and Theresa (the clarinetist) as our renters in August. It's nice to have things falling into place, especially when time seems to be getting shorter.

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