So to explain a bit- I came back to China to chaperone a trip that was organized by DCIS, my alma mater and former employer. I went to visit a few teacher at the school when I was home last summer and during a lovely brunch at Racine's, Cathy (one of my former teachers) and I
started talking about China. When she found out that I would be in China in the fall she insisted I talk to Melanie, who was organizing the trip- Cathy had been offered the chaperone gig, but didn't think she could do it and thought it would be perfect for me. I talked to Melanie and got the details- the trip would be three weeks long, two of those weeks in Kunming, Denver's sister city, where we would stay in host families and some of my expenses would be paid. All I had to do was meet them in Shanghai and be a responsible adult. The group was small, only 4 high school students (all of whom I knew well from when they were in 6th grade) one DU student who decided to tag along (who I also know fairly well) and Mel. The kids are great and require very little in the way of actual supervision and I would get a plane ticket home- sounds like a deal to me!
It has been a great deal so far. During the day we go to classes put on for us by the high school we are visiting (Kunming Foreign Language School). With the exception of Chinese Language, which is way over my head, the classes are great. We've learned a few Chinese songs and arts. The kids are having a great time with their host families as am I. I think the kids Chinese skills will have improved a great deal by the time they get home and I think my skills will have improved by more than 100%- from two words to maybe five :-).
I don't quite remember where the "lemon" moniker came from- probably some mispronunciation of my name by someone, but I think I like it- the Chinese pronunciation also seems to sound a lot like my actual name, so I think I'll have someone teach me the characters and just run with it. That's Ms. Lemon to you. . .