Category Archives: Pictures

English Teacher in China : Days 4-6

Things are a bit better and a bit worse.  I have now met all of my students/classes from both schools.  In total, I teach 21 classes.  2 at the Korean school every day but Friday, and 3 different classes each day at the Chinese school.  Added to my list of names are:  Magic, QQ (I actually have two QQs) and Honey (a boy).  Just in terms of generally cool names that aren’t super popular in the states, I also have a Benson, a Rex and Felix.  Oh and Racr answered when I said “Racer” today so, well, so that…Here is the breakdown of the most popular names from my classes:

  • 10 Erics
  • 9 Lilys
  • 8 Tonys
  • 7 Marys and 7 Lucys
  • 5 Jackies, 5 Candys, 5 Wendys and 5 Cicis
  • 4 Julies, 4 Julias, 4 Robins, 4 Cindys, 4 Cherrys and 4 Leos
  • 3 Sunnys
  • 2 Bruces, 2 Kittys, 2 Gretas and 2 Angels

Chinese School:

On the whole, all of my 4th grade classes have been fairly good, even the worst one.  But the second and third graders seem to be a mixed bag.  Today I had a perfectly lovely second grade class, yesterday I had a perfectly miserable one.

And I mean, second graders are still second graders…in my “perfectly lovely class”, one boy kept crawling under his chair to wear it as a hat, even when I swapped it out for a smaller stool, one boy kept trying to kiss the girl sitting next to him, and another had a pen explode in his mouth and also managed to get ink all over his friend’s face as well.  So I mean, lovely has become relative.

There also seems to be a huge range of understanding between the classes.  Almost all of my 4th grade classes are at about the same level, but my third and second graders keep surprising me with what they know or don’t know.  It makes it hard to come up with lessons because you’re really not sure what’s going to work until you start teaching it.  So you pretty much have to have a million different things prepared and hope that enough of them work to fill 40 minutes.

Sadly, I made my first kid cry today.  Whenever kids start playing with something at their desk, I might give them one warning if they put it away immediately, but usually I will just take whatever they were playing with.  Well this kid had a whole pile of origami that he kept pulling out, and finally I took all of it.  He immediately burst into tears, then promptly began to ignore me and moments later was back to making mischievous faces so I didn’t feel sooo bad.

My Korean kids are kind of hilarious.

  • What kind of animal would you be if you could pick one?  “Cat, I love this animal because cat is very cute and lovely.  But she doesn’t love me so I’m sad.”
  • Who would you like to meet if you could meet anyone?  “Angelina Jolie, She’s big lips and powerful body.  I love her but she love Pitt.  I’m sad.”  and “Lady Gaga, she’s fashionable and a few crazy.  Her face very special.”
  • What would you bring with you on vacation?  “Girlfriend, very very useful.  When I bored she will talk with me.”  and the other one said “Girlfriend, She is very lovely, I love her.  I will marrie my girlfriend but I don’t have girlfriend so I’m sad.”

If only they weren’t sad after everything they write!  They also when I asked their favorite seasons today said “I’m Fallman and he’s coolboy”  sooo now I can never uninvision them as superheroes.

To end on, my roomie friend Ashley likes to play tennis and wanted to join the club down the road from us but they never called her back.  So tonight I walked over to the club and played with her until these two sisters came and I asked the one to fill in for me.  It was really fun because they were both Ashley and the one sister were pretty good at tennis and they played under the lights with bats flyin around and whatnot, pretty cool!  Also cool because I got to speak some Chinese with the other sister (Named Rainbow)!

Aaaand of course, some photos:

I got a raid plug-in. This is a pile of dead bugs. I am less itchy.

Giant "smoothie" from the school cafe

I forgot to add this script from the Shanghai Museum and it's beautiful so I had to add it now!

Shanghai and Early ZJG Picture Highlights

Just to start things off because I feel like I’m going to die from severe franticness, I currently have 28 bug bites.  8 of which literally just happened in the last ten minutes.  Most of which are on my leg.  See picture number one.

With that out of the way, back to Shanghai.  Aside from taking more Chinese classes and getting lectures on what to expect when teaching English (most of which has not actually been the case!), we also went to the Shanghai Museum which was pretty awesome.  My favorite exhibits were the seals, the minority clothing and the calligraphy.

We also went to Old City and on a cruise where we could see Shanghai at night best.  And finally, the Chinese acrobats show, where we sat in the first two rows.  I “lucked” out and ended up first row, dead center.  Which was awesome except for when they wrapped their arms in long ribbons hanging from the ceiling and swung out into the audience…I don’t think I’ve ever ducked lower in my life.

The last few pictures are from around Zhangjiagang.  I realllly like it here.  It’s a lot bigger than I expected, but still pretty quiet and smallish.  I would just really appreciate for the bikes, motorbikes and cars to STAY OFF the sidewalk!  I almost got run over a few times today because they don’t always honk to warn you!

A closing comment:  I may or may not have eaten five slices of processed cheese last night.  I was craving cheese and browsing the snack section of the corner store not really expecting to find anything cheese flavored when lo and behold: sandwich cheese.  And while the food we’ve had here has by no means been lacking, when you have a craving and aren’t really expecting it to be fulfilled, processed cheese suddenly tastes like extra sharp cheddar.