About Me

My photo
Whitestone, New York, United States
I just recently finished teaching English in China for the past 2 years. This year I will be studying Chinese at Shenzhen University. I graduated from F.I.T. in 07', my major was Illustration. For now art will be put to the side and my adventures in China will begin :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Teacher's Day

Teacher's Day is an awesome holiday that we don't have in the states. It was this past Wednesday. All the students applaud you when you enter the class and tell you happy teachers day. There is a bouquet of flowers at the desk for you to admire while you are in that room. Also there is a banquet for the teachers sometime that week. My school held there's this past Friday. There students and teachers perform. There was a great song and dance performance by the senior 3 class (aka 11th graders). It was ridiculously beautiful. Then the music teachers sang. Two of the teachers have operatic voices, it was quite unbelievable.

Then the food is served. As you go to settle down and eat you soon realize that eating is not the main agenda for the night. Soon our contact teacher tells Shedisha and I that it is customary to go from table to table to toast with different people. He said we call this "making friends". At first it was pretty cool. Everyone is so nice that you have fun going to each table, smiling while Wallace (my contact teacher) says something along the lines that we are glad to be here and to meet them. But soon you realize that you will never get back to that wonderful food at your table and that you are totally getting drunk as you take endless sips of red wine. There was also some crazy strong white liquor that I had a few sips of before I thought I would go into a coma if I continued to drink it, so I went back to the wine.

We went to all the tables and finally were able to give the headmaster and Wallace our gifts. But by the end of the night I was nearly drunk which was not my intention. I was glad however that this was taking place in the cafeteria and I live all of 2 minutes from it so when I need to cut out I won't have to go too far. So just before I was about to leave I wanted to toast with the art teacher since he was the first teacher I met when I got here and he invited me to come to his class whenever I like which I thought was super nice. So I go over to him and he's sloshed! In the middle of our toasting he invites us to have beers just outside the school. Now for all my guys (the asians) you all gave me a very false impression of asian people, they drink like fish over here! Totally red in the face after 2 drinks but they just keep on trucking. So of course in my pretty much drunk state I agreed. So we stroll to the local restaurant and proceed to drink and toast to anything and everything under the sun. If I learn any chinese I will know ganbei which is cheers. And if any chinese person knows any english they know bottoms up, which we were constantly being told because apparently they weren't happy when we had any liquid left in our glass after each toast.

After that we made it home no problem and I had no hang over I was just extremely tired. But I wouldn't have it another way it was extremely fun and it helped introduce me to a lot of the teachers here, who i have to say are some of the nicest people I ever met! So it was definitely a very fun night even if I had more to drink than I intended. But like Wallace said that's how we make friends, so when in China :) drink a lot and toast to everything and anything! And one more thing according to our fellow teachers Shedisha and I are beautiful!!! Which i thought was so sweet :) Even students tell me I am beautiful, which is good since I thought I would be just strange and ugly looking to themO.o But this is all for now, I will write about the next day's excursion with Jasmine (one of the Chinese English teachers) in the next post. Until then kiddies :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The day of cleaning

Well I have been in my apartment for 4 days now and I was only able to finish cleaning today. Amazing how much time it takes to clean a very small apartment O.o But it was not all my fault, I came down with the inevitable..... travelers diarrhea -_- I thought it wasn't that serious but apparently my contact teacher (the person who speaks english here and hooks me up with stuff and solves all my i can't speak chinese problems) thought I should go to the hospital. So yesterday instead of enjoying a lovely dinner with my contact teacher and the head of the foreign affairs of something or other I was whisked away to the hospital.

There I had the lovely task of telling to doctor about my birth control taking.... new concept I guess -_- I also had blood taken for the 3rd time since I've been here, more bruises for me to add to the 2 I already have from the last butchering. Then after figuring I have a fever and will probably die.... no I only kid.... they did however give me 3 different medicines and hooked me up to an IV. As sick as I've been throughout my life I've never had an IV, I don't suggest it especially when you are in a huge hall with chairs lined up in rows with metal hooks hanging from the ceiling waiting for the next victim with a bag to hang. Oh and watching cockroaches scurry across a hospital just feels you with a warm feeling of not knowing if you should scream or possibly barf. Always hoping they don't try to climb on you since you are of course stuck to your chair and bag pole.

But after all of that I do have to say that I did feel a hell of a lot better within that time sitting in the chair. Oh and it took like 2 hours for that bag to finish. Lucky enough the foreign... lets just call him Roddy, since he does have an english name. So Roddy was there and since I had never spoken to him before the 2 hours wasn't all that bad.

So just another experience here in china. But seeing that was the longest side bar of life... back to cleaning the apartment. Well first off the apartment was not that bad at all considering. It just had collected a fair amount of dust and dirt since no one had lived in it for the past 3 months. So I did start to clean when I first got here but the next day I was sick, but today I was feeling quite better so the cleaning commenced. I never thought I would be so OCD about cleaning, but I guess since I never lived by myself I never was hard pressed to really make the effort. But I even made myself a bit proud as to how much I cleaned knowing no one but the other teacher here, my friend Shedisha, would see the apartment.

Oh and for those of you who are wondering I do live on campus. It's very nice to stroll outside my apartment with 10 minutes to get to class and i get there with 5 minutes to spare :) Also I teach seniors. They are an interesting bunch of kids, very quiet but once u talk about something they like it's like a chorus erupts of all sorts of answers that me the deaf person can't possibly hear O.o But all in all I'm having a pretty good time. I only teach 10 classes a week, each class 45 minutes long. And I see them all once a week, so only 1 lesson plan per week, not bad huh :) And I don't have to hold any office hours so I am free between all my classes. And the kids are so well behaved... for now at least. But before this entry becomes a novel I will stop here and write another time with another set of stories for you all, laters :)

China begins

Well this blog has now officially become my china blog. I've been meaning to start it for some time now but i have just been too lazy, or the internet was dial-up O.o or i had no internet. So yeah better late than never. But hopefully i will update at least once a week, possibly every day if i find time to do so. So i hope u guys have fun reading it and if not then oh well, it's more for me than for you so there.