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Hiatus

Due to a rather incapacitating case of DYSENTERY, I haven’t been able to give my bi-weekly wrap-ups of life in China. Seriously, that is the sickest I have ever been in ever. Liquids were coming out of places they had no business coming out of. OK that was gross.
Anyway, posting will resume in the near future. Tonight, I have to do an entire week’s homework for both of my online courses. Yaaaay.

Wish me luck.

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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Porpoises

 

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Lightning Post

I won’t lie to you, nothing ground-breaking has happened this past week. To prove my point, here are the most notable events, in order of importance:

1. My friend and I had the honor of sharing a cab last Friday with the “stable operations manager” from a polo club in Binhai District. No really, I have the business card to prove it. But here’s the question: why do you give someone your business card? Do you really want them to call you? I’m hoping the answer yes. Otherwise, my text will seem really creepy.

2. I voted! OK, I filled out my ballot and still need to scan it in, but I will, guys. Really.

3. I ate lunch with a student the other day, who told me the sad tale of how college majors happen in China. Students make a list of ideal majors, but if the programs are full, they’ll just keep getting slid to the next major, and then the next, until there’s a spot available for them. In this student’s case, that’s how she’s stuck with English, instead of something in math or science. English was pretty much her last choice. This could explain why NO ONE CARES in my classes. That, or I’m a really bad teacher. Hmm…

4. In one of my classes, I went on a 15 minute tirade against Twilight and why it’s the worst book/movie possibly in the history of the world. I criticized what’s-her-name’s piss poor writing style, Bella’s horrible acting, and how the story reinforces this idea that we women are all vacuous princesses in need of some good old-fashioned rescue. After my lengthy spewing of hate, my students then told me how I look a lot like Kristen Stewart. … Thanks? Have you been listening at all? Clearly not.

5. My Chinese mom gave me a sweet potato. I think she loves me.

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Porpoises, University

 

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My, what sparkly skin you have!

Back by popular demand! I’ve been slackin’, I know, but for good reason. Namely, that this week has been terribly boring.  I’ve been doing responsible things, like teaching, and studying for my online classes. So my shenanigans have sadly been kept to a minimum. But here are the highlights from the past week. So here are the (mildly) note-worthy notes of the recent past.

This is a picture of the wall next to my bed. On one fateful day, I killed TEN MOSQUITOES in my room. I guess this is the downside of having a lovely lake-front view. I was seriously considering buying a mosquito net, but the weather cool-down these past few days has also gratefully killed off most of the mosquito population. Hopefully these itchy red monstrosities on my arms will soon be a thing of the past. And I won’t have to clean any more blood off of my walls.

My student gave me about 50 pounds of food from her visit back home to Qingdao. I think I love her. Of course, I made the mistake of telling her that I like seafood… she took that to mean I would like boxes of tiny fishes and fish jerky. I mean, fish can be good and stuff, but they make my dorm smell funny.

I had another fit of “lazy English teacher ” with my post-grads. Some of us played basketball! Emphasis on some of us, since half of the class disappeared back to their dorms “to change,” never to be seen again. And I didn’t so much play basketball, as occasionally dribble and throw the ball in the general direction of the net. Also, I’ve come to the conclusion that Chinese women are incapable of or at the very least unwilling to play any sport other than ping pong and badminton.

The old lady who helps take care of my dorm in the mornings is adorable. She’s pretty much my Chinese mom. She’s always so concerned about how I don’t wear socks or coats (it’s 75 degrees outside, but it’s technically fall so you need to bundle up anyway, I guess). That is a definite Thing here: wearing warm clothes in the fall no matter what the weather is like. Of course, I have a little more insulation than the girls here, so that might explain why I’m always burning up in the classroom and turning the fans on, and the students sneakily turn them off again when I’m not looking.

Last thing, and most important: I discovered that my students can be creative. The activities this week for my oral English classes were all based around the holiday and their experiences. I had them prepare stories about something funny or interesting that happened, but I suggested that if their holidays were boring, that they flex their creative muscles just a little.

In my last class of the week, I jokingly told them that an instantly successful way of making a story more interesting is by throwing vampires, werewolves, and zombies into the mix. Most of the students took that to mean that their stories MUST contain vampires, werewolves, and zombies.

^ Image courtesy http://123pixs.blogspot.com/

Suddenly, holidays that were actually spent in front of TV were transformed into brilliant epics about wandering in dark, lonely woods and being attacked by monsters that emerge only when the moon is full. Is a mean vampire ruining your vacation? Well, why don’t you eat this blood-congealing medicine and get him off your back! Or what about that awkward moment when you realize zombies are chasing after you, but you can’t run away because your legs are caught in quicksand?

My absolute favorite was the surprising tale of George. He had his heart broken by the woman of his dreams, only to discover his true love (a man) on Mars, where they could be legally married and live happily ever after. LULZ.

It is true, some students were far less creative, and some just outright refused to participate. But to those golden few who went above and beyond the call of duty, I salute you.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in Porpoises

 

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Self-sacrificing Aquatic Life

Here, I bring to you the nobility of the almost human porpoise. Also known as a collection of random things.

  1. My bike is awesome, no matter what some haters say.
  2. Whenever I don’t wear something that screams “HEY I’M A GIRL AND HAVE GIRL PARTS,” I should fully expect to get yelled at whenever I walk into a girl’s restroom.
  3. My direct supervisor at the university is a manipulative liar that needs to never again call me at 9:30pm asking me to work more (guess what the answer was).
  4. I really need to work on my flirting skillz. Today at Starbucks…. rough.
  5. Lastly, this is what my campus looks like at 1:30am. No. People. Anywhere. Students have an 11:30pm curfew, after which the campus gates and dorms are locked up… I feel like such a rebellious hussy here!
 
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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Tianjin

 

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