Friday, 14 November 2008

Ode to English Names

I've been meaning to blog about this subject for awhile, but keep forgetting. Anyway, most Chinese students pick their English names when they have a foreign teacher during their freshman year. Now, where they come up with their names is beyond me and, boy, are they creative. Josh and I both have Dolphin. Josh has Orange, Seven, and one student wanted his English name to be Copyright, but Josh (wisely) had him pick a different name. I subbed for a freshman class and had Baby McGrady, Wind, and Sword. I don't know if they hear it somewhere or read names in a magazine or book and think it sounds good so that's their name. Some of them are very amusing and it's hard to call them by their name with a straight face. They also have a tendency to change their name often. I finally learn everyone's English names and they tell me that they've changed it. I've been trying to learn my IELTS students' Pingyin names-I pronounce a few their first names correctly and most of their family names. They're determined that I learn them, so I guess I'll keep practicing.

Another thing that amuses me about the students is their curiosity. I guess some people would say that they're nosey, but I think it's more of an interest in learning about foreigners and how we live. At one point during the Halloween party, I glanced around watching my IELTS students. They all know me really well and are super comfortable with me, so they have no problem being curious. Anyway, I had Della and Vincent looking through my kitchen cabinets, Peter had my US phone and was taking pictures with it, Justin was going through my dvds, Sunny and Viola were trying on all of my lotions and perfumes, and my favorite was Philip. I walk into my room and find him reading my deodorant. They don't have deodorant in China (fortunately, they don't smell bad). He didn't know what it was, so he decided to take a close look at it. Again, I don't mind their curiosity in the least, I think it's quite funny.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Lots of pictures

I've been falling behind on the blogging-sorry! Things haven't slowed down much-if anything, I've been even more busy. I think Sundays are my busiest day of the week, which I don't really like. I'm used to (and enjoy) being lazy on Sundays. After Mass, I tutor a 15 year old named Tanry. He's really sweet. However, last week, his parents took me about for dumplings. I cannot get away from those things.

On Halloween, I had a party for my IELTS students at my apartment. I had an in-class party for my writing class-there's 30 of them and they won't all fit in my apartment. My IELTS students were good sports. We bobbed for apples and played the mini pumpkin pass game. They were super fascinated with the mini pumpkins and kept asking me "How do you eat them?"

I'm also including pictures from our dumpling making. I mentioned to my IELTS students that I wanted to make dumplings (this is before I tried them). Since they're crafty, they rented a room at restaurant and we were given the dough and fillings and made them ourselves. They were fun to make, but not to eat. To me, it's just wet dough with boiled eggs and carrots inside-I'll pass.

There's also pictures from English corner, which is just a place for students to practice their English. It's mostly for freshman-my students think they're too cool to go. Josh says some of the freshman have never seen a white person, so when we go, I usually just feel on display. Most students are too nervous to talk to us and just stare. Anyway, they had a special performance night and Josh and JinJing hosted.

English Corner: Josh and JinJing

English Corner, a performer

Sports Meeting Opening Ceremony (basically a big track meet)

Sports Meeting

Beijing (west train station)


Longest staircase ever (Beijing subway)

The very disorganized Beijing West train station

Large lanterns to celebrate the university's 50th anniversary

One of three little kitties adopted by my apartment building. This is Calvin.


The Harry Potter store in Boading

Steve taking my picture while I take his

Sunny and Sabrina

Everyone watching Vincent

Sabrina and Viola working hard on the dough

Steve being silly with a large knife with Sabrina

Lil dumpling

Finished Product

Halloween party

Sunny and Della

Punch with ice hand


Philip and Vincent (like I said, they really liked the mini pumpkins)

Peter and Bruce passing the pumpkin (the boys were really funny to watch)