Saturday, March 19, 2011


Both of my parents have pointed out that it's been quite a while since my last post. Surprisingly, I've been told that this blog is read by people other than those who raised me. So, sorry Mom and Dad and whoever else reads this silly thing. I haven't had time or motivation to write a blog post because I've been busy with school. I've also been continuing to enjoy hanging out with great new friends from all around the world.

Last Sunday I had my first hour of private English tutoring. I'm teaching a nine year old boy who I'm planning on naming Henry when I see him again tomorrow. While he was able to read very well, his speaking and comprehension levels were pretty low. I wound up having to rely upon Chinese pretty heavily to explain what words meant. He was a very shy kid and was reluctant to have his parents leave, but I think I got him warming up to me after a while. After our lesson, his parents insisted on treating me to lunch. At the restaurant, which I frequent, the waitress came over and asked the parents if they were my "Chinese parents." They said that they were just my friends, but then they asked me if I wanted them to be my Chinese parents. I said sure! In addition to treating me to lunch, they brought me a bunch of bananas and a bag of delicious cherry tomatoes. They also asked me if I wanted to go to the beach with them, but I politely declined because I had too much homework to do. I'm excited to have Chinese parents.

I'm going to go out of chronological order here and write about the other tutoring that I did later in the week. Thursday night I started a new job with a 10 year old girl. It was a really interesting experience. Her English was much better than I expected it to be, especially after how bad Henry's was. We were able to conduct the whole lesson in English. She was very interested in my appearance. She carefully studied my eyes and then lamented how small hers were in comparison to mine. She also noted that she was surprised that I didn't have blue eyes. This wasn't the first time that it seemed that a Chinese person was extremely surprised and confused that all Americans don't have blue eyes. I mentioned that Americans have all sorts of different eye colors and hair colors. She was shocked when I mentioned that my dad and sister have green eyes. At one point she also pointed to her skin and said "yellow" and then pointed to mine and said "white."

In addition to being amused by her curiosity about my appearance, I was also greatly amused by some of the things that she said. Apparently she had a Filipino English teacher before who taught her to say "S-O-S-O" instead of so-so. When I asked her about her interests she would say that she liked something "S-O-S-O." I tried to explain to her that the phrase was so-so and that saying it the other way wasn't really English, but she just responded that she liked saying it. By far the most entertaining thing of the evening was the alternative to "Oh my god" that she used. Apparently, she learned from her classmates to say, "Oh my Lady Gaga." I cracked up the first time she used it and had to stop myself from giggling every subsequent time she said it. She is a very sweet girl named Lily. She was also very hyper and was easily distracted. It was a fun experience, though and I'm looking forward to continuing to work with her.

Wednesday, some friends and I went mountain climbing again. I will actually really post about that later including some pictures (when I find my camera cord).

My second full week of classes went really well. The teacher that I have most often is really fantastic and everyone loves her. My other teachers are great as well. For my culture class that I have once a week, this week we went out to lunch. She said that we will do a lot of field trips and learn outside of the classroom. The food was great, but felt really expensive compared to what I usually eat. By that I mean I spent about $5 American on the meal instead of >$1. Maeve and I have been eating street food at least one meal a a day. None of the items you can get cost more than a $1 USD, but it is some of the best food that I've had. We discovered great stir fried noodles a few days ago.

Okay, well I think I'm done with this post now. Sorry that it is a bit disjointed. I swear I will get around to posting those mountain pictures. There are some pictures up on my facebook of the first time we went hiking. Here is the url for those of you who know me on facebook.!/album.php?id=1094010550&aid=2091623

Goodbye for now. 

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