Sunday, October 10, 2010

October Proceedings

Henan and Hunan  Many students I teach come from these two provinces and I always seem to mix them up -- the provinces, that is.  Hunan is in the south and is the home province of Chairman Mao.  Henan is in Northern China and has the largest population of all Chinese provinces.  The latter fact explains why so often my asking if the student comes from Chairman Mao's home province is answered negatively.

Foot Massage  I never had one done, though there are hundreds of outlets in the Wuxi area offering the service.  I was told that the Chinese believe that there is a relationship between comfort of the feet and the health of the body's major organs.

Am I smart?  Or the people who averaged 16 out of 32 correct on this quiz real dullards?  I had 35 of 36 correct.

A student named Kant  We have a student whose English name is Kant.  I wonder where his buddies "I don't know" and "I can't remember" are.

No "because"  To try to get the students to speak more, I often ask them a simple question about their sentence : "Why?".  More and more now, they are giving me the answer "No because".

Bus breakdown  It is not a rare occurrence for a Wuxi transit bus to break down.  Saturday morning, it looked like the #25 bus driver had burnt out his clutch and so it remained at the turning lane of the intersection.  All the passengers had to get out and board the next #25 bus.

Hockey Season Starts  The NHL opens its season far too early.  I don't know who to cheer for.  I know who to cheer against: the Maple Leafs and the Senators.

Dr. Seuss in Chinese  A great bargain that can be acquired at the Xinhua Book Store are the Dr. Seuss Books meant for the Chinese market.  They are 14 rmb a volume, have the original English text, and the accompanying Chinese translation.  I was reading One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to Tony, Friday evening, when I noticed the Chinese text.  I found I could read the Chinese -- not all of it, but a good portion of it, and I felt very proud.

Sichuan  One student told me he went back to his native Sichuan province for the October week, so he could eat the food there and look at all its' pretty girls.

Hermit  Reading a poem by Elizabeth Bishop about a hermit (Chemin De Fer), I was thinking that I was a hermit in a way.  I have my family but otherwise don't associate with others.  But unlike the hermit who fires off his gun, saying "Love shall be put into action!", I try to put love in action with Jenny and Tony.

Charles Adler  He hosts a national talk radio show in Canada.  I have been downloading podcasts from the show the past week and have experienced conflicting emotions.  The podcasts make me homesick for Canada and remind me why I left Canada.  I do miss the sounds of Canadian accents and being involved in Canadian controversies.  But at the same time I am reminded why I left Canada -- the taxes, the stupid regulations, the anti-Americanism, and the collapse of Canada's culture -- under fifty percent of Canada's adult population is properly married.  And so I find I really want to go some place where they sound Canadian but don't necessarily think like Canadian Liberals.

The Nobel Peace Prize  None of the nine students I have asked, except one, heard about the Chinese person winning the prize

China ESL  It is no place for a married man with children.  Really, it is an industry for the young (who don't know the grammar), partiers (who can smoke and drink cheaply) and travelers (who really don't want to teach) and letches (unfortunately).  I can only live with it but ignoring and do the best I can.  And I am sure I am not the only one like in the industry but I do feel a minority -- not that there is anything wrong with that but ultimately I have to think of my Tony and Jenny.

Al Khazna Insurance  I think I will be an agent for them... not.  They actually have the url:  So, maybe I will just change my name or more precisely, the blog name:  Al Khazna in China.

Estranged  The word has these definitions on the Net:  1. To make hostile, unsympathetic, or indifferent; alienate.  2. To remove from an accustomed place or set of associations.  So I see the word as describing me.  But it is hard to determine if I am object or the subject of the verb.

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