Posts Tagged ‘language’

Face diamonds

In class today we were learning shapes. Yesterday I did the easy ones: circle, square, triangle. Today I thought we’d mix it up a bit: heart, oval, diamond.When I get to diamond and start drawing it, Thomas stops and says, “Teacher…diamond on your face.”

I stop, and think what?….Then I realize. The nose ring. I have a sparkly square one in today…yes yes indeed diamond on my face. Hehe. Little kids crack me up.

That and Madeline in her story yesterday wrote. “My favorite meal is breakfast. Today I ate food made from my mom.”

Hold up a minute….”made FROM your mom, Madeline?” …”You ate your mom for breakfast?”…..who knew little words like by or from could be so amusing.

Little things like this, and trying to explain what “guts” or “wimp” mean to second graders, really challenge my understanding of the English language. More and more I realize how so many words have double meanings, double pronunciations, alternate spellings. And making sure to choose the right one for my students constantly keeps me on mental alert. Guts is your insides…like your stomach and things….or it can mean you are really brave….umm yeah, I don’t know why those two things…I guess without intestines you can’t be brave?

Don’t even get me started on trying to explain what “nervous” is to 6 year olds. Abstract concepts….crap.

In other student news, I got a new addition to my Baby Pre-K class, a little 3 year old girl named Lingling. Since she is younger than the boys and hasn’t had 6 months of school already to become used to it, its proving pretty trying have her there. The fact that she speaks no English at all, is not great, since basically I talk and she talks and nothing passes in between. “Lingling, sit down…sit down….lingling…sit down….why are you walking away….sit down!!” graaaaah. Also my Chinese only allows me to understand her every 3rd word of her incessant babbling…..”something something something something..so big”….or “something something something…16th floor”….Wait, didn’t she really say 16th floor or am I mishearing. I look at her grandma who brokenly tells me what she said…”Her home is very high, the 16th floor”….dang I’m not crazy. What is going on, why is she talking about her home…I thought we were talking about snacks. Dammit. She’s really sweet though, and I’m glad to have a girl with all the boys, maybe it will calm them down some.

In other news…dating across the cultural divide…maybe a success? Who knows. Things that are different are always fascinating for a while. Though the middle language area between English and Chinese is still pretty confusing.


Doraemon lantern at Lantern Festival. Haha. Oh commercialism, you crack me up.

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Here we go again. Attempt #4: Dates that cross the cultural divide. It be nice for at least one of these not to be a giant catastrophe. However it is starting with a Tom Cruise film, which already does not bode well. Tom Cruise? Really? Zhende ma?

Slept really well. Maybe because I was exhausted. Met another person from Macedonia at a house party last night. WTF. Apparently in this giant city I run into two guys from a tiny eastern European country who do not know each other. To quote Alexander, “Really? There is another Macedonian? I must meet this man.”

I really do relish the international opportunities and the mixture of accents. I had someone pull out a pretty convincing Southern accent last night, its nice to hear it sometimes, most accents are so standardized here. Though I can now tell the difference between British, South African, and  Austrailian accents with a little HongKong British thrown in.

Beer Pong last night. A bizarre thing that I just can’t place in the framework of Taipei. The fact that half the people there didn’t know how to play was also amusing. I guess I just took it for granted that in college, this is what you do with your freetime. Apparently not…thank you frat houses?

Time to crawl out of the cocoon of blankets and greet the day (afternoon)…I think its time for lunch at Mr. Donut and some strong cups of coffee.


A photo snapped in the garden near our apartment.

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Thanks alot economy

So today this old man on the bus stared at me as I got on, leaned in front of the lady sitting in his line of sight to just stare. After a few stops he leaned over and asked me where I was from.

I replied the United States and he then proceeded to try to tell me something but I couldn’t really understand because the english was so accented.

Boo nanace? nacial arke? … money? What? Money? After a “I’m sorry I don’t understand” Tina finally figured it out.

“American business financial stock market ruin everything”

The man was apparently yelling at me, because America is ruining the world’s finances, and as an American I should know better and its all my fault.

It was our stop and we got off.

But still. The economy is not my fault. I did not vote for George Bush, I did not vote for a war that hemorrhages money, I did not take on exorbitant credit card debit, I did not default on a mortgages, I do not support continued interest in oil because of lobbyists and special interest groups in Washington. If anything I have read a lot and been fairly informed about just how royally America is screwing themselves and the world markets at the moment.

Why the hell do you think I have a job in Taiwan. I’ve seen how long and how agonizing it is for college graduates to get jobs at home right now. So I think I’ll just sit over here till its all fixed.

But I’m pretty sure the old man wouldn’t have understood a word of this mini-rant, just like I couldn’t understand him. Kudos to him for at least following world finances and I agree that its horrible that America will take down weaker economies with them that won’t recover near as quickly, but for now I’m merely the white girl from America on the bus just trying to get to the mall to spend my money on Taiwan goods in Taiwan’s economy.

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