Monday, November 25, 2013

Crap I Can Say in Chinese


Nice to meet you.

I am an American.

I am an English teacher.

I have lived in Beijing for two years.

My Chinese name is "streaking man."

I like your smell.

Are you Korean?

I like your shirt.

Give me your phone number.

I love you.



Can you say that again?

Sorry, my Chinese is really bad.

I don't know Chinese.

I don't know how to speak Chinese.

I can't speak Chinese.

Really, truly! I can't. 

I don't understand.

Please wait; I will call my friend, and he speaks Chinese. 

I studied Chinese last year, but now, I am too busy.

I lost my bank card.

I don't have a key.

My kung pao chicken hasn't come yet!

It is stinky to death.

You are ugly to death.

I don't have a BHG grocery story membership discount card thingie.

I don't need a bag.

I don't want that.

Can you wait in line?

Oh, you don't want to wait in line?

You should wait in line.

I hate you.

I wish you a happy birthday. 

That is a durian.

One big, cold bottle of iced tea, please!

I want to buy a cheap cell phone.

You told me it would cost 30 RMB! You did not tell me it would 60 RMB!

I am not a French person.  

Do you think my friend is good-looking? 

This? This is a bass guitar.

Yes, there are many beautiful girls in America.

Do you like baseball? 

I want to go to Wangjing Hualian Mall. Do you know Wangjing Hualian Mall? I live near there. Take the fourth ring road to Wangjing Bridge, and then turn right, and then, at Guangshun North Avenue, turn left. Stop there, I will get out.

This is very awkward. 

Do you speak English?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bits and Pieces: 2013 Edition

The following are reminiscent of the stories I think I tell quite frequently. You may recognize similarities between this post and my reports on the day if you've had the misfortune to have hung out with me before. By that I mean that most of them are funny or at least interesting in context, to me, and I feel obligated to try to share them, but I know that most of them probably aren't entertaining to anyone...except me.

*I gave out the rubric to an assignment and told the students, "You need to bring this rubric on the day that this assignment is due. And if you lose it, you can download it from school website...but print it double-sided! Save paper!" When I got the assignments back, one kid had lost his rubric, so he'd printed out a rubric from the school website. I found that he'd failed to print the document out double-sided but that he had glued the two pieces of paper together to make it look like he'd printed it out double-sided.

*A while back some couchsurfer was going to come to Beijing from Hong Kong, but then: "I cancel my backpacker trip to join the tour, will not able to hang out anymore. Because I am too scary about steal kidneys news in Shenzhen."

*A coworker of mine went on, via school bus, a Saturday field trip to a migrant school with students and other teachers from the school we work at. On the bus ride home, she went to the back seat of the bus and took a nap. The school bus arrived back at the school and dropped everyone off, but she didn't wake up and no one noticed her. Then the bus left the school and went to the school bus parking lot, near Chaoyang Park, eight kilometers away, from whence she texted me, "I fell asleep on the bus and now I'm in Liangmaqiao :-("

*While co-teaching a class with the aforementioned sleepy coworker, I confiscated one of those rubber gloves doctors use that had been filled with water, frozen, applied by an eighth grader to his injured hand, melted, and then played with as a hand-shaped water balloon. I had the watery glove but threw it to the coworker, who absentmindedly played with it for a while. Near the end of class she walked over to where I was standing next to my computer, when suddenly she squeezed the balloon a bit too hard and it exploded all over my computer and all over me.

*We were talking about metaphors and similes in a low-achieving class, and I used myself as an example several times: "Mr. Haggar is like a pig, Mr. Haggar's house is a zoo, Mr. Haggar is monkey." Then the students wrote some of their own. After hearing several duds, I said, "Alright, one last example," and called on a quiet girl in the back. She smirked modestly and said, "My monkey is like Mr. Haggar's beard."

*An e-mail from my inbox:

*Some sample sentences and extracts:
"In my experience one of my neighbors got rubbed by a rubber."
"If they had a gun, could they protect themself and even their house from being rubbed?"
"The interpreter of human to animals earns a lot of money."
"Mike became a fugitive when Mr. Haggar ask for the homework."

*Some fill-in-the-blank vocabulary sentences:
The best place to find nymphs is ___E10H homeroom!!!____.
One way we knew Grace had sophistication was ___her pale face and her irregular breathing___.
The best cure for illiteracy is ___to have it beat out of you___.

*Some kids dancing on their chairs in class:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Resolved: All Teachers Should Be Sent to Siberia

Same debate topic: All teachers should be sent to Siberia.

***Pro Constructive***

Pro: I firmly believe that all teachers should be sent to Siberia. I believe this because the teachers waste the students’ time, the teachers do not teach anything useful, and the teachers are very ugly, usually. 

My first point is that the teachers waste the time of the students. Students could be having fun playing video games like Metal Gear Solid or computer games like World of Warcraft. Those games are more fun than doing homework, but the teachers give homework, whether a lot or a little, and so the students have to do the homework instead of having fun with video games. Students could also be doing useful things like exercising instead of doing homework. They could go run around in a park or lift weights in the gym and get huge and have a six pack, but instead sometimes they have to do homework instead of get in shape. The students could also be out dating, maybe with a cute girl or a strong boy, but instead the students must do homework and become more nerdy. Less attractive to the opposite sex. 

Also the teachers don’t teach anything that students can use. Instead of teaching students how to become rich, famous movie stars, the English teacher spends too much time talking about plots, characters, metaphors, similes, themes, symbols, and grammar. Instead of teaching students how to get sexy girlfriends or boyfriends, the science teachers teach us about oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, helium, lithium, bubonic carbonated sodium acid. And instead of teaching students how to drive cars or motorcycles, the PE teacher makes them run, do pushups, throw balls around, and get sweaty. 

Last, the teachers are very ugly. It is very hard to concentrate in class when the teacher has big ugly warts all over his face. Students cannot listen well when the teacher is as big as a house and sweaty like two pigs. No one will listen when everyone can see the armpit hair of the teacher. It is too gross. 

So as we can see, the teachers are wasting students’ time, teaching students’ useless information, and bothering the students with how awful they look.

***Con Constructive***

Teachers do not need to be sent to Siberia at all. All teachers must stay and teach because otherwise students will not learn anything, students will get bored with nothing to do, and the teachers are people, too. 

If all the teachers are gone, all students will not learn anything. They will have no knowledge about how to live or about how to run the world. It will be fine for the students to know nothing now, but when they grow up into adults, these dumb people will not know how to do even simple tasks, like read or add. Since they will be in charge of everything, all things in the country will be in chaos; nothing will work right, the economy will suffer, and no one will be happy. All because the students did not learn anything when they were young and still thought like children when they were old. 

Also, if the students have no school to go to, they will become bored. They will grow tired of watching TV, going to movies, and playing in the park. They will miss the days of learning new and interesting ideas each day instead of doing the same thing all the time. They will never be challenged by watching TV or playing. And they will not have the motivation to ever try anything new, like they had to do in school. 

Lastly, the teachers are people with feelings and wants. It would feel awful to be sent to Siberia, where it is cold all the time and there are no trees or animals or people. The teachers would feel so bad about their lives that they’d want to die. They would miss their friends, their families, and maybe even their students. The teachers would have nothing to teach in Siberia, nothing to eat in Siberia, and nothing to do in Siberia. They would get bored and die, and no one, no one, not even the principal, deserves that. 


Con: How will students get a job if all they know how to do is play video games, watch TV, and get girls’ phone numbers, because they didn't go to school? No job requires those skills. 

Pro: Sometimes security guards just have to watch TV screens all day to make sure no one is robbing the bank. So there are some jobs where you have to watch TV all day. 

Pro: Many people have been sent to Siberia to die for things that they have done wrong. Why should it be different for the teachers who have wasted time and taught useless things? 

Con:  The people who were sent to Siberia killed and murdered and cheered for the New York Yankees. Those are all really, really, really horrible things. The teachers haven’t done anything that bad, if anything. 

Con: Why should the teachers be sent away just because they are ugly? Being ugly is not wrong and it is not their fault. Some students are ugly, too…maybe they should be sent, also. 

Pro: No, no. They must stay. Most people who are good at anything are also good-looking. Just look at Michael Jackson or Yuri Kwon or Anne Hathaway. They look good and they are good. 

Pro: When you were in school, suffering as a student, didn’t you want your teacher to be sent to Siberia, dude? 

Con: No, I had excellent teachers who taught me awesome things and taught me how to be an incredible person.  

***Pro Final Focus***

Pro: What have I talked about today? I have shown you why all teachers everywhere need to be sent somewhere cold and horrible, somewhere like Siberia. The teachers have been teaching long enough, they have been making the lives of students miserable for long enough, and they have been making our world terrible for long enough. I have shown you that teachers are taking away from time the students could use to do other things. I have shown you that teachers are teaching things that the students will never, ever use, even in a million years. And I have told you that the teachers are incredibly unattractive, awful to look at. The solution is obvious. Ladies and gentlemen, there is no question on this issue: the teachers must be sent to Siberia forever. It is a cold and lonely place, and it is perfect for the teachers. Thank you. 

***Con Final Focus***

Con: Should teachers be sent to Siberia forever? They should not be. And I have clearly explained why the teachers should stay with us during this debate. I have explained the horrible way the world would be if there were no teachers to educate our young people. I have also explained how bored the student would get if they had no teachers to teach them or to give them homework. And, lastly, I have explained that teachers are just like the rest of us, even if they do not seem like it all the time. They are the same as you, the same as me, and neither of us would like to go to Siberia and freeze to death in the icy cold. Members of the audience, think like rational, normal, sane people. If the teachers are sent away, only bad things will happen! No good can come of it! Think about your favorite teacher! Think of how that teacher cares for you, how that teacher wants the best for you, how that teacher tries so hard to teach you what you need to know! That teacher is not just a teacher; that teacher is a counselor, a role model, and…a friend. You cannot send a friend to Siberia…. Thank you.