Saturday, March 27, 2010

Favorite conversations

Here are some brief conversations I've had with the young staff of the company I work for (relatively recent college grads - note: China doesn't include "critical thinking" in their college curriculum...and it shows):

(When practicing teaching the first weekend I was here):

Me: You visited the Great Wall?
Staff: Yeah! In Beijing!
Me: Oh cool! Is the Wall anywhere else?
Staff: No! Only Beijing!
Me: ...are you sure about that?
Staff: Yes! I am Chinese!
Me: ...kay.

(The Great Wall is 3500 miles long)

Staff: You need to buy a modem for your internet.
Me: Ok. What kind?
Staff: Modem.
Me: Right, but cable modem or DSL?
Staff: ...modem.
Me: Hmm ok. Is the internet through the TV or phones?
Staff: .........modem.
Me: ....kay.

(On my lesson plan including singing "If You're Happy and You Know It"):

Staff: Maybe you can change the song so it isn't the same every class.
Me: Um, ok? Like, how?
Staff: Maybe you can say "If you're happy and you turn around"
Me: Wait...what?
Staff: "If you're happy and you...something else" - something different.

I then ran the song through my head to the tune of "If you're happy and you turn around, clap your hands" - uh yeah that wasn't going to happen.

Me: Uh, yeah! Sounds good! Thanks for your help!

(In all fairness, they have provided good assistance for my lesson plans! I just thought this was hilarious.)

And finally, when I got a little lost and arrived late to meet another rep from the company:

Staff: What time did you get there?
Me: Ah yes, sorry, I was late. I got confused about getting to the metro station by my apartment. The roads didn't really make sense and then when I actually got there, buying a ticket was a lot more complicated than I expected. I had to get help from someone and I ended up buying some kind of a card...
Staff: You got lost?
Me: Well, no, not really. I know you took me there once, a few days before, but it was a lot different on my own. Plus, I had to buy the ticket and figure out where to go, exactly...
Staff: But we go there before.
Me: Right...we went there once...but this time I was
Staff: We go there that weekend.
Me: Right...


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