Saturday, January 24, 2009

Philippines Adventure!

Hey guys! So I know I haven't updated in FOREVER, but I am now done teaching for a few weeks, and on vacation, so there will be updates soon... I promise!

On Wednesday, I flew from Beijing with a temperature of -5C to Manila, Philippines at a balmy temperature of 25C. It's so nice and warm and tropic here! My travel partner, Christian, and I have been taking Manila by storm, walking the streets, going to the old Spanish parts of town, and generally reeking havoc at the clubs at night.

Manila is a different kind of capital. The city of Manila is surrounded by 7 other cities, making up a huge, discombobulated city metro, which causes the worst traffic jams I have ever been in! It is constant chaos! The national car of the Philippines is this little funny looking thing that can only seat maybe 15 at a time, so there are 100s of them all over the streets, with as many bikes, motorcycles, and SUVs crowding every corner of the city. And I thought the traffic in Beijing was bad...

I will update this more when I have some pictures of my own to upload, and a little more time, but wanted to make a quick update now. Tomorrow I fly to the island of Boracay for some beach, sun, and SCUBA. I can't wait!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Grading Papers in "Chinglish"

I know I haven't posted in a while, but I have been so busy with school, and halloween preparations and such!

I was grading some papers this morning, and realized how subjective my grading has had to become.  When I give homework, I try to give questions and assignments that will be more open-ended so my students will have some freedom in their answers, and so that they can practice their writing skills.

So this week, we covered learning styles, and keeping motivated when studying/learning, and my assignment for them over the weekend was to write a "personal mission statement"  This meant that they needed to think about what their purpose was, and what they wanted to accomplish in their life.  Mainly, picking a really long-term goal, so that they can stay motivated to work towards that goal.

Here was Susan's answer:

"My mission is to have love and belonging to love my family, become a housewife. My life motivational needs is very simple, just love and family member's health.  Also, Inner harmony is the most important values for me.  I will cook a lot of delicious food and I will make the house clean everywhere.  I hope all my family members happiness and health.  I will buy a lot of time in my home, maybe I haven't contribution to society.  So I want to donate my organ when I die.  I just want to live in a small city to become a kind and wealthy person.  Finally, I want to use a word to describe my ideal life style.  That is laid back."

And here is Aimy's:

"The world peace, I don't have plan to it.  Nowadays is so peaceful so that I can do creat more achievement under this environment.  I think I must enrich knowledge about my interest and my occupation.  As a result, I the wisdom and financial security have ensured.  And another is the love that I hope that I have this attitude for anything and any one.  If these done, my career is (word I can't read) by myself.  I want to be a woman that is wisdom. Beauty. Breave. Healthy and Honorise.  I want to have a job and life in a big city because has more chances and you have to good training in here.  And have a good financial security in the future."


Ok so here are two examples of the work that I get every week.  In the first, I can at least read it, which is good.  But then this girl's life plan is to cook and keep the house clean, and she doesn't have any plans on contributing to the world, so instead she'll graciously donate her kidney when she dies?  I don't know whether it would be appropriate to re-look at her goals, or if that would be culturally insensitive.

And then the second one?  I don't even know how I can possibly grade that.  It makes absolutely no sense!  The hard thing about my class is that I am teaching a subject course, so I don't have vocabulary.  I don't have any idea what the students know.  And there is such a diverse group in my classes, so some of their English is MUCH worse than others.

So it's a little frustrating...

Anyways though, everything else is going well... Halloween was fun, and now I'm back in the swing of things.  I was walking outside of campus this morning, and saw this:

I took this with my phone, so it's a little blurry, but if you look closely, you can see one man sitting on a little slab of wood, seemingly cleaning that sign or something, but then look up at the roof.  There is a man HOLDING him there.  Literally...I had to look twice... He is holding that rope while the guy sits there and does his work.  And that was about 3-4 stories up!  Anyways, I thought it captured China well :-)

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Address...and a few pics!

[10/14] EDIT - So after going to all the trouble of figuring out all the characters for my address here...I found out that you can actually just write the English down, and it will get to me.  Oops.  However, I will keep all of it there so if you are feeling adventurous you can write the Chinese haha...

Many people have asked me for my address here in Beijing.  I am going to write it here so that you can print it out and tape it onto envelopes, packages, etc.

Steven Hill
ICB - International College at Beijing
China Agricultural University, East Campus
No. 17, Qinghua Dong Lu, Haidan District, Beijing, P.R. China

北京市海淀区清华东路 17 号
中国农业大学 94#, 北京 100083

So you should be able to simply copy and paste the address into a word processing program and then print it out and put it on an envelope, if you're not brave enough to try to write it :-)

I'll also attach a pdf version of it, so you can just open it and print it out.

Anyways, if you send me something, let me know when you sent it so I can figure out how long it takes to get stuff!

Beijing Address.pdf

Also, I put some pics up, so if you look to the right of the window, there is a link.  I'll try to update often :-)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Note about comments

I love them!!!  I have heard from a few people that you've read my blogs and wanted to comment, but then it says you have to sign up for a blogger ID or something like that...that shouldn't be the case.

If you click on the comments link, it should bring you to a page like this:

So first you'll want to leave the comment...
Then you'll want to write in the little code that it shows you...
And last you can look at the bottom of the screen...

And you'll see that you have a few options.  First if you have a blogger account, then you know what to do and don't need to read this...haha but also if you use gmail, you can use your google account to sign in.  Otherwise, you can just click on the "Name/URL" tab and put your name, or if you want to be really mysterious, you can click on the "Anonymous" tab.

So there you go!  Anyone can comment!  And please do!  It will encourage me to do more!

Thank goodness it's almost Friday!  I am really excited to see some sites this weekend, and will update you about it soon :-)