Saturday, June 09, 2007

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Seasons Greetings! I swear the Chinese celebrate Christmas more than Americans do! They have decorations everywhere! (If only they knew the religious connotations behind Christmas, then maybe that may all change their ways)

The picture above is from Thanksgiving, Pablo, Phoebe, Phoebe's parents (who were visiting) and I all went to the Ritz for Thanksgiving dinner, amazing food. We ate until we were about to explode (buffet) and then we all decided to have a night cap at Cloud 9 in the JinMao Tower. Excellent night with the Scott family!

Despite all of the Christmas cheer, I miss home and snow! I miss the family element of the Holidays. This is my first Holiday season away from home, and I have to admit, it is a little odd...

I don't really know what to say about this photo. . .
Last Saturday i went to club Bon Bon to see DJ Green Lantern! He took a liking to me and I got to hang out with him backstage, along with getting a photo him and everything! For the uninitiated... DJ Green Lantern was Eminem's DJ and now is signed to Def Jam as a DJ with the Invasion Movement. You can hear DJ Green Lantern on Hot 97 in NYC and on Sirrus radio... he is the real deal, and im standing right next to him!

This is a photo of me pre-go-karting... too much fun

Finally, I feel like I need to move on with some aspects of my life and some thoughts. My memories of home and what "home" is, is simply what I left. I still think that it is summer time, green grass, green trees, people cruising down Lake Shore Drive with the tops down on their Pontiacs. The harsh reality is, things change, the weather changes and most of all, people change... and slowly I feel like home is forgetting me. Out of sight is out of mind right? Im being very general, so those looking at the particulars, do not think i am pointing fingers, I am not.

Classes are going well, the kids really like me and I have taken a liking to a couple of my schools (i teach at 3 different schools). It is open class day next week, this is where parents come into the class and watch. Im going to nail it, i know it, parents tend to enjoy watching my classes because I am such an insane teacher haha. I try to make the most boring stuff, as fun as possible. Until next time!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

So i know I have not updated in a while, and for that I am sorry. Work and the overall urge to report had left me slightly. Some updates, schools are going well, kids are fantastic and are learning at an unprecedented rate. They now have learned the virtue which I am so ever loyal to, the virtue of SARCASM. The hilarious part is, the execute it quite well! Ah how proud I am of the little critters, not only can they speak English now, but they can be sarcastic...*pride*

Another cute fact. My 1st Graders in PG School had been very bad recently. So me being the nice but firm educator as usual, punishing the bad kids and awarding the good kids. The interesting part is that the children I scold, the next day those very kids are running up to me with extreme excitement giving me huge hugs and saying "Will-Teacher HI HI HI" like nothing happened the day so confused...but its cute so ill keep them :)

I find myself missing home at times. I am beginning to feel that the culture shock of me returning will be way more intense than the culture shock that I overcame in China. The thought of this is scary, if I seem different upon my return, that may be the explanation. I am also applying to grad schools, well... school because I am primarily shooting for Yale. I would absolutely love to go to Yale, that opportunity would make Will very happy (shameless plug for those who have any connections to Yale) :)

I also have an interesting story. In order to get a Visa you have to have a health examination. So I go to the clinic, fill out a bunch of paper work along with the other hundred Expats in this clinic. Then, we are ALL moved into this locker room where we have to change into robes; we are then moved into the blood room where they take our blood (scary); then the EKG room; then the Xray room; then off to the Blood Pressure room and then to another X-ray room. Needless to say I was sweating buckets throughout the whole process because it was just that taxing, but its all over now!

Pablo, Phoebe and I bought a Bar-B-Que Grill and hosted a little grill out with some Co-Workers at Phoebe's place. It was pretty cool (Pablo can cook like a mad man... its ridiculous for the little material he has what he can do).

We all then decided to go out to this Masquerade party in the spirit of Halloween/Thanksgiving. (You walk in and everyone is given a was a little odd if I do say so myself.)

So far not much new has happened, same ol Shanghai, same ol INSANE Taxi Drivers...have I mentioned this before? The Taxi Drivers are literally insane and drive at 100MPH down a busy street in the middle of the DAY!!!!!! Its the craziest thing I have ever experienced in my life.

Shanghai Taxi Driver Class 101:

Who has the right-away on a corner?...


What is a nice speed limit to have on a busy street?


When pedestrians cross the street what should you do?


haha sorry I just thought that was funny, but it is so true. The Taxi Drivers drive like madmen, be prepared if you ever decide to come here.

Last but definitely not least, I will answer a very eloquent question asked by a colleague of mine. "Will why on earth are you in China, you talk all of this 'patriotic' stuff but as soon as you got the chance, you jumped ship and went overseas. Why?"

Ok here is my answer. First I would ask for one to define what it takes to be "Patriotic". I for one am an American, born and raised. I am in love with not only my country but the idea in which my nation stands for domestically and globally. Politically I may not agree with SOME decisions made by my government, (but all governments make mistakes) but I have that right due to my citizenship.

Now as far as me being in China; does being a Patriot mean you have to be domestic in mind and presence? Or is it actively and positively representing that which you were born in a dignified light? I feel the latter to be the true code of the enlightened patriot. "Americanism" is not blindly following that which one person tells you to do, that is called a "football team". "Americanism" consists of people that are willing to think outside of the box, challenge the old and explore the new; that is how we were founded as a nation, and that is what we all must strive to achieve as Americans. We consist of the world's people given our youthful foundation, with that in mind, we must see the world as our nation along with our domestic borders. So to answer the question, "Why are you in China" I would say that I am here because I want to see a world beyond my domestic borders of CNN and MTV. I want to meet people that have never seen my people nor my countrymen. I want to share the space with those so different yet so similar to me. It is a feeling that is overwhelming at times... it makes you wonder why hostility exists in the world. Globalism shows you that nobody is different, we are all in essence the same entity, perhaps once this is realized there will be more peace... haha yeah right who am I kidding

until next time

Thursday, October 19, 2006

some pictures ;)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

So this week was national week/autumn festival in China. Fortunately for us we were given the week of from teaching, but unfortunately we are still in the process of acquiring our business visas, so we are without passports that would permit us to go on any trips outside of the city. Imagine a prison without bars, that was us this week.

It started with Parent's Day at one of my schools. Talk about pressure... 40+ parents looking at you with mean glares trying to see if their child learned anything. Luckily I got excellent reviews!!!! They loved me! I had every kid speaking and laughing and engaging in the material. The dreaded day actual turned out to be quite enriching.

We began the vacation week by going to a friend's house to watch the fireworks over Century Park. It was easily the most impressive fireworks display I have ever seen in my life, and nearly one of the most memorable experiences I may have in China. We watched the fireworks for hours while listening to some smooth downtempo euro-breakbeats on Steve's speakers. It was definately a laid back atmosphere.

We then proceeded to go out and be social literally every night therafter. Since we got paid, we bought a great deal of things for the room, in order to make it feel more "home-like" for us. So i bought two wall scrolls which sit in our living room at the moment, and other bells and whistles.

We also acquired a significant amount of DVDs for the room, so our movie selection is almsot infinate.

Later on in the week I got some interesting news from some colleagues of mine back at school (as mentioned earlier). Something quite troubling, yet, not surprising... a response was necessary, and some irrational actions were taken on my part (one of which being mentioning it on this blog). So I want to send out an apology to the uninvolved reading this for tarnishing it with that which is just not worth it.

I can feel myself growing up day by day here. I am coming more into this teaching thing, and adjusting to the general way of life here quite well. I am begining to see a routine formulating which is a very promising sight.

We have a vacation in mid January until March, it seems the team is going on a trip to Moscow and Thailand... we are currently planning the details.

And finally I have found my entire Address here. Please send large wads of cash, candy or souls to:

Summit Panorma Buliding 7 Apartment 2701
233 Pucheng Road
Shanghai, China 200120

Donations to the "Will is going to Thailand" Fund is welcome at all times :P

That is all for now!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Now onto this fish on your screen. We went back to this japanese restaurant and ordered flower fish, we were thinking it was going to be some nice and fresh sashimi... it turns out that they literally bring an entire fresh fish out on the table... and when I say fresh, I mean this thing was still moving!!!! No joke, the fish was still moving on the table as we were eating it, something about it's nervous system not quite dying out yet, D I S G U S T I N G...but it did taste good.

I will add more later about my last 2 weeks.

So I heard some troubling news about some activites going on back at campus in the last few days... i am not surprised, things are what they are, I knew I would have to face something like that eventually...but wow, so soon! Good luck with that... enough of that topic.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

**LanguageCorp Group (from the left): Phoebe, Michele, Pablo, Chi, Mike, Your's truly.**

So it seems that the nightlife in Shanghai improved itself last weekend. The last time I posted, I recall heavily complaining about the night scene in Shanghai; it seems it was solely due to us not knowing where to go and not the fault of Shanghai the city. We found this place called Barbarossa in People's Square in Puxi, which immediately became the official hang out spot for us on any Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday evening. I befriended one of the DJs there, this guy named Rafee, he isnt Chinese and he also happens to be the Entertainment Manager for the entire establishment! Rafee is giving me a few mix CDs, and he also wanted me to design a couple flyers for him for a few club nights, in exchange for some VIP treatment in the place, networking at its finest.

Like ive recently learned, "It isn't about who you know, but who KNOWS you."

My classes have been quite stimulating for my teaching improvement, yet at times I feel that I can be a little hard on myself. It is my first time teaching, and if students don't entirely understand the unit in one lesson, it does not mean that i didn't teach them correctly. Despite the countless times i reassure myself of this, i fall into slight depression when i teach a lesson and only 70% of the class retained it; i can be a perfectionist at times...someone hit me.

The thoughts I have pondered in the last week or so have varied in importance day by day. Each night I catch myself gazing out of my window at the lights of Pudong in complete awe that I am on the opposite side of the world from all that I know and am familiar with. My parents have been so supportive of my endeavors; my mind is consistently at ease due to their unconditional foundational support. I am conflicted in my thoughts, on one end I feel secured in this position as a teacher. I am thankful that I came here with LanguageCorps and not on my own, I dont think I would have made it this far in China without them, thanks.

In contrast, I also feel alone...very alone. I continue to drown myself in thoughts of home, its not "home sickness" but more a yearning for wanting to just be apart of the crowd. I am sick of being a blatant spectacle in every situation; sticking out like a sore thumb can get annoying at times, especially when you just want to run to the store to get something to drink or eat. Walking down the street and getting the countless stares and herds of people trying to practice their English, its cute...but sometimes you want your alone time. So I find myself at times feeling alone, alone in that undescribable kind of way.

Wow overdramatic, but thats my description.

So I plan to fix this issue by being more active in the various activities of Shanghai. Be it a sports team, social life or another side job that is fun, there will be a remedy to this issue.

Until next time.