Some of my scrambled thoughts strung together as I make my way through China and through life. You will probably find my wide-eyed, confused and fascinated take on the world, and pictures of cute Chinese babies. Scroll down a bit to start reading, or a bit more to read an important disclaimer about this blog.
Yesterday I went to Fuling to watch my colleague’s daughter (in yellow) and another student from Wulong compete in a talent competition. Both of them have been playing the erhu 二胡 for about 6 years, and they’re only 15. Here they are playing a song with their teachers and some other students. Listening to them play was a great experience, especially because of my love for classical music.
Anonymous asked: If joining the Peace Corps wasn't possible, what would be your plan B?
I never really thought of a plan B, to be honest. I knew I wanted to join the Peace Corps ever since I was a kid, and it was probably the only thing I’ve ever been completely set on. I never knew what I planned to do after Peace Corps, and I still don’t. For the most part, I just go with the flow and embrace whatever opportunity comes next. When I was applying for the Peace Corps I was teaching English as a Second Language for a nonprofit and also interning at my university working on a project that taught human evolution using skeletal casts. I think either of those could have resulted in a job had I pursued them. But I think my desire to travel was too intense; I would have found a way to go and work abroad no matter what.
Anonymous asked: Most PCV teachers are either choleric, sanguine, melancholic, or phlegmatic in temperament. Which one or two best describes you and does this impact your teaching style in any way?
I’ll admit that I had to google nearly all of those words. So, after a thorough Wikipedia lesson, I think I would consider myself mostly sanguine:
"The sanguine temperament is fundamentally sociable and pleasure-seeking; sanguine people are impulsive and charismatic. They tend to enjoy social gatherings, making new friends and tend to be boisterous. They are usually quite creative and often daydream. Sanguine personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a little sarcastic. Often, when they pursue a new hobby, they lose interest as soon as it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much people persons. They are talkative and not shy. Sanguines generally have an almost shameless nature, certain that what they are doing is right. They however, lack confidence. Sanguine people are warm-hearted, pleasant, lively and optimistic. They have been called “people-oriented extroverts.”“
Although, I tend not to trust my self-definition of my personality type because I think people have a natural tendency to define themselves in either an overly idealistic way or self-critical way. It’s easy to see the kind of person you want to be or nitpick on the qualities you dislike in yourself, and more difficult to observe yourself as you truly are and be accepting of all qualities.
That being said, I think sanguine qualities best define me both in the positive and the negative. In the classroom, I’m loud and energetic and playful, and believe in positive reinforcement over punishment—though I think this might make me somewhat of a pushover with my less well-behaved students. I am usually disorganized and have terrible time-management skills. I’m also a procrastinator, so the ideas I have about creating projects and fun materials for my students sometimes don’t come to fruition. In fact, I have a table in my apartment that’s been covered in half-finished crafts for probably a month.
Interesting question, I liked it!
A picture from when I got a medical examination from Wang shifu, a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor who sells his remedies on the side of the street. Don’t worry, Peace Corps staff, I didn’t take any medicine. (Though maybe I should have because I’ve been fighting a cold for over a week now). #tcm #peacecorps #china