My friend Paul is an interesting guy. He's lived in China for a portion of his life. After living here in the early 90s he returned home to England to teach Chinese to English kids, but has since returned back to China and now teaches Chinese here. Yes, an older caucasian man teaching Chinese to Chinese kids. The Chinese language department here is composed of six other young Chinese ladies, and Paul. Actually, I know I've commented on it before, but I can't tell how old any of them are. They all look so young.
Sunday afternoons at 11:00am Paul teaches a beginning Chinese class. Last week we worked on numbers. It was cool learning about the formation rules. Left to right, then top to bottom. Creating them in the correct way is important. Today I believe we're going to work on food.
I've had lessons and much of what Paul is teaching is review, but I need it. What I've learned hasn't stuck for several reasons. I haven't invested time into practice, and I haven't implemented my lessons into practical use. I know the more I use it in the right context the more I will remember. I put in a special request for today. If we don't have time during class today I hope Paul will give me a bit of extra time after class. I want to know what to say to the delivery guys on the phone when they call. Everytime a delivery driver brings food to drop off at the East gate of my school they call on the phone to say they have arrived. Their instructions are to put it on the blue shelves near the security gate, but they generally don't read the instructions so they call on the phone and ask what they're supposed to do. I'm always at a loss and don't know what to say. Hoping we can tackle this issue today.
Next special request is going to be swear words in Chinese. I have the feeling the boys in my eighth grade classes swear like sailors, but of course I'm oblivious. Paul told me about two that he says are prevalent. The first literally translates to "go be with your mother". That's a bad one. Yes, it means what you think it means. The other is an insult directed at females. It means "stupid c word". Not cool. I'll keep my ears open.