T Nation

What to Do with My Life


Ya, that’s okay, I don’t really care (no offense). It’s HS basketball, just move on.


Yeah, it really doesn’t matter.

The Chinese Speaking Contest is divided into multiple levels, the high school students being in Division 3. My high school has a 7th and 8th grade academic center, where they can start taking high school courses before getting into high school. I teach an 8th grade class, with two HS students. Some of my students are participating in this contest, which I am very proud to see, seeing as most of my students are unmotivated and over half of the class has C’s. My head teacher is disappointed and at a loss as to how to get our students to get their acts together. I told her a saying “远水不救近火。” That means “Far water doesn’t put out close fire.” What I mean is that the students have a problem internally, seeing as my head teacher’s other classes have great grades.

Anyway, I’m going to rewrite my Personal Statement that I used for college applications, since it was about my relationship with Chinese, and the competition prompt is about my relationship with Chinese. It’s going well so far.


Lol I didn’t know this forum supports chinese characters. Lemme try it out.

You need to tell the students to 发奋图强 and hope they don’t end up covering the walls with shit.


Damn, pretty good to have access to that in high school. Between the KAM, physics, and calc you’ll definitely be in great shape next year. I can imagine the Chinese and tutoring going over really well on a personal statement too. Have you considered U of I? Since you’re in/near Illinois thought I’d ask. Great engineering school but you have to be ok with being crappy at sports.


可不是嘛!I don’t think they understand struggle. They’re a talented group of students, but I feel as if they are used to doing good in all of their classes and have never been humbled before, therefore instead of trying they give up. I actually had a student start crying after she got a 1 on her oral language assessment, which was composed of a recorded spontaneous conversation between her and classmate. Funny thing is that she never utilizes our grade revision system at our school, where she can revise her grade with a better score through a retake. So those tears were useless lol.


Y’all better knock that shit off, this is Merica!


That was also a pun lol. Replace the second word with “shit” and the 4th with “wall”.

Are you using a chinese keyboard to type? I’m on my phone but I just wanna know if the characters generated from it can be read on this forum.


pretty sure we’re all using chinese keyboards to type…


Because you are puppets of the bougeoisie exploiting sweat shop labour. Shameful!


Well, looks like Zep hacked into dt79’s account again …


Lol yeah, that’s one of the things I like with Chinese, since so many words have the same spelling. The tones are different though, and that’s another thing I rag on my students about. Tones and pronounciation. It can change the meaning of a word. You can always find me saying “你的声调不够正确!再说一遍!” or “你的发音不够好;听不懂了!“学”不是“水”!” (“Your tones aren’t accurate enough. Say it all over.” “Your pronounciation isn’t good enough; I don’t understand! “To study” isn’t “water”!”)

For example, 妈妈骂马吗?means “Did mom scold the horse?” That’s entirely composed of the spelling or pinyin “ma” with different tones. That’s saying a lot right there. The wrong tone can change the meaning significantly.

I often do pronounciation circles with the students, but I feel like they don’t take it as seriously as they should. Whenever I do these said circles, the students laugh at how I pronounce CORRECTLY as if they have it down themselves lol.


Do you think it’s possible that feeling you have about these students is the same feeling the basketball coach had about you?


Yeah it’s because the English pronounciation of words in pinyin can be a lot different. I have the same problem trying to teach my wife English. She even adds a si to every word that ends with s.

Till today, no non-Chinese speaker has managed to pronounce my surname correctly lol.


It’s funny that I read this while a underclassman asked me why I didn’t make the team and why I am so focused on my work and courses and spend so much time in the gym, despite not making the team and not having anywhere near an athletic scholarship. I told him that basically I’m not good enough, and that playing basketball isn’t only about what I can get from it, I just love the game.

The coaches certainly had to feel that way about me at least at some point. The path to destruction is paved with good intentions…but correlation is not causation.


Lol I know right, that HAS to be irritating. I was looking at a course catalog for the dual enrollment program at IIT and Lewis University, and the head of the department of science has a Chinese surname. It was Xiao. My mom for some reason attempted pronounced it and said “Yao” . I just shook my head and was astonished to the point that I was almost irritated. I was like “Mom, how is that “Yao”?” Lol I guess the random inclination is just to ignore letters when you don’t know the language.


Nah, I usually just roll with it. There’s no intent to disrespect and I can’t expect people from other backgrounds and ethnicities to be fluent in the same language. I doubt most of us are pronouncing the names of people from other ethnicities that are foreign to us correctly either. You ever try to pick up Hindi? I gave up after a couple of sentences lol. I figure the dudes must be experts at cunninglingus.


This has always kinda fascinated me. Some sounds are basically unattainable because you spend your whole life learning to speak one way and (I’m guessing, non-technical knowledge here) your neck / jaw / tongue muscles develop in such a way that certain sounds are easy to make while others are basically impossible. I don’t think most people should take offense to a non-native speaker of any language struggling to get the pronunciation just right, as long as they’re trying to be understood.


Yeah, and like @pushups50 was describing above, some languages like Mandarin have lots of words that are pronounced the same way, but the difference is in the intonations. The intonations even change in different word combinations with the same word. You would have to pick it up from really young to really wire your brain to all the nuances. And that’s only Mandarin. Different but widely used Chinese dialects like Cantonese, which is the main language spoken in Hongkong, and the Fukien dialect in Taiwan would be like learning a different language for Mandarin speakers even thought the written words are the same lol. Some Hongkongers would actually refuse to speak Mandarin to me in the 2000s because they thought I was from China and this was just a few years after the Handover.


It looks like you’re doing great putting your effort toward academics. That is a great strength that you can do very well in life with. Not just any old body can do that.


Lmfaoo you just made my day with that one!