Sunday, September 21, 2008


Happy, Happy Birthday to Wen, Daniel, Cousin Jenny, Cousin Jeff, Josiah, Susie, Lyndsey, AJ, and Amy and anyone else who is a late summer early fall baby.

I was talking with my co-worker about the novelty of going back to the states and being able to talk to children. I do miss that. The kids in my classes are lovely, for the most part. We operate off a mutual understanding that we probably like each other. We both seem nice enough. Their English is a collection of stunted questions and answers. My Chinese is the one stunted question of what is your name. Which they think is hilarious.

Tea-chA! You know name, hahahaha.

Having a conversation with someone other than Phil that is fluid and not a frustrating wrestling match for understandable words and phrases will also be a novelty. I miss the possibility of this and mimosas and frou-frou scrambles and hollandaise sauce. Oh and my friends, and my family, and live music, and superhero dress up parties.

Teaching at the university has gone swimmingly. It’s still early in the semester, but week 2 was as promising as week 1. I’m excited about the poetry class because my students are excited and scared, but not frustrated. Yet. I hope they remain that way. I showed them Taylor Mali’s “What Teacher’s Make, or Objection Overruled, or If things don't work out, you can always go to law school”

One of my students voiced his displeasure and disbelief that this was poetry. “This is poetry. So scary. Teacher, I am Chinese. This is too loud.” I told him there are many different kinds of poetry. We have everything from Taylor Mali to Shakespeare. To which he replied in horror, “They read Shakespeare like this?!?!”

My students have a romantic idea about poetry and what it should be. This should be an interesting journey for both of us. Ok, off to the beach with me.


Celeste said...

Ahh- I miss superhero dress up parties too. Michaelyn and I are already starting to brain-storm for Josiah's b-day in December... More fun to be had.

checkmate_megs said...

Hi, Alliya.

I'm behind on your blog, but I'm catching up. I heard about a typhoon in near you? Is that true.

I miss you. Say hey to Phil for me.

Love, Cousin Megs :)

Elizabeth said...

I taught a class on "American" music when I was in China, and one of the kids said the same thing. I had them listen to a song from different music genres. They didn't like rap.

I don't like this teacher, its too loud.

I turned it down. Is that better?

No teacher, its too loud! It gives my head hurting.

What are you talking about child? You live in China.

Their capacity for angry media can be fragile sometimes.

Alliya said...

Celeste - Ahh, Josiah, his superhero dress up party inspired adults to run around SF in underwear and spandex two years in a row. Ha, ha, that is fabulous...
Mom said she got the wedding invite (was super happy), and if you still need her to make food, she'd be happy too :)

Hey Megs, Phil says hi, too. And you need to catch me up on your Ireland trip.

Eliz - That's weird because Taiwan is pretty hip-hop friendly. Oddly so, in fact. The high schools here have break dancing squads. When we went to the Sun-Yat Sen Memorial Hall they were all practicing around the building - Eminem a-blaring. It was like the old people in Golden Gate Park, who do Tai-Chi, but it was teenagers and break dancing. Both equally surreal...