Odds’n’ends

JISHOU, HUNAN — I had some time on my hands recently, so I spent it tweaking the website. I’ve joined the China Blog Network, and you’ll see a widget linking to it in the right sidebar. One blog I’ve been spending time reading is Wok With Me, Baby, a cooking blog written by an ex-pat in Shanghai who cooks Western-style food with mostly locally available ingredients. Her chili recipe looks good. I found a cool world map widget that shows visitors’ locations. I saw it at Respectful Insolence, a medical blog by the sharp-tongued skeptical Orac. Although I already have a Clustrmap, the spinning globe was too cool to pass up. The Status Update plug-in doesn’t seem to be updating my Facebook status, but I’m not going to sweat it until Nov. 22, when FB shuts off RSS feeds to FB Notes. I’ve already discovered that tweets can be fed to FB status lines. We had our first English Corner of the new school year today. A big crowd of mostly freshmen, who for some reason seem younger (several 17-year-olds among my students) and more geographically diverse than before. I’ve met several students from Xinjiang, in the far west of ...

English Corner marathon afternoon 5

JISHOU, HUNAN — I spent all afternoon yesterday talking. As I have mentioned before, a standard feature of any Chinese university (or high school, too, I reckon) is the English Corner, an extracurricular, student-led activity to practice spoken English. My responsibilities here include participation in the English Corner, for obvious reasons. I live and work at the new campus. Our English Corner is held (weather permitting) every Sunday at 5 pm on a green across from the athletic facilities. I have already chronicled my first visit to English Corner lo! these many months ago. After that initial mob of visitors, attendance settled down in the following weeks to a more manageable number of regulars and the occasional newcomer. Jishou University (JiDa in local parlance) has, at my last count, four distinct campuses: new campus, old campus, the medical campus in Shijiachong, and the affiliated teacher’s college across the river, where Princeton-in-Jishou fellows Juliann and Stephanie teach. A few students from the old campus have come to the new campus corner, but only those dedicated enough to travel the 3 km to do it. Last weekend, my fellow foreign expert, David, and I were invited to an English Corner at the ...

Does English Corner mean ‘corner the English speaker?’ 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — I should have expected it, being the only native English speaker on a large campus, but my first English Corner experience was impressive, to put it mildly. Picture a group of about 40 or 50 (I was always lousy at estimating crowd sizes, even as a reporter) standing on a green waiting for my arrival. Then, picture these folks encircling me, three or four deep, asking questions about all sorts of things. Like I said, impressive. English Corner is an informal club gathering, where Chinese university students go to practice English. While I attended willingly, it’s actually part of my contract to participate in these kinds of things. Some of those present were my students. (A lot of freshmen … good job, guys!) Many were not. I recognized a couple from the English-speaking contests I helped judge recently, but for the most part they were students (and a few non-students) I had never met. They were all intensely curious about the US, the circumstances of my arrival, my views of China and the Chinese people, favorite sports and movies, Christmas, and whether I had seen any other parts of China and whether I like Chinese food. From ...
WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com