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DID YOU SURVIVE CHINA
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Cubism



Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Posts: 277
Location: US

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:06 am    Post subject: DID YOU SURVIVE CHINA Reply with quote

I'm writing this digital book that requires other ft's points of view. pls see 2 questions & tell me

1 what surprised you most about working in China?



2 what problem did you expect that wasn't there?


will reciprocate many thanks cube
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wangdaning



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 2339

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. other fts here are often nutty
2. hard to think of, had limited expectations when landing. Maybe only thing is lack of support when trying to kick habits like smoking.

I know this post is opening me up to a hit from bleeding blue, please try to refrain.
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1736

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't usually answer such questions, but ...

When I arrived and began teaching, I was surprised by the near-uniformity among personalities in each class. I found myself teaching one university class with students who conveyed negative attitudes and sullen behavior.

Another class would be wildly enthusiastic, open, and friendly.

Another class would be friendly, but reserved. They'd also have a positive attitude toward their work.

I found that my classes that were composed of students with a good attitude also had a very good sense of humor. They also displayed no hesitation to approach me to ask questions or to offer advice.

These were all English majors. I still find the uniformity among my classes interesting.

Anticipated but nonexistent problems? I expected shopping to be a greater problem than it actually was. In my first city, (population about 1 million) people were quite helpful, even those who spoke no English.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9979
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DID YOU SURVIVE CHINA?

Hmmm. Will be VERY interested if anyone replies 'no.' Shocked Shocked
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BleedingBlue



Joined: 22 Oct 2014
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wangdaning wrote:
1. other fts here are often nutty
2. hard to think of, had limited expectations when landing. Maybe only thing is lack of support when trying to kick habits like smoking.

I know this post is opening me up to a hit from bleeding blue, please try to refrain.


I find comments like this, the desperation for "support" in this endeavor is nothing more than being prepared for failure and placing the blame on everyone else - "well, I had no support, so that is why I couldn't quit." No, it's not the nasty smoker's responsibility, right? Blame everyone else. Willpower and determination - accept blame, risk, responsibility, and...
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coldcucumber



Joined: 21 Dec 2012
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BleedingBlue wrote:
wangdaning wrote:
1. other fts here are often nutty
2. hard to think of, had limited expectations when landing. Maybe only thing is lack of support when trying to kick habits like smoking.

I know this post is opening me up to a hit from bleeding blue, please try to refrain.


I find comments like this, the desperation for "support" in this endeavor is nothing more than being prepared for failure and placing the blame on everyone else - "well, I had no support, so that is why I couldn't quit." No, it's not the nasty smoker's responsibility, right? Blame everyone else. Willpower and determination - accept blame, risk, responsibility, and...

Smoking is awesome sir, everyone should do it.
Now please sir, stop acting in such a manner and help the OP.

OP, when I arrived in China, I was expecting something completely different than what I arrived with, and now I'm at a completely different
posting, but 8 months into it now, and I'm quite happy with my setup.
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GreatApe



Joined: 11 Apr 2012
Posts: 464
Location: South of Heaven and East of Nowhere

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+ 1 @ coldcucumber Great answer! ...

Remember ... "Quitters NEVER win!" Laughing

Reminds me of that famous quip by David Lee Roth of Van Halen fame, back when Van Halen was first getting really rich and famous. Roth was asked during a magazine interview if the band had a "drug problem."

His response: "No, we don't have a drug problem ... we have money now!"


@ the OP ...

1) I would echo what a few others have said. After 5 years living and working here, I can honestly say that 95 to 98 % of all of the foreigners I have met and/or worked with in the PRC have been --on the "positive" side-- pretty wild and crazy, unprofessional (as teachers) and "loose canons." Definitely NOT people I would hang around or befriend back home. On the "negative" side, they have been borderline psycho, out-of-control, ignorant and/or extremely naive.

Call me "lucky" but I seem to have met and worked with a collection of narcissists, ego-maniacs, alcoholics, racists, liars, thieves and/or perverted deviants.

Having said that, I no longer frequent bars or go out as much as I did when I first arrived here. I don't hang out in Lao Wai circles. I do have 2 very good foreign friends that I met here. One from Australia (he's back home now), and the other from England.

2) I thought the PRC would be much more "restrictive" than it actually is ... admittedly this is a bit of a perception problem on my part, inasmuch as the restrictions on Chinese people are not necessarily the same as they are for foreigners. Generally, I thought coming in to China that it would be a society of people who are much more tightly controlled (more like North Korea perhaps). I was surprised at the number of everyday "freedoms" available here that are not available in the USA. Take traffic laws and driving as one example.

I was also happily surprised that the Chinese people were much more friendly, open, straight-forward and curious than I thought they would be. The women are more beautiful than I imagined, and much stronger, forthright and even aggressive than I thought they would be. I've always been a bit shy or "laid back" around women and I still am, so when you consider the language barrier and the stereotype of the "shy, innocent, cute" nature of Asian girls, I figured it might be difficult to meet women of quality and develop a long-lasting, solid relationship. That proved not to be the case at all in my experience.

I suppose what I'm saying is that it's nice to be the "pursued" rather than the "pursuer" ... some might even say the "prey" rather than the "predator." Laughing

Bottom line: China has been VERY good to me! ... I've tried my best to be good to China in return.

Just my 2 yuan.

--GA

EDIT: for grammar and spelling


Last edited by GreatApe on Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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jm21



Joined: 26 Feb 2008
Posts: 406

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you had phrased this more positively you might get more/better responses.
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golsa



Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 185

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreatApe wrote:
1) I would echo what a few others have said. After 5 years living and working here, I can honestly say that 95 to 98 % of all of the foreigners I have met and/or worked with in the PRC have been --on the "positive" side-- pretty wild and crazy, unprofessional (as teachers) and "loose canons." Definitely NOT people I would hang around or befriend back home. On the "negative" side, they have been borderline psycho, out-of-control, ignorant and/or extremely naive.

Call me "lucky" but I seem to have met and worked with a collection of narcissists, ego-maniacs, alcoholics, racists, liars, thieves and/or perverted deviants.

Having said that, I no longer frequent bars or go out as much as I did when I first arrived here. I don't hang out in Lao Wai circles. I do have 2 very good foreign friends that I met here. One from Australia (he's back home now), and the other from England.

2) I thought the PRC would be much more "restrictive" than it actually is ... admittedly this is a bit of a perception problem on my part, inasmuch as the restrictions on Chinese people are not necessarily the same as they are for foreigners. Generally, I thought coming in to China that it would be a society of people who are much more tightly controlled (more like North Korea perhaps). I was surprised at the number of everyday "freedoms" available here that are not available in the USA. Take traffic laws and driving as one example.

I was also happily surprised that the Chinese people were much more friendly, open, straight-forward and curious than I thought they would be. The women are more beautiful than I imagined, and much stronger, forthright and even aggressive than I thought they would be. I've always been a bit shy or "laid back" around women and I still am, so when you consider the language barrier and the stereotype of the "shy, innocent, cute" nature of Asian girls, I figured it might be difficult to meet women of quality and develop a long-lasting, solid relationship. That proved not to be the case at all in my experience.


My response is more or less the same as GA's. I worked in China for a year and had the same experience with co-workers. I was completely dumbstruck by how narcissistic some of them were while being able to keep their jobs. One other thing that really shocked me was how much my school wanted me to be "friends" with the students. This went to the point of them giving my mobile number to students without asking me for permission. A teacher being "friends" with students strikes me as incredibly unprofessional.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2867
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience is aligned with Greatape's.
I am still in daily contact with students I taught in my first year (2014).
I've had some cringe-worthy moments in China but by far the most common were the antics of other FTs.
As a DTA I had to sit in the FAO while a juvenile misfit American ranted (at the Chinese staff) how his country was 'the most powerful on earth' and how 'it could defeat all the other nations in the world'.
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likwid_777



Joined: 04 Nov 2012
Posts: 411
Location: NA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

golsa wrote:


My response is more or less the same as GA's. I worked in China for a year and had the same experience with co-workers. I was completely dumbstruck by how narcissistic some of them were while being able to keep their jobs. One other thing that really shocked me was how much my school wanted me to be "friends" with the students. This went to the point of them giving my mobile number to students without asking me for permission. A teacher being "friends" with students strikes me as incredibly unprofessional.


It's just a sneaky way of the school pimping you out to give free conversational English, an overtime occupation which makes the school look good, while you just get fake people using you to practise their English. Sorry, I like to clock on and off, and have a separate world away from work.
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3701 W.119th



Joined: 26 Feb 2014
Posts: 205
Location: Wuxi, East China

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm close friends (outside of work) with a handful of my students.

They're adults, so I don't see why this would be a problem for some.
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Alien abductee



Joined: 08 Jun 2014
Posts: 442

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

golsa wrote:
One other thing that really shocked me was how much my school wanted me to be "friends" with the students. This went to the point of them giving my mobile number to students without asking me for permission. A teacher being "friends" with students strikes me as incredibly unprofessional.

Assuming the students in question are university age and up then this statement ignores the realities of living in China. In many schools you may be the only native English speaker. You might be living in a city with an expat population numbering in single digits. Unless you plan to hole up in your flat alone and miserable you'll need some human contact with people who can understand you, and that usually means students. If you're newly arrived in China your students are going to be a great source of information and assistance in helping you get your life sorted. I like to play badminton, guess what? I play against some of the students, and we often go out for dinner afterwards. And there have been a few Chinese holidays where students invited me (or one of the other FTs) to their homes for a dinner and a chat with their family. Here in China there's no stigma attached to teachers and students mingling on a friendly basis outside of class. I'm still friends with one of my professors from 20 years ago, and I'm guessing I'll be friends with some of my students here well into the future too.
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Miura Anjin



Joined: 20 Aug 2014
Posts: 18
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was surprised by the wide range of abilities of the students in the class and the fact that most of the English majors had very little desire to study the subject.

My native-speaker colleagues at my first school were actually nice and normal but many of them at my second school were very odd indeed. That was a (sometimes amusing, sometimes concerning) surprise.

I was pleasantly surprised by how helpful people were when I needed it: finding my way around, going to the bank, etc. My life would've been so much more difficult without that.

Edited to add: yes, I did survive China.
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damn_my_eyes



Joined: 13 Jul 2013
Posts: 225

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ A lot of the students don't actually choose their major, it gets allocated to them, especially those with the low gao kao scores. They get a take it or leave it offer. That came as a surprise to me.
Some of the students in my writing class unburdened all their problems in essays they wrote. Really bright students who for one reason or another had messed up the university entrance exam and been allocated to the grotty university where I used to work. Sad how one exam can have such an impact on a persons future.

It's a bit of a surprise how safe I feel here too, I've never been in any situation where I've felt worried about my safety. I don't go out drinking much so that cuts down the chances of ending up in trouble, but still, feel safer here than in England.

The other foreigners have always been a constant surprise.
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