checking in #10

In the last week I’ve graded and then given grades to 800 students, fallen in love with the American soccer team and then watched them lose, had “last” dinners almost every evening, decided to change my next year and future plans three times, fallen completely out of rhythm with my organizational routine, drank many beers, discoverd my Wikimania proposal’s been accepted, published the online version of issue 4, finished my last paper for my first summer course, finished my piece on two off-island chinese music stars, and done a poor job of reviewing my goals.

As of now, I’ve finished my duties as a teacher in Anqing, do not know where I will be working next or even going after Wednesday. And I’m excited, at the dinner tuesday saying thank you to all the teachers from my school I thought about the adventure awaiting.



今天下午我和 Stuart 看学生的考试。

再考试一个学生写 “Mr. Danoff 摔老师折实我的QQ号码”

今完我和 Stuart 请我们的同事吃饭。




Jīntiān xiàwǔ wǒ hé Stuart kàn xuéshēng de kǎoshì.
This afternoon, Stuart and I looked over our student’s tests.

Zài kǎoshì yīgè xuéshēng xiě “Mr. Danoff shuāi lǎoshī zhé shí wǒ de QQ hàomǎ“
On the test one student wrote “Mr. Danoff handsome teacher, here is my QQ number.”

Jīn wán wǒ hé sītúěrtè qǐng wǒmen de tóngshì chīfàn.
Tonight Stuart and I treated our colleagues to dinner.

Hěn gāoxìng!
It was really happy!

Tāmen shuō wǒmen ránhòu wǒmen líkāi ānqìng tāmen kū!
They said when we leave, they will cry!

Tāmen hěn yǒuhǎo!
They are very friendly!

Image: “bowl of rice“, drawn by Drawn by USDA Farm Sevice Agency & johnny_automatic, published in The Open Clipart Library, public domain.

Took down the image, because chopsticks sticking out of a bowl of rice like it has symbolizes death in Japan, and I’d assume here as well.

ddd [diary a day late]

20 June 2010

Following an intriguing day of grading tests, pondering deeply about my next step, and giving+grading tests I had dinner again with the gentleman from Anqing who works for a Japanese company. Tonight’s meal was new, as I now was asking him how to say Chinese words in Japanese. Good refresher, and another reminder I need to be studying my Japanese more regularly.





Gakkō no ato boku wa ban gohan ni ite.
After school I was going to eat dinner.

Boku no gaku sei wa iku onaji no hoko gurai soshite-ra boku-tachi shaberu NBA no no purēofu. Sugoku ureshi. Gaku sei shi teru Take-san NBA no no senshu. Ga uku sei wa kanashii dakara kare wa suki bosutonserutikkusu. Kare kange iru rai nen serutikkusu wa NBA no fainaru deki nai.
My students was going in about the same direction, so we talked about teh NBA playoffs. It was really happy. My student knew man NBA players. My student was sad, becasue he likes the Boston Celtics. He thinks next year the Celtics cannot get to the NBA Finals.


2010年6月 17日


今完我和朋友吃饭。 之后他们的孩子叫我中文的汉字。 很高兴!

我很喜欢这个周杰伦音乐: 发如雪毫伏


Picture 11

Jīn wán wǒ hé péngyǒu chīfàn. Zhīhòu tāmen de háizi jiào wǒ zhōngwén de hànzì. Hěn gāoxìng!
Tonight I ate dinner with friends. After their children taught me Chinese characters. It was a very happy time!

Wǒ hěn xǐhuan zhège zhōujiélún yīnyuè: Fā rú xuě háo fú
I really like this Jay Chou song: Hair Like Snow

nǐ ne?
And you?

dans le désert chinois

15 juin 2010

Ce après-midi, je vais alle un café avec mon ami. Nous sommes buve café et parler sur notre etudiants. Fréquemment nous sommes alle cet café et parle un peu de intelligent parle un bu peu de stupide parle. Cet café est tres confortable, c’est notre oasis.


June 15, 2010

This afternoon I went with a friend to a cafe. We drank coffee and talked about our students. Frequently we go to this cafe to say a few intelligent things and not a few stupid things. This cafe is very comfortable, it’s out oasis.

procrastination coming back

June 13, 2010
Written June 14 2010 around one A.M.

Quite early this morning Stuart and I had made plans to watch the World Cup match between our two countries beginning at around 2:30 AM. Naturally, we both fell asleep beforehand, but somehow our clocks were linked well enough that we woke up near the start of the second half within five minutes of eachother and got watch a boring 40 minutes of football as the US played extremely defensive and tactical, which I guess worked, but there was just something sort of frustrating, smacked of a lack of self-confidence, or perhaps its just self-awareness of the better England squad.

Big event for the following a short sleep and leisurely pop out of bed around 06:40 was putting together the foruth issue of The Uncertainty Principle. June 13th was the day of publication. Spent most of the morning and after lunch time putting it together at a gingerly pace, checking in with different writers and making last minute adjustments. Around 15:30 I finally finished the computer version.

Tricky part then was moving from computer document to print document. The way I publish them now is by folding A4 sheets of paper in half to make something that looks like a book. I really dig this format, but it means I have to be careful about rearranging the pages in the computer. I rushed through it and headed to the print shop arriving 16:15, enough time I believed to print out the issue and make it to the post office, before my planned dinner at 17:30 with a student’s family.

Around 16:30 I realized that all the sheets being printed off were not in the right order, and I asked the copy lady to stop the process. I spent some time trying to re-organize them physically by cutting up the pages, but they were so out of order it was impossible.

Gave up and then came home aroun 17:10 to write an apology email to the writers and people who bought the issue for not getting it done on the day of publication. I considered skipping the dinner, but I decided I was already too late with The UP in terms of printing and shipping, so there was no sense in skipping a dinner. Especially because I believed doing so would really hurt the student. Naturally, I felt this was certainy “Reality” [Issue 4's Topic] for me, procrastinating and having it bite me in the ass.

Managed to roughly turn my mind off from The UP failure and really enjoy the meal.

Got home around 20:30, noted my favorite print shop was closed, wrote down their phone number on their sign, and went back upstairs to get to work. Put together the issue by about 21:15, then gave them a call. They saved me agreeing to help me at 22:00. They thought I was just printing off a few things for class, but once they realized I was not, still took the time to print off the 400 pages I required. Finished with that by about 22:47, which meant The UP had been printed on June 13. I finished assembling the issues around 0:11 on June 14, which is after June 13, but still June 13 UCT time, for what that’s worth. Of course it also was not shipped, but it is better to have one thing done moderately right than none at all, I believe.

Update 17:11 14 June 2010: In the post above my tone is positive as if I somehow figured out a way to succeed in spite of circumstances against me. This is ridiculous. My Sunday printing was a complete disaster. I never should of put myself in the position to get it all done in one day in the first place. Starting from scratch on Sunday was already a failure.


June 12, 2010

Odd day, something about working a Monday schedule on a Saturday. Taught alone because Stuart was out and that was tiring but fun. I experimented with using candy as a motivational tool, with questionable results as you can read below. Spent my lunch break chatting with a ten year old Chinese boy who spoke fantastic English, including the ability to ask “Why?” questions and answer them with “Because” and a reason, something many of my current students cannot accomplish. Over dinner a gentleman excused himself from his two friends and started chatting with me excitedly, culminating in an invitation over to his home for a meal on Wednesday. I told him maybe.

Lessons Today

A Sublime Suggestion

6 June 2010

Starting in March, I have spent the majority of my Sunday afternoons at Anqing’s adult “English Corner” hosted at some sort of mysterious, ominous looking office building. It is attended by a variety of locals with very high levels of English and a rotating door of foreigners, aside from its leader a dapper Canadian from the local teacher’s college.

Each week a topic is picked and our discussion usually starts there and then inevitably drifts away on this or that tangent. Today was slightly different, a fiery young lady was leading the discussion and she kept everyone on topic by being very strict about when or when not people could speak. The results were wonderful.

We were discussing recent developments in Shanghai where wearing pajamas in public, a local custom since the ’70′s, has been discouraged or banned by those in power. Today’s spirited provacateur had us move to opposite sides of the table for our position: for or against pajams in public.

Arguments shot back and forth like mortars from trenches:

* “People who wear pajamas are uncivilized and uneducated.”
* “People should be free to wear what they please.”
* “Do people in the UN wear pajamas to meetings? I don’t think so.”
* “There’s a difference between dressing for work and for public life.”

These valid points going back and forth were all crushed under the weight of one genius sitting in the corner of the room.

* “I think we should allow people who are slim and beautiful to wear pajamas, to encourage people to be slim and show off their bodies. Those who are fat, are not allowed to wear pajamas.”
* “There should be a song encouraging people to be slim and wear pajamas.”
* “Police should wear pajamas and walk around with a bird in a cage.”

Naturally he was questioned for clarification on the last suggestion.

* “As a symbol of peace and harmony, instead of a gun.”


June 5th, 2010

Out of bed this morning around nine. Made the decision last night that instead of watching the 3rd game of the Stanley Cup Finals, I was going to review my goals. I realize that is sacriledge for a Hawks fan, but the way I am with doing things I believed if I did not do my goals review this Saturday morning it would simply not happen.

Especially because I had made lunch plans with my older friends.

Lovely meal, which Stuart also attended chatting about this and that in Chinese, tried to focus a lot on them and when they met and got married and those things. Gentleman busted out the baijiu and gave me a tall glass. I have not had it for a few weeks, and drank a little too quickly.

Spent the afternoon smashed, took care of dry cleaning and some other details like writing the latest Checking In. Finally though, I had to crash. Woke up in time for QQ English Corner, which I had scheduled with my students. I spent a half hour on the most popular Chinese Instant Messaging service chatting with them. Same as last week, there was some sort of problem with security or something and it crashed, leaving me confused and helpless feeling very out of touch with the young generation who uses the service so naturally.

For dinner met up with a large group of foreign friends and ate a lovely restaurant in Linghu park and finished it off with some after dinner caffeine at a local coffee shop. Cute moment was hearing how a friend who’ll be marrying a beautiful local lady was surprised when she brought home a live Chicken and wanted him to prepare it for dinner. Instead of taking scissors as the locals do, he rushed to his computer looking for the proper way to kill a chicken.

Power to Western man!