Extra fun day today! For homework this morning I had to phone a Chinese person and talk on the phone in Chinese, so I skyped PEI in Taiwan and talked to Neil, Kiki, and Mr. Wang. It was so much fun to inflict them with our Chinglish now that we have substantially more than last time we talked with them.
After Chinese class we went to the park to chat with some students from the teacher training college. But we had to cut the homework time short today because we were both helping with different activities tonight at Tianjin University. Jessica was helping with a class with Bright Future, a JHF program started by a friend that offers university seminars for relationship and sexual health. I was helping out a different friend (in the same building) who teaches an oral English class where they just listen to people speak in English. Since that’s really boring sometimes, she has “Ask a 老外” nights every once in a while where she brings in foreigner friends and the class (200 or so students) can ask them any questions they want. It’s grad student heaven; 90 minutes devoted to your opinions!
Anyway, here’s what they asked the two of us, in the order they came… some of these are pretty amazing, I thought:
- Can you tell us about the two parties in the US election?
- How do you feel about the Iraq War?
- What are some differences in university education between China and America?
- What do you think about the Taiwan issue?
- What do you think about the NBA?
- What do foreigners think can be improved in China?
- What are your favourite movies? Favourite actors?
- What are some experiences you’ve had studying Chinese in China?
- What do you think about the way technological advances make God feel farther and farther away?
- Why do Americans like crude sports like football?
- How do you feel about having a boyfriend who is shorter than you?
- What is the essence of love? What did you say when you asked your wife to marry you?
- What do you think about evolution?
- What do you think about environmental protection?
- What do you think about Spider Man 3?
I was impressed – they asked good questions, and weren’t afraid to ask loaded ones. We had to think fast for some of that stuff, but it’s actually kind of fun to dance around sensitive issues while still trying to deliver a satisfying answer. I’ll try to get Jessica to write something about Bright Future.