Yesterday at my Chinese Culture class one of my classmate held a presentation about jade. He spoke for about 1 hour and in the meantime he showed us a Powerpoint presentation consisting of nothing less than 98 colourful slides! Now, this guy is from Taiwan, so I find his spoken Chinese kind of hard to understand, and also, he didn’t really articulate that well… but most of all: he went into things like: the history of jade, different kinds of jade, jade carving and so on, in other words: he went way beyond my Chinese language skills.
Once he had finished all of us (his classmates) had to ask him at least one question each. It was compulsory to ask something, and not just anything, because our question was going to be graded by our fellow classmates + our teacher. We then had to grade the guy giving the presentation on two things:
1. How well he did his presentation.
2. How well he answered our question.
I felt completely out of place doing all of this. Here I’m sitting with my far-from-perfect-Chinese and I am supposed to grade some native guy doing a rather impressive presentation? Yeah, as you all might have guessed, he got a clear 10/10 from me! (I added a note saying it wouldn’t be fair to me to grade someone lower when my language skills are not that great. I hope the teachers won’t take my notes/questions too seriously).
To end the whole experience the guy had brought in his personal jade collection (!) that we then spent 10 minutes “ohhhing” and “aaaahing” over.
Pretty serious stuff, huh?
And want to know the best part?
On November 23 it’s my turn.
No, I’m not going to talk about jade (yikes!). I’m going to talk about differences/ contradictions in the western/Chinese work life/ work culture. I chose this topic because I have interviewed many Chinese people who work for western companies and I believe their views on differences are rather interesting. However, after seeing my classmate floor us all with his jade collection, I’m starting to feel rather doubtful about my presentation. For starters, I’m going to talk for 1 hour. ONE HOUR! I’m not sure that I know enough Chinese to talk for one hour straight? My classmates are going to want to kill themselves at the end of my presentation, as it can’t be fun to listen to my broken Chinese. Secondly, how am I going to do 98 powerpoint slides? All slides should be covered with my presentation in a written form. And we all know how great I am at writing in Chinese… ehum. This is a mess, a mess, a mess!
I’m feeling slightly regretful about my choice of topic. The jade guy showed us several pictures + his personal jade collection and that was a great way to break up the presentation. What have I got to show? No photos. No movie clip?
Anyways, I thought it might be worth asking if anyone knows of a movie clip or anything highlighting anything related to my topic: Chinese/Western work culture differences/contradictions? ANYTHING is appreciated. In the meanwhile, I’ll try to think of ways to get the swine flu so that I don’t have to do this presentation.
(Now I actually don't know what I am the most scared of: the half marathon on Nov 8 or the presentation on Nov 23?)