Friday, November 6, 2009

Mixed reactions

What a week it's been. To say I struggled through my classes this week is an understatement. In order not to come across as a total weirdo, I decided to explain my lack of focus to my teachers by telling about my recent skin eczema/ medicine/ lack of sleep.

One of them was most interested in my skin problem.

-so is your skin OK now? She kept asking.

-Yes, I said. But I still have difficulties sleeping.

-Well as long as your skin is OK!

From another one I got no sympathy:

-You don't look tired, she said suspiciously.

-Well I am.

-I can't tell.

-Make-up can do wonderful things.

-Yeah. You really don't look tired.

The fourth one was super understanding:

-Ah that's terrible! Don't worry about it. This chapter is quite easy, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t prepared well. We will take things slow.

-Great, thanks!

30 minutes later however:

-Jonna, we have to study a bit faster. And how can you get this question wrong? It is so simple!

-Yeah, sorry, I just don't get it for some reason. My brain is quite slow today.

-Well then you have to go home and study more.

-You're not going to explain it to me?


Anyways, today I’m off to Wuxi to do some translation work and when I get home tonight I am going to embrace the weekend! We were supposed to go to Hangzhou and run the half marathon this Sunday but because of how little sleep I’ve been getting lately I decided to cancel. There will be more races in the future.


flyingfish said...

Sounds like you do need some time to unwind. I'm glad you are planning on a recuperative weekend.

What is wrong with these teachers not explaining stuff?

Good luck resting up, and don't forget to study! (Just kidding :))

George said...

aww, Jonna, i really feel for you, those chinese teachers really should learn and improve their atttiude, they are so used to their "shame and learn" approach it doesn't help anyone, except few stuck up elitests...well, i guess it's ahrd for them to change too, those methods are what we have been grown up with and trained to.

i remeber when we first arrived in the UK, we found our English teacher giving us too much praise, everything was "Excellent!" "Good Job!" "Well done!", some of my classmates did start wondering if she really meant it? One of my classmate told me the English teacher said to her "Congratulation you passed!", and my classmate couldn't understand why she would congratz her, she was only passed, as in China normally only top 10 or top 3 marks would be congratulated.

Personally, i prefer much more the UK tearchers approach, it does make study a much enjoyable experience, but i believe there are thousand Chinese parents wouldn't agree with me for a life time *sigh*

Anonymous said...

jonna, i feel sorry for you. well, i suffer insomnia sometimes too. maybe yoga or doing some mediation work before going to bed will be useful. well, in my case, there must be somewhat tension or care that keep me away from falling asleep. not sure about your case, but i think maybe you push yourself to hard? anyhow, hope it will get better soon.
as for those chinese teachers response, i think maybe they didnt mean to be doubtful or insensitive to your suffering, they responded in typical chinese way. like one of them replied that you and your skin still looked good , it doesnt necessarily mean to be inconsiderate, in stead, they are trying to make you convinced that you are still ok. well, sometimes, i would say such "stupid" stuff to my chinese collegues. haha and you blog in fact has offered me another perspective to so-called cultural difference. hey, i do think it is partially due to the cultural difference. i think they didnt mean to be ill.
anyhow, maybe like george had mentioned, those chinese teachers should have more sense of an international and opening way to well communicate with you foreign students.
good luck to your weekend translating!

马麟 said...

It recalled my memory about my middle school teachers. Their reactions are so typical.
Just an experience from me--if people show too much sympathy, they might don't really care.

Jonna Wibelius said...

flyingfish -I know I should study this wknd but I also know I am not very likely to touch a book... yeah, resting weekend in deed!

George -I also prefer a lot of encouragement to their current "you have to do better" attitude. I don't understand why this attitude even exists? To whom is it helpful?

Carol -thanks for your comments. Insomnia is awful, it drives you insane! Fortunately I have been sleeping better lately! Phew! As for the teachers.. I know that u r right, they probably don't mean anything bad. It's just a culture difference. As George said, though, some more encouragement would sometimes be nice.

马麟 -yeah you are right... And I wasn't really fishing for them to be super understanding... although it sort of startled me that when I asked for help my teacher wouldn't give it to me.. she probably thought I had been too lazy that week and as a "punishment" she wanted me to go home and study more on my own. I guess this kind of treatment works sometimes, but not in every single case.