Comic Characters At A Chinese Restaurant: Peanuts
Saturday — November 1st, 2014

Comic Characters At A Chinese Restaurant: Peanuts

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From Teaching English in China to Teaching Chinese in America: Completing the Circle

“Mr. Mr. Curse me out in Chinese and I’ll curse you out in Portuguese!”


That should give you a glimpse into my new world: Teaching Chinese to middle schoolers in an urban Magnet School in Western Massachusetts.  Twelve years ago when I embarked on my 5 year stint in China, I never thought that I needed to take notes on the culture, the people and the language because I would be teaching this stuff in the future.  I took notes, doodles, journals and diaries along with scrapbooks etc but little did I know that I would do the opposite of what I was doing in China (teaching English) in my hometown in the coming future.  I would have the chance to teach Chinese in America.
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The student who asked me to curse him out is a kind of odd duck in my classes where his parents’ native language is Portuguese in a city where it seems like the mother tongue is Spanish not English.  The student body is 80% poverty and the school is awash in money from the Federal Government.  I haven’t asked for much of anything in terms of new purchases for books or equipment, but I do chop down a tree or two on a daily basis getting their Chinese character worksheets copied.


But teaching Chinese has been an interesting time so far as it has strengthened my foundational knowledge in tones, characters and pronunciation.  I’ve had to reevaluate my feelings for the Chinese language and I’ve come to the conclusion that I do love speaking the language, learning the language and now teaching the language.


And sooner or later I might teach that Portuguese-American student a few bad words in Mandarin!

Keep reading for more blog updates on my teaching experiences and maybe a comic or two thrown in.


MandMx #China Twitter Tweets of the Week for 2012-09-18

  • Classic MandMx: : 5 Tips For Using Chopsticks #china #
  • We have 2 sunflowers outside. 1 tall and 1 short. According to our 4y/o the tall one is him and the short one is 妹妹 Mèimei younger sister! #
  • Our 4y/o started his 1st day of pre-school year 2. He reported a 坏蛋 huàidàn bad egg broke stuff. Looking forward to that explanation! #
  • Classic MandMx: : Western Movies In Chinese Translation #china #
  • BBC: "Real Chinese" 10 Part Miniseries. 1 – Being Chinese 2 – Home and Family and 3 Education and Jobs GOOD STUFF! #
  • Classic MandMx: : A Good Day In China From BISCUET #china #
  • Our 4y/o said in Chinese while helping my Chinese father-in-law move firewood, "木头下到雨就不能烧了. The wood in the rain you can't burn." #
  • BBC: "Real Chinese" Mini-Series Part 4 Drinking/Socializing 5 Food/Restaurants 6 Buying/Selling 7 Exploring History #
  • Our 4y/o said in Chinese while helping my Chinese father-in-law move firewood, "把木头放在太阳下晒就好了. Put the wood in the sun, it'll be ready." #
  • Classic MandMx: : Early Bird Gets The Worm In Chinese #china #
  • Our 4y/o said in Chinese moving firewood, "冬天的时候我和妹妹烤火,妹妹说很舒服! In the winter, Mèimei and I will say the fire at home is so comfortable!" #
  • National Fortune Cookie Day! Gonna celebrate? "Only a proud man makes a spectacle of that which is best left unspoken." -Jimmy Fallon #
  • Classic MandMx: : Bring 8 Million Passport Photos To China #china #
  • Great talk on how Americans should feel guilty! "TEDTalk: Meet 2 Chinese factory workers, Lu Qingmin and Wu Chunming" #
  • Beautiful Hi-Res Shanghai Landscape photo taken from the tallest building in Shanghai: Shanghai Worl #
  • New post: MandMx #China Twitter Tweets of the Week for 2012-09-11 #learnchinese #
  • Our 4y/o picked up our "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" and said "If God sent this storm we'd eat the food and 我们就是英雄! save the day!" #
  • Classic MandMx: : Hummer Made In China #china #
  • Our 4y/o said he didn't want fried chicken wings my Chinese father-in-law made. We reminded him. "你说不要 你说不要!You said you didn't want them!" #
  • If a panda is born outside of China, do they retain the panda citizenship of that country where the zoo is located? #
  • Good news. Glad to hear it. Sometimes I don't get sports in China. "China eases pressure on its future sports stars" #
  • Classic MandMx: : Ping Pong In China #china #

MandMx #China Twitter Tweets of the Week for 2012-09-11

  • New post: MandMx #China Twitter Tweets of the Week for 2012-09-04 #learnchinese #
  • Classic MandMx: : Christmas Nativity Made In China #china #
  • Myself and our 4y/o practiced phrases at home about dumplings. "I've eaten so many I can't eat one more dumpling. 我吃饱了,一个饺子也吃不下!" #
  • Recently our 4y/o told me clearly that he was a "美国上海人 Měiguó shànghǎi rén American Shanghai person." We all had a good laugh about that. #
  • New post: One Sentence Book Review: The End Of The Chinese Dream By Gerard Lemos #learnchinese #
  • Classic MandMx: : Chinese Millionaire Billionaire Trillionaire #china #
  • Classic MandMx: : Halloween Costumes From China #china #
  • Our 4y/o constantly falls asleep when my Chinese father-in-law gives him his nightly 按摩脚 Ànmó jiǎo foot massage. I think he's faking it! #
  • Classic MandMx: : Michael Jackson In Chinese #china #
  • Comic by Luke McGarry in Bloomberg's "Looking to get ahead? China doesn't want you" #
  • Today our 4y/o said to MX in Chinese, "妈妈,你的肚子越来越小了!Mommy, your tummy is getting smaller and smaller." Our daughter is 43 days old. #
  • Classic MandMx: : 10 Chinese Tattoos You Don't Want #china #
  • Our 4y/o and I went to a Library book sale today. I picked up 3 beginner's Chinese books for about $1 total. Plus the Stilwell Papers! #
  • Getting ready for our 1st church in a while, our 4y/o asked if he was a 帅哥 shuàigē handsome guy. He asked us all. Even his 44 day old 妹妹! #
  • New post: Writing Chinese Characters Is Like Hiking A Mountain #learnchinese #
  • Conspiracies abound about poison fluoride. Does anyone REALLY buy that? "Poison China: Fluoride, Hotpot and Dog Food!" #
  • Classic MandMx: : Chinese Tongue Twister Mom On A Horse #china #
  • Heading to church on Sunday my Chinese father-in-law said our 4y/o should wear a tie. He told him, "爸爸的领带太长了! Daddy's ties are too long!" #
  • Classic MandMx: : Summer In China Is Watermelons #china #
  • Pretty good. And on teacher's Day! "2 Realistic Videos on Teaching English in China, both with over 30,000 Views" #

MandMx #China Twitter Tweets of the Week for 2012-09-04

  • New post: MandMx #China Twitter Tweets of the Week for 2012-08-28 #learnchinese #
  • Classic MandMx: : First Year In China: Math And Chinese #china #
  • My Chinese father-in-law, our 4y/o and I were watched our 31 d/o kick kick kick her blanket off. They said, "她锻炼身体! She's working out!" #
  • Chinese media slams Mitt #Romney as convention begins How do you say "pugnacious" in Chinese? h/t @chinastories #
  • Great Stuff! "Illuminant's Chinese Takeout – Colors in China (What to Use, What to Avoid)" #
  • New post: Writing Chinese Characters Is Like [INSERT EUPHAMISM HERE] #learnchinese #
  • Got home from work today to find our 4y/o wearing a Chinese Qing Dynasty style beanie over a hoodie, rain boots on holding a golf club! #
  • Classic MandMx: : REPOST Interesting Fortune Cookies #china #
  • Yeah, @illuminantceo I saw it through @haohaoreport and I found it so useful I might use it for my classes! Great information! in reply to illuminantceo #
  • Classic MandMx: : Airplane Travel In China #china #
  • Our 4y/o was convinced that my Chinese father-in-law was napping. He said, "哦,我不知道他在挖洞! Oh I didn't know he was digging a hole." #
  • Our 1 month old was wide-eyed looking outside the window while being held. Our 4y/o said "She wants to see the whole world. 她要看整个世界!" #
  • Classic MandMx: : Lottery Winner With Bad Luck Part 1 #china #
  • Innovative. If you can't afford one, make one! CAFE standards are off though. "Chinese man builds replica Lamborghini" #
  • The other day our 4y/o spoke in Chinglish to me. "Daddy, we have to 保护 bǎohù momma." That word means "protect" or "watch over." #
  • Yesterday our 38 day old got her Chinese traditional one month old hair cut. She took it like a trooper and only cried for an hour. #
  • Classic MandMx: : Ping Pong In China Is Hard #china #
  • PRISON BREAK! 3 Meter Long Golden Python Escapes. Owner posts a Lost note. Neighbors FREAK! 3米长黄金蟒“越 #
  • Our 4y/o went to my Chinese father-in-law and said, "公公,枪修好了. Grandpa, I fixed your blaster." I guess he was playing fix-it man. #
  • This is too cool! "Batman of Shanghai – Amazing Animation showing Catwoman, Bane and Batman in Old Times Shanghai" #
  • Classic MandMx: : Chinese Paper Cutting Class #china #
  • Would be a great ad for a dashboard camera! "Watch this Girl from Taiwan Fake a Car Accident and get caught on film!" #

MandMx #China Twitter Tweets of the Week for 2012-08-28

  • New post: MandMx #China Twitter Tweets of the Week for 2012-08-21 #learnchinese #
  • Classic MandMx: : Cultural Misunderstanding #china #
  • My Chinese father-in-law made fresh 馄饨 Húntún wonton from scratch. Our 4y/o ate 12 of them. I ate at least double that. I'm so full. #
  • Such a sad story. Breaks your heart! "Blood and tears of childhood behind China's gold medals" #
  • Last night: the 1st time officially our 4y/o got out of bed in the middle of the night, put his 洞洞鞋 (crocs) on and went pee all by himself. #
  • New post: Our Little Kung Fu Master #learnchinese #
  • Classic MandMx: : Valentines Day Is Different For Chinese Western Relationships #china #
  • Ah ya 啊呀! My 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox T-shirt now has my 28 day old little one's spit up on it. Perhaps it's now more sacred!? #
  • This artist is amazing! "See an Adele Portrait Made in Candle Wax by HongYi Plus 5 day Hands-on Calligraphy Workshop!" #
  • New post: Studying Chinese Year 1: Watching TV #learnchinese #
  • Classic MandMx: : Acupuncture Credentials #china #
  • Our 4y/o asked me an interesting question after I used the toilet. "Dad, why does the bathroom eat poop? 爸爸,为什么厕所吃大便?" #
  • Classic MandMx: : Green Lantern At A Chinese Restaurant #china #
  • Classic MandMx: : New U2 CD Or MP3 #china #
  • FIVE GUYS tonight! When we got into the car to bring it home, our 4y/o said, "Daddy, the car smells like Five Guys car. 爸爸,闻上去一个5 guys 车!" #
  • RIP 尼尔·阿姆斯特朗 Ní ěr·ā mǔ sī tè lǎng Neil Armstrong 第一个踏上月球的宇航员 dì yī gè tà shàng yuèqiú de yǔháng yuán 1st astronaut to set foot on the moon. #
  • RIP 尼尔·阿姆斯特朗 Ní ěr·ā mǔ sī tè lǎng Neil Armstrong who said “人类的一大步” “Rénlèi de yī dà bù” A big step for mankind. #
  • Yesterday our 4y/o ran around the house like the Olympics. He asked my Chinese father-in-law to do 一二三 Yī' èr sān BANG! to start the race! #
  • ATTENTION: Magnus is now @ STEM Middle Academy in Springfield MASS teaching Chinese to 6 7 & 8th grades. More to come. #
  • New post: Western Movies In Chinese Translation #learnchinese #
  • ATTENTION: Magnus is now @ S.T.E.M. 科学 Science 技术 Tech 工程 Engineering 数学 Math Academy in MASS teaching Chinese! #
  • How to Write Chinese Character Posters | Gotta love ChinaSprout! #
  • Classic MandMx: : 3 Phrases For Taking Photos In China #china #
  • A Moment Today: 49ers/Broncos game on, MX played 笛子 video, father-in-law making 大幅标语 for my class, 4y/o playing football, me feeding 妹妹. #
  • This is great! Love it! "Map of China's Provinces, Translated" #
  • Classic MandMx: : Obama In Chinese #china #
  • I got home from school today and our 4y/o said, "这个猫很搞笑! This cat is so funny." He's reading Garfield 加菲猫 Jiāfēimāo. #
  • The BIG DIG in Boston is an example of "TOFU" construction! "China's Real Infrastructure: What is Tofu Construction?" #

Studying Chinese Year 1: Watching TV

Book 1 lesson 5 dianshi

Ah yes, TV.  We wouldn’t have learned the word for Boob Toob, idiot box or a big waste of time right?  No just TV.  Literally, the Chinese is “Electric to look at” which is similar to computer (electric brain) and telephone (electric voices).  TV in China is almost as ubiquitous as hamburgers in America.  Everyone has at least one.  Which is funny because when I was growing up, TV was not something that was central in our lives.  I mean Sunday evenings we watched some nature programs and then the incessant “tick tock tick tock” of 60 Minutes came on which I always thought was boring at the time.  Heck, I can still recite the names they would say at the beginning of “I’m Harry Reasoner, I’m Ed Bradley, I’m Mike Wallace, those stories and Andy Rooney…” which is becoming a shorter list since one by one they are dying.  But my mother strongly controlled our TV watching when I was young and I remember sneaking down when they were at Bible study to watch MacGyver and Quantum Leap!  Anyway, TV is really big in China and continues to be.  Living rooms are centrally arranged to worship the almighty entertainment bringer.  The TVs that I saw in China are bigger than any TV we ever had in our home.  The doodle that I drew says “I watch TV.”

You can see a cheesy Chinese TV drama here!  You can see an amazing Chinese food TV Documentary here.