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Our "downtown"

Our “downtown”

Hello, distant friends! It feels like I haven’t talked to you in ages, but in reality I think it’s been closer to two weeks. Not much has been happening in the dark city (a vaguely literal translation for Shenzhen 深圳). In the interest of not boring you, precious reader, I’ve delayed writing about the daily rigmarole so as not to bore you, but I don’t want to leave you feeling cheated. Today, I have a special treat to share with you.

Recently, I gave my students a writing assignment that was one of my favorites when I was in school. Within a short time period, one person would write the introduction to a story. This first student would set up all the basics: setting, protagonist, antagonist, and even a hint of the plot. Then, their story begun, the student would trade for another introduction, and complete the story. It’s a little focused away from speaking practice (which has been my primary goal here) but gives the students a chance to express themselves and ruin someone else’s story in a fun environment. I’ve chosen to present to you my favorite few stories. Aside from adding titles that I think fit, I will only make minor corrections to try and clarify the students’ intended meanings. With that said, don’t judge these kids too harshly; they wrote in a short period of time and in a second language. I’m actually pretty proud of what they came up with.

Story 1: Japanimation

“One day morning, when I got up, I suddenly found that I was in a world of animation. The first day, I was in the world of Japanese cartoon. Then I killed all the Japanese and went back to China.”

Story 2: The Indestructible Nokia

“Tom was in Japan and unluckily an earthquake occurred. Tome lost his cell phone so he went to buy an nokia phone. A huge rock drop down from the building but luckily, the Nokia protect Tom from damage.”

Story 3: The Math Monster

“One day, when I woke up, I find that there was no one else in the room. I thought that they all got up so early at first. But soon I find that the whole building was empty and silent. I rushed out and saw a person. It was Mr. Xu. I asked him where my classmates went. He said: ‘I didn’t keep my math homework under control and they kidnapped them all. I need you to save them.’ I went to Mr. Xu’s office and I tried to finish them all. At last, the math monster were killed. We won and classmates came back.”

*These kids get a lot of math homework. An animated monster composed of math problems is probably a very real fear.

Story 4: Burn it Down

“Mex is a little girl. She hates tests. One day, her teacher gave her several pages and told he to finish them immediately. The result would come out the next morning and it would be an important part of the college entrance examination. Mex was scared, she begged the teacher not to make her exams any more. But the teacher didn’t listen to her and forced her to finish them. What could Mex do to prevent the awful teacher from giving her so much stress? The poor girl became upset because of so much pressure and failure. She quit. Mex put all of his books out of the office. The office was surrounded by books and test papers. She threw a match with fire into the books. In the light of the fir, she smiled. She thought there will be no stress any more.”

If you’ve enjoyed this adventure into the mind of China’s youth, let me know, and I can post more. In a week or so, we’ve got a Thanksgiving party with CTLC, but I may or may not be going to see one of my student’s bands play in a bar down in Futian. I’m not quite certain yet. Shortly after that, Adrianna, Kane, Sahal, and I are participating in my school’s “Sports Day,” where we will be running a relay together. I expect we’ll be quashed pretty quickly, but I think it’ll be a good time anyway.

Until next time! 下次见!

-Spenser

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