Short Stories November Edition: Election, BSB, Black Friday


(Early November, in class 3)

Me: so you have all read what Mr. Trump had to say about women, Mexicans, immigrants, and Muslims. Do you think he would make a good leader for ANY country in the world?

Susan: HE’S RICH AND HAS A LOT OF HOUSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Recently I was summoned to be a judge at an evening “English Song Contest.” 13 students signed up to sing songs such as “Oceanside, You Are My Sunshine, Lemon Tree, etc”, and I had to critique them based on the following:

  • The Overall Effect (15 points)
  • Pronunciation and Intonation (30 points)
  • Intonation Sound Quality (30 points)
  • Stage Effect (15 points)
  • Show Originality (10 points)

I don’t even know what intonation means, let alone Intonation Sound Quality, but I did my best to give scores that I felt the singers deserved (the highest score I wrote was a 65 – yes I’m a big meanie, but it’s the tough teachers in life that push you to success!) Anyway I also did this to offset the ridiculously high scores other judges were giving out- handing out 95s and 99s like worthless post-inflation Zimbabwe dollars.

The big surprise of the night: Dean Jiang went up to sing Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” after all the contestants were done performing. He missed a few notes but I’ll cherish those four and a half minutes FOREVER. Of course I was called up to sing too, and I did my best “I Want It That Way” that I could come up with… and I am proud to say I actually remembered all the lyrics!

“Ain’t Nothin’ But a Heartache…” all in a day’s work of a PCV China volunteer!


My Thanksgiving Lesson was taught along these lines:

  • The Good: turkey, candied yams, string bean casserole, the Mayflower, and pilgrims
  • The Bad: ethnic cleansing of Indigenous Americans that shortly followed and continues to this day (ie. Dakota Access Pipeline)
  • The Ugly: BLACK FRIDAY

For Black Friday, I showed the students a video clip (titled “humans turn into monsters“) of troglodytes  – I mean basket of deplorables – I mean SAVVY SHOPPERS stampeding into department stores at the stroke of midnight, brutishly hoarding anything they could get their hands on: Flat Screen Plasma TVs, Samsung smart phones, B-list straight-to-DVD BlueRay discs, and the “must-have” toy of the season that their brood will only touch two or three times before moving on to the next big thing [as dictated by Kylie Jenner or whoever the fuck sets pre-teen trends these days].

My students were STUNNED. The expressions their faces developed while watching the carnage were priceless. “天啊!” (“My God…!”) I asked my students to come up with a game plan to survive Black Friday. Highlights:

  1. bring a portable gas burner to eat hotpot while waiting in line (this is actually brilliant)
  2. helmet and shield
  3. be “fast, accurate, and relentless!”

I clarified that I have never gone shopping on Black Friday

“I’m not materialistic, I only believe in real wealth – friends, family, and education. And so should you”

“But Teacher you have an iPhone!”

“No Misty, I have a Xiaomi phone that’s just really good at pretending to be an iPhone.  下课了! CLASS DISMISSED!”


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