I should first say that in China, it’s not weird or awkward to be friends or friendly with your teachers. At all. In fact, it’s weird not to be. So don’t think it’s weird that we do these things; we’re just 入乡随俗-ing.
Gao Laoshi is my Chinese teacher this semester. And she is quite possibly the most amazing, adorable, lovely little Chinese person on this planet. Here are all the reasons she is freaking awesome:
- She is just simply the best teacher ever. When she teaches us, she uses clear Chinese and reinforces previously studied vocabulary, tries to have genuine conversations with us, and explains things really really well.
- A few weeks ago, she invited us out for dinner and karaoke. But when Chinese people invite, this means they pay for you. So she even paaaaaaid for us!!! We felt so bad (she’s our teacher and she teaches us; shouldn’t we do something to thank her for that?!), but as she taught us,“这是中国人的习惯”；this is the way the Chinese do things. We tried to fight her for the bill, but she won in the end. Regardless, we had a lovely time with her between eating Thai food for dinner (MY FAVE) and making fools of ourselves attempting to sing Chinese songs at karaoke! (although I was impressed we could even read the characters!)
- The next weekend, she invited us to make dinner at her house, and it was fun and lovely and delicious. We all went to Walmart together, bought a bunch of food (correction: SHE bought the food for us, again, even though we tried to insist… these 中国人，so persistent), and then brought it back to her tiny little (ADORABLE) apartment where we made dinner and had tea together. It was so yummy/heartwarming/fun.
- Our end-of-the-semester video (which we just recently started working on) is literally devoted to her awesomeness. Not gonna spoil any surprises (this is for sure going on Youtube once we get back to the US), but it’s going to be epic. Be forewarned.
These just barely skim the surface for the reasons why Gao Laoshi is awesome. You may or may not be hearing a lot more about her in the next few weeks.