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Kids These Days

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One of the things that I get to do (I’m learning how to say this more often) here in China is teach English. Most of my students are teenagers or young adults.

A few days ago I had a 1-on-1 class with a 15 year old male. There was ample time for “free talk”, which is when the student gets to stray off the lesson plan (if they choose) and try out their English on whatever they want to. Usually the lesson offers plenty of points for interesting – or not so interesting, depending on the perspective – tangents. Generally, this is a positive aspect of 1-on-1 time in class for the student and the teacher.

I’m not exactly sure how we got on to this topic, but he started telling me about how he doesn’t like to hang out with some of his friends at school.

They have too many problems, serious problems, he said. They are always moping around – but they wouldn’t have so many problems if they would just talk to me.

Yeah? Like what kinds of problems?

Girl problems.

Oh. I was suddenly not as interested as before. So, how would you help them?

Well, I just don’t bother with girls. They take up too much time, and I’ve got to study and play sports and I’m pretty busy. Besides, the teachers don’t like you to have relationships. (This is generally true for school-age kids in China – relationships are officially discouraged.) But he goes on: But to be a real man you have to have many girls.

Really…?! Tell me about that.

A man should be strong and to be strong he needs to have many girls. One girl is not enough. (15 years old! where is he getting this stuff?!?)

Don’t you think that love and devotion to one girl is best?

I suppose it would be better to have true love, but that is not possible. Nobody gets married for true love and they don’t stay married forever.

What about the girl? Don’t you love her and love her only?

No, you can’t just love one girl?

And what about the girl? How about her feelings and love and wanting to have

I don’t know about that. But it is for the man – he needs many girls to show that he is strong. He flexes his bicep.

We talk for just a bit more about that but I don’t get anywhere with him about the girls’ side of things.

As we were leaving, he wanted to know what he should buy for this girl he was interested in becoming friends with… AI-YAH!

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One thought on “Kids These Days

  1. Is there a Chinese cultural equivalent to MTV? Maybe he gets some of his ideas there.

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