Wednesday, September 16, 2009

iTunes Genius mixes are actually pretty good

Now that I've got that little bit of search-engine optimization out of the way, to China!:

When you first start teaching English as a foreign language, international foreign language teacher laws require that you comment on the English names that students choose for themselves. So far I have avoided making such comments, but THAT ENDS NOW.

Some quick stats:
Number of students with the same name as someone I'm friends with in America: 5 (Jason, Jackie, Martin, Rachel, and, bizarrely, Corinne)
Number of students who named themselves after me after I announced my name on the first day of class: 2 (John, Daniel)
Number of students with the name Rain: 2 (Rain, Rain)
Number of students with names that mean "cancer" in the Indonesian language Basa Sunda: 1 (Kangker)

Also, and I am totally serious about this, do not, DO NOT, do a Google search for "Kangker", as I did when I tried to figure out where it came from. The first image result is disgusting and terrifying. I have no idea what it is, except that it comes from an Indonesian blog titled "Magic Woman Pantiliner" and is labeled "Kangker [Cancer]". So you do the math.
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For future use, in case I ever have to describe the meaning of the word "glum" to my students, this photo from the New York Times of Joe Wilson and Glum Wife.

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After class today, a student came up to me and asked me to "introduce some village singers."

Imagine my surprise when this meant not "Can you act as an emcee at a school arts festival which showcases traditional local music?" but "Who's your favorite American country music star?"

I thought for a minute and said that I didn't listen to much of what could be considered mainstream modern country but that I like Johnny Cash.

Is he like Taylor Swift? he responded.

Yes and no, I said. Yes and no.

[iTunes Genius mixes are actually pretty good. I'm listening to one right now based on "Comfy in Nautica", and it gave me some Animal Collective (duh), TV on the Radio, Dodos, NMH, Deerhunter, and Grizzly Bear. WELL PLAYED, ITUNES.]