In the student e-mail project mentioned in my previous post, some students asked more serious questions to their American recipients. Quite a few e-mails asked for advice of some sort. Others shared parts of their lives that were difficult, confusing, or happy. Here are a few quotes from different student e-mails:
Having been working in the hospital for so long time , do you have some special understanding about life ?
Sometimes I feel lonely because when mum and dad go out I will be left alone. So I really cherish every friend and they bring me so much happiness. You have 7 sisters and brothers, right? How I wish I could have at least one brother or sister in my own family except my cousins!
I know you have two daughters. I would like to tell you that my cousin also have two children: one son and one daughter. They are very cute and I love to stay with them but they seem not to like me. Could you tell me how to get along well with them?
I know you are a high school math teacher, I want to know in your opinion, what are the most importent qualities to be a good teacher?(This type of question was asked in many e-mails.)
As a Chinese , I obviously think my motherland great . I wonder what China is like in the people's eyes who have no connection with China .
You said that you were a married woman in your 50s. Actually my mother is also in her 50s. She is a really diligent woman. She loves me and I love her. But sometimes I just feel that it is hard to communicate with her. Do you have the same problem with your daughter? How do you think I should deal with the problem?
The mutual affection between you and your husband impressed me very much.
My family is a little different from others. When I was 21 years old, my mother passed away. This year, my grandmother died. My family came to a plight. But we are still struggling for life. My two brothers are studying hard in High Middle School, my father is working in a Road-Repairing Brigade, and I’m studying English in Qufu Normal University.
Should friends share similar characteristics with you? Or should they have opposite ones? What’s your criteria for friends?
My brother is five years older than me ,which makes my birth illegal at that time according to the policy of birth control . I was born in June of 1989, when the policy is carried out very strictly. To save my life, my mother chooses the Caesarean operation nearly two month ahead of the expected date of my birth without any hesitation .So I survive in 29 babies. Then my mother gives me the name “YING” which means “victory” in Chinese. My Mum uses the name to remember my family’s victory in the special battle against the government.
I always wanting to know how the foreigners think of China. When I ask my foreign teachers, they always tell me like this: “ok! It is known that China has made a great progress and peoples’ life have improved a lot.” What I was told is that China plays a positive character in the national world. Is it true or do you relay think so? I watched a movie produced by BBC. It’s name was “the Chinese are coming”. It tells China’s influences in Africa. Mostly, it tells the bad influences. What do you think of china?
I know your students have special needs. Are they self-pitied? How do you encourage them if they are disappointed?
I've learned that American children are more independent than Chinese ones. Being curious about the way Americans bring up their children, I am wondering if you could tell me something about how you raise your children.
China is different from America in many aspects. Eastern culture emphasises modest, tolerant, indirect in talking and low-key. Chinese people are not good at expressing their feelings towards people around. Even to parents words like "I love you" are hardly to be heard. I know this is quite different from America, right? Most children in China do not want to live too far from their parents because they have a special affection to their hometowns and they also want to look after their parents.Do you have a boyfriend? I have ,but we don't meet very often,because we are not in the same province . Sometime, i am little pessimistic, i don't know how to be optimistic,and i also find it't difficult to deal with some troubles in love affair.