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六月有奖征文:From nervousness to easiness, to loving

作者:Joshua Williams | 来源:泰州学院

 When I brought my family to Taizhou, we knew little about Chinese culture. I had visited China before, but only for a couple of weeks at a time. I was working at a university in the United States when I was invited to teach here, at TaizhouUniversity. To accept, of course, would be a huge change for my family. We knew that we would need to pack our belongings, sell our extra things, prepare our two children, and travel to the other side of the world to learn a new language and culture, and start a new life.

We also knew that this was the right thing for us to do.

In summer 2014, we accepted the invitation and began to plan for our new life in Taizhou.

虽然曾经来过中国,但是在来泰州学院之前对中国的了解可谓甚少。来泰州学院之前,我在美国的一所大学任教。机缘巧合,我收到了泰州学院的任教邀请,并最终决定来此任教。这对我和我的家人来说都是一次非常大挑战。我们不得不打包所有的行李,卖掉一些不太常用的东西,和我的两个孩子进行沟通,然后全家出动来到地球的另一端,学习新的语言、新的文化,开始新的生活。

我们也认为这是一次正确的选择。

于是,在2014年的夏天,我们来到了这里——泰州学院。

When we arrived in Taizhou, we were nervous about being in a new place with so much to learn. We immediately found the staff at TaizhouUniversity to be helpful and kind. They helped us get started. There were so many things to become familiar with. Every daily experience was new and challenging. Our new friends helped us navigate the communication difficulties and language barrier.

初到泰州,对于陌生的环境,我们非常紧张,有太多的东西要去了解。但是,很快我们发现泰州学院的老师都非常乐于助人、态度温和,使他们帮助我们适应了这里的生活。在这里,很多的东西都和美国不一样,每天的经历都非常新鲜、具有挑战性,我们的新朋友帮助我们战胜交流困难和语言障碍。

Everything was new. Our shopping experiences had to change. We were used to dealing with English-speakers and supermarkets, but now we needed to communicate in Chinese and learn to barter. Our dining experience had to change as we got used to new foods and cooking styles. 

我们的购物习惯也得改变了。在美国,我们通常在超市购物,讲的是我们的母语;但是在这里,我们面对的很多都是小商店店主,不仅要学习用中文沟通,还要学会讨价还价。

In spite of these difficulties, we have come to love Taizhou. We have made friends with local shopkeepers; we enjoy walking in the local parks, and are happy letting our children play in the field at the universitiescampus. The slower lifestyle, where people smile at each other, take care of their families, and take time to rest and enjoy life, is more suitable for our family. Because we want to focus our lives on friendship and family, we find that we fit in here. We prefer this Taizhou lifestyle to the busy lifestyle of Shanghai or Nanjing. After two years of acclimation and adjustment, Taizhou has become our home.

尽管一开始困难重重,但是渐渐地,我们爱上了泰州。和这些经常打交道的店主成了朋友,喜欢上了在学校周围的公园里散步,安心地让我们的孩子在学校的操场上撒欢。泰州的水城慢生活方式,泰州人的与人为善的处事方式,团结友爱的家庭生活环境,自在、休闲、享受生活方式都更加适合我的家人,符合我们的生活理念。因为我们的生活理念要特别注重爱和家人,这些也正是泰州的生活给予我们的。相比较上海、南京那些大城市的快节奏生活而言,泰州的慢生活才是我们所喜欢的。经过两年的适应调整,泰州已经成为了我的第二故乡,我已经把自己看作是泰州人。

What has really made us feel at home here are the students. The students have been courteous, friendly, and helpful to us as we adjusted to life in Taizhou. Students and teachers helped us learn how to do everyday things, like purchase a mobile phone plan, or shop online. These things may seem simple, but become very difficult in a new language. As we teach the students proper English, and teach about American culture, the students teach us about China and Chinese culture. As we teach them, they teach us.

真正让我觉得自在的是我的学生。他们谦逊有礼,对我们非常友好,帮助我们调整自己很快适应泰州的生活。在那些初来乍到的日子里,老师们和学生们事无巨细地帮助我们,像买手机电话卡、网上购物等。这些事情看似很小,但是由于语言障碍,对我们来说真的非常重要。在彼此的语言交流中,我教给学生语言、文化;同时,他们也让我更多地了解了中国以及中国的文化。我们教他们,其实他们也教我们。

The local Taizhou people also bring us happiness and make us feel at home here. Our children have made friends and we enjoy sharing meals together with other families. Although communication is difficult because my Chinese is poor and our friends speak little English, families can communicate in other ways. Sharing food, watching children play, sharing drinks, and playing together are ways we share together. We really love the time we spend with other families here in Taizhou.

喜欢泰州的另一个原因就是因为泰州人。他们给我们带来很多的欢乐,让我们感觉自己就像是在家里一样在这里,我们的孩子交了很多的新朋友,很多时候我们这些家庭都会一起聚餐,分享彼此的拿手菜。尽管我们语言沟通不是那么流畅,我只会将一点点中文,他们也只会将一点点英语,但是这似乎一点也没有成为我们沟通的障碍。我们一起分享美食、一起喝酒、一起玩、一起看孩子们在身边疯,我们的心是相通的。我们真的爱上了这座城,爱上了我们在这里一起度过的日子。

Taizhou will always be a home to us because Gryffen, our one-year-old son, was born here and he and his mother were cared for by the local Peoples Hospital. When we first found that Krystle was pregnant, we were nervous to have a baby here. How could we communicate with the doctors? How would they deal with our customs and traditions? We quickly found that we had nothing to worry about. The doctors and staff at the Taizhou Peoples Hospital were progressional and were respectful of our traditions and special requests. We went several times to visit the doctor and, with the help of a translator, we asked many questions. The doctors answered our patiently and made us feel comfortable. Now, we have a healthy little boy who is running about as happily as can be. Our friends ask us, is he Chinese since he was born in Taizhou?Although he is not Chinese, I know Taizhou will always be important to him because it is his birthplace.

泰州成为我的第二故乡的另一个原因就是因为我的小儿子,Gryffen。最近,他刚满一岁,他在泰州人民医院出生。刚知道Krystle怀孕时,一想到要在这里生小孩,我们的内心充满了不安。我们该如何与医生交流?他们生孩子的习惯和传统和我们不一样,他们会怎么对待这些差异?但是,很快我们发现这些担心都是多余的。泰州人民医院的医护人员都非常专业,他们不仅尊重我们的习俗,也能够仔细听取我们的特殊要求。我们和翻译人员一起去了医院几次,问了很多问题,医生都能够耐心地解释,让我们的担心一扫而光。现在,我们的那个健康的小家伙已经能够尽情地撒欢跑了。我们的朋友会问我:“既然Gryffen是在泰州出生的,那么他的国籍是中国国籍吗?”我想说的是,尽管他不是中国国籍,但是泰州对他来说永远是非常重要的地方,因为这里是他的出生地。

Landon and Arabella, our other two children, are studying hard. Landon just began second grade and Arabella is starting Kindergarden. We homeschool them and teach them the basic subjects they would learn in America and they also study Chinese. They study math, English reading, English writing, art, geography, and science. This year they are also studying ancient history. It is great to be able to show them much of the ancient history here in China, rather than only from a book.  The rich ancient history in China makes their learning more hands-on and real to them. They are privileged to learn in a country with such deep history.

我的另外两个孩子Landon and Arabella,他们学习非常认真。Landon刚刚开始二年级的课程,Arabella是幼儿园。我们在家教他们,有一些基础课程,像数学、画画、地理和科学;也有语言课程,英语和中文。今年他们还学习古代史,也很开心在这里可以向他们展示中国古代史,而不再仅仅是从课本上,让他们有了更多的亲身体验,对他们来说这样才更真实。他们也很荣幸能够在这样一个有着如此丰富历史的国家学习。

 Our next Challenge is to learn to speak Chinese well. We are working hard to learn as we teach. I feel that as I learn Chinese, I can help my students more. As I learn the sentence structure and vocabulary, I learn more ways to teach English and I can understand the studentsmistakes and difficulties.

中文对我而言是一个很大的挑战。平时我也在努力学习中文,因为我觉得如果我会中文的话,对学生的帮助会更大。当我更多地了解了中文的词语和句子结构之后,我就能够更好地知道该用什么方法让学生更轻松地学习英语,我也能够了解他们那些看不懂的英语表达其实是中式英语。

As I try to learn Chinese, I ask the local shopkeepers for help. I often ask, 这是什么?as I try to order food or buy things. The local people help me to learn and teach me the names of new things. We always ask questions to the restaurant employees or fruit shop owners. Taizhou breakfast, one of our favorites, is a good time to learn new Chinese words. We love to go have Taizhou breakfast, talk with the local people and eat famous Taizhou breakfast food.

为了更快提高我的中文水平,买东西的时候我经常会问“这是什么”。他们教会了我很多的,让我了解了很多的词语和日常表达。泰州早茶,很有名,也是我们的最爱,也常常是我们练习中文的地方。

Taizhou has given us many great experiences. I especially enjoy the beautiful yellow bloom of the rape flower every spring and seeing it carpet the landscape. When I ride my bike, it takes my breath away to see the fields of yellow. We love so many things here. From sharing a Taizhou breakfast with friends, to taking a walk in Mei LanfangGarden, to sharing an evening with family in Old Street, Taizhou has become a comfortable place for our family.

泰州给了我很丰富的经历。每年春天都会看到满地金色的油菜花,一眼看去望不到边,很是壮观。每每骑车漫步的时候总会被这一地金黄深深吸引。渐渐地,习惯了早起吃上一顿泰州早茶,饭后到梅兰芳公园走一走,夜晚和家人漫步在老街。渐渐地,爱上了这座城。

We decided to come to China because we felt that we could do good here. We wanted to give to the students here and help them improve themselves. However, we have found that Taizhou has given much more to us. Taizhou has given us her beauty, her history, and especially, her friendship.

我们之所以来中国是因为我们觉得我们能够适应这里的生活,我们想来教学生,帮助这里的学生提高他们的英语水平。但是实际上我们发现泰州给予我们的远比这些要多得多。泰州向我们展示了她的美,她的历史,尤其是她的友好。

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