October 15, 2007

just read a book

In the evenings I teach at nearby businesses- one of which bottles beverages. There's a huge factory on-site with rolls of aluminum to make soda and beer cans. So, twice a week we sit in the company conference room after they get off of work and speak English. It's really pretty fun.

Tonight we talked about the different ways that can learn new things. I would say, "I want to learn how to speak Mandarin. What should I do?" And they would give me advice like, "The best way to learn Mandarin is to spend time with a native speaker." The book we use had a list of recommendations which made the exercise easier.

It came time for Everest to give me advice. Everest is one of the most honest Chinese people I've met, but quite the revolutionary. He works for sales, which explains a lot to me. If I want to know the truth about culture, I can ask Everest. Tonight I said to him, "Everest, I want to learn how to fly a plane. What should I do?" I saw as he glanced down at the first line of advice in the book. With a straight face he replied, "Just read a book about it. Then, give it a try." I told him I'll get a book from the library and then borrow his plane next week.

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