A lot of the questions were basic, but many were really strange, and I can't imagine an American elementary school student asking them. In both cases though, I had fun, and the kids had fun, and I hope they learned something. I should note-- Susan translated for them. If they knew how to ask all of these questions and understand the answers in English, I don't think they'd need me.
So, here are some fun examples from my two days of questioning...
First, what you'd expect from a kid.
- What is your favorite color? (green and orange)
- What do you like to eat? (牛肉麵 and pizza)
- What sport do you like best? (baseball)
- Do you have any brothers or sisters? (two older brothers)
- What's your favorite animal? Why? (I like fish because they are pretty and quiet)
- Why did you want to come to Taiwan? (it is pretty, the people are friendly, I want to learn Chinese)
- What did you study in college? (linguistics)
- How do you like Taiwan? (I like it a lot)
- What do you want to do when you go home? (I don't know, maybe become 美國的總統)
- What's your sign? (Scorpio for zodiac, Ox for Chinese calendar)
- Do you have a boyfriend? (yes, he is in America) ...and lots of follow-up
- Why aren't you married? (I am too young)
- Do you have children? (I am too young)
- Why are you so pretty? (thank you)... not throwing that in to boost my ego... they basically think anyone western-looking is beautiful/handsome.
- Why is your hair yellow? / Why are your eyes blue? (I was born that way, everybody looks different in America)
- What is your blood type? (O, I think)
- Does America have more trash than Taiwan? (Some places have trash, some don't)
- Do you come from a broken home? (My parents live together in Philadelphia, where the Phillies play!)
The fourth grade class was particularly endearing. One of the girls asked during the Q+A, "Does Katie like to eat 月餅?" Not really knowing what they were, I said yes. Later, during my last class of the day, a troop of 4th graders lined up outside and presented me one by one with mooncakes that they had made... somehow... in the hour since I'd seen them. So adorable.
Here is a picture of the ten mooncakes they gave me yesterday:
And a close-up of one:
Now, because the Moon Festival is coming up this weekend, everyone is exchanging mooncakes like there's no tomorrow. As far as I can tell, the Moon Festival is something like a Taiwanese Thanksgiving, in that you gather with family and eat a lot. My roommates and I have all accrued a massive amount of mooncakes. I'm happy to say that the little handmade mooncakes from my students are far superior to the expensive packaged ones given from school faculty... though maybe I'm biased.
To conclude, here is a picture of all the mooncakes in our apartment so far (most are still in fancy boxes). And just think... the Moon Festival isn't even until Sunday...
Addendum: I guess I should tell you what's in a mooncake. So far, we've had taro, red bean, egg yolk, some meat-flavored thing, and a good number of unidentifiable substances. We've heard that some have things like coffee, fruit, or chocolate inside. I guess we have until Sunday to find out for sure.