Quick Tour of My Apartment

•August 31, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Tomorrow is the first day of school! I have been preparing, I’m super excited. I figured I would give you all a quick tour of my apartment. I haven’t fixed it up quite yet as I’d like. But I figured it would be a nice little project to work on. Right now I’ve only managed to store some things and clean the apartment. It was unfortunately in pretty bad shape when I first arrived. Anyway I hope I can revisit this theme in the future and show you the finished product! Enjoy!

Arrived Safely in Guangzhou

•August 30, 2016 • 1 Comment

Hey everyone! I just wanted to give an update on everything so far! I haven’t really been able to take pictures of Guangzhou yet, but I will definitely be doing more of that in the next few days! Well the first day in Guangzhou was kind of difficult for me, I have been extremely excited about this opportunity for so long. It finally hit me about really not seeing my family and friends until next year. I have been away from my family before, but on short trips (at the most almost 3 months when I last studied in China). Just keep myself and my family in your thoughts.

Well what do I think about Guangzhou?! That is a great question. First off, I thought we would be living in Guangzhou City (we are, but only kind of). My new friend Hebe helped pick me up at the GZ Intl Airport and I asked her how far away the school was from the airport. She told me almost 2 hours!!! Apparently Guangzhou is set up much like Shanghai, where Guangzhou is the major city and you have surrounding districts or villages (whatever you want to call them) that are all apart of Guangzhou. So our school is in a district of Guangzhou called Nansha 南沙。We are kinda out tucked away from most of the big city life. Its like the suburbs of Guangzhou

So far what is my favorite part about Nansha? Well I like that they speak both Cantonese and Mandarin here. A lot of the locals mostly speak Cantonese, while a lot of the upper level faculty members speak Mandarin and or Cantonese. This will give me a chance to greatly improve on both of these dialects. The second thing that I like about this place, there are not a lot of foreigners and people who speak English (besides a couple of the teachers and most of my students). This has been giving me that extra push I needed to speak Chinese more, even if I don’t say it right. The people have been very friendly and willing to put up with my mistakes. Most people I think in any culture are willing to work with non-native speakers if they honestly see that they are trying to learn the language. That’s just a good reminder for those who often forget that (including myself).

Well I just wanted to give you all an update, I hope everyone is doing well on that side of the world!

Travel Preparations Blog Post #1

•June 24, 2016 • Leave a Comment

China ElectronicsIt is hard to believe that I am just two days shy of two months before I leave for Guangzhou CHINA! Last time I was in China was back in 2012 when I was studying at Fudan University in Shanghai. Well as most of you might know, China is a special country; despite their restrictions with the internet. I had to tweak my digital gear, especially for this trip. Over the past few years, I have been a huge advocator for Google and Android. Unfortunately I was fearful of using my Nexus 5X in China because so many of the services rely on Google (which is currently blocked in China). The Great Firewall of China is not the only reason why I decided to switch back to team iPhone ( BTW make sure your iPhone or other smart phone is unlocked to work in China); I was also disappointed in the app stability of some apps (mostly geared toward education). I would often have problems with certain apps like Plickers, QuickKey crashing or just acting less reliable on Android. My goal for this trip is to bring as little as I can and maximize the utility of the things that I am bringing.

Now I am sure some of you who know China are already thinking, there are ways to get around the Great Firewall of China. Yes, I am aware of these tools. My goal is to settle long term in China and I do not want to utilize these tools. Technically they are banned in China. I feel as though I am a guest in a foreign country, I should obey the laws of the country. I would expect nothing less from someone coming from another country to the USA. I am also going to be fairly close to Hong Kong, so if I desperately want to access my Google Account or Facebook, I can just wait until I arrive in HK. Apple has gained a lot of popularity across China and most of their services will continue to work in China. I believe in online backup (services like dropbox, one drive, etc are also blocked in China) and iCloud is currently not blocked in China.  I also like how Apple integrates so well with everything. Before I switched back to Apple, I was using a Acer Laptop with Ubuntu and a Google Nexus 5X. I am also a photographer and would often use my Mac Mini for certain software tools not available on Ubuntu. I decided to switch back to Apple because I would rather bring one laptop as opposed to my previous setup. A lot of my friends have questioned me on why I purchased a Macbook (it only has two ports: a USB C and a headphone port). Well the simplest reason for this purchase was the size and weight. Luggage restrictions on most airliners from the USA to Asia are two luggages that can be checked in at 44pounds or 20kgs, along with one carry on. One of my goals is to fit all of my electronics into my carry on luggage.

Anyway those are the electronics I plan on bringing with me to Guangzhou. I also have some convertor plugs, because they use a different plug in China/ HK. Though I have never really had a particular problem with plugs in China/ HK. Most of the apartments or places I have stayed have convertors built into the outlets, but it is better to be on the safe side. Electronics (good quality electronics) can be quite expensive in China. Western or Japanese goods can be considerably more expensive in China as opposed to the USA.

China- Here I Come

•April 23, 2016 • Leave a Comment

As most of you know, I have been quite passionate about China since my first visit in 2008. I have been to China a total of four times, but unfortunately I have not been back since 2012. The closest I have been to China was when I went to the Chinatown’s in Toronto and Washington DC. Most of my efforts over the years have been to help me get back to China. I applied for a teaching job back in December 2015 and have been working through the elimination process. Many individuals have helped me through this journey and without them, I would not have been successful. As of a few weeks ago, I have signed a contract to teach in Guangzhou, Guangdong China!

I am extremely excited and it has been quite difficult keeping this a secret. I guess I just wanted to make sure that this was a done deal. The Lord has finally blessed me with one of my dearest dreams. I will be flying to Guangzhou August 26, 2016. I wanted to share with everyone some pictures that my future school sent me! I am very very excited and will be teaching American History and World History. I have been scrambling on getting some materials together; I would like to try some new methods of instruction that I have been interested in lately.

Lastly, as most of you all know, China unfortunately blocks most American social media websites. I definitely want to keep in touch with everyone, so I think the only way I could keep in touch is via email. Now I still have some time before August 26, but if you are interested in keeping in touch with me via my newsletter, please message me on Facebook or you can contact me directly if you have my phone number or email address. They haven’t changed all of these years. I would love it if you would join my newsletter, so I can keep you all posted about this exciting new journey in my life!

Study Tips

•January 4, 2016 • Leave a Comment

The New Year has begun, school is back in session, its almost time for Cumberland County exams to start! Jan 11, 2016- Jan 15, 2016! This post is for my students in American History One! I have poured my soul into you guys, I am proud of you all! This is the last tip I would like to give you all to help prepare you for your exams next week. Please do not take these tips for granted, they will help you immensely. I have found some videos on YouTube explaining these tips, so watch them and get ideas to help you study!

Tip #1- The Pomodoro Technique

Have you ever studied all night for an exam or test and then end up with a worse grade than you expected? There is such a thing as too much studying, our brains are actually trained to operate in 10-15 minute spans (some actually speculate its less) because of television and commercials. The worse thing you can do is cram all that material into your brain over a 2-3 hour timespan. The best thing you can do is break it down and take breaks. The Pomodoro Technique is actually how I learned how to read Japanese (over 50+ letters in their alphabet) and how to read and write Korean within a day. It can help you tremendously! Start using this technique now!

Tip #2- Look through these tips and find out what tips work best for you!

Not all of these tips will help you! The great thing about people is that we are all uniquely different! I may not like drawing all over my body facts that relate to the material in order to stir up my brain, but for a while I would carry around Chinese vocabulary flash cards in my back pocket. If I was waiting in line, I would pull them out and go over them. Anything that will help you work through the information, no matter how silly, will pay off!

Tip #3- You can actually study the wrong way?! GASP!

Study smarter, not harder. There are plenty of times where we spend a lot of time doing things, but there are smarter faster ways to do something. Let’s face it, you have four other classes to study for and a lot of material to cover. Take a step back and focus on the main ideas and how you can maximize your study habits!

Tips #4- Defeat Procrastination!

If you wait till the last night before exams to start studying, the truth is you will probably not perform to the best of your abilities or even worse –> FAIL!!!!!!! Make sure you at least try to study. Some time is better than no time, don’t procrastinate!! You do not want to regret spending this week foolishly or not studying and mess up. Remember this state exam is 25% of your grade. You have come too far to mess up now! Just hang in there, it’s only a little over a week left of the hard stuff in school! Anyway I will be praying for you all and best wishes! Good luck!


Miss Japan 2015- Ariana Miyamoto

•December 31, 2015 • 1 Comment

ariana miyamoto.jpgHappy New Year Eve everyone! It has definitely been an interesting year, with many exciting opportunities and challenges. I wanted to mention this hot topic on my blog because it was of interest to me. I sort of sympathize with Miss Japan because she is considered an outsider, even in her native country. I know I cannot properly relate with her issues but I also feel as though I do not properly relate to my country at times. The United States is changing exponentially fast and I’m not sure at times for the better. But as far the the topic at hand concerning Ariana Miyamoto-san, I do not have a lot to say involving my opinions. Japan is probably facing a change ethnically as did the United States and other first world countries did some time ago. Japan will increasingly need to evolve concerning their ideals toward what it means to be Japanese, but they shouldn’t give up what it means to be Japanese. Sometimes I fantasize about other cultures mostly because they have such a distinct culture/heritage behind them. The American culture is a bit of a hodgepodge and I feel as though we have adopted every else’s culture and we have none unique of our own. Anyway I curated several different news clips and opinion clips from various different sources that I respect. I hope they bring about some form of reflection on ethnicity, nationality, culture and globalism. Happy New Year everyone!



•August 4, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Bo’s Coffee

Monday: English Entry- Today I meet with a friend of mine named Jessica. We ate at a Korean restaurant, it is one of my favorite places to eat. We both ate some noodles called Jajjamyung. Afterward we went to grab some coffee. I did not do a lot today. My Chinese friends who left for China two days ago kept messaging me on WeChat about their journey back home. I already miss them!

짜장면 Jjajamyeon- Black Bean Sauce and Noodles

星期一:中文- 今天我等遇到了我的朋友。她的名字叫Jessica.我们在一个韩国饭店吃了饭。这个饭店是我喜欢的一家饭店。我们都吃的是麵。它叫짜장면。之后我们去喝了咖啡。今天我没干多少事。两天前,我的中国朋友们回国了,我们依旧在微信上保持联系,他 们跟我聊了回家的旅途见闻。我已经开始想他们了。


Sunday: English Entry- Good evening! Today I went to church. I really like going to church. I go every week. I love God and I go to church because God is my Father.

星期日:中文- 今天我去了教堂。我真喜欢去教堂。我每周都去。 我爱上帝,我去教堂是 因为上帝是我的神父。

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