Let me first present a brief introduction about myself and my family. I was born and bred in Shanghai. Both of my parents are of typical Shanghainese characteristics----uttering Shanghai dialect with an authentic inflection, and grown up in Hong Kou district close to Lu Xun Park, which occupies a bu...
Let me first present a brief introduction about myself and my family. I was born and bred in Shanghai. Both of my parents are of typical Shanghainese characteristics----uttering Shanghai dialect with an authentic inflection, and grown up in Hong Kou district close to Lu Xun Park, which occupies a bustling space in the city center. Compared to their peers, they have a cutting-edge advantages in their education background. Due to the Cultural Revolution in Shanghai in the last 60s, most of the students were ignorant of their study. But my dad was the first generation to enter into the university on the first year after the end of Cultural Revolution. He studied Chinese Literature in East China Normal University, a first-tier university in Shanghai. Later on he took up a job in Shanghai University of Sport (SUS) as a professor meanwhile publishing free-style poems, writing articles and comments for journals, and other book publish issues. Some of his famous students in SUS used to be the luminous sports stars in Shanghai Shenhua, a local topnotch football team, including Xie Hui. My dad was his class tutor and always be there ready to help him go through various kinds of life troubles during that span of time. Unfortunately, my dad passed away many years ago from big C. His elder sister, my auntie kept in close touch with me these years, and filled me with love and care. She retired from Foreign Ministry as a secretary at the second level. Graduated from Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) with a specialization in French Literature, Auntie’s excellent performance helped her shine out and was later on assigned a post in Foreign Ministry in Beijing upon the completion of her study. There she encountered her husband-to-be who was a commercial counselor as well as translator at that time. He was a Cantonese, of Vietnam nationality but Chinese origin. They both served at the embassy in French-speaking African countries for quite a long time. Their daughter, who is a decade of years senior to me, also has been studying in SISU with a major in French, and about two years later she was transferred to a university in France and there she got both bachelor in Arts and master in MBA. Back to Shanghai, she tied the knot with an eminent man and has given birth to a daughter. But we still play together from time to time and share many common topics on instant msg. In the previous years, she helped me a lot through job hunting and taught me how to dress up nicely and apply and dab perfume in a proper way.
My mom achieved bachelor degree in Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) specializing in Accounting. Deeply influenced by my maternal parents professions in the foreign banks, my mom grew up to be a talented lady with a natural gift for numbers. She takes delight in singing, humming tunes, and commenting upon some hot social affairs. With the help of my maternal grandpa, who was a senior economist in ICBC bank, my mom successfully got a position in Shanghai Tobacco Group Corporation, a household company in Shanghai as an office accountant of relatively higher salary and favorable benefits every year. Thus, before her retirement, we purchased three apartments in Yang Pu district, at the edge of the inner circle of the city center. We now reside and nestle in one of the three apartments, with two bedrooms and two sitting rooms. The rest of the two apartments are for rent. Sounds material-oriented, but Shanghainese are inclined to be pragmatic and realistic in life. My mom’s elder brother was a doctor and chief professor in the department of hepatobiliary surgery, while her younger sister graduated from SISU with a major in English Literature married a HK man (my maternal family is originally of Cantonese descent) and there in HK she decided to go a little further in MBA and having served as a HR manager in Dubai in charge of hundreds of foreign employees, she carved out a brilliant career at the apex of her profession. She is now a HR manager and chairman of the board of a Singapore corporation. These days she comes to Shanghai to pay frequent visits to my maternal grandpa, and dine and wine with us during her free time.
Now it’s my turn. I was born into a shy, meek, introverted and pusillanimous kid early in my childhood, especially during the time when i sat in the front pew with a sullen face and a skinny body of the weight of 19kg at the second and third year of school. But my dad’s overwhelming loving care cultivated my confidence and talent in writing essays, handwriting, drawing, and painting and most importantly i inherited my mom’s forte in mathematics. I always came out top in class and was consecutively voted as the Three Merits student among the other 50 ones in class for three years in my middle school. But things might be tough at times. At an important point in my life before the entry of senior high school, i was bursting of ego and a minor mistake in math test let me slip a golden opportunity into a municipal key school, and finally drove me into a top one district-level key senior high school. That’s really beyond my expectation. Time slipped away in a flick of fingertips. I was finally admitted to SISU with great distinction in the university entry examination. Over a short span of four years specializing in English Translation, I have been nurtured a sense of creativity in literary criticism and soaked up knowledge in translation strategies and theories. Reflecting over the past four years, i have committed myself to the jobs like news editor and translator, transcriptionist for simultaneous interpretation, HR and Admin assistant in a German corporation, compiler of personal statements and recommendation letters for both undergraduate and graduate programs abroad. For sure, at times, i stuck with something. But my mind seemed to come alive as i took the role of a TOEFL and EILTS teacher. I contemplated that it was the time that i shared some of my thoughts and beliefs about second language acquisition with my students. Nothing was exactly a cinch. In my class, I enable my students to draw on some reading materials and generate enough literate ideas. Accordingly, all chapters of the materials are structured around subjects that are not only test-oriented, but also current and thought provoking. The perspective offered on each subject challenges students to think beyond its common treatment. Each subject is also presented with a one-step-beyond component, serving as a springboard for addressing related topics at a more sophisticated level. I am favored by a handful of students and they are my most faithful followers. With wide pale cheeks, superficially, i am looked as a girl with indifferent personality and reserved way of speaking. But inside, i contain a trace of passion that can never be found from other Shanghainese women, which might be an exaggeration, but it’s the truth. The time my dad left me, i was involved with tenacious struggle and inconsolable pain. I have to learn to conceal my feelings and respect myself. Nobody can depreciate me unless i do that to myself. That explains why I’m not a brilliant, inquisitive and fervent woman at the first sight. I might be kind of withdrawn due to some small issues like if i am not rocking a glorious evening gown as others at a party; or i would be quite gregarious with others if their cultural identity arouses my interest. I am at the either end of the extreme. That dint spark of passion brew in the most inner part of my heart may start a prairie fire. And that passion could be squeezed out from the fissures of everyday life, in the daily trivialities, like the golden dandelions growing out of the cracks in the wall, sneaking out where you least expect them.