Role models is an ongoing series where a successful female role model is interviewed in order to inspire and motivate others who may wish to do the same.
Many groups were formed in the wake of COVID-19, as many of us looked to bond with others after our time in lockdown. Now, a year later, many of those groups are still going strong. Amongst them is the Xi’an Foreign Parents Community, a support and socialization group for families living in Xi’an. To better get to know this group, we talked to the founders, Gary Wood and Alex Rambaud, to see what this group is all about.
Have you ever regretted taking a job teaching English? Have you worked in different schools or companies? If you’re going to teach English here in China, what type of job fits you the best? Do you even like teaching? These are some important questions I will address in this article.
After just over four years in China, I’ve worked several different types of teaching jobs. They were different in pay, different in intensity, in different cities, had different objectives, different working hours, and I had different levels of satisfaction overall. However, sometimes I get the impression that English teaching all gets lumped into the same category. To start, let’s take a look at some common options for teaching jobs in China.
Towards the middle of April, Francis (F) and Jin (J) sat down for brunch with Marcella (M) and Gao Xia (G) on a fine Sunday with freshly baked biscuits, smoked salmon, and wine, to do a tandem interview about their work as professors in Xi’an.
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What is the Sunday Club?
Essentially, it’s a WeChat group that promotes social events and aims to present Xi’an as an inclusive and friendly city. The group is for like-minded international and local people who want to go out, make friends at events and pursue their interests. We showcase a wide variety of events, from DJ and music parties, to board game evenings, comedy nights, creative writing meetings, art exhibitions, cinema screenings and anything else that brings people together.
There is a saying that if you ate a different Chinese dish every day of your life, you would not be able to eat every dish over an entire life time. While Chinese cuisine can be a vast and complicated subject, generally there are eight major cuisines, with a four of those considered to be the ‘Great Traditions’ recognized as the best of the best, and also meant to represent the best of the North, South, East, and West. Most people will be familiar with Chuan, the food from Shaanxi’s neighboring province of Sichuan, as well as Yue, the food of Guangdong, commonly referred to as Cantonese cuisine.
The anime community in Xi’an has gained a new hotspot recently. Indeed, it is none other than the Xi’an Anime Club, founded by our beloved Jason Rogers.
Mr. Jason Rogers comes from Maryland, USA. Amongst the sea of cartoon media during his childhood, anime was quintessential. Indeed, many of us started watching anime because of 4Kids and Toonami’s localized versions. To the young Jason, anime wasn’t too different from other cartoons, including his first anime, Pokémon, and his longest anime companion, One Piece. However, after learning about the differences between American cartoons and Japanese anime, Jason started to understand this form of media even more, which brought him to his first “adult” anime, Cowboy Bebop.
People express their creativity in many ways, often through arts, crafts, or other artistic venture. However, it can be difficult at times to find the necessary supplies, tools, or space to practice your craft. And while Taobao is always an option for purchasing materials, many like to get a feel for the materials and their quality before buying. Not to mention that it is not always practical to buy expensive tools to cram into your apartment.
Luckily, in recent years entrepreneurial-minded artists have created spaces to resolve just these sorts of problems. From leather-crafting to pottery wheels, if there is an artistic passion that you would like to pursue, then these places are perfect for you. In addition, they can help you discover other who enjoy the same activities as you, offering an environment in which you can share and learn from others.
Some of these places even offer classes or other types of instruction, usually in Chinese, so even if you are a beginner, you can easily get started on the path to being more creative.
The choice to awaken and explore ones artistic side can be a doubtful, sometimes self-skeptical but exciting experience. With an iPad and technical pen beneath my palm, it was a year and a half ago when I attempted my first sketch line over an 11-inch digital screen protected by a matte cover. A couple of months later and countless flights down the rabbit hole of free online tutorial classes, I found myself exploring the textures of digital watercolor brushes on moody facial expressions as portraits. Later, the events of lockdowns and self isolation of 2020 hit hard and the emotional effects of extended solitude ignited a desire to attempt breaking into traditional watercolors.
There are a wide range of available paint mediums spanning between traditional and digital art styles and it has been recently debated whether the enhancements in technology and mobile devices have encouraged or hindered the practice of art and growth in the art community. Scrolling through social media, there was a public forum comment that triggered me, “Everyone thinks they’re an artist when they have an iPad.” Centred around the idea that the rapid evolution in new digital and paining drawing applications, technology has improved the ease of use and learning experience when it comes to teaching ones self sketching skills through previously considered taboo practices like tracing and have further blurred the line between artists opinions on respecting an art style and appreciating it.
Xi’an as a city where ancient wisdom meets modernity, and where tradition coexists with the vogue. It is fantastic for photography. Whether you are a professional photographer with all the lenses and gear or an amateur photographer with only your phone as equipment, there are many good places to take photos. Whether you enjoy landscape photography or photographing interesting people, the diverse landscape of Xi’an has something to offer.
As an amateur photographer myself, I would like to introduce you to some of these good places in Xi’an with example photos taken with my phone. I hope these suggestions will be helpful for your photography.