I was asked by a student, to submit an article for the Shanghai Finance University’s Economics journal. This article was to be part of the “English Corner” Section of the Journal. My only guidelines were that the title of teh section was to be “Wonderful Time”. I had no clue what to write about and had a two day deadline. But… Ty luh da kids… lol… Following is what was published…
Article written December 11th, 2006
Greetings, Students of Shanghai Finance University (SFU):
M y name is Tyree Powell; a foreign English teacher here at SFU. First of all I would like to congratulate the editors of this economics newspaper on their first edition. It is my pleasure to be a contributing writer in the first edition of your Economics Journal. I am deeply honored to have been asked to be a part of this publication.
A little about myself… I am from the United States ; Philadelphia , Pennsylvania to be exact. I graduated from Towson University (www.towson.edu), located near Baltimore , Maryland , with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Electronic Business. During my college years, I was active in Athletics, president of a campus organization and also involved in other extra-curricular activities.
In keeping with the title of this article, I’ll tell you a little about my Wonderful Time here in Shanghai , China . From the moment I stepped off the airplane, my experience has been very exciting. Along with being interesting, it is also very educational to be able to experience another culture firsthand. I am able to learn about Chinese culture while teaching my own. This will truly be a time in my life that I will never forget.
Before my decision to come to Shanghai , I knew very little about China . Among the things I knew were that Chinese use chopsticks to eat, the Great Wall is here, and that most products in America are made here in China . When I found out that I would have the opportunity to teach at SFU, I immediately went to the internet to start doing research on where I would be spending the next year of my life. I also spoke with some Chinese students at my university, who helped me begin to learn the language.
After a few weeks of sightseeing and becoming acclimated to my new home here in Shanghai , I finally was able to visit Shanghai Finance University ‘s campus. As I stepped off the bus, I said to myself, “A river throughout the University’s campus? Wow!” Immediately, I was impressed and became even more eager to meet the students and begin teaching. Starting with my first class, where I was asked to sing “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly (which by the way, was the first time I sang by myself, in front of people I didn’t know in my life), I have been having a Wonderful Time here at SFU.
I enjoy teaching at SFU. It is fun to be around such enthusiastic students who are eager to excel in a foreign language. You all give me motivation in my study of the Mandarin language. ???? !!! (xie xie ni men!!!) My family, my friends back in the U.S. , and I still find it amazing that I teach a foreign language class, while using the foreign language 100%. I truly admire you guys.
I have been in Shanghai for about 4 months. I am learning the language, the city, and some of the local customs. Although I am becoming more comfortable being here in China , I still feel like a tourist every time I walk out of my apartment. Because of this, I am very observant of a lot of things that I see and that happen around me. Being interested in business and having studied different aspects of business in college has helped me to appreciate the endless examples of economic growth in this city.
Although the amount of construction makes travel within Shanghai ridiculous at times, it exciting to live here. In the short time that I have lived here, I have seen 6 new businesses open within walking distance from my apartment. The grand openings ceremonies are a bit noisy from the firecrackers to the marching bands. But on the other hand, as I one day hope to run a business of my own, it is encouraging and educational to see businesses grow in another country.
It is my opinion that for those students who are seriously interested in Finance, Economics, or any other aspect of business, Shanghai is a great place to be to study. Because if you look around you are in that atmosphere everywhere you go. On min xue lu, while you and I buy things at existing stores and shops almost daily, others are still being built. Also within few kilometers of campus there are numerous international companies including Panasonic, General Motors, and Kyocera that have offices and factories.
Because of the business opportunities in Shanghai , many foreigners are attracted to this city. I am amazed by the number of people I have met from many different countries throughout the world who are living and working here in Shanghai . Some of most surprising countries include, The Netherlands, Switzerland , Iceland , Botswana , Lebanon , and The Bahamas. One thing those people from those different countries have in common is that they all are fluent in English.
With many graduating college students being worried about their chances of finding a good job, I suggest that you take full advantage of your school (Shanghai Finance University), the environment (Shanghai, foreigners, English speakers, fast paced business) and technology (the internet, a world of information) to learn as much as possible in order to become more competitive when its time for you to find a job. Most companies will consider it an advantage if you are able to communicate effectively in English as well as Chinese.
In Conclusion, I encourage you to take advantage of your surroundings, and to also continue to work hard to improve your English skills. I know sometimes it can be frustrating, but remember practice, practice, practice!!! Practice makes perfect. And if you ever feel unconfident in your English abilities, here’s a secret that should cheer you up. You guys are well ahead of about 95% of college age Americans in your knowledge of foreign languages. So do not get discouraged, use it to your advantage and work harder!
Good luck in your studies for the remainder of the semester! I wish you all well on your finals!
If any of you would like to contact me please visit my website at www.ctyreepowell.com and use the link labeled email.
Pomelo Lu: Tyree Powell is our nice foreign teacher. I thank you very much for your wonderful article! Happy New Year and Best wishes for you!