Complete Biography of Shan Shan
Birthday: June 25, 1957
How I came to China...
Menopause was like having PMS for years without break, and my hormones bottomed out. I had no energy to work, and it was hard to walk up a flight of stairs. I felt like a has-been who had no hope of ever being happy again. I thought I should get a divorce on the grounds of I-didn't-like-who-I-had-become, but realized I didn't have the strength to be on my own. Thus, I had to get stronger to leave or to stay.
Hormone patches made me well enough to seek part-time employment, but after 100 applications and not one job offer, bored and frustrated, I clicked on an ad to teach English in China. "I'd love to do that," I thought, then realized, "I can't, I have a husband." However, I began wondering, "If I were to go, what would I have to do?"
Since I had been self-employed most of my life, I had no supervisors to write letters of recommendation. Who did I know who would endorse this idea? My two best friends wrote long letters, but they described the person I used to be. How had I become a shadow of myself? I decided I had to go to see if I could once again become that passionate girl who loved life.
It meant leaving everyone and everything I knew and loved. It meant leaving Santa Barbara, California, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and a home half-remodeled. I vacillated to the point of vomiting and a white doorway got as big as the sky. It said, "You are to go to China on a mission which will be revealed later." "Will I die there?" "No, you die when you go through the door. You are to follow it." Had it told me I would get a divorce, publish many books, teach teachers how to teach, head an international website, be on the radio and television and make my living traveling the world, I would have gone on medication.
Instead, it said I was to go to heal. And sure enough, I started a new career in a new country in a language I didn't speak, and thrived. No longer was it necessary to take pills for headaches, depression or digesting food. My colleagues were half my age, yet I had more energy than them. I fell in love with China, sold my furniture and car, and made it my home. Menopause suddenly seemed like a second chance at happiness.
绝经期就像是没有间断的经前综合症一样,我彻底没了荷尔蒙。我没有精力去工作, 连爬楼梯都变得很困难。我感觉曾经幸福的我却再也无望快乐起来了。因此, 我认为我应该离婚, 但我意识到我没有独自承受的勇气。因此, 我要么不得不变得更加坚强,要么选择留下。
激素药片足以使我感觉好一些,以寻求一些兼职工作,但是100份申请递出去了,却没有一个工作机会, 无聊和沮丧的我点击了一则去中国教英语的广告。“我很乐意去做这件事,”我想, 然后意识到,“我不能, 我有一个丈夫。”然而, 我开始想,“如果我要是去的话,我必须做些什么?”
因为我大半辈子都是自己做生意, 我没有可以写推荐信的领导。谁又会相信这一想法呢?我两个最好的朋友写了长长的信, 但他们描述的这个人是我的过去。我怎么成了自己的阴影了?我决定我要去看看,我能否再次成为热爱生命,充满激情的女孩。
这意味着我要离开我熟知和深爱的人们和环境。这意味着离开加州圣芭芭拉、世界上最美丽的城市之一,和一个装修一半的家。我犹豫矛盾到了呕吐得程度, 一扇白色的门变得大如天空。它说:“你去中国的使命将稍后揭示。”“我会死在中国吗?” “不, 你跨过这扇门的时候你会死去。你是要追随它。” 它要是告诉我,我将会离婚, 出版许多书籍, 教老师如何教学, 掌管一个国际网站, 出现在广播和电视里, 将周游世界, 我可能会觉得我疯了,该吃药了。
相反,它说我是要去疗伤。果然, 我在一个说不同语言的一个陌生国家开始了一个崭新的职业生涯, 并得以发展。没有必要再服用为治愈头痛、抑郁或消化食物的药了。我的同事们年龄都只有我一半大, 但我却比他们有更多的能量。我爱上了中国, 卖了我的家具和汽车、使中国成为了我的家。更年期似乎突然间成为了使我再次幸福的机会。
I was born to teach. Being around kids made me feel like a mom again. Yet their text books were not fun for children, so I started writing my own. I became as obsessed with teaching as they were studying. In three years, I taught over 4,000 ESL classes, often teaching Friday nights and Saturday mornings. And since there wasn't one picture hung in most classrooms, I begged my artists to go wild with color. Color invigorates our bodies, minds and souls.
But when a teen killed his mother for pushing him too hard, I was shaken. That this happened in my city, to a friend of one of my students, made it personal.
He was ranked 40th in his high school of 2000 students. But this wasn't good enough for his mother. She wanted him in the top 10, but he didn't think he could do any better. For already he didn't surf the internet, play computer games, watch television, listen to music, hang with friends, go to KTV, do sports, talk on the phone or read for fun. I'm not saying what he did was right, for it wasn't, but it seems something snapped.
He picked a week his father would be gone and killed her the first day. Then he played computer games, watched TV, went to friends' houses, listened to music, relaxed and had fun, and then went back to school, knowing the police would come as soon as his father came home. If he couldn't please her, it was like he gave himself one week of fun before becoming a permanent disgrace to his family.
By Chinese culture, children take care of their parents. The better the kid does, the better is the parent's retirement. There are actually laws how much money a child must give their parents and how often they must visit. So parents invest most of their money and hopes into this child, as though the child is their 401-K on two legs. Due to China's one-child policy, parents have one chance at being well-cared for. But too often, what seems like the kid's dream is actually their parents' dream.
Upon hearing of this boy's desperate act, I suddenly knew why I had been called to China. It was to make learning fun. Learning is faster and retained longer when it is enjoyed. In that moment, I vowed to dedicate my life to the children of China. To make learning English so much fun that the kids want to do it; and the results so dramatic, that the parents allow them to play fun games to do so.
Hugs to everyone who has crossed my path and made me who I am,
Kathryn Shan Shan
我生来就是教书的。孩子们的包围让我再次感觉像个妈妈。然而他们的教材书籍却并不是很有趣, 所以我开始编辑我自己的教材。我变得像他们迷恋学习一样迷恋起教学。在三年里, 我教授了超过4000节英语为第二语言的课,还经常在周五晚上和周六的早上授课。既然在大多数教室里没有悬挂一幅画, 我请求我的画作师在色彩上要大胆一些。因为色彩能够滋养我们的身心.
但是当一个青少年因为母亲对他要求太过严厉而杀害了他的母亲时,我震惊了。这发生在我的城市, 是我的一个学生的一个朋友, 这些使我的触动更加深刻了。
他在一所拥有2000名学生的高中排名第40位。但这对他的母亲来说还不够好。她希望他能进前10,但他认为自己已经尽力了。更不用提他不曾上网、玩电脑游戏、看电视、听音乐、交友、唱KTV、做运动、打电话或为消遣而阅读。我并不是说他所做的是正确的 ,因为不是, 但似乎他是崩溃了。
他选择了一个他父亲不在的星期, 第一天他就杀害了他的母亲。然后他玩起了电脑游戏、看了电视、去了朋友家、听了音乐、放松并且很开心,之后回到学校,知道当他的父亲回家时警察会来。既然他不能取悦于他的母亲, 那么就像在他家人眼中成为永久耻辱前, 他给了自己一个开心的一周。
在中国文化当中,孩子长大后要赡养他们的父母。孩子做的更好, 父母的晚年就会更好。实际上有法律规定,在一定情况下,子女需要给父母多少钱,要多久探望他们的父母一次。所以父母将他们大部分的钱和希望投入到自己的孩子身上, 仿佛这孩子就是他们养老的保险。由于中国的独生子女政策,父母在老年被赡养上只有一次机会。但常常, 哪会有孩子的梦想实际上和他们父母的梦想一样的呢。
当听到这个男孩的绝望之举时,我知道我为什么来到中国。就是让学习变得更加有趣。当快乐的学习时,学习一般会更快,记忆保留更长。在那一刻,我发誓要为中国的孩子们奉献一生。让英语学习如此有趣, 以至于孩子们能乐在其中;效果如此显著, 以至于父母支持他们玩这些有趣的游戏。