Rotting Brains

By Bryan • china • 29 Nov 2006

Keeping one’s brain sharp while in China can be a challenge. Several factors combine to create what can only be a described as corrosive environment, hostile to brain activity, including enlargement and more importantly maintenence. There are those who would argue studying language is a form of brain activity, however, I counter this with the argument that within language learning, one isn’t learning anything new, just different sounds with which to express a thought or idea they already posess. Occupation as a English trainer does offers a simple English environment which while beneficial to the English learner is severly defferential for the established native speaker. Secondly, the absence of adequate publications limits reading and individual knowledge aquistion to internet sources which are . Most importantly, I believe is the scarcity of similar minded people willing to engage in meanigful and stimulating converstations. While the internet does provide a decent supply of articles (provided generously by an insider at SFU), digestion and analysis is restricted, as an important part of learning is discussion of what you have previously read. Furthermore, the competative atmosphere of a discussion will challenge you to cover your bases by thourougly reading all material and observing from different perspectives. I’m a lazy reader now. I scan through news articles without much thought or analysis…there just isn’t the incentive anymore. In the past I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of having weekly discussions, but such opportunities are rare, to say the least. The result is a diminished communication skills, both in writing and in speaking. I’ve looked back on items I had written previosuly before my entry into China, and find myself say “You know, I don’t think I would even be able to get into an undergrad progam now”. I believe my new motto is “China makes you stupid”.

I’m an intellectual snob and generally speaking, I’ve found the majority of English natives speakers I’ve met in Nanjing to experiencing severe brain decay. At one point, it was possible that these people once had something under the hood, but upon entering China, didn’t keep it sharp, choosing to instead spend the majority of time at bars drinking, recovering from drinking, and then telling stories about people nobody knows. Their brains are fried. Coversations with such individuals are usually limited to sexual conquests and the latest comedy video from Youtube. During these conversations, I’m forced to employ my Bullshit reduction formula ubs(.25)=t (where: ubs = units of bullshit and t = truth) thus causing a temporary increase in mathematical computations slightly reducing the rate of brain shrinkage.

*I’ve had to return to edit this three times….probably still some errors.

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5 Responses

  1. Fraser

    posess
    severly
    aquistion
    meanigful
    converstations
    competative
    thourougly
    “The result is a diminished communication skills”
    previosuly
    progam
    “of English natives speakers”

    You don’t have to post this, just so you can edit. Heh heh, I love your formula though.

  2. Bryan

    Further reinforcing my initial point :-P

  3. Fraser

    What point? Oh man…. I’m so wasted…….

    You should have seen these chicks… dude. dude. dude! They were SO hot.

  4. Lucinda

    I hear ya, Bryan…

  5. Alex B.

    China isn’t the only place where one can slowly go brain-dead. Here in the west we have so many facets of the entertainment industry at our fingertips that we could spend a lifetime watching movies, reading tabloid magazines, and bidding for the stars’ possessions on Ebay! It’s sad, man. I’m in a creative lull myself, and I believe the only way out is to read, think, learn, and concentrate.

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