Just Another Mangkhut Monday

Before the typhoon, talking to the Chinese teachers who live below us:

Me: Nina, what if your room floods?

Nina: it won’t, I’ve never seen that happen

Me: we’re going to the market to get flashlights in case the power goes out

Jonna: no need, I’ve been through many typhoons and the power has never gone out.

During the typhoon:

The first floor (where Nina’s room is) floods knee deep, AND the power goes out, taking the WiFi with it. Smh.

Local time is 11am on Monday and outside is calm, cloudy, and a little rainy and windy; the only evidence that a storm passed through here this weekend is all the leaves and fallen branches in the street.

Well, that, and the insane heat that we’re all dying of thanks to the A/C going out with the power.

Somewhere in the not-too-distant distance, a rooster caws, just like he has been since SIX IN THE MORNING.

We live on the third floor of a house which sucks when heat rises and we have to climb up all the stairs while we’re all already dripping with sweat, but is pretty nice when all our stuff doesn’t get ruined by typhoon flooding.

Also I just hit myself in the face trying to fan myself with a plastic slate, so that’s probably the most dangerous part of this storm for me.

Our living quarters are pretty cramped, so we all kinda hung out on our beds for the weekend, which wasn’t the /most/ fun I’ve ever had, but it’s pretty close.

On Saturday night we asked Alice to order pizza for us (like call and order because we don’t speak Chinese), (don’t worry the storm hadn’t started yet) and instead they went to Pizza Hut for us and got us a stuffed crust pineapple pizza and you know what??? It didn’t suck. But the cost was equal to more US dollars than I would typically spend on a pizza. Oh the sacrifices. But it was an excellent pre-typhoon meal.

Before the storm, I had to call and talk to the ILP office about a bunch of precautionary things and something they said was to stay away from windows.

Uhhh…there is not a possible way we could have stayed away from windows. In our rooms? Giant windows. Bathroom? Windows. In the hallway? Sliding glass door. The landing between the first and second floor? Giant old window that won’t even close.

Then I went down to see Alice and Jonna and they were just chillin with their windows open during the whole storm, like no big deal.

These people have too much chill during typhoons.

Last night when the power was out, we lit some candles and played some card games. We joked that it looked like a sacrificing ritual.

Then Alice went to the neighbor’s house to make enough noodles to feed the whole house. Yknow, while the first floor and area outside the house was flooded knee-deep. Priorities: in China, it’s noodles.

Anyway, typhoons work hard but the Chinese work harder. We are alive, safe, and the AC just came back on so #blessed.

Note: Typhoon Mangkhut was the biggest storm to hit China in the past few decades. It was a category 5 storm and it hit Hong Kong pretty close and then proceeded to Zhongshan (Guangdong province) where it downgraded to a lesser storm after hitting the coast and coming more inland. Here is a photo of it in relation to hurricane Florence.

Read more at: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/china-typhoon-mangkhut-floods-rain-guangdong-10727500

The Chiner Things In Life

Super Typhoon Mangkhut has officially stepped into Zhongshan and I am -losing it.-

Pretty excited, pretty apprehensive, mostly just ~really curious to experience this type of storm. It’s about as strong as hurricane Florence buuuut I think it lost power after tearing up the Philippines? But also I’ve heard a lot of conflicting information so I don’t know. Storms are unpredictable, just like my hair in humidity.

So China has been actually pretty cool? The humidity is melting me and so I looked up humidity in comparison to the Netherlands (where I lived for a year and a half) and this humidity here is 93% while there it is 100% and I honestly don’t know how I survived it. I step outside and it’s a baptism of my own sweat every day. Air conditioners are China’s greatest invention. (Actually idk who invented it but China seems like a safe bet.)

So many things to update so let’s BEGIN.

When The Saints Go Marching In

Going to church on Sunday’s is an all day experience. They pick us up at 6am, we go to other schools in the Zhongshan area to pick them up, and then we trek over to Shenzhen where the branch meets at 10am. (Idk if you can math, but that is 4 hours one way on a bus.)

It costs about 10-15 bucks depending on how many come and split the bus cost. When they drop out last minute and make the price go up, it gives me very unchristlike feelings. Which is unfortunate for a sabbath. Especially when 8 of those sabbath hours are spent ON A BUS.

The first week, it was pouring and the streets were flooding and watching them try to drive when the roads are flooding is hilarious. I have pictures but they don’t do it justice.

The church building is just a house that was repurposed as a church and I thought someone very dedicated lived there and was and I was impressed. Turns out I have been fooled.

It’s a foreign branch, so most the members are American. However, it’s not because of what you think! A FALSE myth that people believe is that Chinese people do not have freedom of religion. But they do! There are several Chinese branches with Chinese leadership that operate in mainland China. However, they are not allowed to practice with foreigners. I’m not super sure why, but they are pretty strict about it. We’re not allowed to discuss religion, but we can tell Chinese people that we go to church and that’s about it.

Teacher’s Day

So the Chinese are really into teacher’s day which is -sweet- because they took us out to the crazy restaurant with all the Chinese teachers and served us goose.

Like, all the parts of the goose. The feet, the meat, and the BLOOD.

It was this squishy gray stuff and I should not have asked what it was because I was not prepared to hear it. I died a little inside as I watched the other teachers try it.

Then one of our cooks is named Mikey and he was out with us and the girls are girls so they were talking to the girl (Chinese) teachers trying to set him up with someone and so adaline went to ask him how old he is, because, well, that’s important for set ups, right? And seriously everybody got SO weird about it and thought she was interested in him. Even with a language barrier, we could feel the maturity of that room become so high school. So don’t ask Chinese men their age if you’re not interested ok?

It was actually hilarious though so no regrets. Though I’m sure adaline might have some…

(Mikey is on the…(second guesses my knowledge of right and left)… right?? He’s the younger one)

We took this pretty sweet bus there and back and on the way back we were just bonding with the Chinese teachers by belting Lady Gaga songs and if that ain’t the right way to celebrate teacher’s day, I’m content doin it the wrong way.

The British Are Coming

Actually they already came but I like the headline so I’m using it. Nina told us that we were going to have to share our office with three more English teachers who will be teaching at the school sometimes. Two of them are from the UK and at first I was miffed because hello? They talk funny and say things like “rubbish”? Also I was miffed because hello? Aren’t the seven of us good enough for you?

But then I met the UK teachers and they’re really sweet and so I have no qualms. However, I was caught off guard the first time I talked to her and all she said was “cheers” when I told her I’d leave the door open for her. Tally ho, lassie.

“I Have People That I Know In China” -DJ Trump

Alice and Jonna, two of the Chinese teachers who live below us, took us to the mall in the next city over and took us to these amazing restaurants where they had Chinese pizza (like it’s not worthy to be called pizza but it’s still good) and spicy green beans. I love that everything is spicy here. I’m livin for it. But I am NOT livin for them only serving boiling hot water in tiny fetchin cups. I’m also not living for the body getting used to different foods while you’re options for toilets are mostly squatters.

She also said she’d take us to this donut shop and showed us pictures of how good they looked and taught us how to say donut in Chinese and then…. we couldn’t find the donuts 😦 so the next night, they brought us a box of donut magnets and a sweet note and I could have cried it was so sweet. Also I thought they were real donuts and I almost shoved one in my face until they said we can’t eat them.

Show me someone who doesn’t think that’s the sweetest thing and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t have a heart. Or a donut magnet.

On our way to the bus stop, there was a man who tapped my shoulder and wanted to sell me a bird. He had quite the selection but I’m honestly concerned at how he got these animals and why he was walking through the streets with a cart selling them to Americans.

“Hm, this person is clearly a tourist and doesn’t speak my language, she must need a bird to complete her China experience”

And now its time for the best segment of Heckfest in China: engrish

And we found LOT at the bookstores and stores. Enjoy:

a STUDENT was wearing the shirt that said “trashy”

Wow.

Some other interesting things:

We take a cooking class with our boi Jim (the cook) and we made Chinese cookies this week! They were pretty dang good.

Nina has been teaching us Chinese classes and today we learned how to count. We took a DiDi to the store today (Chinese version of Uber) and thought we’d impress the driver by counting out what we owed him in Chinese. We got to three before he got impatient and just said “okokokokok”

And lastly we have successfully completely two(ish) weeks of teaching! My favorite quote about the kids so far

Someone: how is arts and crafts with the juniors? How does that’s work?

Rachel: well, Elwin started eating the beads…

I promise to update more frequently: the next post following up with 1. if we are still alive and 2. an exclusive interview with Elwin on the taste of beads.

People Say I Don’t Like China; I Love China

If you understand the title reference, I’m pretty proud. If not, I’m pretty sure most of my blog titles while in China are going to be directly from DJ Trump’s mouth because I think its peak humor, so you should watch the link I have in my “When Jesus Takes the Wheel” post.

The longest nonstop flight I’ve ever taken was ten hours: Frankfurt to Denver on my way home from Russia. This flight was sixteen hours! Dallas to Hong Kong! We were fed three meals and the strangest thing by far was the plastic, tinfoil topped water cup. Like bagged milk is whatever, but Canada what the fetch?

I was briefly completely content with going down in the Pacific Ocean (arctic?) but then the seat next to me was unoccupied and so I reconsidered my will to live and now I’m in China so re-evaluation might be on the agenda.

Just kidding, I’m diggin it. China isn’t really as wild as I thought it would be and thankfully our house has toilets, not squatters, so #blessed. But is is beautiful! It is SO green and the buildings are so cool. Some are really similar to western architecture, but some are just really unique. I flew into Hong Kong and was really surprised when it was cloudy and rainy outside at 78 degrees. That’s not something I’ve ever experienced 😂 I was really excited to be off the plane and really excited to be in Hong Kong (!!!!!) so I took a picture with my visa and instagrammed it and the ONLY PERSON with the nerve to tell me that it was my Russian visa that I took a picture with was my Russian host mom. So all you other people who liked that photo? Fake.

Anyway I was embarrassed for a solid three hours after she told me that and then I posted a pic with my Chinese visa to make up for it and now weird people are following me like should I probably not have posted an official document like that on the internet? Maybe? Hm natural selection probably should’ve weeded me out by now.

Anyway, the rain in the Guangdong Province, specifically Zhongshan (where we are), is inSANE. So the flights in were delayed/cancelled and I got into the airport at 10pm (only an hour after I was supposed to), waited until one of my girls got in, waited until a bunch of other teachers for other schools got in, and then took a bus ride (that Nina (our coordinator) SAID would be two hours (it was 4) to our apartment and settled in/waited for the others to come. Most the group got stranded in Beijing because of a cancelled flight. I was a little bummed because I brought a hot pink poster board to make a welcome sign for them and then I didn’t even get to make it. Also not bummed because I definitely got the room with the good WiFi. (pic from our balcony)

We live in a house with 25 Chinese teachers, but we never really have to see them because we’re on the third floor and they are all on the first two floors. We have two rooms (three of us in one room, four in the other) (bunk bed life, holla) and each room has a bathroom. The air conditioning is arguably the best thing about the rooms… my word it’s hot and muggy here.

So some things that have happened so far:

The bus ride home was so crazy because we kept having to turn around when roads were too flooded to drive down. Also, at one point, the bus driver just casually stopped in the middle of the road, put the bus in park, and got up to kill the bee that was buzzing around in there. What a guy. (Pls do not be triggered by the man killing the bee. He was just trying to help Nina who was scurred. I’m not sure which type of bee it was but hopefully it has a rich posterity.)

We also passed four people on a motorcycle so wow. To be that small.

We went to get lunch at this noodle place and it was basically Pho. Pretty good. I got the kind with chicken and as it turns out, I am the chicken, because it had bones and skin on it and so I stayed away and only ate the noodles. I can tell you I do not plan on being adventurous with the foods I try here. Sorry to disappoint.

Today we went to lunch at this really awesome place! There were a ton of paper lanterns all over the trees in the parking lot and hanging from the roof.

They had this glass rotating platform on top of the table and they just put everything on there and then you just order a bunch of food to share and then rotate it around instead of passing the food. First of all: genius. Second of all: delicious. There was rice, noodles, this porridge stuff that had a super strange texture but tasted like chicken noodle soup, four different kinds of rolls with different things stuffed in them, dumplings, pork, rice paper. Oh and for breakfast we had rolls stuffed with creamed red beans and it was sweet and weird but mostly pretty dang good. I am really loving the Chinese bread. Huge fan.

We went to see our school and it is gorgeous! Except they just sprayed for roaches so there are a bunch of dead ones around. Better dead than alive?

It’s mainly open to the outdoors except for the classrooms and offices. Each room has a name and then says “is managed by _name_” and on the office that is mine (I have an office whoa) it says “is managed by Rachel.” So Rachel thought she was pretty cool because “Rachel” was like “in charge” of my office so I said “I’m pretty sure that means that’s the person who cleans it and fixes stuff in it” and she disagreed so I asked Nina and guess who was right?? I’m pretty sure Rachel doesn’t wanna “manage” my office anymore.

We then had a meeting where Nina showed us a PowerPoint that some other ILP China English school made and it was riddled with errors (like “notice your coordinator if…” instead of “notify”) and so I told her I had an English degree (getting at: I would love to help edit it) and she *very* sarcastically exclaimed “wow,” complete with her hand to her chest and a shocked expression. Savage, Nina. I’ll just let the next groups laugh at this presentation.

This was the favorite slide. It meant to say “when you are here, we are sad when it is messy,” but you can see what it looked like…

(Note: Nina is actually so fun and sweet and hilarious and I wouldn’t change a thing about her.)

It is 6:57pm as I write this from our balcony and it is already dark. That’s the consequence of China spanning 5 time zones and accepting only one of them. On this line of longitude in Australia, I’m pretty sure it’s like 10pm.

*

*

*

Hi I just checked and in Perth it is the same time. How??? Ugh.

So sometimes it can be hard traveling but I’m learning to find pros for every con.

Con: the air smells funny here

Pro: there is air to breathe

Con: the WiFi doesn’t work super well

Pro: more time to be here, now, not worrying about what’s going on elsewhere

Con: it’s raining a lot

Pro: more ~~moisture~~ to thank the good lord for.

Here are some airport engrish translations that are pretty good:

So this isn’t actually engrish so much as I’m an idiot and forgot stowage is a word so I’m reading it as “storage” with a lisp.

hm yeah so like I’d really like to use an enabled toilet if we could arrange that… just a preference

Automated people mover. I thought that meant the treadmill walking things but now I’m looking at that picture and uh. Is it a train? So many automated things move people, yknow? Also not even I know the word for that treadmill walking thing so maybe I’m the idiot here because automated people mover is pretty good?

And idk what’s in the caring corner but it seems a little weird to put in an airport? But idk I think I could probably use one right now. And I definitely could’ve used one after traveling for like 30 hours.

I should’ve hit that place up.

Anyway. I’m in China!!!!!! Freakin yikes my dudes.

One Week

I have about two jokes in my arsenal: (confession, I don’t really know what an arsenal is but it makes me a little uncomfortable that it has the word arse in it??) (also I just looked it up and apparently it means a collection of weapons. So…because these jokes are not dangerous, I guess I have no joke arsenal.)

Anyway, I’ve been telling the same joke since a girl in my Junior Girl Scout troop blessed me with it. And now I’ll pay it forward:

Q: Why did the baby cross the road?

A: To get the Chinese newspaper. Do you get it?

(This is the part where some people laugh and pretend to get it because they don’t want to look dumb and it’s sad because they definitely look pretty dumb.)

Punchline: The person is supposed to say “no,” at which point, I say, “neither do I, I get the Denver Post”

Hahahahaha right? Isn’t that hilarious? Is it hilariously dangerous enough for an arsenal?

Anyway, I’m about to GO TO CHINA where I will DEFINITELY get it (the Chinese newspaper, of course). So that’s cool.

So yeah, in a week, I’ll be catching a flight to Dallas where I’ll catch a flight to Hong Kong (!!!!!!!) where I’ll catch a flight to Changzhou, where I’ll catch a bus to Zhongshan, where I will be LIVING FOR FOUR MONTHS.

Last week I had four (4) days of training and the best part was that they catered Panda Express for lunch one day. Seriously gonna miss that orange chicken.

We learned that we’ll be living in a three story apartment with 25 Chinese teachers who teach at the school with us! well also be sharing a home with cockroaches and mosquitos so… ~adventure~ is~ calling~~~

Don’t you love how you can look at a really unpleasant sounding situation, and then just turn it around by calling it an adventure? Like… squatter toilets? ~adventure~ sharing a fridge between 30+ people? ~adventure~ standing for 25 hours on a train so you can get the cheapest transportation to the other side of the country?? ~~~~~adventure~~~~~~

So anyway. I’m remembering the two Chinese girls I taught on my (lds) mission and they were the some of the sweetest people I came across in the Netherlands. One of them, Sara, made us “dessert” one time and, I kid you not, it was like… vegetable soup. And then when we said we don’t drink tea, only herbal tea, she looked surprised and said “wow you are so healthy!” As I’m sitting right in front of her, approximately 2.5 times the size of her, thinking that dessert is not actually vegetable soup. Yes. Healthy.

Anyway, they told us about 16 times in training not to “Netflix our semester away” because that’s always my first thought in a foreign country. Netflix.

Anyway, if you have any tips for dealing with cockroaches, mosquitos, annoying (American) bunk mates (you know who you are) or vegetable soup disguised as dessert, hit. me. up.

Otherwise, I’ll check ya later from China.

✌️

When Jesus Takes The Wheel

So I was waiting until I got my official assignment/until I took a worthy enough picture to announce that I am —

Going to China!

I leave August 28 and will come back December 17.

You might be thinking “Tyf? Why? You just graduated, shouldn’t you get a big kid job and stop avoiding your inevitable life of adulthood and doom?”

And see, I would do that, but I figured I could just as easily be an adult and doomed in China.

Ok actually this is how it all went down. A few years ago, I went to teach English with this program called the International Language Program in Russia. It was tight. I met some pretty chill Americans in my group and someone who I am ~convinced~ is the coolest Russian woman in all the world (she was my host mom. Holla. Ira, if you’re reading this, what’s crack in the hood, homie?)

Anyway, I really liked being a teacher–my students were like 12 and so awesome– and we got to travel all through Russia. And the deal with this program is you pay a fee to go volunteer and then if you go again as a head teacher, you don’t have to pay. Legit right?

So I was going to do it last year, but I backed out because of some reasons…. Then, this year, that program (ILP) was having an info meeting where they gave out free food (they really know their audience) and I convinced my roommate to come. I had previously talked to her about it and I was like “oh hey, she’s been wanting to go to this food place, I’ve been telling her about his program, I should take her to the meeting.”

So then I somehow ended up really pumping her up about how we should do the program together and unexpectedly, she signed up. So then I was like “uhhh….I guess I can’t make her do it alone…” she’s like this 18 y/o who’s never been out of Utah/Idaho (and if she could say something here she’d say “excuse me, I’ve been to Canada AND Mexico,” so my mistake, she’s a seasoned traveler. She just doesn’t know which continent Mexico belongs to…)

So I was like “Jesus take the wheel” and applied for head teacher.

And what do you know, Jesus is driving (flying?) us to Zhongshan.

Well I wish this post was funnier but believe you, me. There are some funny stories/translations/sights ahead. Right now the funniest thing I can think of in this topic is the YouTube video of Trump saying China over and over. Here, enjoy:

Trump Says China

HaCkEd LoL🤪

Ok so pardon the high school headline, but I had the most bizarre encounter with a hacker (blackmailer?) this past week and I think it’s SO. FUNNY.

So what happened is this: a few months ago, I wanted to watch Guardians of the Galaxy. I’d never seen it, the second one was on Netflix, taunting me, and so I did a very unchristian thing and *drumroll* Google’d where to watch it online for free.

Now of course I knew this would give me viruses, but I /really/ wanted to watch this movie. And I was getting a new laptop anyway, so what gives? I ended up finding a site fairly easily, but of course it came with unpleasant features, like stupid ads and even pornographic pop-ups (yikes).

Anyway, those things went away and I watched the movie. (Not even worth it, dude. I had so much more faith in a Chris Pratt movie).

Anyway, fast forward to like last week. I get this email

Keep in mind, she started the email by saying “this is your email and password” so like… I was a little freaked.

But let’s go through this piece by piece. “You visited this website to experience a little fun (you know what I mean)” like watch a movie illegally? Is that what you mean? Bc yea and it wasn’t even fun, thanks for the reminder.

“Next I made a double-screen video. First part shows the video you were watching (you have nice taste lmao)” well I’m glad you think so because I wasn’t that impressed. Looks like she’s a GotG fan.

“And the next part shows the recording of your web camera, and it’s you” ok cool 2 things: 1. You’ve… never met/seen me so how can you like… know that it’s me? And 2. Is it just like me, in my dark room, my hand pressed against my face to prop it up, just illuminated by the light from my laptop? Because not only is that dull, lifeless expression very attractive, I’m sure it’s also very exciting to watch.

“should you be in an important relationship, precisely how will it certainly affect?” I also wonder how precisely it would certainly affect. If only there was a simpler way to word that.

“I will certainly send out the video recording to your 14 friends” ok my fourteen friends? Like… who said I had 14 friends? Does she think my contact list only has 14 people? Which 14 friends???

“We will regard it as a donation” ok but why can’t we just call it blackmail like it is

“you will go on with normal life like this never took place” but why would I do that when I could blog about it I mean this is exciting material

“I have dealt with my moves” …have you? Really? What does that even mean.

“I only want to be rewarded” ok but for lying or for hacking or for speaking English in a really confusing way like I need clarity on what behavior you want me to reward

(I’d just like to say that I think people who try to speak English (as a second language) are troopers and most of the time extremely impressive for learning it. I try not to make fun of non-native speakers because I know it’s hard for them and speaking more than one language is a huge accomplishment. But if you’re using that to try and blackmail and exploit people for money? Sorry. Sympathy and support is gone. I’m not about that. If you use your knowledge/power to intentionally make others suffer, I’m not playing nice either.)

So anyway, when I got this email, I was a little freaked because she knew my main password. So I told my mom and a couple of my friends about it to talk it through and realize that it’s ridiculous. But then I also had to think: “????? I want to see this video????” Like I know if there was a video sent out, probably nobody would open it because of viruses, but I was so curious?? I’d definitely watch a recording of my facial reactions to that movie.

Anyway. Nobody I know got a video, unfortunately. But the funniest part of it was that she threatened to send a (nonexistent) video out to my contacts when she had the password to my online banking??? Like she could have done some real damage instead of make stuff up. What a phony.

And the next funniest part is:

“You will make this payment via bitcoin”

I watched an explanation and apparently one bitcoin is worth like $19000 (or was in dec. 2017, I just looked it up and now it’s worth $8,200) and I know you can buy like half a bitcoin and a fourth of bitcoin, but I would rather the ENTIRE WORLD think I watched porn than pay someone ANY amount of bitcoins.

Anyway, illegally streaming movies = bad idea. Now you know.

Saturday the 14th

Yeah so this was supposed to be posted yesterday because I had a plan but then instead I went to the reservoir with my nephews and nieces and spent the whole time trying to make sure the baby didn’t eat sand.

Mission failed, by the way.

But it was Friday the 13th yesterday which means absolutely nothing except for the fact that the last time it was Friday the 13th, I was graduating from college. And I haven’t posted an update in almost two months. So what have I been doing?

Truthfully, the other night I was eating a brownie in bed and it broke apart and the main piece fell into the sound hole of my guitar, so that’s kind of your basic picture of a post grad Tyffani in her true form.

But for real, I’ve been a little embarrassed about my life because the plans I made kind of fell through after I boasted of them and I didn’t wanna be like “jk dudes I’m a failure,” so I just waited until I wasn’t anymore. Which still hasn’t happened. But I’m fine with it now.

So how are my gigs going? If I had two more ounces of motivation, I would say gREAT. But I don’t have those two ounces, so it’s kind of like… alright. Let’s review piece by piece, shall we?

The gig about resume writing? I did a test resume and apparently that one sucked and the guy said I could try again and then never contacted me again so…radical, dude.

The VIPkid? Well I did like 6 interviews and then they were like “rofl we don’t want you” and I was upset and then I was relieved because they were pretty uppity? Like they care about too much that doesn’t matter? So I applied other places and got hired at this other platform but I turned them down because they seemed a little too uppity as well. So now I’m just waiting to be contacted by a company that ~deserves~ me. (Or a company that lets me slack, idk)

Uhh… Door Dash. So I honestly thought this was going to have interesting stories attached to it but it’s really just me, in my car, screaming. Sometimes there’s food in the seat next to me. I guess one time I did a Wal-Mart delivery to a blind man and that was an experience because I couldn’t enter his house… so I just had to like hand him his giant order at the door step…sliding the bag handles up his arm. Pretty weird. It pays pretty dang well at peak time, though. That’s a real deal.

Tutoring is where I get most of my work. I have three students (I guess two now because I just finished up with one) and I teach reading and math to elementary and middle schoolers. It’s actually really fun? Except one kid lives out in the middle of freakin nowhere and I take this insane dirt road that ate through my brand new tire this week so I’m a little bitter. Some nice truckers stopped to help me replace the tire with a spare and it was nice but I could have done it on my own because I am strong and independent (just so you know).

Remember the ukulele teacher thing? Well I’m on their sub list, so they’ll call me to sub sometimes for music lessons (guitar, uke, voice, piano) and I really enjoy it, but sometimes they give me things idk how to teach. Like piano? I can hardly play it? But I have learned how to fake it like a pro because the lessons are 30 minutes long and I am way better than the 10 year olds they throw at me. However, this week they gave me two voice students, and voice lessons are an hour long, and I was in choir for a long time but idk how to teach voice???????? My mind went completely blank and I had to search vocal warm ups on YouTube. Then I basically just sat there while they did a concert for me? Because all I know to comment on is breath support? Yikes so I need to learn more about the voice for next time.

If I had anything else going, you can assume it didn’t work out. Um. Yeah.

Other stuff that’s happened:

Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour. All the awards. Including the one where I killed my feet because I wore heels and stood the whole time. Then I made a fan account on Twitter because I’m trash and now all I ever talk about is Taylor Swift and I am an embarrassment. Luckily I only ever talk to my family these days bc anyone else would be annoyed.

Twitter is also the place I document my every breath so it’s fun. If you wanna follow, check me at the following link. My @ is pretty self-explanatory.

https://mobile.twitter.com/TyffaniHoff

Select threads revolve around my dating life, actually, which let me tell you has been really pathetic and underwhelming. I actually thought I’d get a dating profile on an app and since Mutual (the Mormon one) is a joke in areas outside of Utah/Idaho, I went with Bumble because, uh, I don’t know it sounded a lot less sketchy than Tinder. So anyway, it’s like really fun and all until you actually end up talking to the other person and the conversation is like “how r u” “good how r u” “good” “oh good lol” and you realize you’d rather die alone than ever have to answer that question again.

Bumble is also unique because the girl always has to (gets to?) be the one to message first. So I ran out of good openers pretty quickly so I started just sending memes. Honestly, I would be thrilled to get a meme, but many of them did not seem to enjoy. So I had to change my bio to “if you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my memes.” But then you get the dudes who don’t read the bios??? U n m a t c h.

(Fun fact that meme with the options on convo topics prompted a really cool convo on serial killer facts but then I didn’t know where to go from there so I just let it die.)

I’ve always been super against dating apps because I believe they are full of shallow people/ they make people shallow, and I’m not really interested in that. Now that I’ve participated in the online dating game, I gotta say my opinion hasn’t really changed. For example, in real life, a guy is a dog person, and I’m like–I can live with that. Online, they put on their profile that dogs are better than cats? Hard swipe left. A guy quotes The Office in real life? Ok, whatever. On his dating profile? Must be a tool. 🤷‍♀️ I don’t make the rules. But winners look like this:

I don’t understand how it works for some people, it was fun for like 3 days and then it seemed like a chore. But I had to keep it up because my, like, 3 twitter followers were invested in my bumbleboy swiping saga and I couldn’t let them down.

Bumbleboy Bios thread

https://mobile.twitter.com/TyffaniHoff/status/1000710963627151361

Memes and Responses thread

https://mobile.twitter.com/TyffaniHoff/status/1003418147771289600

Oh and then I actually did get asked out in real life at the gym one night (because I’ve never looked better than after I sweat for an hour) and that was… well to be honest, I could have lived without that encounter. But you can read all about that on Twitter, too.

https://mobile.twitter.com/TyffaniHoff/status/1012828056740745217

Ok and so yeah I think you’re all caught up. I was giving a rundown of my life to an old friend last week and said something like “you know sometimes I have those days where I wake up at noon and need a nap at 3” and she was like “no you don’t sleep that much??” And wow was I embarrassed by my existence at that moment. So I had to be like “lol Sharon, of course, I would never” *yikes*

So anyway, she told me I was going to eventually have to grow up and be an adult but let me just say something here: everybody’s adulthood journey looks different. Some people work full time, 9-5. Some people work nights. Some people get married and become parents. And some people sit on their bed at 3am eating cosmic brownies, accidentally dropping a chunk into their guitar’s sound holes. And none of those journeys are invalid. Thanks.

My BA English Degree

Ever been so indecisive that you decide your college major in middle school and never look back?

It’s not because I was a reader, though. I mean, I enjoy reading, always have, but I’m not a huge fan of reading things that people think I should read/like reading because I’m an English major. Like, I’m not a big fan of the classics. In fact, I graduated an English major without having ever read the Great Gatsby. I withheld sharing that information publicly until I got my diploma bc I heard they could revoke your degree for something like that.

But my diploma came in the mail this week!! And now that I have all this English wisdom, I’d like to share it with you— (mostly the English Police™️ who think they know stuff when they don’t. And if you do know this stuff, sweet. I’m proud of you.)

1. A hoe is a garden tool. The correct spelling for that word referring to a prostitute is spelled just “ho.” So if you say you’re going out with all your “hoes” tonight, I fully expect there to be gardening. Also, I’ll refrain from inferring what that says about Santa.

2. Irregardless is a word. It almost just means the same as regardless, but irregardless, it’s a word.

3. The original phrase is I COULD care less. It doesn’t matter how much it doesn’t make sense and how “couldn’t care less” works better— the original phrase stands. Think about it—what do we say in the English language that actually makes sense? Like, my dad says “I don’t give a rat’s a—.” And like, ok, but tell me, dad—in what situation would you give a rat’s a—? Tell me so I can avoid it, please.

4. Things like lol, omg, tbh, brb, are not acronyms. They’re actually called initialisms? (Didn’t learn this til my LAST SEMESTER.) An acronym is something where each letter stands for a different word, but you pronounce as a word: NASA, REM sleep, LASER, NAFTA, OPEC, you get it. Initialisms, you pronounce each letter. Tbh, I’ll often do this with initialisms anyway. My favorite one is loml (love of my life) because it sounds like llama and golly gee what a fun word.

Side note: I saw an ad on Facebook about how you can rent llamas for your wedding and ?????? why? Who was at a wedding and thought— “this is beautiful. The lights, the dresses, the centerpieces… you know what it’s missing, though? A llama.” ????

Rofl is also fun. Some people say it sounds like Scooby Doo saying waffle. I think it kinda sounds like a British person saying raffle?

And they say that knowledge is power but honestly it’s ruined me-

It took a years, but I finally started saying “I am well” instead of “I am good” when asked “how are you?” And I sound like a pretentious tool. However, life hack: if someone asks you how you are, and you’re not feeling well emotionally, you can still say well and it will just mean you’re healthy. Unless you’re sick, you can think of your own life hack for that situation.

I overthink lyrics that I should just let go but like, I can’t handle it? Like I think that T Swift is one of the most amazing lyricists but I just can’t handle it in TIWWCHNT (great song) when she says “because forgiveness is a nice thing to do” and I’m like….YOU CANT “DO” FORGIVENESS. ITS NOT A VERB. And I could go on with other lyrics in her songs/songs of other awesome lyricists, so you let me know when you’re ready for those rants.

However, I’m not a grammar nazi and I never will be because 1. What a waste of life and 2. Those ppl are so obnoxious. I do, however, love making fun of typos because that stuff is funny. My favorite is when my roommate texted me “ETERBAL FAMIKY NOOOI” and I have never been the same.

The Best Mom In The World

Today is the day for social media posts, all of which say “to the best mom in the world” or “I have the best mom ever!”

And I don’t know how to say this, but…

They’re probably all wrong? Because Yeah, my mom

is actually not the best mom in the world either. She’s actually kind of insane.

My mom has a lot of faults.

She says “chick filla” instead of “Chick-Fil-A” (UN IRONICALLY)and she pronounces “kindergarten” like “kidney-Garden” which is pretty weird.

She puts ketchup on like, everything, including her macaroni and cheese and fettuccini Alfredo. Gross?

She will tell the same story over and over and over again and still forget that she told me that story. So guess who’s heard the same stories 17x?

She will laugh at a joke that’s not funny for like, years, but doesn’t get actual funny jokes.

She once asked me who David A. Bednar was. (It was a month ago.) in the same conversation, she called our prophet “that Nelson guy.”

She’s actually a terrible driver like omg God obviously knows I need her alive bc she should have died in a crash a long time ago.

But even though she psycho, my mom has taught me a lot of things like

  • If there’s a Walmart, that means it’s a happenin town
  • Men are dogs
  • C’s get degrees
  • A turtle dove is not actually a picture of a turtle with a bunch of dove chocolates taped to it
  • Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and caffeine is the holy trinity of headache relief

My mom shows her love in really weird ways. While other people in my mission were getting care packages full of chocolates and heart shaped whatever’s, I was getting packages of bugs spray and mosquito nests (I was in the Netherlands so..???) (don’t worry, she also did a really sweet 12 days of Christmas thing for me so it was good)

But the point is–my mom is so weird. And sometimes, I’ll have a moment when I’ll do something weird, like randomly start talking out loud to the conversation I was having with myself in my head, and I’ll be like “shoot I’m becoming my mother.”

But like, is that really so bad?

My mom isn’t perfect. But neither is yours! (Sorry dudes)

My family life was crazy growing up. Divorce, death, lots of daycare/being babysat while mom went back to school/dad worked, lots of counseling. But I’m confident that she did the best job she could, and I know she probably feels like her best sometimes wasn’t good enough.

I used to think that when I became a mom, I would want to protect my kids from everything bad in life. But I’m glad my mom didn’t shield me from it. I’m 10x the person I would have otherwise been.

She gave me my life, she gave me the gospel, and she gave me an example of diligence. She gave me the ability to look into the eyes of despair and hopelessness and still choose hope. I am fortunate to be like her.

And something I wish we could do as a society is stop judging other mothers?? It’s wild to me that people can know how hard it is and still have the indecency to pass judgement on how someone else handles it. They’re RAISING a HUMAN. HUMANS ARE (sometimes) THE WORST. They’re probably doing the best they can, and they probably feel like it isn’t good enough. They probably know their own shortcomings better than you do. It’s ok to be honest and see the imperfection in people. But please, please realize that it’s the imperfections that make a person beautiful.

My mother gave me my strength. She probably also gave me a lot of her issues. But it’s worth it if it meant that I could be raised by a warrior such as she.

She probs isn’t gonna like that I wrote this, because now everyone knows she isn’t perfect (gasp), but if they are still judging after what I wrote then they can fight me.

I love you, mom. Happy Mother’s Day.

(Also happy Mother’s Day to my two sisters who do so much for their kiddos and still probs get mercilessly judged. I think they’re amazing and I love their kids more than anything)

Now here is a collection of my favorite motherhood memes.

Making Job Hunting My B… est Friend

hahaha like my clickbait title? maybe it’s in bad taste but my palate isn’t very refined anyway

Ok so really funny stories about job hunting r u ready *

I put my gmail address on my resume even though I really only ever check my msn because tnhoff937 is more professional (??) than ynaffit93? and then I’ve been checking my msn like crazy to hear back from jobs for the past ___ weeks with no luck… and yesterday I logged into my gmail and I have like 40 unread messages, many of which were from employers.

Hot diggity dog, I did not know that gmail would be my mystery mouseketool.

So it turns out that maybe I could have been employed weeks ago, but… I’m glad I had that time to just panic. We all need some nice I’m-so-useless-what-am-I-gonna-do panicking time, amirite?

And during that panicking time, I got pretty desperate, so I started throwing my resume at everything. allthejobs

I signed up for more information about the campaign against Styrofoam (apparently it saves the sea turtles in some way. Boy do activists love those sea turtles) I applied to be some sort of rollin-in-the-dough customer service representative (sidenote: why?? do businesses?? post hiring ads?? without naming?? their company?? or location?? this has happened so many times!!) I applied to tutor, teach English to Chinese kids, for numerous freelance positions, deliver food n stuff (not from the Food and Stuff in Pawnee, tho, bc it got shut down), and charge scooters???

Half those gigs I turned down because like… I hate sea turtles?? (jk, Crush is the only good part of Finding Nemo) but it’s just not feasible to have 10 jobs, right? so that’s why I only have five. But they’re all kind of… not real? Like…

  1. Tutoring

I applied for this tutoring company called Varsity Tutors and it’s online (but I tutor in-person) and halfway through the recorded interview, I realized I wasn’t really a fit tutor because like… I think grades are dumb and I was kind of a crummy student. But whatever, I had to finish what I started, but I was kind of an idiot the rest of the interview. They were like “tutors have to be experts at their subjects. What makes you an expert at your subject?” and I was straight up like “yo I’m definitely not an expert, but idk I like it.”

And whaddya know, they emailed me like “we think you’d be a great tutor!” So now I’m like, building a profile n stuff. I was also like “hey I’m an English major but I can tutor Algebra, why the heck not” and so they gave me this assessment, and I was like “fetch ok, maybe I can’t” but I passed it. I haven’t taken Algebra since like freakin eighth grade but it was fun then and I can use Google and text books now, so… come at me, students.

But after building my profile, I was like… “it’s…summer….kids don’t have school/classes to be tutored for in the summer??” So heck maybe it’s fruitless but WHATEVER MAN IM A TUTOR

2. Teaching English to Chinese kids!

So there are a ton of websites where you can teach English to Chinese students online, but I went with VIPKID because they were the ones who were the most annoying with their adverts all over the place? Also they’re one of the ones that require a Bachelor’s Degree and I like to FLAUNT THAT as OFTEN as POSSIBLE.

Anyway, they are complicated as heck and I had to rerecord my interview for them three times because they were unsatisfied with my first two attempts. It’s just recording yourself teaching but like…you imagine a student there instead of actually having one there. Do you know how awkward it is sitting in my room at like midnight three nights in a row talking to my laptop about my feelings very enthusiastically?? In my review, they were like “Pay closer attention to student’s output” and I just.. ??? what?? student????

In review, I just got hired like last night, so I haven’t taught yet because I have a heckton more prep to do (like this time, I get to teach a “student” who’s actually another teacher, and that might be more humiliating than talking to myself about my feelings, actually, so yea) but yeah I’m looking forward to it. Am I glad I chose this company as opposed to others? Maybe, idk, that’s the joy of not doing research, you have less room for regrets. But should you do this? Yes, and refer me because the referral bonus is awesome.

3. Resume Writing

So I signed up for this site called writers.work and it’s like $50 for a bunch of freelance tools, resources, connections, and tips, which is cool, but I was mostly just desperate and that’s why I signed up and gave them my money. They have a lot of jobs posted, and many of them are just from Craiglist (which I frequent), but something I didn’t take into consideration is that not all writing jobs that you can do in the Denver area are going to be on the Craiglist Denver. They pull from all telecommuting positions, which is not a search I’ve found out how to do on Craigslist. …but now I don’t have to, because I have writers.work

So this guy in Boston does resume writing and he needed some extra people so I applied and voila. I am a resume writer. Which is cool on the one hand, but then I opened one of those emails in my gmail about a comprehensive review of my resume from some chick who reviewed it for some reason?? and apparently it sucks so lol. There goes my confidence going into that.

I haven’t started yet but I will probably start that in the next day or two. It’s really cool because once I do the training video and figure out what I’m doing, I make requests daily of how much work I want to take on. And not only will I be doing resumes, but I’ll also be setting up LinkedIn profiles and writing cover letters so…

Pretty sweet right?!? I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing. Which I have to be now, so right on.

4. Door Dash

I know what you’re thinking. One of these things is not like the others. But it’s nice to get out of the house and drive around sometimes, no?

Okay, I have wanted to drive for Uber/Lyft for years but my dad “wont let” me. Not so much not let me, because I’m a capable adult who only needs her daddy for most (not all) things, but he has helped me with my car financially a ton so I didn’t want to disrespect him in that regard.

But it finally got to the point where I was like but daaaaaaad and he was just like “you have people having sex in the back of your car, you have people puking all over your car, you have people peeing in your car, you have people____insert other wildest dreams of what people can do in your car___, do you want all that in your car?” And like… no. No I definitely do not. But what on earth kind of sources is looking at about Uber?!?

So I decided to Google Uber horror stories and lol they’re pretty good. So I will not be driving people around. I will instead be driving around to get them food and then go to their doors. Wait, I’m sorry– dash to their doors. It wont make as good of blogging material as Uber would, but I’m sure there will be stories. And I am all about a good story.

5. SLIDES

Yes, I’m still going. The guy who I helped with slides a few weeks ago wants me again for another week or so to do some caulking. I did it today and now I am covered in caulking. It will not come off my arms and hands. or nose. Or glasses. Help.

He’s trusting me to do it all myself because he’s going to be out of town and so he gave me the key to get into the waterpark and I feel mad with power. Except it’d be way cooler if there was actually water in the waterpark.

6. ???????

So that interview I was going to have about teaching the eeukaley? Rescheduled to next week.

So job hunting stats in total:

4 – on-my-own-time I-create-my-own-schedule jobs

1 – temp job

1 – job pending.

Unknown – amount of emails about jobs received that I did not respond to

Unknown – amount of unsaved sea turtles

And hey– all these jobs? Hecka good pay.

I’m really glad I have a lot of the freelance/create-your-own-schedule jobs because when I have a family, I’ll probably want that. It’s nice that I’m learning the ropes right now. But that means I have to kick my own butt and be disciplined and it’s like– I can’t leave work at work anymore because home is now work and that means I have homework and that’s kind of disgusting. I also wonder if I’ll miss the workplace, you can meet some cool people through work sometimes.

But here are some jobhunting tips from a pro (because I’m obviously a pro now)

  1. find odd jobs! Craigslist has a ton of temp gigs listed and sometimes they pay really well (only do the ones that pay well. you deserve it.)
    1. Do this while your waiting for a real job to contact you. Better to make money while you wait to make money, right? It’s like making snacks while you wait for your other snack to be ready. Same concept, not as fattening.
  2. throw your resume at everything! or just sign up if it doesn’t require a resume. Even if it doesn’t seem promising. If you are interested and you want to do it, whether it’s for the money, the experience, or whatever, nike up and just do it.
  3. you can have both passion and money! so chase the freakin paycheck! We both know you need it!
  4. don’t settle. don’t settle. don’t settle.
  5. hey having a degree is worth it just so you know in case you needed motivation to keep going I believe in you if I could do it you can do it you go Glen Coco
  6. oh yeah check the email that you put on your resume? for starters…

*I would just like to recognize that yes, I am an English major, and I know how to spell and punctuate very well, and no, that doesn’t mean I’m always going to. Deal wit it.