It’s great to read the bios of the Skritter team, but I’m surprised no one else has posted an introduction yet! I’d like to start the ball rolling.
I’m a Kiwi/Canadian (hence the Maori greeting in subject), and have been living in China since May 2012. At university in New Zealand I studied Chinese language, Linguistics, and Second Language Education. After completing the CELTA, I immediately applied for an English teaching job in the Northeast of China, and then spent a month hitchhiking and hiking around New Zealand’s South Island while having the paperwork sorted out.
I lived and taught at two institutions in Jilin province, and used every day of holiday travelling within China. I’m currently studying Chinese language full-time (8:00am to 12:00 noon), while teaching at both a university (1:30pm to 3:30/5:30pm) and a business English training school (6:00pm to 9:00pm + weekends) in Qingdao. Typically this involves 61 hours of class per week, so it can sometimes be hard to find time for Skritter! Let’s just say I like to keep myself busy. I used to have hobbies like marathon running, mountain biking, ocean swimming, and martial arts, but I don’t have time for a life at the moment. I have one final semester at university before I can enjoy some free time and days off again.
I typically Skritter on my Xiaomi3 on my 10-minute commute, and waste a lot of time admiring progress graphs. During university, I was very concerned with learning to handwrite well, but I have dropped this priority, and am now not studying writing at all. My writing is seriously bad now, and I doubt if I could write 100 characters. I forget to write things like 他, and the other day writing 我 I missed the first 丿. When I encounter something in daily life that needs to be written by hand, I use pinyin input on my phone and copy the characters. Perhaps I will start to pick up writing again the future, when I hit about 10,000 words and 3,500 characters (reading/tones/definition). I’m at about 6,200 and 2,600 now.
I am hoping for a little more social integration with Skritter in the future, because I am extremely competitive and would love to vie for a place on a leaderboard. Looking forward to meeting a few more fellow Skritterers, post up!