Submitted by Chris Godas

Though he’s a Midwesterner by birth (hailing from Missouri), Godas has visited five other countries worldwide- Canada, China, Greece, Serbia and Thailand.

Chinese teacher Chris Godas shares his love for language, comedy, drawing and more

Though he’s a Midwesterner by birth (hailing from Missouri), Godas has visited five other countries worldwide- Canada, China, Greece, Serbia and Thailand. The passion for language that he discovered brought him to China where he taught English at a high school, and for the past year he’s been teaching Chinese. When Godas isn’t exploring the globe, he enjoys the simpler things in life- good food, funny videos and expressing his creative side through painting.

Godas: Hi my name is Chris Godas. My Chinese name is Gao da and I am from Missouri. I am a Chinese major and I have taught English at an International School in China. In the U.S., I have been a Chinese teacher for about a year.

Elle: Outside of teaching, what are some of your hobbies?

Godas: Outside of work, I enjoy drawing, being on social media like Youtube, Instagram and Tumblr and telling jokes. I also watch a lot of international movies as well. I use these movies to learn and practice foreign languages like Greek and Indonesian.

Elle: What is your favorite joke?

Godas: I childproofed the house but they keep getting in. I like old jokes like these.

Elle: What do you follow on social media?

Godas: On social media, I usually enjoy watching funny things or vlogs. Additionally, I like the videos and posts on lifestyle tips and tricks. For example, minimalism, finance and a lot of people also emphasize recycling and environmentalism. Many of the videos I watch are also about the lifestyles that I personally don’t practice or don’t understand too much about.

Elle: You also said that you really enjoy drawing. Do you draw Chinese-styled drawings or more typically American styles?

Godas: I personally like drawing portraits, emotions and headshots. I don’t really like drawing objects but I like having people as my subject. I would also say that my drawing style is more Western and not the ancient Chinese style.

New Upper School Chinese teacher Chris Godas found his passion for language, specifically Chinese, through traveling and studying abroad. Here Chris is pictured in Boston enjoying a bubble tea. (Submitted by Chris Godas)

Elle: Do you enjoy traveling?

Godas: Yes, I absolutely love traveling. I’ve been to six countries total including America, Canada, China, Greece, Serbia and Thailand. I’ve been to China for the longest amount of time (and most frequently), a total of three years. I studied there for three semesters in college and I also taught high school for a year there. I went to China for the first time when I was a sophomore (19) in college.

Elle: When did you realize that you were interested in languages and learning Chinese?

Godas: It was around my freshman year of college when I traveled to Greece (where my father is from) to learn Greek. There I realized that I was actually pretty good at picking up foreign languages.

Elle: In China, what was your favorite food?

Godas: My favorite food was probably Malaxiangguo (Spicy Numbing Stir-fry pot). It’s really good when it’s mildly spicy. I usually add kuan fen (a type of thick, flat glass noodles), eggs, an quan dan (quail eggs), a lot of broccoli and potato slices. I also add a lot of beef and pork but my favorite is for sure lamb. Lamb skewers are also really good.

Elle: You also mentioned that you like watching movies. What genre is your favorite?

Godas: I like comedy the most. Even if they are from different countries and languages, I will watch them as long as the content is good and there are subtitles.

Elle: Do you have any recommendations?

Godas: I would recommend Juno from 2007. It’s about a high schooler who gets pregnant and it’s a really moving film.

Elle: Do you have a bucket list for things you want to do in life?

Godas: I think I wrote one in high school but I haven’t opened it since then. But overall, I think my bucket list items are just to travel more and trying different lifestyles while also learning about the perspectives of different people with different backgrounds in life.

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