Olympics tickets!

0 visitors Sunday, August 24
I didn't have any plans to go to any Olympic events since I just got back into Beijing and we're all super busy helping the new people get acclimated and stuff. I told the new teachers I'd take them to BICF East in the morning since it's Sunday, but then I got an unexpected email. A student had a FREE ticket to the men's volleyball finals in the morning! Some Olympics tickets are going for more than $1000 so that's about as lucky as it gets! So I'll be at the bronze and gold games in the morning. Go USA!!
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I'm leaving on a jet plane

1 visitors Wednesday, August 20
I'm departing for Beijing at noon tomorrow (8/20 12EST)!
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Barry in Beijing

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My friend Mark highlighted Dave Barry's series he's written during his time in Beijing for the Olympics. I think you'll find it hilarious, and if you're a non-Chinese person who's ever spent time in China you might fall off your chair laughing. Not because it's just so funny, but because it's just so true!
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Gold rush

0 visitors Tuesday, August 19
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Two Chinese Characters

0 visitors Monday, August 18
If you enjoyed the previous video, here are two more clips from the guys who call themselves the "Two Chinese Characters." One teaches Chinese and the other is Chinese, and they are definitely characters!

Straight from the government, how to officially cheer during the Olympics. I kid you not! Jia you!

A run-down of the eight cities in China that are hosting various Olympic venues.

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Say it right

2 visitors Sunday, August 17
I've loved watching the Olympics since it's in the city I call home for now. However, one thing that drives me nuts is that all the news commentators pronounce "Beijing" incorrectly! I understand when they mispronounce athletes' names, but is it unreasonable to get "Beijing" right? I heard one guy get it right and not say "Bei-zhing." Here's some help so you can get it right, too.

How to pronounce Beijing? NBC seems unsure
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Too great to pass up

0 visitors Friday, August 15
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Wrist repair

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I didn't write about this back in March when it happened, but I was in a bicycle accident with a certain inanimate object that will not be mentioned (but it's not a car). After five months, a memorable experience to a Chinese hospital (mis-diagnosis #1: dislocated wrist), a visit to the western care hospital (mis-diagnosis #2: tendonitis, take some ibuprofen and it'll go away in three days), an MRI, an orthopedic surgeon, and a hand specialist, I have a real diagnosis! The MRI showed that I tore three ligaments in my right wrist, so I had a wrist arthroscopy done on Tuesday morning to repair some of the damage. For those who asked, here are some pictures:

The cast I got from the Chinese hospital. They wanted me to keep it on for six weeks but I took it off myself within 24 hours. Yes, that strip of gauze around my neck is what they gave me for a sling.

Taken today, two days after surgery. The splint and dressings stay on until Monday when I can swap this get-up for a removable brace.

I know some of you are still interested, so I'll give you some more details. One ligament was torn in the middle so everytime I twisted my wrist my ulna actually went through the tear, rubbing against it and causing a good amount of pain. Pretty, right? I have pictures from the surgeon of the ligament before and after the surgery but I won't put you through that on here. :)

I leave to go back to Beijing on August 20. I'm glad I have such a wonderful roommate and great team to help me with the things I won't be able to do while I'm healing up!
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When people from Western countries think of China, negative images of a poor human rights record and funding the war in Darfur surface rather quickly. After living in China these things aren't what immediately come to mind. I think of how warmly I've been welcomed in China, my students' hospitality, and the adventure that each day turns into when living in a foreign country.

I would rather that people thought good things about China, but it's such a shame when the country does things to perpetuate the stereotypes it has in the West. After reading articles like this (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/brennan/2008-08-12-gymnastics_N.htm) and this (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1832312,00.html?imw=Y) that have some pretty convincing evidence, combined with government treatment/cover-up of SARS and the earthquake, I have a hard time being on the side of the Chinese government. It's true that Chinese kids look younger than their American counterparts, but it's a little sketchy when the American team is on average 30lbs heavier and 3.5" taller than Team China. If that's not enough, 3 of 6 China team members were listed previously in Chinese news articles and in prior competitions as having 1993 and 1994 birth years. In case anyone might be thinking that I would prefer Team USA to win the gold over China, it's really about abiding by the rules and competing equally. China, I'm disappointed.

You decide. Here are some pictures. Are these kids 16?

Team China, gold medalists

Team USA, silver medalists

My Sr I Class 11 Chinese students, all 15 and 16 years old
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News on the new teachers

0 visitors Monday, August 11
The visa status of our new teachers was up in the air for a couple weeks, but there is new news! Ren Da (the university) is able to get to Beijing on time no problem due to receiving a different kind of visa for higher education. Ren Da Fu Zhong (my school) had work permits for the new teachers (actually the hardest thing to get), but we were waiting on letters of invitation from the Foreign Experts Bureau which are needed for the visas. We found out today that the letters came through, so it'll take four days to expedite the visa application process and the new teachers at our school will be able to come on August 22nd as scheduled! Unfortunately Shi Yi Xue Xiao (the middle school) probably won't be able to come until October. It's China though, so anything could change!
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