Student-ism of the day

0 visitors Thursday, September 18
"I want to be you friend and share my mind with you."

Ah, the joys of being a teacher and grading essays!
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Some interesting China articles

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Being the change: the ethics of Baidu 
  • Baidu is China's leading search engine, with more than 60% of the market share.  Baidu was also the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ-100 index in 2007.  What makes it interesting, however, is that Baidu is the largest MP3 search engine, fueling rampant illegal music downloads in China.  
How should the western media deal with China in the reforms?
  • A Chinese man challenged the BBC to publish his open letter which discussed China's reforms and the response of western news media.  BBC published his letter, but as this website points out, would CCTV or China Daily publish a similar letter submitted by a Westerner?
Can a black man be Chinese?
  • China, multiculturalism, and globalization.
  • Just like it says - six pictures and descriptions of Chinese imitations of western vehicle models, from BMWs to Hummers.
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Five year phase-in plan for "EuroEnglish"

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    The  European  Commission  have  just  announced  an agreement  whereby English will be the official language  of the EU, rather  than German, which
was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five year phase in plan that would be known as "EuroEnglish".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump for joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour
of the "k". This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have 1 less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with the "f". This will make words like
"fotograf" 20% shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.
Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of
the silent "e"s in the language is disgraseful, and they should go away.

By the 4th year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer
kombinations of leters. After zis fifz year, ve vil hav a realy sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it
ezi to understand each ozer.

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Brief update on life

0 visitors Monday, September 15
It's been a while since I posted anything and I'm sure a few of you (my parents included) are wondering if I'm still breathing and alive! The last three weeks have been full of activities, classes, and reconnecting with Chinese friends.

Yesterday, one of my students from last year arranged for myself and several new teachers to tour a new museum in the Olympic Green with his parents and some other foreign teachers from Ren Da. Although I didn't always know what I was looking at, it was neat to know that we were looking at some of China's most precious treasures at this exhibit. We could see the Water Cube and the Bird's Nest (with the torch still lit) from the museum.

Yesterday was Mid-Autumn Festival, an annual holiday where Chinese people give mooncakes to one another and celebrate being with family. Mooncakes are a bit like fruitcakes in that people give them out, but no one really relishes eating them. They're pretty light brown circular cakes about 2" tall that are filled with a flavored paste. Some of the nastier flavors are various types of seafood (I got a clam mooncake last year), red bean paste (a Chinese favorite), egg yolk (also said to be very good), and varieties of vegetables. Tolerable mooncakes are flavored with blueberry, chocolate, pineapple, or apple. The only truly good ones are Haagen Daz-filled. I managed to give away last night the thirty or so mooncakes that Anna and I had accumulated, so we didn't actually have to throw any away. Although, I'm pretty sure that they would have stayed good until this time next year if we wanted to regift them!

Teacher's Day also just passed, which is like Christmas for teachers. I received all kinds of cards and even a few gifts. Jr II class 13 gave me a bar of soap, just like last year. I wonder what they're hinting at? Actually, a student told me it's for washing the chalk off my hands after class. I received a fancy box of mooncakes from one student, which is rumored to retail for several hundred yuan just because the box and the packaging is so cool. Victor gave me some Beijing Olympic playing cards, and I got some other small things, as well.

We actually had the day off today (Monday) for Mid-Autumn festival. Anna and I embarked on an ambitious 48km bike ride this morning around 3rd Ring Road, which took us a little over three hours from start to finish. It was fun to get away from the school and see parts of the city we hadn't been to before. The proof of the greatly improved air quality in Beijing is in my face and on my shoulders - the sun has never been able to penetrate the pollution enough to result in a sunburn!

Some of you know that I had surgery on my wrist in August before returning to Beijing. I was able to put away the brace that I had been wearing on September 12, which was a happy day. Sometimes it's still a little sore, but I'm so glad that I can do most things pain-free for the first time in six months! The stitches are gone and the scarring isn't too bad.

It's been good to be back and I'm still settling into a schedule and a routine now that we're entering our third week of teaching. Be patient, I promise that I'll get around to responding to your emails that have filled my inbox soon!
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