I think an ideal year would’ve combined the students and flat here with the school where I was in Beijing. That way I’d be in Beijing instead of this rather dull backwater. [Benniu –ed.] At least the school there interfered only minimally in what we were doing. Here it only takes one busybody to tell someone about something that no one, apart from us, needs to know about. I have no problem doing what I’m required to do, but I like my autonomy, and since we’re not really part of the Chinese education system, we ought to exercise our autonomy. Not every action or decision has to be referred upwards, and a culture where people can’t make decisions for themselves is likely to end up being paralysed.
Overall, it’s been another year in the programme. The Overlords still remain clueless about reality inside a Chinese classroom or how we’re really perceived, because they’re too busy persuading themselves that we’re important. We’re not. We’re still the novelty act, and we continue to fool ourselves if we believe that we really make a distinct difference to the English of the students.
When I showed Titania the results of the IELTS reading and writing tests which I gave my students every week, she persuaded herself that there was improvement. No, there was consistency with variation and that was it. And I’m seeing the same sort of thing here. Students ought to get a little better if they put the work in and listen to our wise words, but with language learning, it’s slow going; and with the awful Chinese education system weighing down on them, it isn’t easy.
A note for all you school children out there: You have to improve yourselves. Your teacher doesn’t improve for you. (Unless school league tables are involved.)
The effect of changes to the programme depends on circumstance, and we drew a short straw on that one. Be afraid of people whose lives revolve around their jobs.
Are you flipping me off?
Obviously a slow news day when you get a story about some daft, rich Jewish woman from London who’s gone and married one of the Eilat dolphins.
One out, all out.
Well, the hacks in Beijing are getting bolshie with a strike over the dismissal of the editor of the hard-hitting Beijing News. There’s a report in The Guardian about it, and EastSouthWestNorth has some info, although the entry on the latter starts with “News from within China is totally shut down”.
A later entry on this page (see about Anti below) says that the Chinese can’t comment about the Beijing News story on line. Sounds like Nanny is having one of her hissy fits again.
Upping the Anti.
On the same page at EastSouthWestNorth, there’s an update to the Anti story which I mentioned a few entries ago. His Space got nuked as did his English blog. The suggestion is that Bokee, a Chinese rival to Spaces, grassed him up to the cyber snoops.
Homer says, “Doughnuts.”
We went into town last night to have our own Christmas/New Year dinner. Afterwards, we dropped by the DVD shop opposite the bus station. I’d commented not so long ago that there wasn’t much in the way of The Simpsons available here. The shop had series eight to sixteen. I grabbed thirteen to sixteen which are the ones I haven’t seen.
They were obviously taped off the TV in the Las Vegas area and appear to have been copied first to VCD before being turned into DVDs.
17.06.13. Edited HTML, made some minor changes to the text, and added tags.