Greetings. The first semester is over and I’ve survived. I’ve learned that the school I work at is the 3rd best school to learn Electric Power in. I had Electric Power students, Dynamic students (I still don’t know what that is), English Students and Translation students. The most interesting thing I learned is that my assumption that English students would be the best in English was 100% false. Electric Power are the best because they are the smartest and make the biggest effort. That was an important thing for me to learn and although I know nothing about Electric Power, I enjoy their knowledge and company.
I give them stories to read and we discuss them. I give them speeches to do, presentations to make and I give them a play to write and perform in groups. That is the highlight in that I use it as the final exam and it gives the students the opportunity to be creative. I enjoy watching them and they enjoy doing it. They write, they act, and they bring props, costumes and use Power Point for background. Not all do this, just those who make the effort (which is the majority).
I am now officially on holidays and don’t return until March 5. We are going to Hainan (the Hawaii of China) for 10 days on Monday. I wanted to go to Cambodia but Shujie worries about my health which is understandable yet annoying. Showing what a good son-in-law I am we are bringing her mother. Why not? She’s a nice lady and it will be nice to get out of the cold. (it’s also the Chinese thing to do).
I can’t stand the cold. The temperature is higher than in Toronto but I find it cuts through you like a knife. My hat has a mask so that helps. I don’t leave the apartment much but it is warm in the apartment.
On Wednesday evenings I show an English film with English subtitles that I think the majority of students enjoy. I have one boy who comes every week. I wish the turnout would be better so they could hear other foreign voices and pick up a little culture along the way. I always tell them it’s a great movie (of course it is, I love it), but I feel I only blew one this semester when I showed a Christmas Carol with Alastair SIm. which I love, but there is a lot of culture to miss if you are Chinese. I feel it would be to their benefit if they want to learn English, but you can lead a horse to water, but can’t make him drink.
On Thursdays I get 5 to 8 students in the afternoon and we meet for 2 to 4 hours just to chat. Whereas in class everyone waits for me to speak (which I hate), with this small group everyone will talk about whatever they want to talk about. Most of the time they stick to English and I believe it helps them plus shows their interest. It is the highlight of my week.
I had one class I “despised” because they made no effort. I failed 3 of them when 33 deserved to fail, but I will never fail anyone again. If you fail a student you have to give them a second exam and if they pass they get a 60, which is the minimum passing grade. Since I believe that when you fail, you fail, the whole idea of makeup exams is absurd. However, even the morons will pass because if the system is going to be so ignorant, I can be ignorant too.
Shujie likes living here. She sees her best friend regularly and visits her mother regularly. Although Baoding is boring, I am glad that she is happy.
So that’s school. I don’t think they will invite me back for next year because I say what I think and although I give them extra work for free (because I enjoy it) and they say they appreciate it, I think they are just a bunch of commie liars.
And now on to politics. I subscribe to the NY Times, that bastion of fake news. After calming down I know Trump is not really the problem. It’s the “deplorables” (yes, Hillary was right) who support him. A racist president who has no respect for the law is just so absurd to me. The racism in the U.S. is scary. The guns are scary (and I live in China where there are no guns). Who needs assault rifles? I wake in fear every day wondering what news will greet me. There is a president who is presumed to be the leader of the free world but his understanding of freedom is to be able to be free to lie about whatever he wants,. He announces a policy today and it’s gone tomorrow. The man assaulted women and where a decent man like Al Franken resigned because he didn’t want to drag the senate into this, the government of the U.S. loses.
I miss the good old boring days. If they get Trump (which I think they will) for high crimes and misdemeanors, that means that moron Mike Pence is next in line. Things are bad in the U.S. right now. The Democrats and the Republicans don’t work together and cross the isle. Mitch McConnell is a dummy and so is Paul Ryan. They were right when they said Trump was the wrong guy but since he was going to win the nomination they threw their morals out the window. I only hope that the midterm elections this year will knock the Republicans down. I think I’m more a Democrat but I believe in good, honest, Republicans. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate the Electoral College.
All I know is I get depressed every day.
I like Kim Jong Un better than Donald Trump. No, I’m not insane (I think). I go along with what I’ve read many black people have written. They like the South better because at least they know where they stand. The Northerners are frauds. I look at Kim and Trump like that. I don’t like that Trump says that he is “really smart and stable” because I don’t think Albert Einstein ever wrote, “I am smart”. I don’t like that Trump says his button in bigger than Kim’s button. I haven’t heard that crap since grade school. Poor South Korea, stuck in the middle with them. (Is that what Steeler’s Wheel really writing about years ahead of their time?)
The world scares me as I imagine it scares you. Are we as humans really as dumb as all get out to find ourselves in this position? It looks like the answer is yes. I hope I’m wrong but I’m scared.