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Author Topic: 4 week work and play in China  (Read 670 times)

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Asianfire

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4 week work and play in China
« on: August 09, 2018, 03:13:47 AM »

As every year, we where invited to hold summer courses for 13-15 year old students in China.
While the activities are loosely based on Canada (Trade Commission is sponsoring)part of the cost, the idea is to give the kids a chance to practice English, and to get a feel for a Western style classroom. The schools we are at actively promote for their students to go overseas for college and/or university levels.

Our team this year
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr

We where 3 teachers this year. Two Brits, and myself. As one of the Brits is an active Boxer, he does a lot of sports and games. The other is into all sorts of art and music, so his classes utilize those areas. Leaving me with spoken language based classes and of course with my by now customary Totem project. 

Anything goes as long as the kids are interested in participation.
And if that means they can turn us into a cartoon? so be it........
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr

In order to keep something of Canada in the subject, we ask each class to prepare part of a totem in the image of their class-name.
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr
And then stack it up
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr
First school had class-names that where quite easily to convert. BUT I still wanna kick my colleague for allowing class-names in the second school. Having neither relevance to Canada, nor a place on a totem. "Amazing Rocket" and "Social Fish"
After a lot failed attempts in creating something even close to fit onto a totem, I realized that those students are bright and willing, yet have absolutely no ability to neither listen to step by step instructions, nor the ability to give shape to an actual 3D object in concert with their team members.
So after time run out, I redid their efforts, taking their ideas and build the basic shape. And because of the inability to follow instructions, put a scared chicken on top of the rocket. (Chicken and Monkey on my piece, as all students are born in corresponding years)
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr

I rather like the chicken on that rocket.......
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr

Naturally we had to mess around a bit in order to get the students to perform any public speaking,.... So we had to show them by example....
No one understood the poem, but at least no-one was playing on their phones either ........
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr
2018 china drama by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr

The city Guangzhou is a huge metropolis, but very artificial. Its getting harder to find "Old China". But its still there, if you look close enough....
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr

Sunrise within the city is not something I want to get used to...
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr

Everything these days is build on the quick. Nothing to last.... So was also our accommodation....
Clean as such, but very low quality and seemingly designed by a toddler being given the leftovers from a yard-sale.
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr

Huge kitchenette and lots of storage space for utensils, yet no fridge and a sink without water.
No storage space for clothes at all, except one rack right above the mirror. So one can either hang ones clothes, or utilizes the mirror.
etc.... Towels on TV, is a habit of mine in any hotel-room these days. I'm 100% certain that management and or in case here in China, the police can access the in-build cameras. 
On the second to last day, I managed to break the sink in the washroom. As it turns out, the sink rests on a wooden box that basically had been glued to the wall....... Reported it to the reception, they came changed the whole set within 20 minutes without a word. Seems to happen more often.... :)
China 2018 trip by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr

So, I'm glad to be back home after nearly 4 weeks over there. Back to family (unfortunately not all of them, as Lilo (my older dog (17 years old)) passed while I was gone. Back to the cabin, armed with a new lightweight recurve bow (40 pound draw weight), to finally getting started practicing after nearly 7 years.
Restarting by Kainzer  Kurt, on Flickr
Messy for now and only at 60 feet. But fun to get back into.

Thanks for looking, Kurt










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lithicbeads

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Re: 4 week work and play in China
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 09:03:05 AM »

 Great job Captain Kurt ! Thought provoking, thanks.
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irockhound

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Re: 4 week work and play in China
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 02:42:08 PM »

I get an odd feeling that you have to break through to get to the creative side where people are open to express themselves.  I have never been there so all my understandings are based on supplied information.  Such a controlled society that they don't understand some basic things and probably where they have some fears of opening up since the culture is based on conforming and not expressing ones sense of self.  I think of China like an ant farm in some respects, existing for the good of the colony which has a lot of similarities I feel.  Great that you can get them to open up and learn some things we take for granted like just being a kid.

Hard to creative when the oppressive hand of conformity is always over you
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Asianfire

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Re: 4 week work and play in China
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 04:28:06 PM »

I get an odd feeling that you have to break through to get to the creative side where people are open to express themselves.    I think of China like an ant farm in some respects, existing for the good of the colony which has a lot of similarities I feel.  Great that you can get them to open up and learn some things we take for granted like just being a kid.

Hard to creative when the oppressive hand of conformity is always over you

The ant farm is a good analogy!
Youngsters in today's China feel free as such, they know there are limitations in their freedoms, yet have accepted them as norm.
Like everywhere in the world, youngsters and people in general have turned to technology to entertain themselves at all times, unwittingly giving the powers to be, virtually absolute control over them. When one has the luxury to step back and observe from afar it becomes quite clear that times are as bad as in the 60's or even worse, where everyone reported on everyone. The acceptance and dependency on internet has given the Government access and control into peoples lives like never before. It is rumored that China can find anyone within 7 minutes anywhere in China, and that you need to have a "good" internet presence if you want better rents, water or electricity bills, etc.... Even for outsiders like myself, writing this, might hinder being able to get my visa next year as they suddenly placed yet another government department between application and approval (which I suspect is looking into your web-presence before handing it over for for processing). That extra department is to be paid, but unassailable and can not be interacted with  in any form.

When it comes to expression in the arts, and other activities, I can only speak of people I have met. And they are a generation that only knows life in a city. The migrants from the seventies have settled, and their children have zero knowledge of their parents early life, in theory or practice. Students study early China in depth and while names go lost in translation, I realized very quickly that they know more about historical figures than I do. But, that stops with about a hundred years ago, and knowledge becomes very selective. I asked as example as to how many provinces China has today, and not one student in 6 classes could give me a correct answer.

I also asked all classes about hiking, and only 4 kids in close to 150 admitted that they had actually left the city for that purpose, with one who turned out to be on the extreme side, having had trips to mountains as tall as 20000 feet. But he told me that only in private, obviously not wanting his classmates to know about it.

Life skills, with this, are limited to a foreseeable future, geared to what they need to fit in, and that's technology based skills. Arts, the like of music and painting/drawing are going strong, as they conform and can be turned into Electronic versions too. Give them a task and they will do it to the best of their ability. But ask them to take an object off the paper or screen and realize it in 3D, or teamwork where they have to decide for themselves what and how to reach a goal, then things seem to fall apart.

Public speaking has the same limitations. No one wants to stand out. Everyone has fun looking at others do it, but become turtles when asked to do it themselves. In a group, they do it brilliantly and willingly, but alone?????

Like everywhere in the world, the internet has become a a sort of drug that fosters dependence and control over our lifes like never before. China is simply serves as a good example of the open secret it is, and the resulting consequences.  Don't for a moment think that those things do not apply to any country you might be in presently.
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lithicbeads

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Re: 4 week work and play in China
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 08:14:07 PM »

The older generation in the US is for the most part addicted to tv , if one is on they cannot not stop and look.Watching younger folks try to do anything is a joke as they all have  a screen in their hand. We are all going down the same path to hell.
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: 4 week work and play in China
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 08:34:00 PM »

I've recently turned 60, and have made these observations.

- Music puts energy into a room.
- TV sucks the energy out of a room.
- So-called "social" media turn people into zombies.

Yeah, I'm sittin' here with a laptop in front of me - but at least this is a forum where useful real-world knowledge is shared among the members and made available to anyone else who happens by.

(Signed)
No FB, IG, Twitter, or any other such accounts... .

gemfeller

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Re: 4 week work and play in China
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2018, 10:42:46 PM »

This is a very interesting thread.  I agree with nearly all of your analysis and that of other posters.  The internet and social media are leading directly to the Big Brother world described by George Orwell.

But I have another question.  If I remember you're based in Hong Kong, which reverted from British rule to China's in 1997.  Yet the title of your thread implies that going outside HK is "going to China."  I'm wondering if HK is still culturally and economically so different from the rest of China as it was under the Brits. 
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Windenzee

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Re: 4 week work and play in China
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2018, 12:07:11 AM »

Having travelled a lot as a teenager with my parents, I got to visit both big countries (eg South Africa) and also small places where no tourism reached (advantage of being on a yacht.) No matter when or where you go, if the people are surpressed in any form, it will affect their outward going personalities. It also can supres their abilities when it comes to art forms - restricted to what they know.
Many of the places I visited had no TV's or little communication with the outside world. The younger generation all wanted to leave but the older were very happy with their way of life. A lot simplier than what we deal with in the larger places.
Karen
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Asianfire

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Re: 4 week work and play in China
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2018, 12:40:54 AM »

But I have another question.  If I remember you're based in Hong Kong, which reverted from British rule to China's in 1997.  Yet the title of your thread implies that going outside HK is "going to China."  I'm wondering if HK is still culturally and economically so different from the rest of China as it was under the Brits. 

If you avoid politics, life here in Hong Kong is unchanged since the handover.
Things might have changed little by little, but it has no direct discerible effect on daily life thus far.
I'm sure, the big hammer will come eventually, but that's a concern for the future, and the general idea among foreigners is to wait and see, and deal with inevitable changes once they come into force. 
Most foreigners are not here with a mindset of spending the rest of their life here. So speaking up only means to stand out and making ones own presence difficult, while hundreds besides you just profit and wait to leave anyhow, regardless to the mess they leave behind ......
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Asianfire

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Re: 4 week work and play in China
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2018, 12:46:54 AM »

Many of the places I visited had no TV's or little communication with the outside world. The younger generation all wanted to leave but the older were very happy with their way of life. A lot simpler than what we deal with in the larger places.
Karen

Progress and change is inevitable with every generation. I'm sure we are looking at the current situation just like the way our own grandparents looked at us and our habits.
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: 4 week work and play in China
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2018, 07:01:18 AM »

Quote
Progress and change is inevitable with every generation. I'm sure we are looking at the current situation just like the way our own grandparents looked at us and our habits.

Very valid point. I once thought I'd never be old enough to hear myself say "Kids these days...!".

Your reply about the conditions in Hong Kong relative to the mainland were also very interesting and informative.
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