Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Defense and Security

Click the pix for larger picture.

I don't like to discuss politics on this site, but sometimes I can't help myself.
America shares a border with two countries, Canada and Mexico. Although a lot of drugs come from Mexico, along with some undocumented people, neither country would be considered an enemy or a threat to the US.
China, on the other hand, shares a border with 12 countries, including their nuclear armed mad dog ally North Korea, nuclear armed basket case Pakistan, nuclear armed exploding population India, totally in turmoil Kyrgyzstan, and the mother of all quagmires Afghanistan.
America has the friendly neighbors, but we spend untold billions and tens of thousands of lives to try to secure countries thousands of miles away while China, who borders two of them, manages to get along well enough with them, even though ethnic Islamic Uighurs last year rioted and raised enough hell that 200 people died and the army had to crack down on them. Does China freak out and invade bordering Muslim countries? No, but they own the copper rights in Afghanistan.
They manage to keep the peace with all these wacky neighbors by keeping a strong army at home. One that spends most of its time helping victims of natural disasters.
Is it a good trade off for us to have sacrificed thousands of service members' lives and health, a trillion in treasure, and tens of thousands of lives of the people whose countries we invaded? Are we safer because of it? Is the world a better place? Wouldn't we be better off securing our country at home, weaning ourselves off of oil, and healing our wounded homeland instead of tilting at Afghan windmills?
We have borrowed a butt load of money from China to pay for these foreign adventures. They love holding the note on that debt and I'm sure they appreciate the copper rights.

Assembly Line Sweatshop Testing

Once again it's time to test the 2,000 students on their grasp of basic stumbling block sounds. I have 40 minutes of class time to test 55 kids at a time, and all of my years of practicing micro efficiency come into play.
This semester I covered V, SH, TH, L at the end of a word, and the chronic Guangdong habit of dropping the last consonant of a word. If you were an English challenged kid your pronunciation of this test would go something like this:
Fank you.
Dey cane fron fie skoo.
Fortunately no one has tested like that so far, and many have gotten perfect scores, but the testing is far from over. What I have found is the need for more work on V next year. It isn't difficult to pronounce, but it hasn't been taught well through their educations, and too many are in the habit of talking like Chekov on Star Trek.
Once the testing is done on June 30 I am through with my first year at this school. I'll be teaching the kindergarten kids for another 3 weeks then it's vacation time, and a trip to the US.
Yow, American English!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Shock Treatment

I've been down with the crud for a few days. I only missed one work day since the students have been taking their college entrance exams. I return today and hope to find the youngsters intact. I've downloaded Michael Jackson't "This Is It" to play during the latter part of my classes in order to reduce the PTSD.
I kind of previewed it. Disturbing footage of an anorexic, strung out pedophile doing amazing dance moves for a guy at death's door. The kids love him. I hate him. The things I do to please.