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Bob’s Blog

Bob’s Blog

Bob’s Travels & Daily Life

Entries Comments


Winter Celebration?

21 December, 2007 (23:32) | China, Daily Life | 2 comments

The nice heads of my Department (Foreign Language) , decided to take us ( the o

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ther foreign teachers and I as well as some folks from the Foreign Affairs Office) to dinner tonight. The dinner was to celebrate the Winter, somewhat like a winter solstice and to also say thanks to all of us. It was really nice.

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The only really bad part is that they made us all sing…the other foreign teachers all sing re

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ally well.

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The native folk sing even better :-p. After the many warnings that when I sing babies cry, I was forced to “sing” the 5 days of Christmas (couldn’t remember 12…actually couldn’t remember one, had to be reminded :-p) - It was most intersting to watch their hopeful looks on their faces turn to utter dismay ;-)

They compiled a list of student comments for each of us from a survey they took a few weeks ago…apparently all of what they said was good, and I was one of the favorites of the Freshmen class :-)…. Wondering how much of that is true though ;-)

Heres what they had to say…

Of course I can’t read… anyone out there want to translate

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? :-D

//Update

Got a translation! :-D

“Bob is humorous and generous. He injects his class with diversity and dynamism.

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He focuses on the characteristics of all the students, encouraging the development

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of their personalities.

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He is good at arousing the students’ passion of English learning, by means of comparison study of oriental culture and western

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culture.

Bob is warm and outgoing.

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He is capable of lightening the atmosphere in class.

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Plus, he often arrange some fun games to get every one involved.

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As to pronounciation, he carefully corrects the errors in students’ speech. In additon, he arranges the class accoring to students’ interests and hobbies.”

Thanks Yuki!

My Final Exam…

21 December, 2007 (21:28) | China, Daily Life | 1 comment

It feels wierd to say “My Final Exam”, cons ide

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ring up to this point, when saying this phrase it was always referring to me taking a test, not dishing it out ;-)

Basically I just want them to speak english casually for 15 minutes (Not from a script).  I told them, since this is their first semester, I just wanted them to get comfortable speaking the language.  I wont be taking points off this time around for small grammar and pronunciation errors (however for VERY large ones, there maybe a small penalty) .  They also have the  freedom to transition the randomly selected topic to something they want to talk about (however they need to do a good transition…not something like speaking about their dream house, then suddenly talk about fishing).

Anyway,this is the handout for my evil Final Exam I have concocted for my First Semester Freshman Spoken English course…

Oral English Exam Questions – 2007, Level 1

These are topics that will be on your final examination.  You and one other student will hold a conversation in English for one of more of these topics for fifteen (15) minutes.  Topics will be selected at random.

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It is not my desire that you memorize responses in advance for this examination.  You should merely think about what reasons, examples, details and other such information might be included in your oral response to any of the above given

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topics. You are expected to be able to carry on the conversation beyond the initial questions listed below as practiced in class.  Notes will not be permitted during this exam.  Dictionaries will be permitted, however their use will lower your score.  It is better to be able to describe the word in question in english.

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-  Describe your dream home in detail.  Where is it locate

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-  Describe the best trip you ever took.  Where did you go?  Who did you travel with?  What did you do

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?

-  What three countries would you most like to visit?  Why?

-  What’s the last good movie you saw?   When did you see it?  What was it about?  Did you like it?

-  What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever been to?  Why was it so great

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?

-  Describe your Ideal Career.  What led you to this idea?

-  How often do you go shopping?  Describe your shopping habits.  How do you decide Price vs. Quality?

-  Describe your friend

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unny or interesting story you had with any of them?  What qualities do you look for in friends

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-  Can you share a funny/interesting event that happened in your life?

-  Are Cars in China a Curse or a Blessing?

-  The money spent for the Olympics, is it

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money well spent

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?

-  Should students be allowed to get married

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?

-  What do you dislike about your hometow

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n?

-  If you could be an animal what would

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-  If you could be a famous celebrity, who would you be

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-  What would you do, if one day you found 50,000,000 yuan.

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-  Have you ever won an award?  How d id you earn

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-  What do you like and dislike about this Universit

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y?

You know when you have a song stuck in your head?….

21 December, 2007 (20:57) | Daily Life | No comments

Well today I did my Xmas Lesson (or to be P.C. Winter Holiday Lesson)….  While doing it I had this song stuck in my head the entire time, actually its still going strong 12 hours later….

It is: “Merry Fucking Christmas” sung by Mr.

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Garrison on Southpark

for those of you interesting in knowing the lyrics…

 Link To Original Lyrics

(Mr. Garrison)
I heard there is no Christmas,
In the silly Middle East.

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No trees, no snow, no Santa Claus.

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They have different religious beliefs.

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They believe in Muhammad,
And not in our holiday,
and so every December,
I go to the Middle East and say…

Hey there, mister Muslim!

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Merry Fuckin’ Christmas!
Put down that book the Koran,
and here’s some holiday wishes..
In case you haven’t noticed,
It’s Jesus’ birthday.
So get off your heathen Muslim ass,
And fuckin’ celebrate.

There is no holiday season,
In India, I’ve heard.
They don’t hang up their stockings,
And that is just absurd.

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They never read a Christmas story.
They don’t know what Rudolph is about.
And that is why every December,
I’ll go to India and shout…

Hey there, mister Hinduist!
Merry Fuckin’ Christmas!
Drink eggnog and eat some beef,
And pass it to the missus..
*Hindu music*
In case you haven’t noticed,
It’s Jesus’ birthday.
So get off your heathen Hindu ass,
And fuckin’ celebrate.

Now I’ve heard that in Japan,
Everyone just lives in sin.
They pray to several gods,
And put needles in their skin.

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On December 25th,
All they do is eat a cake.

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And that is why I go to Japan,
And walk around and say…

HEY THERE, mister Shintoist!

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Merry Fuckin’ Christmas!
God is gonna kick your ass,
You infidelic pagan scum!

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*Japanese music*
In case you haven’t noticed,
There’s festive things to do.

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So let’s all rejoice for Jesus,
Merry Fuckin’ Christmas, ta you.

On Christmas Day..
I travel around the world and say..
Daoists, Christians, Buddists,
and all you Atheists, too!

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Merry Fuckin’ Christma-aaaaas,
To yooo-oouuu!

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*small clapping sound*

Thank you, Mr.

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Hat.

Mistletoe…is really a parasitic killer…

20 December, 2007 (23:53) | Geek | No comments

While doing some research on how to carry out a Christmas lesson tomorrow for my English class - I look at a vocabulary sheet, on there is the definition of Mistletoe, the part that sticks out is that it is a “parasitic plant”. That just doesn’t sound very pleasant , doing a quick google search, and yep, the beloved Under the doorway Christmas item is really a parasitic (x-mas) tree killer..

When Mistletoe Attacks

When a “Five Days Off” is really one day off

20 December, 2007 (22:00) | China, Details | No comments

China is a bit of a weird place when it comes to national vacations/days off…

Besides me totally not expecting they celebrate the solar calendar new year (January 1st) - and scheduling several days of exams during this time (including Christmas day). It really threw me off that they take 5 days off for this holiday…then after some more digging - I found out its not really 5 days off…its one day off….

We get the following days off: Sunday, December 30; Monday, December 31; Tuesday, January 1; Wednesday, January 2 & Thursday, January 3rd.

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However…We have to make up Monday by working the previous Saturday, Make up Wednesday by working the next Saturday and make up Thursday by working the next Sunday . Of course we normally don’t work on Sunday (December 30th) so it shouldn’t be counted as a “day off” :-p

This doesn’t seem all that bad, for the most part I guess its nice to have a solid 5 days off, even though you have to work a straight 6 days prior to it and 8 days after it - It just seems like false advertising to say its 5 Days off though….

In case you were wondering what would flag the censors in China…

20 December, 2007 (18:12) | China, Geek | 1 comment

In case you were wondering what would flag the Censors here in China as far as what is posted on blogs & forums on Servers in China, below is a list compiled by the Washington post … Luckily this site is hosted on a Server thats probably in India - Hopefully my site doesn’t get blocked for this :-p

Keywords used to Filter Web Content - In China…

***********************

washingtonpost.com

Saturday, February 18, 2006; 11:11 AM

The W ashington Post obt

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ained a list of keywords used by a Chinese blog service provider to flag offensive material.

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Of 236 items on the list, 18 were obscenities.

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The rest were related to politics or current affairs.

Most words on this list can be posted on Chinese Web sites, but their presence quietly alerts editors to examine the messages that contain them and possibly take action.

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In tests, postings that included long sections of the list were allowed to remain on several sites, but quickly removed from others.

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One site also blocked the computer used to conduct the tests from posting anything else.

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In addition, on most sites, at least some of the sensitive phrases cannot be posted at all.

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Depending on the site, filters replace

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the offending words with asterisks or block the entire message.

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Below is the list. Obscenities have been withheld.

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*************

Here were the list of items - however  I had to remove the  contents due to coincidental “technical” difficulties - Site failed to load 95% of the time)

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…It seems in an “unusual” coincidence, after I posted these items, my site all of the sudden had trouble loading here (In China)…to see these items visit this link to the original Washington post article

Yep…it was about time…

16 December, 2007 (20:51) | Site | 1 comment

Random Observations…

16 December, 2007 (00:26) | China, Daily Life, Travels | 2 comments

To break the norm of doing my work (in this case preparing Final Exam schedules & Questions) on the couch in front of

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the TV, I decided to go try working at Starbucks down the street.

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It was nice to be in a place with central heating & non-sporadic Internet connection – I liked it so much I was there for around 6 hours…I’ll probably head back there again tomorrow to finish up my exam preparations…

Now onto my Random Observations…
- It seems people in China, when moving a piece of furniture (even if its very light) prefer to push it across the floor creating as much noise as possible vs.

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picking it up and carrying it…the sound of metal legged furniture on tile is almost as bad as nails on a chalk board…not as high pitched, but much, much louder…

- Women don’t seem to wash their hands very often…Ok I guess this is somewhat of an unfair observation.

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In their defense someone told me, many folks around here don’t like to wash their hands during winter, because the water is usually very cold (because most places aren’t heated) – a sensation similar to washing your hands under an icy stream apparently.

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You maybe wondering how I know the girls didn’t wash their hands… Over here, most places seem to have their sinks in common view with the actual restrooms behind doors.

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A rough count I did while looking away from my laptop, is 2 out of 5 guys washed their hands, while 2 out of 8 girls washed theirs…I’ll be sure to start carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer with me…

- A barber shop that is open at 11:00pm, probably isn’t open to cut hair…While walking home from Starbucks, I noticed a barbershop was open…From the looks of it, a pretty nice one at that…though I guess the name would be Salon vs.

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Barber shop…At first I thought “How convenient”… 3 steps later, it dawned on me, its probably a front for something not so legal (ie. Gambling institution, brothel, etc.)…a quick search on Google back home, and yep…most likely a brothel :-p

//update

Turns out it was a legitimate Salon that just happened to be open late.  Apparently the ones that aren’t really barbershops/salons are the dirty looking ones with red neon lights :-p…If a place looks normal (ie non use of red fluorescent/neon lights  its probably legit)

Shots & Power Bill…

13 December, 2007 (20:26) | China, Daily Life | No comments

Finally got around to getting my first (in a set of 3) Hepatitis A&B Shots today…Luckily I went with the Foreign Affairs guy, and he was able to talk them into just giving me the shot, since I had the blood work done 2 months ago – saved me from getting stuck with another needle and wait time :-D. Now just have to wait for

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a month to get #2, then May for #3….fun, fun, fun….

Walking back to the campus (the clinic, was right behind the campus), the Foreign Affairs guy tells me I owe the school 80 yuan for the p

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Currently the allotment for electricity is 200 yuan (around 26 USD) per month. The interesting part, is that this was for the first month I lived here, when the weather was mostly nice, and not using AC very often – considering I have the heaters on almost everyday - the pool is now open to take your bets….

The U.S. Consulate and a boring museum in Shanghai…

6 December, 2007 (20:40) | China, Daily Life, Travels | No comments

While in Hong Kong, I counted up the blank pages in my passport…looks like I was short by about 2 blank pages for my proper Chinese Work Visa that I should get issued this month (December) – they like to use up 4 pages for some reason… After a quick visit to the Shanghai consulate web page, its stated they can handle

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The Visa office is in a very nice shopping mall, which at first just seems very strange considering it’s a government office …After getting frisked by the security guards & surrendering my cameras & mobile phones, the entire process including for them to call my number took less than 15 minutes!

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Considering to get this done back home is estimated to be between 2-4 weeks, this is pretty fast :-D.

As for the boring museum…well it was pretty boring…I’ll write more about this later…thinking about it is making me sleepy :-p

Pictures soon to come…

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