Thursday, October 15, 2009

Friday, Mid-October dispatch

Liaoning Student
I had a one-on-one class with a student from the Northeastern province of Liaoning.  The topic was the conflict in the Middle East.  He didn't know much about it so the class drifted off to other topics.
Coming from a cold province, the student and I talked about Wuxi's climate.  He had the same reaction I had:  Summers are too hot and the Winters are uncomfortably cold because of the dampness.  Coming from Northern China, he also can testify to the fact that Wuxi buildings, without central heating, add to the winter discomfort here.
Open pit mines so deep that you cannot see the bottom, toward which they have trains running.  That is the image the student left me with from his coal-mining hometown.  It sounds like a place that I want to visit but not live in -- the environment is quite awful.  The coal mining accidents we seem to always hear about are caused by unscrupulous mine owners, he told me.
Drifting back to the subject of the Middle East and Culture, the student told me how he admired the thousands of years of culture to be found in the there.  China has lost these important culture memories.  While the government is trying to revive the old ways, the spirit of them has been lost.  People do the dances, perform the rituals, but they don't know why and they don't do them very inauthenticily.  He left me wandering if anything in China that is supposedly old and traditional is authentic.  He said many people, looking for work, will dress up as monks.
No Diapers but...
Tony doesn't wear diapers no more except for long road trips.  However, he doesn't go to the bathroom by himself yet.  The procedure is he points to his crotch, and his mother takes him to the toilet, holding him above it till he does his business.  His father wants to help but Tony only seems to want his mom to take him.

HyLite Halloween Party
It seemed that the school wasn't going to have a Halloween Party but now we are.  Saturday October 31, in the evening, there will be a party at the A-1 pub, or the place where the A-1 was.  (Did it change its name?)  Not having the party was a relief because it meant not having to make a costume.  I have had plenty of ideas for costumes with my favorite idea being to dress up as a woman.  Unfortunately Jenny's clothes don't fit me -- even her maternity wear, and I just don't have the time and money to have women's clothes made for me.

More student thoughts about 0's Nobel
  • Yet another student has suggested that Hu Jiantao should have received the award because he has been making peace with everyone in the world  -- much more than Obama.
  • Another student mentioned Obama making economic war on China.
  • The student who suggested that Chairman Hu should have received the award, complained that the Nobel Committee was blatantly pro-American.  "Obama got the award for being American president." was his take. (*meanwhile Obama's domestic political opponent see the Nobel Committee as being anti-American.  Better, to say the Nobel Committee likes the American Democratic party and can't abide Republicans.)

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