The history conversation class I do always disappoints. Few of the students seem fired-up about history. I gather this comes from the way the subject is taught in Chinese school -- there is rote memorization of dates and facts required to past a test, among other factors to sap the life of the subject. And some of the students readily admit to having no interest in history to begin with, like the people who don't like sports. Many do admit to liking the subject away from school, but younger students don't have the time for it since they have to study more important subjects, and play computer games when they do have free time.
In yesterday's class I did get some interesting answers to some of my questions. One student told me that the Cultural Revolution was the one event she would have liked to have seen changed if she could have changed just one historical event. To another question, the students told me they would have loved to have lived in: the time of Medieval knights, Ancient Greece, the 1940s fighting the Japanese (a kind of Inglorious Bastards fantasy), and the 1930s with Albert Einstein.
Are you watching the Winter Olympics?
So far, none of the students has shown any genuine enthusiasm for the Winter Olympics. One student said he watched the NBA all-star weekend. The few students who have watched the Olympics have seen very small snatches of it.
They haven't watched the Winter Olympics, it would seem, because they aren't familiar with winter sports and China isn't winning many medals.
What did the students do during the Spring Festival?
All the students I have talked to so far have told me that they ate, slept lots, and hung out with their relatives.
I hasn't seen lots of fireworks this CNY till Saturday morning. A lot of pyro was set off, possibly by businesses starting their Tiger years.