Archive for the ‘News’ Category

An interesting conversation with a student.

November 23, 2013

As I’ve said before, I teach in China. This is my fourth year here, and I like to think I’m pretty clued into the culture, the kids, and how the kids at my school think. Well, just when I was feeling comfy about all that stuff, the kids go and do something that makes me think…. wait, what, run that by me again.

Last time I checked, China was communist, so, perhaps naively given the conversation I had, I assumed they’d be familiar with notable communists of the past (most notably Lenin, Marx, Stalin, Castro, and Guevara). Anyhow, the school I work at had an art display by local artists, and I noticed the kids were looking, so I wandered over and saw them looking at a portrait of Che Guevara. I could tell the some of the students were confused as to who he was, so I asked the students who he was, and what he’d done. I got the blankest of blank stares, and admissions of cluelessness..

When I asked them who said “December 7th -a date that will live in infamy” they decided on “the President at the start of World War II” (which I’ll give credit for). I followed this up with “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for you country” and got “US President again the one who was shot” (which I’ll give credit for too). Finally I asked ” ‘Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.” They got very excited by that one, and came “Black leader, he was shot too, said in Washington.” It’s been a few hours now, and I’m still surprised the kids knew more about American political leaders than notable communists.

I’m disappointed by The Times.

May 28, 2013

There. I’ve said it. I’m disappointed by The Times. It’s their coverage recent murder of the British army soldier in Woolwich that’s getting me upset. I mean I know it’s news, and so has to be reported, but does the newspaper have to publish a video the murderer’s explanation while he’s standing there with his hands covered in his victim’s blood? Did ITV? Did anyone? And yet The Times, a newspaper that prides itself on its investigative journalism did just that.

Can someone explain to me why that’s acceptable? Or right? Report the facts. Have the video as evidence to support your reports, but no one, I repeat no one, should have been allowed to see that video, unless they had do. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Don’t do something, just because you can.