William Chow's Personal Web Page

The year is 2006.

China Round 2

Wedsneday, May 31, 2006

The air continued to be bad today. However, there was some definite cloud cover today. Good thing to, around 11:00am it began to rain. Huge claps of the thunder until at least 2:00pm.

We went for a walk about 5:00pm. The ground was moist, the rain had stopped. But the air was now moist and thick. The smoky smell was still in the air, and the rotting garbage and sewage smell has subsided. For now. There is still a high amount of particulate matter in the air as I find my eyes and throat very irriatated when walking around outside.

We stopped into the GMS HauLian. It is a 4 level Super Market laid out the same way that Carre Four is. However, it is located in down from where the super cheap Waui Market was. The building does have KFC in it. The building itself looks old and tattered. The walls show dirt and peeling paint and scrape marks (probably from ladders). They are not as well laid out, signage is a bit poor, and the number of staff seemed low, but could just be the evening staff. We bought a bag load of new experimental food for my last week.

School In China

Here is a small bit of info about how some schools in China work. I am sure the course materials are the same across the country but the means and the hours used to teach it maybe different. So here is a bit about it from what I have picked up.

Well, we will start with a basic schedule. They work on a block system where the subjects change according to the time block. Everyday the subject order is different but the time blocks are the same. So here is a typical day for Alexanderia.

Activity Notes
5:50 am Wake up Lights come on in dorms. Typically 4 to 6 persons per room.
6:00-6:20am Morning excercises one person per dorm room is assigned their dorm room clean up duty. They are inspected, and are punished for a sloppy job.
6:20-6:40am breakfast
6:40-7:00am free time Some students are assigned to clean classrooms.
7:00-7:40am class 1 Usually held in their home room. Teachers will come in to teach them their speciality courses.
7:50-8:30am class 2 Sometimes multiple subjects are taught by the same teacher. Speciality teachers like language teachers can teach many classes.
8:40-9:30am class 3 Classes like Physics which need a lab for experiments, the teacher will take them from the home room to the lab. Labs are usually done once a week.
9:40-10:00am free time
10:00-10:20am excercises
10:30-11:10am class 4
11:20-12:00 noon class 5
12:00-12:40pm lunch
12:40-1:20pm free time Alexanderia tends to use this time to go back to bed for a nap.
1:30-2:10pm class 6
2:20-3:00pm class 7
3:00-3:20pm excercises
3:30-4:10pm class 8
4:20-5:00pm class 9
5:00-6:00pm dinner
6:00-6:40pm class 10 Classes after dinner are unsupervised free periods. Used for personal study, finishing assignments, library research, some outdoor activities like track, choir, and internet.
6:50-7:30pm class 11 Library research includes books, videos, audio; which includes watching movie DVDs and VCDs and listening to popular music CDs.
7:40-8:20pm class 12 A teacher usually decides what activity is done in each block. At times, the student can pick what to do.
8:30-9:10pm class 13 Internet terminals are restricted to programming in Macromedia Flash and Microsoft Word, and light browser functions. Personal activities such as email and messengers are not allowed.
9:20-10:00pm class 14
10:00-10:30pm food final night time food snack and clean up for bed
10:30pm sleep lights go off in the dorms

Things to note about this schedule. The classes are 40 minutes in length, and there is a 10 minute break in between each one. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the campus, and there is no way to leave the grounds. So, kids probably don't start until after they leave school.

You need teacher and parental permission to leave the campus during the weekdays. Weekends, the student may leave but they will have to "sign out", thus logging when they left the school (prison). As mentioned earlier when we dropped Alexanderia off on a Monday, the main steel gate was closed and locked with a padlock. She needs to sign in through the guard house to enter the grounds. Parents are not allowed on the grounds, unless supervised by their child and then, it is only one parent. At lunch time, some parents come to the school with cooked food which they deliver and hand over to their kids (caged animals) through the bars at the front gates.

There is a generic cafeteria in their school, but there is also mini chain restaurants in some of the bigger schools. In Alexanderia's school, there is a small snack food store. So if the students think the food sucks, they can go to the store and load up on junk food. In the smaller public schools, the kids are set out on the streets to fend for their own. Some of them who are close to home can go home for food. But most will not have food at home ready to eat, so they will eat out, like in the case of Shenyang No. 2 school. The street gets loaded with vendors selling pop, ice cream, and junk food. I saw some mom make bento boxes and she was selling them in front of the school. I also see many vendors selling junk trinkets and anime things like Naruto posters & pens, QQ CD cases and stationary. The kids can also walk down Waui Le, where there are many small shops doing noodles, wonton, and down the Wenhua Lu, there is Carrefour Supermarket, KFC, McDonalds, and well...you get the idea.

Junior High School to them is grades 7-9, Senior is 10-12, and will start basically the same time across China. At the number 2 Shenyang School, the first class is at 7:40am-8:20am which roughly corresponds to class 2 at Alexander's school. Juniors will end their classes at 5:00pm. Seniors go to 8:30pm and the last year seniors go to 9:20pm.

The government only pays for the free education up to grade 9 in a public school here.

You will notice that if you stick to the schedule to the letter, you will get almost 8 hours of continuous sleep every day.

The Experimental Chinese Food Of The Day is:
Lonely God Chips "Skewer Stick" Flavour

This is a pretty wacky name for a chip. The chip itself is basically the same recipe that you have for onion rings or shrimp flakes. The only real difference is that instead of onion or shrimp the flavour is hot meat skewer flavour.

Well, I don't know about the meat part of the flavour but the spice is there. Enought that after about two handfuls my mouth was all desensitized for the rest of the testing. The chips themselves have an orange powder on them, probably a Caijun Pepper or something.