Day 143 - Finals

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016
180 AQI

Wearing my mask during 180 AQI (air quality index; 0 is good) while all the locals aren't. Funny how the visitor is protecting himself, while the people living here - who will have the effects build up over time - aren't bothering. 

The day is kicked off with an early meeting, with some unwanted revelations: 

  • Dress code: dress down Mondays, business casual Tuesdays to Thursdays, Formal Fridays. Seems like I'll need to buy a warddrobe this summer
  • Thumb scans: scanning in and out when we arrive/leave
  • Mystery bonus and something about field trips


Today is the “final” for all Carden kids. I have to watch the entire 40 kids from Bunny’s class and their sister class. They have an hour to do a test which should take them 30 minutes. Eventually my other teacher came to gave me the other class's completed tests early, which signaled to me that it was OK for them to finish up earlier. Maybe it wasn't.

It's Time

In the afternoon, one of my students, Terry, timidly told me that they want to invent a time machine. That could be either great or horrible, but I wish you luck. Lets hope that the “Bootstrap theory”* of time travel is correct... 

Dinner and Knowledge Exchange

The free school meals today were notable in their matching cost and quality. For tonight’s knowledge exchange, I taught Aurora chess, then learned a measured amount of Chinese before the time was up. I was tired and didn't want to learn anymore today, but she insisted after our game was over.

Managing Foreigners and Locals

I sometimes catch wind from both sides of the Chinese/Foreign teacher line of rumors or things that management is doing. It seems like they treat foreign teachers like royalty, both in the sense of treating them well, but also in the sense of herding them like an inept new King who means well but has no aptitude in ruling. 

I've been told that management sometimes tells the Chinese teachers that they "are nothing; if they leave, there are hundreds lined up to gladly take their place." One of the foreign teachers once complained about how a Chinese teacher was "gone too long.” Instead of asking why, management sent her a letter saying she would be fined ¥200 for the infraction, deducted from her next pay cheque. Great for fostering better workplace relationships and morale! 

Chalk it up to cultural differences, I guess…

*Bootstrap theory of time travel says that any effort to change time has already been incorporated into the present. Like that episode of the Twilight Zone where the man goes and kills baby hitler, he leaves, then the mother finds another baby to raise, which turns out to be the real hitler. In effect, all time travel does is fulfill the present, and doesn’t change anything that hasn’t already occurred.

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
Thank you
xiè xiè
[she-eh she-eh]

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