Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Question and Answer Session

So I’ve been a little bit lazy and haven’t been responding to some of the questions that have been posed to me. So I’ll make an entire blog out of it! No pictures but chock full of information.


Question: I like how you compare everything to stuff in America!! -Mrs. Wakefields class :)

This isn’t a question, but this definitely deserves a response. I figure everybody needs a gauge to see how things compare. I can only make things relative to things I think other people will probably know. And things that I know back home to describe how I feel. I actually did not even realize I did that so much in the post you all commented on until I read it over. So, if said in sarcasm – Sorry. But, if said with appreciation – I guess I make things more relatable than realized! I’ll probably still do it.

Question: James wants to know if you have found any roast chicken Doritos? – Yun

In short: No. But I’ll keep a look out. I’m not looking too hard, but I haven’t seen any Doritos here actually. I just talked to a friend and she said that she saw some Doritos in the foreign section (weird to think of the US as foreign right?) at the large store we shop at sometimes. I’ll look there!

Question: Can you post three (or more):-) street scenes that we would NOT see in the United States? Just random, you are walking down the street and **This is not something you would see in the US!!

From Mrs. Wakefield

Absolutely. In the process of taking a ton of pictures for you now. It will be a blog just full of pictures and captions. No eta yet but definitely within the next few weeks. Which is all I have left. =P But I can do multiple scavenger hunts at once if you have more requests in the meantime!

Question: How are the schools of China different than in their US counterparts? (architecturally and curriculum wise):)

Architecturally, schools are right smack dab in the middle of bustling neighborhoods. They look just like the surrounding buildings, with shops and restaurants that are convenient to access especially for older students. Look for the blog with my next scavenger hunt request and I'll include what schools look like, at least from the outside. Most are gated to protect the students and buildings though, which I feel like you don’t see in Reno unless you are at a charter or private school.

Curriculum wise, I actually don't really know. As I am just learning Mandarin, I'm not nearly proficient enough to be in a course taught in Chinese. However, from what I've gathered from some Chinese people that I've met, curriculum is very strict. Once you pick a course of study, you are restricted to a certain track of classes. You are told by instructors how things are, memorization is a must, critical thinking and interpretation are not necessarily encouraged. That is starting to change a little bit. Curriculum is a little more free, students are taught to think for themselves a little bit more.

But if there is one thing that I know for sure, this is a society that learns how to test and how to test well. Curriculum is not only strict but heavily focused on passing international and national standardized tests. The higher you score, the better the university you can be accepted into. For rural students, this usually means prestige for your family and sometimes within your entire village. For urban students, this is really about the competition of being the best.

School days and weeks are really long. We see students in their school uniforms walking around 6 days a week from 8 o’clock in the morning to 5 o’ clock at night or later. College students are not to party, but they are expected to study – study late and study hard. For us in America, it is common to get a part time job in college and even in high school. However, here, while you are a student – all you are is a student. Rarely do you see students working here in China. There is no time for anything else. But I gotta say, as an Asian American back in the US, my parents also discourage me from having a job while I am in school. But things are little different for expectations in the US, especially if you want to continue studying at higher levels. A little bit of my hybrid culture.

I think those were all the questions. Keep them coming!

Ailene

PS - If any of my Chengdu friends have anything to add or contradict, especially those of you who are teaching right now, feel free. I am definitely not always correct and these are based on my impressions.


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