This is a big week in China. The grade 12s in the Chinese program get their results from the Gao Kao exams which they wrote while we were in Hong Kong. Their ability to get into a university is totally dependent on their marks. The best students get in to the best universities, next best into the next best universities and so on down the line. This happens at high school level as well. At the end of May middle school students wrote a set of Zhong Kao exams which would allow the top 200 to get into the No. 1 High School, the next 400 to get into the No. 2 High school and so on. Now here is the confusing part. In BC there is Winston Churchill High School, Pinetree Secondary School, Burnaby Central High School etc. In Jiaxing there are also a number of high schools. There is Jiaxing No. 1 High School, Jiaxing No. 2 High School – right through Jiaxing No. 10, there is Nanhu International High School, there is Jiaxing Senior High School (our Chinese school). The schools are also ranked 1 -10. However, the Number 1 high school in ranking is Nanhu International School not Jiaxing No. 1 High School. We, at Jiaxing High School are ranked number 2. Jiaxing No. 1 High School is actually ranked something like 5 – No 4 is ranked number 3. At a farewell dinner last night with the Chinese administrators they were trying to explain all of this, midst much beer. It was clear as mud. When we suggested that we needed to do something to become ranked #1, they didn’t think that could ever happen because Nanhu, ranked No. 1, always gets the best students.
The exam results were released to the kids/parents last night and they immediately started phoning Mr. Xu, our principal, to see if they could get in to his school. Unfortunately, he couldn’t tell them anything because the government doesn’t release until this morning what the line is. For example, maybe you need 620 out of 800 on the exams to get in to Nanhu and you need 490 out of 800 to get in here. Doesn’t stop them from phoning though. All through dinner he was getting up to take calls. We suggested he turn it off and “No no – must talk to them to build relationships.” Not only that, they inform us that all teachers and administrators have their school phone and email, their cell phones and their home land lines listed in a phone book which is readily available to the public. Well, they are civil servants I guess. Can you imagine what the public would be doing with that information right now in BC? Whoa!
Went for a walk the other night and watched this fellow taping (yes taping) this sign up between a light standard and a tree. What does is say? I sent the photo out to our grade 10s for interpretation and apparently it is a formal government announcement that the green space just behind him is to be developed into a bus station. I don’t really have a problem with the development, but couldn’t a formal government announcement do better than being taped to a tree? (Ed. note: Irony anyone? Hey – want some more irony? The map the Chinese local government is using here is a Google map – and without VPN [a program to get around the Chinese firewall] you can’t get Google in China – it is a blocked site!)
(Ed. note: Every once in a while I come across things that just beg to be shared. These two would be from the “Did I REALLY just read that?” department)
From TSN Online comes this headline:
F1 GREAT SCHUMACHER LEAVES HOSPITAL; IS NO LONGER IN COMA – Really….
How many of you have heard of the Darwin Awards? Hopefully, given another chance, this guy could be an award winner.)
From the Vancouver Sun Online Edition
“Authorities have ordered swamp boat tour operators in the South Louisiana community of Jefferson Parish to stop feeding alligators after video of a tour guide doing so went viral, the sheriff’s office said Thursday.
There is no Louisiana law prohibiting luring and feeding of alligators, but it’s against local law in Jefferson Parish, where a tourist captured video of an Airboat Adventures tour guide swimming with and feeding two alligators. At one point the video captures the guide putting a marshmallow in his mouth and letting an alligator snatch it away.”