Excerpt from Chapter 3 Teaching in Hong Hu
My first semester in Hong Yizhong was an eye opener. I had one boy strip to his jocks/briefs in class, had 2 fires set, had one student refuse to leave the classroom for his behavior and so I left, which put the students on the receiving end of Culture Shock. Their own teachers would never have even dreamed of doing such a thing. I constantly had water bottles, paper and spitballs thrown about the classroom and had on two memorable occasions, 'run ins' with a couple of propagandized dopes.
One day I was asking students individually, what it was that they intended to do for work after university. One student informed me that he was going to join the army, become a General, go to America and kill George Bush. I told him that by the time he could do that George Bush would probably be dead, but he replied that he did not care, because he hated Americans. Then looking straight into my eyes (not a cultural norm in class) said: "All Americans!"
I told him that that was OK because I was not an American. It really knocked the wind out of his sails. When I wrote about that in my Magic City Morning Star News column, boy did I get some nasty emails from the anally retentive 'thought police'. It appears that not only did I have no right to tell him that I was an Australian and not an American, and that in doing so I was demonstrating what an arrogant racist person I was, but that in doing so I was an embarrassment to the Australian People and Government. And that was from a Yank who added that she was thankful that I did not tarnish American Reputation by telling the boy I was American. Go Figure!
It was often impossible in class to even talk at anything like a normal volume, so one day I told the students that if they were not interested in listening to me or learning to speak English, that they should sleep, read newspapers or magazines, listen to their music players or do their other homework. One student immediately jumped up and objected. "All Chinese should progress together!" he informed me, pointing out that I had no right to tell students not to listen and learn.
I tried to explain the concept of being able to lead a horse to water but not being able to make it drink, but he didn't get it. Apparently he felt it was OK for students to be rebellious by doing all the things I suggested, but that I was a bad teacher for giving them permission. All I really wanted to do was get the volume down so that those who wished to learn could actually hear what I had to say, and have opportunity themselves to speak.
I guess I could write a lot about what I faced in that first semester, but I think the best way to present it is to show you what I wrote in the introduction to a Teaching Manual that I was asked to prepare for the teacher who would eventually replace me. It was written as a means of preparing the new teacher for what they would face. The following were and still are my take on the problems that still lead to failure in teaching Oral English in Senior Middle schools, at least in Hubei.
I say, 'at least in Hubei', for as I am coming to understand, the attitudes of students and teachers in Hubei are very much different to those I have encountered in Suzhou, and it should be born in mind, that Hong Yizhong is basically a country school. Furthermore it should be stated that China has changed quite a lot since I arrived in 2003.
.........So having now gained some insight into the problems that my brother and I faced in that first year in Hong Hu, I guess it is about time to tell you how not only the situation changed, but how that changed situation changed me into a flag waving card carrying Chinese Nationalist.
Writers Journal Kingscalendar
2013 Social Commentary Articles
Giving the Finger to Comrade GOOGLE's brand of Communism
By Comrade R.P. BenDedek
August 26, 2013
I have come to the decision that the only thing I can do is take a page out of Comrade Google's 'Little Red Book' and say: 'Screw You!' Comrade Google didn't like the way the Communist Government of China kept changing the rules. Comrade Google would not submit to a 'totalitarian authority'. Comrade Google decided to pull up stakes and leave. Is there a lesson to be learned in that?
Get rid of your Baggage People
Aug 21, 2013
Einstein is purported to have said: 'Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result'. The 'pastors' I mentioned above, were real people; people who did their best to get me to believe and do as they did. In each of those cases 'prior to being caught out in their sins', each of those pastors spoke ill of me, slandered me and did their best to control and manipulate people I knew. They did me a lot of injury and caused me a lot of grief.
Political Islam is full of hypocrisy and lies
by R.P. BenDedek
August 11, 2013
Politicians care only for themselves and nothing for the truth unless it suits their purposes. What they do call truth is usually nothing but lies! The general population - never seem to notice when radicals of all nationalities, religions and persuasions turn to 'ad hominems' rather than to logical debate when someone disagrees with them. The honest man will argue his point honestly. The perverted man ignores the argument and attacks the man (ad hominem) as though truth is not found in discovering and weighing the evidence and facts but in the character and 'Politically Correct Nature' of the person speaking them.
R.P.BenDedek (pseudonym) is the Author of 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran' (http://www.kingscalendar.com ), and is a guest columnist and stand-in Editor at Magic City Morning Star News. He is also the Editor of the 'Writers Journal' at Kingscalendar.com. An Australian, he has been teaching Conversational English in China since 2003.
Writers Journal Kingscalendar
"The King's Calendar" is a chronological study of the historical books of the Bible (Kings and Chronicles), Josephus, Seder Olam Rabbah, and the (Essene) Damascus Document of The Dead Sea Scrolls