Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Happy Sad

I can’t decide whether to be happily relaxed or grumpy in extremis.

Let’s get rid of grumpy first.

They are playing their idiotic calendar rearranging game again, conning people into thinking they have holidays which they don’t have. Wednesday is a public holiday to commemorate some drunk who fell out of a boat and drowned in 278 BC, so everyone has to work on Saturday and Sunday so they can have Monday and Tuesday off, too. They then convince themselves they have had three days holiday.

Pretend Saturday is Monday and Sunday is Tuesday and Elephants are Penguins!

“WAKE UP!” You have had one day’s holiday – maybe.

Teachers don’t even get that. It is not required that they “make up”  for Wednesday as that is a statutory holiday. However, they are obliged to give each class a fixed number of lessons per term – in colleges usually 16. If they have a class on Wednesday (and this is the second Wednesday public holiday in two months), they are still two lessons short, so have to make them up anyway. Nett result – no holiday.

(OK. They get long holidays in the Spring Festival and summer breaks- but the principle still applies.)

What has been making me happy is something that is worrying many of the locals.

I have the deep misfortune to live almost next door to a middle school. They are the scourge of the neighbourhood. They start yelling through their PA systems at 6:30 am and keep it up all day. Crappy pop music, demented teachers yelling like amphetamine overloaded fairground barkers. The kids are quieter than the school staff.

But for three days a year I get a bit of peace. The school is also one of Liuzhou’s 高考 (college entrance exam* – China’s most important) examination centres. The street is totally blocked by anxious parents in their SUVs, but for once they are fairly silent. The PA systems are closed most of the day.

Late in the afternoon, instead of the usual “Barbie Girl” at window shaking volume, we were treated to the Largo from Dvorak’s 9th symphony at half volume.

Tomorrow is the last day. Then we will be back to their usual anti-social sonic pollution.

*The all-important college entrance exam has all the educational value of examining the entrails of a particularly rabid chicken. To pass, students have to repeat verbatim  whatever nonsense their teacher or text book gave. It is a memory test.  If you know the answer is wrong, but the text book said it was correct – give the wrong answer – the wrong answer is correct.

Still it gets them out from behind their pile of books for a few days. Not that they like that. That is where they hide from the teachers and sleep. Chinese teachers seldom wander out from behind their lectern at the front of the class. They might have to deal with students.

gaokao

Middle School Class

. This entry was posted on Sunday, June 9th, 2013 at 12:25 am and is filed under Chinese Holidays, Education, Liuzhou Life, Strawberry Fields, Stupidity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Happy Sad”

  1. vera Says:

    yesterday i convinced myself i got the day off when i woke up at 6:30 since the alarm didn’t work on weekends. kept sleeping until 7:50! late for work! i should have got to school at 7:10.

  2. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    🙂

  3. vera Says:

    by the way, we do wander around the classroom in class, now and then. hahah

  4. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Once every two years! 🙂

  5. Liuzhou Laowai Says:

    Once every two years. 🙂

    I’ve been to classes and watched teachers sitting behind the desk so the students can’t see them, then talking through microphone (but the students are hiding behind books and aren’t listening anyway. Not even the ones who are awake!)

    You walk about because you were given an excellent example in your college days! 🙂

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