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Ruined for Life: Phoenix Edition

The most hilarious, smart sitcom I’ve seen in a long time is the BBC’sOutnumbered. Each week the parents Pete and Sue valiantly try to survive the chaos inherent in raising precocious children: Jake, Ben and Karen. The plots are loose and the dialog brilliant. Like Curb Your Enthusiasm, much of the dialog is improvised, which is probably why what the kids say seems so real, unlike the average show where the jokes are clearly written by 27 year olds and mouthed by 7 year olds.

I’ve just seen six episodes and the main thread is that the father, a secondary school history teacher, bumbles his way around the disaster he created by making a joke at the expense of one of his heavier students. Sue is a stay at home mom, who’s often overwhelmed, but never comes across as the nincompoop say the mom in Modern…

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Celebrating the Holidays

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Christmas

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We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating Christmas. Here’s the Senior 3 class smiling beside our Christmas tree.

Snow in My Hometown

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I Saw Sunday

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How to Participate in I Saw Sunday!

1. Write a blog post on your own site that tells or shows something you observed this week. Observations, Poetry, Story or Images.

2. Make sure to put a link somewhere in the post back to I Saw Sunday. If you need help just ask.

3. Come back here and put your name and the link to your blog post in the ‘Mr Linky’ widget. So we know where to find your post.

4. Leave a comment in the comment section. That way I get an email to let me know that you’ve been by.

5. Visit the blog of the other participants who have also left their name in the linky to share their I Saw Sunday entry. Don’t forget this important stage, it is good to share!

6. Come back and join in again next week! It will be great to see you again.

Please Vote for Me is a documentary on the first time a Chinese elementary school has an election for a class monitor. In China, from primary – tertiary school each class has a monitor, who leads, reprimands, organizes and if need be rats on his or her classmates. This role in a class and sometimes these children develop good leadership skills and sometimes they just flounder in their own disorganization. In any event, taking on the position looks good on a resume.

The documentary maker hales from Wuhan and over time spoke to the school about making a film. So Evergreen Elementary School in Wuhan embarks on this democratic experiment with kids who have no idea what democracy is. It’s captivating to see the crooked roads the students often take urged on by their parents. There’s no smoked filled back rooms, but that’s not necessary to rig an election we soon see.

The teachers select three candidates: one’s been Class Monitor for two terms already, then there’s a cute, rather docile girl and jocular, yet shrewd boy. In the lead up to voting the candidates must participate in a talent show and a debate or rather ad hominem attack contest, and give a final speech.

More often than not, the race gets negative and kids start crying. Sometimes most of the class is in tears. What struck me was how the teacher just smiled through the drama never trying to teach a lesson in fairness or counsel a candidate to be more respectful. There really was no educational consequence for running a smear campaign.

You will see who wins and I’ll just say it’s the kid I liked the least. I wondered why a school in one party China would attempt this. By the end I thought, this experiment is sure to cure anyone with a desire to make the country more democratic. By making an election, a painful childhood memory, few Chinese will choose that form of government when they’re older.

If you don’t subscribe to Netflix, you can see the film on YouTube.

Quotation

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Albert Camus

After all manner of professors have done their best for us, the place we are to get knowledge is in books. The true university of these days is a collection of books.
Albert Camus

Who Brings Out the Best in You?

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The person who brings out the best in my life is Joseph Zhang. He is our band’s conductor.

He teach us not just music also teach us how to be people. In China, most top school have band in school but the bad thing is they have wrong ideas, means in school the band just play two or one son in the year cause they need to prepare competition they want to win it, it also happen in my middle school, that is so boring, they aren’t enjoy the music, even you don’t know what the feeling of this song, what are you need to expression, just play lots of time, remember the song!! But in Guangzhou Young Symphonic Band, the conductor has different ideas of play music for fun, for enjoyment, for learn, for improving yourself.

My first time came audition when I was in middle school. At that time, my just have basics skill, I can said I didn’t know everything, but conductor gave me a chance, he said if you don’t try how can you know you can progress? So I still in band B, some time I can’t follow it or have some problems of skill, he will help us if we ask him. Also he will invite others musician come to our band to give us some view let us know more and more things with music. Also he gives us different music score to let us feel music and improve our skill. So in their, I learn and I improve.

Music can change life also music can’t get money to measure. That is they most important things that Joseph teaches us. Within your ability to help more people! He not just help our band he also help in other band which school haven’t enough money let kids learn instrument. He helps people to improve.

 

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