Friday, June 15, 2012

High School Entrance Exams

Are a really big deal. It's not affecting my kids because they're only seventh graders, but the ninth graders are having a really rough time of it. They have class every day until 10:15 p.m. now, which is adding an hour onto an already unrealistically tough schedule, and they've been having class every weekend. They just don't seem to ever get a break. Those test scores are just so important to both the individual students, and to the school.

The entrance exam to college is even more intense though. There were headlines a while back because there were kids hooked up to IVs so that they could keep studying longer and harder. I mean, it makes a certain kind of logic to hook yourself up to a drip to keep your energy up, but I'm glad I never had to do anything like that in high school.

Speaking of IVs, it's totally what you do any time you aren't feeling so hot. Just go to the local clinic, and get them to hook you up with a drip for a couple of hours. Apparently it works great, but I haven't yet been brave enough to go try it.

p.s. Here's a link about the IV drip studying stuff.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Update + More on Drought

School's still going well. Right now TFC fellow at my school and at two other elementary schools are working on a group research project where students go to their villages, interview people, and learn about something (customs, jobs, farming, local problems...) that they find interesting and with guidance from a local teacher put together a project. The winning group gets to go on a trip to Kunming (which is a big deal) and 2nd and 3rd place get recognition and prizes as well, so that's cool. 

Summer camp planning is going along well. Right now I'm trying to pick which kids from my class I'm going to choose to apply to summer camp: I only get to choose three so it's a really hard choice because there's a lot of interest. 

In terms of the drought--it's been raining for the past couple days here for the first time since I got to this region, so that's a really good sign. The weather's miserable, but I think people are happy because everybody seems to have water again. The water that we use comes form a nearby reservoir, so hopefully the constant rain has been replenishing a little of the water that we've been using.  

Also, TKK commented on the last post, and it was interesting, so here it is:

Drought is terrifying. I know that I personally take the stability of my life entirely for granted. In Ghana, one of the people in our group asked the former mayor of Accra what he was most proud of, and he said the continued existence of the country. And it really is a hugely impressive accomplishment considering the challenges the country has faced domestically and the regional instability...
Yeah, drought is really terrifying. Where do most people in Yunnan (or, you know, your particular area), typically get their water? I mean, river, aquifer, rain...? Also, the article said that money was being allocated for drought relief--what does that mean in practice? Shipping water in?
Congratulations on the compliment!!!!! I know you've worked for it. :) 

And I think that that means shipping water in. Huge 50L bottles of water have been getting dropped off at a lot of the local business, and I assume at some people's homes as well.