News is Spreading

bya Gabrielle at 2:48 PM

I check my stats on my blog every once in a while to see who is coming to it and how they found out it exists.

I had to laugh earlier when I checked out the list of search words peopled used to get to my little blog in the last month. The search words usually have nothing to do with my blog at all. The are just so random that when they type it in my link appears somewhere near the top of the list. Thinking that my blog may be what they are looking for, they click on it only to find that it isn’t what they wanted at all. Hence all the people that come and don’t don’t even stay for a blasted second.

What made me laugh was this: Keyword= Chinese teacher throws student out window

I have joked many times about throwing my students out the window. I have even day dreamed about doing it. Maybe one day I will get so frustrated that I will actually go through with it. But the fact that someone searched for it means that someone somewhere did it. Or word has spread about the punishments I prefer to have in my class. Ah, if only it was so. Heh.

But yeah, I thought I would share it with you. It made me laugh. Maybe it made you laugh, too.

I did some searching and this is what I found. Indeed, someone really did do it. Wow.

Click here to read the gruesome details.

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Little Artists

bya Gabrielle at 1:40 PM

On every floor of my school there is an area where you can find a chalk board. The students love to write messages and draw pictures on them. I never know what they are writing for the obvious fact that it is in Chinese, but I imagine it is like a bulletin of sorts. The things that they write or draw have purpose and order – it isn’t chaotic or anything. They would appear to have themes.

The thing I like to look at most is the art work the students do. The first picture that I have posted is of a cartoon character that we call Naruto back home. He seems to be pretty popular here. The cool thing about their art work is that they don’t just draw the picture – the push the chalk into the board until it forms a raised bump and then a lot of little bumps form a section and the sections become a picture. It is hard to just wipe off. You have to scrape it pretty hard.

To give you an idea of what the pushed chalk looks like, I took a close up of another drawing some of the kids did. I will show the big picture and then the close up version. I can’t figure out what it is. It almost looks like a stop light, but I haven’t ever seen one quite like it. Maybe some of you will know.

Exhibit A – Weird Stop Light Thingy

See what I mean about not knowing exactly what it is. It sorta looks like a traffic light, but I’m not exactly sure.

Exhibit B – Close up of Weird Stop Light Thingy

Sorta looks like ground meat got slapped on the board. Interesting.

Exhibit C – The Writing on The Wall

God only knows what it means.

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SCEG has nothing on China!

bya Gabrielle at 5:05 AM

I saw this walking home the other day, and had to stop to take a picture. He probably thought I was nuts, but oh well, I got the picture didn’t I?

Back home if you see anyone trying to fix a power line there is always a big truck with a man sitting in a bucket and that bucket is on an arm extending upwards toward the power line.

Not in China.

I don’t know how the Chinese man got onto the power lines. I didn’t see a truck, a latter, or a stool, but he was there – sitting as pretty as he pleased on a little strip of wood that was tied to the wires. As he sat there he kept tugging on another wire that I figure he was adding to the present wires, but heck, he could have been doing anything. I was a meter reader, not an electrician. I just thought it was interesting to see how another country fixes problems like these. You would never, and I mean ever, see a SCEG employee doing this. No sir. Not in a million years. Can you imagine the lawsuits that would arise? I can.

I won’t ever know how the man got down either because after I snapped my picture, I scurried off. I know that China is developed in a lot of ways, but when I see things like this, and I see them more often than you think I would, I wonder how far back China is – in the sense of becoming a developed country. I guess China has a way to go in cities like Fuyang. Shanghai has to be more developed than this, right? I would hope so.

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The Cutest Chinese Puppy Ever

bya Gabrielle at 2:24 PM

Alright. I know. This goes against everything and anything I learned while working at Bermex. I am supposed to hate dogs, and a part of my soul always will – Bermex Honor – but this puppy was so cute that I could eat him. I better not say that too loud or he may end up on my plate. Heh.

For the most part, I haven’t seen any big dogs here – ie Pitt Bulls and what not. I don’t think people can afford to feed them. Dog and cat food is expensive – even for a little bag. I have noticed that there are no leash laws here either. Dogs just run around where ever they please. They are pretty smart, though. They look both ways before they cross the street. They usually travel in twos for some strange reason as well.

But anyway, back to the cutest puppy ever.

He was sitting on the curb right out side his owner’s shop watching me as though he knew I was a foreigner. I know that look all to well because I get it all the freaking time. Most animals run when I try to approach them maybe because they think that I am coming to eat them, but he sat very still. When I sat down next to him his little tail started wagging. His little eyes glistened with glee as I reached out and patted his head. He seemed so very happy. Behind him his owner was smiling ear to ear probably thinking, “Oh, my dog is being petted by a foreigner – how lucky am I?” I snapped his picture, waved to the lady as thank you and patted his head one last time. As I walked away, I turned and saw the little dog running back to his owner like a primary school student runs back to his parents after saying hello to a Whitey. It made me smile. I walked a little further, hopped on my bus, and went home for the day.

It is days like this one that make me happy. The little things have always been the most important. If I saw this little guy every day, I would be able to forgive my evil students and live happily in Fuyang for the rest of my life. Heh. I still think he is the cutest puppy dog ever. I may just have to kidnap him.

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View From Six Floors Up

bya Gabrielle at 2:12 AM

You can thank Phil for making the pretty panorama work. You can use your mouse, click and move it around…. Up, down, left, right, and dizzy! Have fun. This is our balcony in Fuyang, China.

Categories: China,Fuyang
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bya Gabrielle at 1:47 AM

My lovely classroom.

This is where I teach all my precious little devils how to speak and understand English. The room in the picutre is neat only because I had just straighted it back up. I try very hard to keep the desk in pairs. I like to walk around the classroom and it helps keep them from talking more than they already do. Besides the chalk board that is behind me – there is nothing in the room but the student’s desks and chairs. It is a rather dirty, dull room. At least I have a “view” being on the 5th floor.

This is the view from my classroom window. That massive building you see on the other side of the track is the Primary School. It is about 7 floors and they have an elevator. Lucky bastards.

I like to watch all the little kids running around outside. They look like little ants and have so much energy. I don’t know how I would handle teaching them. Although my kids are devils, I think I have the easiest platform. Note the blue sky. Blue skies here are rare.

This is the courtyard or the center of the school. The picture only shows half of it, but the other side is identical. One day I saw a kid get pushed into the bushes. The bushes swallowed him and I laughed. The kids here are either A) very affectionate or B) ultra-violent. There is no in-between.

I got bored going home one day and decided to take a picture of myself in the stairwell. I thought I was the only one there, but as I went to go snap the picture – the kid took off running down the hall. It is a weird picture, but I thought it was sorta cool.

Ah. Look at them. Preparing for battle . . . Heh, that would be funny if they were, but no such luck. Every morning the kids have to participate in excerises. It is a pretty long routine, but they remember every little movement they have to do. They don’t like it at all and it is all done half-heartidly. The sad part is that my camera could only capture half of the student body. The population of the school could easily beat that of any school back in the States. It is amazing how many people there are here.

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My School: Part 2

bya Gabrielle at 5:40 PM

Here she is, folks. My school – well, at least some of her anyway. There was no real way to capture the school in its entirety. It is a rather big school and there are even more students.

The school might as well be my second home, or my first home rather, for I spend more time here than I do anywhere else. I am at the school Monday through Friday between 7 and 8 everyday and get home somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 or 5. I only teach 4 classes a day, but those 4 classes are spread throughout the day. When I am not teaching, I am sitting in my office and playing on the computer – much like I am now. There isn’t anything else to do, really. If I want to go off campus and go somewhere interesting – I have to walk 10 minutes to the RT Mart(Grocery store). It is a lot like a Wal-Mart, if not bigger. There are 3 floors. Top floor is snacks, electronics, clothes, and house items. The second floor is all things cold, fruit, bread, meat, and canned goods. The first floor is like a mall. There are several smaller stores there. There is a KFC and dumpling store on the first floor, too. I haven’t eaten KFC in a while. The place is expensive and steals all my money when I go there. But it hits the spot when I am craving food from home – so I try to not let the whole expensive thing keep me away from it.

I’ve been in China for one month and a day now. It is hard to believe. The time has gone by so quickly. Many of the days have blended together and I don’t know where they have gone. I find myself trying to grasp the idea of where I am even more so than when I first arrived. I see the Chinese people and I hear them talk, there are Chinese characters that I can’t read everywhere and most of the time no one understands the words that come out of mouth – but I still have a hard time understanding that I really am in China. It feels like a dream. Sometimes, I think that I am only just in Florida on vacation and the population of Asians has grown by leaps and bounds.

I think that is one of the hardest things . . . being able to understand that home is 7,000 plus miles away and that I can’t just get in car and drive there. So many things used to be familiar and now almost all things are foreign – except for the universal signs like KFC and the famous arches that have seemed to take over the world. I hear there is even a Dairy Queen in Hangzhou.

It is weird not having a car. Phil really misses driving, and I do too, sometimes. Carrying everything you buy home makes you watch what you buy. Anything too heavy gets left behind until another day.

I have 14 classes left this week and then it is the weekend. Then it is vacation time for me and all the rest of China. National Day is on October 1st, but for some reason we get a week off. I’m not going to complain. During this week we are going to Shanghai to sight-see and to meet up with some Phil’s friends from back home. I am going to enjoy every second of it. It is not everyday you get to go to largest city in the world.

If I am not too busy tonight, I will post more pictures of the school. I have some interesting ones. You’ll see what I mean.

Categories: China,Fuyang,School
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My School

bya Gabrielle at 5:25 PM

Fu yang Yong Xing School(Foo Young Yong Shing) – A private school filled to the brim with pesky little devils. That is what it should translate into, but no school would admit to such a thing. And if anyone ever asks me what Yong Xing means – that is exactly what I am going to tell them because the world deserves to know the truth.

The day before I taught, I imagined eager, but shy students to stand up and say “Good Morning Good Teacher” along with all the other niceties one would come to expect from such a so-called strict nation. I pictured a quiet class, one that would listen to me and raise their hands to answer questions. I thought that they might know some basic English, if not a little more. I imagined a lot of things. I wanted to believe that Chinese students were what every American teacher dreamed of teaching.

I could not have been more wrong.

I expected a lot a things to happen here in China, but I did not expect to find insane, rude, pesky, loud, annoying, fighting, little devil students in my classroom. More or less, everything I have ever been told or read went out the window the very first day I taught. I had a very serious O.M.G moment. But I kept my cool and tried to teach the helpless buggers anyway.

During my first week, I taught each of my 20 classes(I only teach each student one time a week) about me. I wrote the word introduction up on the board and then proceeded to tell them all the things about yours truly. I told them where I was from and all that jazz. I talked about things I liked to do – where I took a small moment to scare the crap out of them by acting out what kind of books Stephen King wrote. I would sneak quietly up to their desks and say, “Stephen King writes SCARY(insert slapping my hands down on their desk very, very loudly) books!” I almost made them all faint. The girls took it the worse, but I saw some boys trying to catch their breath as well. It is little pleasures like this that will help me get through the next 9 months. I know, I know, I’m evil – but you have to have some kind of fun into the classroom. I did a similar thing with the word crazy. When they couldn’t tell me what it meant – I would promptly throw my hands in the air and start screaming, “CRAZY, CRAZY, I’M CRAZY!!” That made them all want to faint again. At least I kept them on the edge of their seat that one day.

Anyways, I told them about my family and how many brothers and sisters I have. They couldn’t believe I had 5 siblings. Here in China, they practice the one child policy. I understand why they are doing it, but it is still a little sad. In the end, I had them get up and introduce themselves to me. All they had to do was read what I wrote on the board and fill in the blanks. The read very well, although all the answers were very similar. Copy cats.

This all in all sounds wonderful to you and it almost sounds wonderful to me the way I wrote it, but the painful truth is that they just didn’t care. I had to beg people to answer me. No one had questions . They were loud. Sometimes they refused to stand up. I heard “I don’t know” 100 different times. I don’t know is their way of getting out of not answering and they know that. They don’t listen. If I was their Chinese teacher they would have stood and greeted me. That did not happen. The do their homework for other classes on the front row right in front of me. It is truly insane. They fight, they talk, they pass notes, throw money and about a dozen other things as though I am not there. A lot of them don’t even bring paper or pencils. I think they think that my class is a free period where they are not required to learn. The worst part about it – is that I think the school knows this and they don’t care. It is simply amazing. That is all I can really say.

This week was on Friendship and Best Friends and all that neat stuff. They were so completely uninterested. I am at a loss on how to get them to want to learn English. I have only been here two weeks, and I am about to give up on the aspect. Maybe I should stand in front of class and just say random stuff and see what happens.

They can’t even remember my Chinese name for goodness sake. Even Phil’s students know my name and they have seen me like once here and there. My students don’t remember anything either. I can make them repeat something and make them tell me what it is – but if you ask them the same question 5 minutes later – they have no idea what you are talking about.

I’ve told some of the bad students that I would eat their souls for breakfast and that I throw bad students out the window and that I even burn homework from another class that is done and my class. I think I may burn the next homework I see someone doing while I am teaching.

Sorry for such the down post – but I hadn’t had the chance to talk about it much on the blog. I have more pictures of the school, but like normal – I can only post one at a time here at school for some strange reason.

Phil and I are going to Hangzhou this weekend to get a train ticket to Shanghai during the first week of October – National Day it is called. It is a holiday for just about everyone. I will be looking forward to going. There is a lot to see in Shanghai. One of the first places I am going to will be a Subway(the restaurant) and eat be a sub sandwich. It has been so long since I have had one.

Who ever it was that told me that Chinese food is good and filling lied. I hate you. And I mean that it the most loving way possible.

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The Omega Machine Part 2

bya Phil at 4:35 AM

Modded Double Dragon Cabinet

Sorry about the long delay. I’m in China for a year and have been quite busy. Here’s the next step though for our Xbox to Jamma conversion.

Xbox to Jamma (Video)

Anyway continuing from the previous post, we now we have Red, Green, Blue, and Composite Signal from our Xbox cable. Composite Signal is a mix of the video signal with the video sync. Our Arcade monitor can only understand the RGB and video(composite) sync. So that extra video signal becomes a problem and we have to filter it out. Luckily this is easy to do.

I worked on a Jamma cab and I wanted to keep it stock in case my bro ever wants to do something to it later. So I bought a Jamma Fingerboard offline for about 4 bucks, and a LM1881N chip to split up the sync and the signal.

It’s super easy…
I know it looks crappy. Click on the image to make it big.

Xbox to Jamma

Xbox to Jamma

Simply put, you first wire your Red, Green, and Blue to the Jamma fingerboard.

Second you have to make the circuit to split up the composite sync from the composite signal.
For this you need a LM1881N chip. I got one for 6 bucks total on eBay.

Wire it up just like the pic shows. I used a 8 pin harness to wire it up so I wouldn’t risk overheating the chip. Just wire up the harness and put the chip in after your done.

R1 = 680 K resistor
C1 and C2 = 100nf (0.1uF) capacitors

Don’t use Electrolytic caps. Use cheap ass Ceramic Disc caps they work the best and have no polarity (therefore it doesn’t matter which direction ya hook them up).
The resistor and caps you can find at your local electronics store for just a buck or two.

You can get the +5 volts from the Jamma cab. Just wire it straight from the 8 pin harness to the fingerboard.
When ya finish the circuit, just take the Composite sync and wire it to the video sync on the fingerboard and solder up the ground wire from the circuit and the Xbox cable. They go to the same place on the Jamma fingerboard.

Modded Double Dragon Cabinet

Oh by the way! You HAVE to solder a ground wire from video ground pin on the Jamma fingerboard to the main ground pin on the Jamma fingerboard. If you don’t the picture will spin round and round. All the grounds are going to the same place.

Now take your Jamma fingerboard and hook it up to the Jamma harness inside of the machine. Plug up the Xbox and test it out. If ya hooked it up right, you now have video on your Jamma machine!

My video was a little dim, so I found the controls on the back of the Arcade monitor and turned up the brightness. The Xbox doesn’t push out as much power as the original game. When I return to America in 9 months I will show everyone how to build a video amplifier for the machine.

Oh by the way, if you adjust the brightness on your machine be super super careful. TV’s, Arcade monitors, and Computer monitors hold a huge charge. If you touch the wrong spot, you will probably die! Seriously! Even if the machine is unplugged! I only did it cause I had to leave the states to come to China and did not have time to build a video amp.

Well we now have video. Now we just need sound, and controls.

I will post again soon and show you how I got the sound working from my Xbox on my Jamma machine.

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Happy Moments and Pretty Pictures

bya Gabrielle at 1:40 PM

Happy Moments . . .

I never thought eating a watermelon would make me so happy. This was taken in Hangzhou. I was starving, and since there was a fruit stand right beside where we were staying – we bought one. Finding a knife was fun. We ran around trying to mime cutting things. After going to a few stores we finally found one. It was one of the tastiest watermelons I have ever had – of course I was very thirsty and hungry. Can you see the joy on my face? I was also happy because I had enjoyed a very nice warm shower.

Walking around and finding crazy translations like this one make us laugh. I have seen worse though. I find myself asking how there can be so many English speaking people here, but then there are things like this. You would think someone some where would tell someone of their mistakes, but maybe the Chinese want to save face and don’t want to correct them. Who knows. All I know is that I find myself laughing a lot seeing all their crazy misspellings and weird use of words. Cafe Diary is only one of the funny ones. I will have to take more pictures like this one as I come across them.

Phil laughed when he found a Pabst Blue Ribbon in the store. He bought it to take a picture of it, and didn’t ever drink it. It is probably still sitting in the refrigerator where we stayed in Hangzhou. Who thought China would have Pabst?

And Pretty Pictures . . .

Here is a picture of West Lake in Hangzhou from atop a little mountain. Pretty isn’t it? We need to go back and spend more time there. We were so tired and hot when we were there last. It was hard to enjoy ourselves. We are going this weekend to get train tickets to Shanghai. Maybe we can see it then.

Bamboo! We went to a place called Yellow Dragon Cave. I don’t remember really seeing a cave – I just remember sweating like a pig and climbing endless stairs. Endless stairs that went on and on forever. I thought I might die. Not even my Bermex training was enough for those stairs. There was this one section completely covered in bamboo. It was very pretty and tranquil. We ran into a nice cop there and tried conversing in our broken Chinese. He ended up taking us back to this little building in the woods and giving us water – God only knows if it was boiled or not. I haven’t died yet – so I guess I am ok . . . I hope.

Well, like always, I have ZERO energy and must go. Sorry if these blogs seem lack luster. But teaching is kicking my booty. I will post more tomorrow. I have so many pictures.

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