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Upper education in china

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New semester and 'respected' professors



Haven't really had a chance to update since the new term began, I had my thesis proposal in early September which felt like more of a defense than a proposal. Out of my panel only one of the professors could really ask me questions because the other two didn't have a background in cognitive linguistics and didn't really understand my topic. So I spent 20 minutes of defending my topic with this one professor (Actually my old Consecutive interpreting professor)  who began with "honestly this just feels like an idea on paper" ... ummm.... yes.. thats what a proposal is lmfao. but I continued to humor her and stand by my topic. It was rough, actually the entire classroom went through this slurry of vicious attacks toward our topics that if you were unable to defend yourself you would just be stuck standing there listening to them shit on you for 20 minutes. The hardest part was that everyone had to stay in the room so it was roughly 4 hours of listening to each student present and defend themselves. But I survived and my proposal passed somehow even though one of the panel told me that she felt that my topic was really interesting but just not for me. 


This term I only have 4 classes. Written translation on Mondays, And 2 simultaneous interpreting courses on Friday. Our Tuesday classes (4 hours) began sometime after the holidays and every week since then has been a mental torture. The original teacher for the class "cross-cultural communications" was supposed to be an interesting guy from Australia. Unfortunately this guy is under Confucius scholarship studying his Phd and cant continue his teaching so we got stuck with the same guy who taught us last semester in 4 hour brackets. 


Yes... that professor. I don't like to judge but this class should just be renamed "My musings" because every class has just been about him rambling off  things from his mind for four hours. Nothing he says has anything to do with the class or to anything even remotely useful. It actually feels like he's just trolling the class, because I don't understand how someone can talk about an ant and tiger analogy for four hours straight. I think the worst part of this class is that his musings always lead to something totally inappropriate. So something extremely racist or sexist, or homophobic crosses his mind and he just goes on and on and it really hurts me to hear that so many of my classmates find this "PHD" so interesting, when he would literally be crucified in my country for the things hes said. I don't know how someone like him has studied in America. I've been bringing my study materials and books to read in class so that I don't have to listen to that garbage that he says, but you know its really hard to block out something so completely inappropriate. 


But other than his inappropriateness his classes are just a waste of time. I'm not even kidding when I say that I had to listen to him talk about colors yesterday. He started from Red and ended on Gray and then looked at the time and we had about 20 minutes left of class and he mused "what other colors have i missed? Oh yeah Brown!".


The Monday translation professor is a close second to a professor I have no respect for this term. This lady prepares nothing for class. Her classes are prepared by a different classmate each week. And I'm not talking about just a short presentation. No. I'm talking about a full class, including creating group work exercises etc. She does nothing. What she does is sit there and when shes given the remainder of the class to add anything (roughly 20 minutes) her response is "well what am I supposed to do?" ...... um. Teach. That's what you get paid for . That's your job. In the very beginning of the term the professor wasn't clear she wanted us to basically teach the class every week so in week 2 when we came to class this lady had some nerve to criticize us all for being irresponsible and unprepared for class. She does this from time to time when people are late. I'm legit rolling my eyes in that class every week. 


The only class worth mentioning is our simultaneous interpreting classes held on Fridays. The classes have been really difficult but really good for exercise. The only qualm I have is that I have my recordings played every class for both sections, so every week I have to hear my lousy interpretations twice in the same day (from E-C and C-E) its rough but I've gotten so used to it that Its kind of like meh whatever to me. Though its kind of irritating that its always the same people played every week. I haven't heard half of my classmates in that class even once. 


So other than classes what have I been up to? Its a semester that leaves a lot open. I've been trying to work on honing my interpreting skills, especially in simultaneous interpreting which I find to be quite challenging. My professor suggested shadowing for about 10-15 minutes a day to get used to keeping up with the pace. A problem that many of us have with simultaneous is waiting too long to begin, and only speaking in 3 word clusters instead of having a fluid sentence. I've been shadowing with this program 《绝密档案》 from the app 蜻蜓。 The app itself has a lot of different podcasts to choose from to listen. I just find this program particularly interesting so after 15 mins of shadowing I just continue listening to the rest of the story. I've also made use of going over some of my old resources that we had from past classes so Ive been going over speeches that have Chinese and English to work on a more formal register and also to get a feel for collocations. 


I wanted to work this semester but I think that with the thesis and everything I'd rather just focus on my studies this term. Its sad to be without the extra cash but I have my whole life to make money but just this year to really work on my studies. I've still been keeping my eyes on jobs because I'd like to find a job after my studies and stay here for another year. As much as China kills me at times, I'm not ready to leave. 


That's it. Our first draft of our thesis is expected to be ready by December for our pre-defense. The date hasn't been confirmed yet but we've been told already we should have a minimum of 19,000 written. I still need to set my study up and get a move on it.  I'll try and keep this blog up to date! 


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On 1/24/2019 at 6:55 AM, murrayjames said:

Nice blog. How are your studies going?


omg sorry. Haven't updated this in forever. well I'm in my last semester, no classes, just formalities and thesis submission. My adviser passed away not long before the start of term (2 weeks ago) and I was assigned a new thesis adviser last week. Honestly been a bit chaotic trying to communicate with the new adviser I was given, when I finally met with her she hadn't read my thesis and wanted me to do an additional case study, to which I told her it was impossible to do an additional study within a week. She said that was okay and would take a look at some other stuff and let me know what I needed to change. She never got back to me. I messaged her about getting her signature for my thesis submission yesterday and she said sure. But when I went into her office she refused to sign my thesis unless i allowed her to write on my thesis "student was unwilling to make changes to thesis upon my suggestion. This thesis is full of many problems". I asked her why she would do that and she was like ohh its okay its just for the office. I asked her if she even read my paper and she said no. Then I asked her if she read it since we last met and she said no. So I asked her what basis did she have to suggest I was against changes or that my thesis had 'so many problems' when she hadn't read past my acknowledgements. She was like 'oh I've been very busy". 


It was a really frustrating conversation. She told me how she understood my abstract in Chinese but not in English and tried to point at "errors". She was like "whats 'culturally bound'"... and then she started to say how my acknowledgements had issues. 'why not say 'thank you'' i was like .... 'saying 'much love to my friends' is pretty much the same meaning... besides this has nothing to do with my actual thesis. My school had a pre-defense before winter holiday that i passed. And before my thesis adviser passed away he had agreed to the changes I made on my thesis. This ladies only basis on not signing mine was because 'another foreign student failed' and i was like 'what does that have to do with me? I passed the pre-defense and so did another foreign student. I know the student who failed, hes my classmate and friend and his situation was different. "  She's a new teacher so maybe she felt like she wanted to cover her ass or maybe show that she's a 'strict' teacher. Whatever the reason I wasn't about to let her write that nonsense on my paper. Luckily I was able to find another professor to sign on my behalf (2 hours before the deadline..). It seems all of us who were reassigned new advisers were given two professors who could sign on our behalf. 


Honestly have never felt so insulted in my life. Its one thing if she read my paper and was like okay its crap. But she didn't even read it and wanted to write on record that I wasn't receptive to suggestions and that she felt my paper was not good enough. 


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Wow, what a story. Glad you got the signatures you needed. You should repost your story as a standalone blog entry—or somewhere else on the forums—so that more people see it.


What is next for you? The defense?

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3 hours ago, grawrt said:

Haven't updated this in forever.

Good to see you posting though. That comment would serve as a new blog post itself if you wanted. And glad you got that signature in the end!

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sorry roddy! I actually wrote a post after my first pre-defense and my second pre-defense but I think something came up and I never posted it. I can try and write up a new post about the thesis process later tonight. Its quite laughable how many times I have been wrongly 'corrected' during this entire process. The only person who seemed to actually know their shit was my adviser and its so unfortunate that he is no longer with us. 


Today was the submission for the plagiarism check. If all goes well then the papers will be sent directly for the 'blind check' to other universities. If it passes the blind check then we have the final defense at our university and its kind of like a formality more than a real defense.


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