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Showing most liked content since 11/15/2017 in all areas

  1. 9 points
    Freezing drizzle mixed with light snow flurries outside my window today here in the City of Eternal Spring sent me on a quest for some simple comfort food. Kunming has real good weather overall, but that doesn't mean we totally escape winter. Managed to make a quick run to the fresh market on one of the trusty Ofo shared bikes before getting really socked in. Invested 3 Yuan in a nice slice of long, skinny Yunnan pumpkin 南瓜, not the Jack-O-Lantern kind. The seller had donggua/wintermelon 冬瓜 on offer as well. She lets you buy as much of one as you want, since both these vegetables are usually too large for only one family. Deftly scoops out the seeds and shaves off the thick rind, then chops it into two pieces so it will easily fit inside my shopping bag. Wound up with 600 grams, a little over a 斤 or a pound of usable flesh 肉。 Before anything else, I started washing and soaking the rice. I used one cup total, about half of which was medium-grain white rice 大米, with the remainder being millet 小米 and short-grain sticky rice 糯米。That combination is completely optional; the recipe works just fine with all plain rice instead. The thing I most often got wrong when starting out making zhou 粥 several years ago was that I always seemed to use too much rice. It's easy to forget how much it will expand during the process of cooking, and you want the result to be soupy, not thick. I would suggest thinking long and hard before exceeding one cup of grain, since it eventually needs to be diluted 10 to 1 or 12 to 1 with water or stock. Next order of business, and another of those simple things that is easy to slight, is to wash the rice very well. The idea is not just to get it clean, but to remove surface rice powder and begin softening or even breaking some of the grains. This is different from making steamed rice where you would like to maintain grain integrity. Rinse it four or five times, each time scrubbing it around with your hands, rolling it between your palms. Consider this some kind of mild primal therapy. Put on loud music if necessary. Then let it soak. Ideally for about an hour. And this soaking water will be discarded before you actually start cooking. Now turn your attention to the pumpkin. Wash it quickly under running water and then slice it into thin pieces. These don't need to be tiny slivers, but it works best if they aren't large chunks. Steam these for 15 or 20 minutes, until they are soft and pierce easily with ordinary blunt chopsticks. Some recipes call for mashing them at this point, but I think that's unneeded labor. While the pumpkin was steaming, I defrosted a large cup of frozen chicken stock that I had made a week or two before. Water can be used instead if you want to go vegetarian. Poured off the rice soaking water, which by this time was pretty clear, added the stock and enough extra water to be twelve times the volume of the dry rice. Add the soft steamed pumpkin and turn on the heat. I'm using my trusty rice cooker, which has a setting for zhou, labeled 稀饭 because that's the preferred term in Yunnan. Make sure your rice cooker is not more than about three quarters full; don't want it to boil over. If you don't have a rice cooker you could make it stovetop, but it requires lots of stirring to be sure it doesn't stick. You can also use a slow cooker 电子砂锅。The "zhou" program on my rice cooker takes a little over 30 minutes. But I open the lid every five minutes or so and stir it well with chopsticks. Want to break up any clumps and make sure it doesn't burn in the bottom of the pot. Towards the end of cooking time, I add a teaspoon of salt 食盐 and four or five pieces of rock sugar 冰糖。Taste to be sure the rice is cooked through and completely tender. If not, give it a few more minutes. The results are smooth, steamy, aromatic, and nourishing. I garnished the bowl with a few wolfberries/gouqi 枸杞。 You can use your imagination in adding other ingredients, or you can keep it classically simple. Regardless, it will chase away the cold weather blahs admirably and not saddle you with much in the way of cleanup. Give it a try.
  2. 9 points
    Yunnan is blessed with lots of geothermal activity which is frequently harnessed as hot springs for recreation and bathing. Until you have lived here a while, it's difficult to grasp the role these glorious places play in day to day life. Consider for a minute that most ordinary older homes here use solar hot water 太阳能热水 which goes AWOL if the weather is cold and rainy. And consider also the design priorities of ordinary older homes that allocate the bathing area to a shower head rigged in a couple square feet above the traditional squat toilet 凳子厕所。These factors don't make for a luxurious experience; they don't make you want to linger and sing Puccini arias. So every now and then, particularly when the weather is foul and you crave a good soak and a good scrub, you go to one of the hot spring bath houses 洗浴 where your extravagant needs can be met. I caved in last weekend; let me take you along since this is something that might not be in a textbook. These places are scattered all over Kunming, with varying degrees of simplicity and luxury. I went to one that was middle of the road where I feel comfortable and pretty well know the program. The facilities and service are both up to snuff, without the tab being exorbitant. I typically go in mid-morning, have lunch and lounge around most of the afternoon. The price of admission actually provides you a full 24 hours, and some of my friends avail themselves of that benefit. At the front desk you may be asked to show ID; seems to change from time to time. You surrender your shoes and are given sandals and a numbered wrist band. Upstairs into the men's changing area, where an attendant uses his key plus yours to open a big clothing locker. You deposit your belongings with the exception of your mobile phone and move into the bathing area. Women do something similar on their own side, in separate facilities. An attendant shows you to a shower stall and adjusts the water. Some places have a sign on the wall telling how deep the water source is and its temperature down at the mouth of the spring. I've even occasionally seen itemized trace mineral composition. A selection of shampoos and body wash is provided. You scrub to your heart's content, not worrying in the least about wasting water. When thoroughly clean, you transfer to one of the nearby soaking pools. The main pools are usually 40 degrees (Celsius) with smaller pools being a little cooler and a little hotter than that. A uniformed guy brings you a paper cup of cool or warm water to sip. You soak and stretch, watch TV, chat. (No scrubbing here; this pool is very clean.) After 15 or 20 minutes I take a plunge in a small ice pool to keep my core temperature in check. Then continue with serious stretching calisthenics, almost yoga-like, enjoying the chance to really limber up in the heat. After a half hour or so, I exit and shower again, then go to get scrubbed. This is euphemistically called 擦背, but the attendant scrubs you all over with a coarse cloth while you lie on a plastic-topped table. Here, as in the rest of it, your modesty must be checked at the door. These guys have a number of tricks up their sleeves in addition to the basic body scrub, which costs 25 or 30 Yuan as a rule. Their favorite, for a few coins extra, is to scrub you with a combination of coarse salt and essential flower oil, Yunnan being home to tons of fresh flowers. This is referred to as 推盐推油。The whole process exfoliates dead skin and does deep moisturizing. It ends with him laying a wet towel on your back, then slapping and pounding you to a drummer's complex rhythm, all up and down your posterior parts from your neck to your butt. Known as 敲敲背。Needs to be loud to be right. Drawers pictured left are for your phone. Your wrist band has a key that locks and unlocks these small drawers. Freshly slathered with oil and salt, pounded and tenderized like a veal cutlet, you are now sent on your way to one of the steam rooms to let the nutrients soak in fully. You sit on a bench in a cloud of steam and rub the salt and oil further into your pores, just using your hand. A barrel of water and a dipper are in there so you can occasionally swoosh some over your head. When you are about as hot as lava inside and out, you exit and have a cool shower, omitting the soap so the goodies are not removed from your skin. If you crave more heat, then you can graduate to the dry sauna, which is equally extreme. I usually omit that and instead have a shave and brush my teeth. Disposable supplies are provided. By now I'm relaxed, refreshed and really, really clean. Dry with small towels and stop by a special blow-dry room 吹干 to stand in front of large fans that blow warm air on you from head to toe. They are operated by a light-beam switch, turning on when needed, then shutting off. Proceed to a room where you are given disposable underpants and a shorty pajama-type uniform. These are family establishments, and it's usual to see kids enjoying the facilities along with their dads. This man is giving his young son a very early start. By now it's noon, time for lunch. Line up chow-hall cafeteria style and serve yourself. Notice lots of the people are wearing bathrobes to keep warm, because the large dining room has sections which are outdoors under a glass balcony, making them a little cool. Large variety of food is provided, good quality, constantly refilled by an attentive staff of chefs and kitchen helpers. I was there on a Saturday, and weekends are particularly busy. Found a spot at a table where a family squeezed over to let me in. The kids wanted to practice 5 or 6 words of English and pose for photos. Father afterwards apologized; saying they had never actually talked with a foreigner before. Pretty sure I was the only one in the house. Anonymity is not a reasonable expectation. They saved my seat while I got seconds and the mother suggested I be sure to try the duck webs 鸭掌, since that was a specialty they only had on weekends. Her brother told me it was snowing in Dali. Well bathed and well fed, I now headed out for a lazy afternoon's rest. Passed one of several children's play areas, on my way to the resting hall 休息厅, which was filled with reclining chairs. You could sit and watch an individual TV with earphones, or you could lie down, cover with a quilt and snooze. Waiters and waitresses offer refreshments and fruit. I had a tall glass of their red tea 红茶, which as you know, aids digestion 养胃。Read my book a few minutes, and drifted off into a light nap. There are tricks to selecting a resting hall, and I try to pick one which is non-smoking. Also, some are more "social" than others, with people chatting and playing cards. One can order a chair-side massage, the most popular selection being a foot massage. Lasts 45 minutes or an hour and includes neck, shoulders and back. Finish up lying face down with the therapist waking on you with bare feet. Costs 50 Yuan or so. Some special resting halls have warmed marble floors, and you lie directly on them Korean style. And here's a very considerate one that I'll let you guess about. You can have your ears cleaned or indulge in an impressive array of TCM treatments, including scraping 刮痧 and cupping 拔火罐。Pedicures are also popular. Some of these treatments are done in private rooms on another floor. This is the zone where erotic massage used to be offered in the bad old days before Chairman Xi's never-ending morality crusade 严打。It's all plain vanilla now. After a couple or three more hours of laziness, I decided to wander on home. Dressed, paid my tab, reclaimed my shoes. My six hours cost a little over 200 Yuan, including a back scrub and a foot massage. Now I don't care if it stays cold and nasty all week; my body and soul are revived and well fortified.
  3. 7 points
    @gwr71, every post has an edit button, which you can use to add something to your earlier post. There is no need to make three posts in a row. Also, if you don't know the answer to a question, it's okay to not reply in a thread. You can wait for helpful replies by others and upvote those. This is possibly more useful to the OP.
  4. 7 points
    You are worrying way too much. 1) Although it might seem like it, you aren’t a dancing monkey. Different teachers have different styles. You do not have to be bouncing off the walls when you teach kids. You DO need energy, enthusiasm and to be interested/like what you’re doing. Use your voice / facial expression more than anything. Of course, play some fun games and the kids will be on side. As for parents, if they drop the kids off and pick them up... don’t ignore them. Big smile and a hello. Get off to the right start and all will be well. Is your injury classed as a disability?Unless your injury means you can’t actually move around the class or are not mobile at all then I can’t see it being a big problem. If it does mean that, did you let them know in your application? Of course they want to find you an apartment as as soon as possible! Don’t most people want that?? In my experience they want out of the hotel and into their own place ASAP! I don’t think there’s anything weird about that. You’ve just got there and you’re already thinking about being fired! From what you’ve said you haven’t even taught a class! If you’re thinking like this, it definitely isn’t going to help you settle in or teach. It’s madness quite frankly. Embrace the opportunity. Try to Enjoy it. EF aren’t going to spend all the time and effort to get you over here then fire you in a week. Honestly, as long as you put the effort in and take on board feedback, anyone can do a good enough job. You aren’t expected to be this professional, experienced teacher straight away. EF know what they’re getting when they hire no/limited experience people. It’s their bread and butter. 2) It’s fine. Everything is in processing. Which city are you in? I’ve lived in China for 6 years (Beijing and Yinchuan) and I’ve never been visited by the police at my apartment. Maybe it’s more common wherever you are but it’s nothing to worry about unless you’re doing something actually illegal in your apartment. If they do visit as standard, it’s literally just a standard procedure. 3) Definitely sounds paranoid. Why would other teachers lie to you? What would they have to gain from that? Also, even if they had been here longer... so what? Use that to your advantage with teaching and life. They’ll know all the good places to eat etc They could have just arrived in wherever you are and have China experience, they could just be well travelled. Either way, still doesn’t matter. If you want to know their story, just ask. You need to ask yourself, do you really want to do this? Would you regret packing up and leaving now? It doesnt sound like you’ve given it a chance yet.
  5. 7 points
    @gwr71: If writing those muddled, pedantic posts helped you enjoy a little dopamine rush, well, I'm glad you feel better. However, this thread isn't about me and my personal story; nor need you, your wife, Cuban medical education, or anything else take center stage. I am only posting here for one reason: to try and prevent other students from unwittingly getting sucked into the nest of lies, stress, and terrible teaching that is 北中医/BUCM. Amid all of your groundless conclusions and unbidden advice, you asked one question: I will address this question, speaking not simply about my own situation, but that of many classmates. Indeed, why doesn't everybody just drop out if it's such a bad university? Here are some of the common reasons: Investment: In order to learn traditional Chinese medicine in Chinese, one must make an enormous investment of time, money, and passion. Learning TCM requires the ability to fluently read, write, and speak about a vast array of topics including modern medicine, chemistry, biology, and dietetics, in addition to numerous patently Chinese topics ranging from the fundamentals TCM to the names of over 300 herbs to Daoist philosophy to classical Chinese. A student can enter TCM after 2 years of intense language study and still be almost illiterate from the standpoint of medical studies. Thus, after entering medical school, all students pour hundreds if not thousands of hours into their language capabilities. The required dedication is enormous. By the time that it becomes obvious that TCM school will fail to meet even the lowest of expectations, the student has already devoted 3-4 years to his or her language studies and first 1 or 2 years of med school. Many therefore just slog it out. A very common refrain is, "well, I've f*cking made it this far, I might as well graduate." Learning curve: Here I am not talking about the medical learning curve. I am referring to how one actually has to spend quite a lot of time in a TCM university "learning the ropes" before it becomes obvious how bad things really are. While it is common to be told by upperclassmen that there is little to look forward to, starry-eyed freshmen (including me) usually don't believe this, and imagine that the cynical words of jaded upperclassmen don't reflect reality. When students reach years 2 and 3 and begin to frequently complain to their professors and administrators about the low quality of education, the answer is almost always the same, "well, wait till you reach your 4th year of studies and your 5th internship, that's when the real learning takes place. And then you can go get your masters or PhD, and really learn. " Some office staff and faculty utter that empty promise like a mantra; conversely, there are also some honest souls who will admit to you that only about 1/50th of TCM university students end up as good doctors (that statistic isn't one I made up for fun--it was suggested to me by a very candid BUCM professor; the number includes Chinese students, not just foreign). Passion: Some students are simply very passionate about TCM. They are committed to remaining in China and learning outside of the university; they stay enrolled in the university because they wish to obtain visas, diplomas, and/or on-campus housing. Family/face: It is common to meet Thai and Korean students who were told to study TCM by their parents. They have very little choice about dropping out. Life: Plenty of students don't really know what else they'd rather be doing with their lives. They have friends all over Beijing, jobs, and so forth. Frankly, some in my class did not want to go home to the middle of nowhere when remaining in Beijing meant access to nightlife and adventure. Money: In my opinion, the are a number of TCM colleges in the US (and perhaps other countries) that actually provide a much better education than what you can find in the PRC. I visited several, including Yosan in LA, NUNM in Portland, and NESA (before it changed hands) near Boston, and I am sure that one would, at minimum, get infinitely more hands-on training there than one gets in China. However, those colleges cost $30,000 US or more per year, whereas BUCM cost only a few thousand dollars each year. Numerous students I knew contemplated transferring to US-based TCM colleges and could not afford to. Because they actually think BUCM is great: Just kidding. I can't think of any long-term students who had a high opinion of the school. Some who come for a year think it is ok. I wish I could think of somebody who had a high opinion of BUCM. I would say so here if I could.
  6. 7 points
    So I decided to brush up my Wubi typing skills, and needed some text to practice with. First I used a novel, but it was too easy -- lots of common compounds, not really testing one's ability to break down characters. It seemed a classical text would be more appropriate for practice purposes. Then what would be more classical than San Bai Qian (三字經、百家姓、千字文) I thought. So I set out to find the text. Interesting thing is, there are many versions of San Zi Jing, no two of them are identical. For example, this and this are supposed to be the original Song version; and here a Qing version and a Republican version (they even changed 竇燕山, can you believe that?); this site has a simplified version complete with pinyin, but with too many errors and it dare call itself sanzijing.org. Another thing I didn't realize: there are many characters that have different pronunciations across the Strait. Check out these YouTube videos. The first one is the Republican version done by a group of children, very mesmerizing. The second one is the Qing version. The reader's accent is so perfect, I almost mistook her for a CCTV announcer. The only giveaway is where the Taiwan pronunciations differ from the Mainland's (can you spot them?). Okay, too much talking. Here's the text, the original Song version except one place I believe. Both simplified and traditional forms are given (the latter I typed using bopomofo, and a thought I had while typing: if bopomofo were the predominent input method, would we still have people asking "how important are the tones"? -- you can't even type without knowing the tones /grin). Different Taiwan pronunciations are marked with pinyin. The English translation is by Herbert Giles (taken from ctext.org). ====== rén zhī chū xìng běn shàn xìng xiāng jìn xí xiāng yuǎn 人之初 性本善 性相近 习相远    人之初 性本善 性相近 習相遠 Men at their birth are naturally good. Their natures are much the same; their habits become widely different. gǒu bú jiào xìng nǎi qiān jiào zhī dào guì yǐ zhuān 苟不教 性乃迁 教之道 贵以专    苟不教 性乃遷 教之道 貴以專 If foolishly there is no teaching, the nature will deteriorate. The right way in teaching is to attach the utmost importance in thoroughness. xī mèng mǔ zé lín chǔ zǐ bù xué duàn jī zhù xí 昔孟母 择邻处 子不学 断机杼    昔孟母 擇鄰處 子不學 斷機杼 Of old, the mother of Mencius chose a neighbourhood; and when her child would not learn, she broke the shuttle from the loom. dòu yān shān yǒu yì fāng jiào wǔ zǐ míng jù yáng 窦燕山 有义方 教五子 名俱扬    竇燕山 有義方 教五子 名俱揚 Dou of the Swallow Hills had the right method. He taught five sons, each of whom raised the family reputation. yǎng bú jiào fù zhī guò jiào bù yán shī zhī duò 养不教 父之过 教不严 师之惰    養不教 父之過 教不嚴 師之惰 To feed without teaching is the father's fault. To teach without severity is the teacher's laziness. zǐ bù xué fēi suǒ yí yòu bù xué lǎo hé wéi 子不学 非所宜 幼不学 老何为    子不學 非所宜 幼不學 老何為 If the child does not learn, this is not as it should be. If he does not learn while young, what will he be when old? yù bù zhuó bù chéng qì rén bù xué bù zhī yì 玉不琢 不成器 人不学 不知义    玉不琢 不成器 人不學 不知義 If jade is not polished, it cannot become a thing of use. If a man does not learn, he cannot know his duty towards his neighbour. wéi rén zǐ fāng shào shí qīn shī yǒu xí lǐ yí 为人子 方少时 亲师友 习礼仪    為人子 方少時 親師友 習禮儀 He who is the son of a man, when he is young should attach himself to his teachers and friends, and practise ceremonial usages. xiāng jiǔ líng néng wēn xí xiào yú qīn suǒ dāng zhí 香九龄 能温席 孝于亲 所当执    香九齡 能溫席 孝於親 所當執 Xiang, at nine years of age, could warm (his parents') bed. Filial piety towards parents, is that to which we should hold fast. róng sì suì néng ràng lí tì yú zhǎng yí xiān zhī 融四岁 能让梨 弟于长 宜先知    融四歲 能讓梨 弟於長 宜先知 Rong, at four years of age, could yield the (bigger) pears. To behave as a younger brother towards elders, is one of the first things to know. shǒu xiào tì cì jiàn wén zhī mǒu shù shí mǒu wén shì 首孝弟 次见闻 知某数 识某文    首孝弟 次見聞 知某數 識某文 Begin with filial piety and fraternal love, and then see and hear. Learn to count, and learn to read. yī ér shí shí ér bǎi bǎi ér qiān qiān ér wàn 一而十 十而百 百而千 千而万    一而十 十而百 百而千 千而萬 Units and tens, tens and hundreds, hundreds and thousands, thousands and tens of thousands. sān cái zhě tiān dì rén sān guāng zhě rì yuè xīng 三才者 天地人 三光者 日月星    三才者 天地人 三光者 日月星 The Three Forces are Heaven, Earth and Man. The Three Luminaries are the sun, the moon and the stars. sān gāng zhě jūn chén yì fù zǐ qīn fū fù shùn 三纲者 君臣义 父子亲 夫妇顺    三綱者 君臣義 父子親 夫婦順 The Three Bonds are the obligation between sovereign and subject, the love between father and child, the harmony between husband and wife. yuē chūn xià yuē qiū dōng cǐ sì shí yùn bù qióng 曰春夏 曰秋冬 此四时 运不穷    曰春夏 曰秋冬 此四時 運不窮 We speak of spring and summer, we speak of autumn and winter. These four seasons revolve without ceasing. yuē nán běi yuē xī dōng cǐ sì fāng yìng hū zhōng 曰南北 曰西东 此四方 应乎中    曰南北 曰西東 此四方 應乎中 We speak of North and South, we speak of East and West. These four points respond to the requirements of the centre. yuē shuǐ huǒ mù jīn tǔ cǐ wǔ xíng běn hū shù 曰水火 木金土 此五行 本乎数    曰水火 木金土 此五行 本乎數 We speak of water, fire, wood, metal and earth. These five elements have their origin in number. yuē rén yì lǐ zhì xìn cǐ wǔ cháng bù róng wěn wèn 曰仁义 礼智信 此五常 不容紊    曰仁義 禮智信 此五常 不容紊 We speak of charity of heart and of duty towards one's neighbour, of propriety, of wisdom, and of truth. These five virtues admit of no compromise. dào liáng shū mài shǔ jì cǐ liù gǔ rén suǒ shí shú 稻粱菽 麦黍稷 此六谷 人所食    稻粱菽 麥黍稷 此六穀 人所食 Rice, spiked millet, pulse, wheat, glutinous millet and common millet. These six grains are those which men eat. mǎ niú yáng jī quǎn shǐ cǐ liù chù rén suǒ sì 马牛羊 鸡犬豕 此六畜 人所饲    馬牛羊 雞犬豕 此六畜 人所飼 The horse, the ox, the sheep, the fowl, the dog, the pig. These six animals, are those which men keep. yuē xǐ nù yuē āi jù ài wù yù qī qíng jù 曰喜怒 曰哀惧 爱恶欲 七情具    曰喜怒 曰哀懼 愛惡欲 七情具 We speak of joy, of anger, we speak of pity, of fear, of love, of hate, and of desire. These are the seven passions. páo tǔ gé mù shí jīn sī yǔ zhú nǎi bā yīn 匏土革 木石金 丝与竹 乃八音    匏土革 木石金 絲與竹 乃八音 The gourd, earthenware, skin, wood, stone, metal, silk, and bamboo, yield the eight musical sounds. gāo zēng zǔ fù ér shēn shēn ér zǐ zǐ ér sūn 高曾祖 父而身 身而子 子而孙    高曾祖 父而身 身而子 子而孫 Great great grandfather, great grandfather, grandfather, father and self, self and son, son and grandson, zì zǐ sūn zhì xuán zēng nǎi jiǔ zú rén zhī lún 自子孙 至玄曾 乃九族 人之伦    自子孫 至玄曾 乃九族 人之倫 from son and grandson on to great grandson and great great grandson. These are the nine agnates, constituting the kinships of man. fù zǐ ēn fū fù cóng xiōng zé yǒu dì zé gōng 父子恩 夫妇从 兄则友 弟则恭    父子恩 夫婦從 兄則友 弟則恭 Affection between father and child, harmony between husband and wife, friendliness on the part of elder brothers, respectfulness on the part of younger brothers, zhǎng yòu xù yǒu yǔ péng jūn zé jìng chén zé zhōng 长幼序 友与朋 君则敬 臣则忠    長幼序 友與朋 君則敬 臣則忠 precedence between elders and youngers, as between friend and friend, respect on the part of the sovereign, loyalty on the part of the subject. cǐ shí yì rén suǒ tóng 此十义 人所同            此十義 人所同 These ten obligations, are common to all men. fán xùn méng xū jiǎng jiū xiáng xùn gǔ míng jù dòu jiù 凡训蒙 须讲究 详训诂 明句读    凡訓蒙 須講究 詳訓詁 明句讀 In the education of the young, there should be explanation and elucidation, careful teaching of the interpretations of commentators, and due attention to paragraphs and sentences. wéi xué zhě bì yǒu chū xiǎo xué zhōng zhì sì shū 为学者 必有初 小学终 至四书    為學者 必有初 小學終 至四書 Those who are learners, must have a beginning. The "little learning" finished, they proceed to the four books. lún yǔ zhě èr shí piān qún dì zǐ jì shàn yán 论语者 二十篇 群弟子 记善言    論語者 二十篇 群弟子 記善言 There is the Lun Yu, in twenty sections. In this, the various disciples have recorded the wise sayings of Confucius. mèng zǐ zhě qī piān zhǐ jiǎng dào dé shuō rén yì 孟子者 七篇止 讲道德 说仁义    孟子者 七篇止 講道德 說仁義 The works of Mencius are comprised in seven sections. These explain the way and the exemplification thereof, and expound charity and duty towards one's neighbour. zuò zhōng yōng zǐ sī bǐ zhōng bù piān yōng bú yì 作中庸 子思笔 中不偏 庸不易    作中庸 子思筆 中不偏 庸不易 The Zhong Yong was written by the pen of Zi-si; Zhong (the middle) being that which does not lean towards any side, Yong (the course) being that which cannot be changed. zuò dà xué nǎi zēng zǐ zì xiū qí zhì píng zhì 作大学 乃曾子 自修齐 至平治    作大學 乃曾子 自修齊 至平治 He who wrote The Great Learning was the philosopher Zeng. Beginning with cultivation of the individual and ordering of the family, it goes on to government of one's own State and ordering of the Empire. xiào jīng tōng sì shū shú rú liù jīng shǐ kě dú 孝经通 四书熟 如六经 始可读    孝經通 四書熟 如六經 始可讀 When the Classic of Filial Piety is mastered, and the "Four books" are known by heart, the next step is to the "Six classics", which may now be studied. shī shū yì lǐ chūn qiū hào liù jīng dāng jiǎng qiú 诗书易 礼春秋 号六经 当讲求    詩書易 禮春秋 號六經 當講求 The Books of Poetry, of History and of Changes. The Rites of the Zhou Dynasty, the Book of Rites, and the Spring and Autumn Annals, are called the Six Classics, which should be carefully explained and analysed. yǒu lián shān yǒu guī cáng yǒu zhōu yì sān yì xiáng 有连山 有归藏 有周易 三易详    有連山 有歸藏 有周易 三易詳 There is the Lian Shan system, there is the Gui Zang, And there is the system of Changes of the Zhou Dynasty; such are the three systems which elucidate the Changes. yǒu diǎn mó yǒu xùn gào yǒu shì mìng shū zhī ào 有典谟 有训诰 有誓命 书之奥    有典謨 有訓誥 有誓命 書之奧 There are the Regulations, the Counsels, the Instructions, the Announcements, the Oaths, the Charges; these are the profundities of the Book of History. wǒ zhōu gōng zuò zhōu lǐ zhù liù guān cún zhì tǐ 我周公 作周礼 著六官 存治体    我周公 作周禮 著六官 存治體 Our Duke of Zhou drew up the Ritual of the Zhou Dynasty, in which he set forth the duties of the six classes of officials; and thus gave a settled form to the government. dà xiǎo dài zhù lǐ jì shù shèng yán lǐ yuè bèi 大小戴 注礼记 述圣言 礼乐备    大小戴 註禮記 述聖言 禮樂備 The Elder and the Younger Dai wrote commentaries on the Book of Rites. They published the holy words, and Ceremonies and Music were set in order. yuē guó fēng yuē yǎ sòng hào sì shī dāng fěng yǒng fèng 曰国风 曰雅颂 号四诗 当讽咏    曰國風 曰雅頌 號四詩 當諷詠 We speak of the Guo Feng, we speak of the Ya and the Song. These are the four sections of the Book of poetry, which should be hummed over and over. shī jì wáng chūn qiū zuò yù bāo biǎn bié shàn è 诗既亡 春秋作 寓褒贬 别善恶    詩既亡 春秋作 寓褒貶 別善惡 When odes ceased to be made, the Spring and Autumn Annals were produced. These Annals contain praise and blame, and distinguish the good from the bad. sān zhuàn zhě yǒu gōng yáng yǒu zuǒ shì yǒu gǔ liáng 三传者 有公羊 有左氏 有谷梁    三傳者 有公羊 有左氏 有穀梁 The three commentaries upon the above include that of Gong-Yang, that of Zuo and that of Gu-Liang. jīng jì míng fāng dú zǐ cuō qí yào jì qí shì (cuò) 经既明 方读子 撮其要 记其事    經既明 方讀子 撮其要 記其事 When the Classics are understood, then the writings of the various philosophers should be read. Pick out the important points in each, and take a note of all facts. wǔ zǐ zhě yǒu xún yáng wén zhōng zǐ jí lǎo zhuāng 五子者 有荀扬 文中子 及老庄    五子者 有荀揚 文中子 及老莊 The five chief philosophers are Xun, Yang, Wenzhongzi, Laozi and Zhuangzi. jīng zǐ tōng dú zhū shǐ kǎo shì xì zhī zhōng shǐ 经子通 读诸史 考世系 知终始    經子通 讀諸史 考世系 知終始 When the Classics and the Philosophers are mastered, the various histories should be read, and the genealogical connections should be examined, so that the end of one dynasty and the beginning of the next may be known. zì xī nóng zhì huáng dì hào sān huáng jū shàng shì 自羲农 至黄帝 号三皇 居上世    自羲農 至黃帝 號三皇 居上世 From Fu Xi and Shen Nong on to the Yellow Emperor, these are called the Three Rulers, who lived in the early ages. táng yǒu yú hào èr dì xiāng yī xùn chēng shèng shì 唐有虞 号二帝 相揖逊 称盛世    唐有虞 號二帝 相揖遜 稱盛世 Tang and You-Yu are called the two emperors. They adbicated, one after the other, and theirs was called the Golden Age. xià yǒu yǔ shāng yǒu tāng zhōu wén wǔ chēng sān wáng 夏有禹 商有汤 周文武 称三王    夏有禹 商有湯 周文武 稱三王 The Xia dynasty has Yu; the Shang dynasty has Tang; the Zhou dynasty had Wen and Wu; these are called the Three Kings. xià chuán zǐ jiā tiān xià sì bǎi zǎi qiān xià shè 夏传子 家天下 四百载 迁夏社    夏傳子 家天下 四百載 遷夏社 Under the Xia dynasty the throne was transmitted from father to son, making a family possession of the empire. After four hundred years, the Imperial sacrifice passed from the House of Xia. tāng fá xià guó hào shāng liù bǎi zǎi zhì zhòu wáng fā 汤伐夏 国号商 六百载 至纣亡    湯伐夏 國號商 六百載 至紂亡 Tang the completer destroyed the Xia Dynasty, and the dynastic title became Shang. The line lasted for six hundred years, ending with Zhou Xin. zhōu wǔ wáng shǐ zhū zhòu bā bǎi zǎi zuì cháng jiǔ 周武王 始诛纣 八百载 最长久    周武王 始誅紂 八百載 最長久 King Wu of the Zhou Dynasty finally slew Zhou Xin. His own line lasted for eight hundred years, the longest dynasty of all. zhōu zhé dōng wáng gāng zhuì chěng gān gē shàng yóu shuì chè 周辙东 王纲坠 逞干戈 尚游说    周轍東 王綱墜 逞干戈 尚游說 When the Zhous made tracks eastwards, the feudal bond was slackened; the arbitrament of spear and shields prevailed; and peripatetic politicians were held in high esteem. shǐ chūn qiū zhōng zhàn guó wǔ bà qiáng qī xióng chū 始春秋 终战国 五霸强 七雄出    始春秋 終戰國 五霸強 七雄出 This period began with the Spring and Autumn Epoch, and ended with that of the Warring States. Next, the Five Chieftains domineered, and the Seven Martial States came to the front. yíng qín shì shǐ jiān bìng chuán èr shì chǔ hàn zhēng 嬴秦氏 始兼并 传二世 楚汉争    嬴秦氏 始兼併 傳二世 楚漢爭 Then the House of Qin, descended from the Ying clan, finally united all the states under one sway. The throne was transmitted to Er Shi, upon which followed the struggle between the Chu and the Han States. gāo zǔ xīng hàn yè jiàn zhì xiào píng wáng mǎng cuàn 高祖兴 汉业建 至孝平 王莽篡    高祖興 漢業建 至孝平 王莽篡 Then Gao Zu arose, and the House of Han was established. When we come to the reign of Xiao Ping, Wang Mang usurped the throne. guāng wǔ xīng wéi dōng hàn sì bǎi nián zhōng yú xiàn 光武兴 为东汉 四百年 终于献    光武興 為東漢 四百年 終於獻 Then Guang Wu arose, and founded the Eastern Han dynasty. It lasted four hundred years, and ended with the Emperor Xian. wèi shǔ wú zhēng hàn dǐng hào sān guó qì liǎng jìn 魏蜀吴 争汉鼎 号三国 迄两晋    魏蜀吳 爭漢鼎 號三國 迄兩晉 Wei, Shu and Wu, fought for the sovereignty of the Hans. They were called the Three Kingdoms, and existed until the Two Jin Dynasties. sòng qí jì liáng chén chéng wéi nán cháo dū jīn líng 宋齐继 梁陈承 为南朝 都金陵    宋齊繼 梁陳承 為南朝 都金陵 Then followed the Song and the Qi dynasties, and after them the Liang and Chen dynasties. These are the Southern dynasties, with their capital at Nanjing. běi yuán wèi fēn dōng xī yǔ wén zhōu yǔ gāo qí 北元魏 分东西 宇文周 与高齐    北元魏 分東西 宇文周 與高齊 The northern dynasties are the Wei dynasty of the Yuan family, which split into Eastern and Western We, the Zhou dynasty of the Yuwen family, with the Qi dynasty of the Gao family. dài zhì suí yī tǔ yǔ bú zài chuán shī tǒng xù 迨至隋 一土宇 不再传 失统绪    迨至隋 一土宇 不再傳 失統緒 At length, under the Sui dynasty, the empire was united under one ruler. The throne was not transmitted twice, succession to power being lost. táng gāo zǔ qǐ yì shī chú suí luàn chuàng guó jī 唐高祖 起义师 除隋乱 创国基    唐高祖 起義師 除隋亂 創國基 The first emperor of the Tang dynasty raised volunteer troops. He put an end to the disorder of the House of Sui, and established the foundations of his line. èr shí chuán sān bǎi zǎi liáng miè zhī guó nǎi gǎi 二十传 三百载 梁灭之 国乃改    二十傳 三百載 梁滅之 國乃改 Twenty times the thrown was transmitted in a period of three hundred years. The Liang State destroyed it, and the dynastic title was changed. liáng táng jìn jí hàn zhōu chēng wǔ dài jiē yǒu yóu 梁唐晋 及汉周 称五代 皆有由    梁唐晉 及漢周 稱五代 皆有由 The Liang, the Tang, the Jin, the Han, and the Zhou, are called the Five Dynasties, and there was a reason for the establishment of each. yán sòng xīng shòu zhōu shàn shí bā chuán nán běi hùn (hǔn) 炎宋兴 受周禅 十八传 南北混    炎宋興 受周禪 十八傳 南北混 Then the fire-led house of Song arose, and received the resignation of the house of Zhou. Eighteen times the throne was transmitted, and then the north and the south were reunited. shí qī shǐ quán zài zī zǎi zhì luàn zhī xīng shuāi zài 十七史 全在兹 载治乱 知兴衰    十七史 全在茲 載治亂 知興衰 The Seventeen Dynastic Histories are all embraced in the above. They contain examples of good and bad government, whence may be learnt the principles of prosperity and decay. dú shǐ zhě kǎo shí lù tōng gǔ jīn ruò qīn mù 读史者 考实录 通古今 若亲目    讀史者 考實錄 通古今 若親目 Ye who read history must study the State Annals, whereby you will understand ancient and modern events, as though having seen them with your own eyes. kǒu ér sòng xīn ér wéi zhāo yú sī xī yú sī xì 口而诵 心而惟 朝于斯 夕于斯    口而誦 心而惟 朝於斯 夕於斯 Recite them with the mouth, and ponder over them in your hearts. Do this in the morning; do this in the evening. xī zhòng ní shī xiàng tuó gǔ shèng xián shàng qín xué xí 昔仲尼 师项橐 古圣贤 尚勤学    昔仲尼 師項橐 古聖賢 尚勤學 Of old, Confucius took Xiang Tuo for his teacher. The inspired men and sages of old studied diligently nevertheless. zhào zhōng lìng dú lǔ lún bǐ jì shì xué qiě qín 赵中令 读鲁论 彼既仕 学且勤    趙中令 讀魯論 彼既仕 學且勤 Zhao, president of the Council, studied the Lu text of the Lun Yu. He, when already an official, studied, and moreover with diligence. pī pú biān xiāo zhú jiǎn bǐ wú shū qiě zhī miǎn xuè 披蒲编 削竹简 彼无书 且知勉    披蒲編 削竹簡 彼無書 且知勉 One opened out rushes and plaited them together; another scraped tablets of bamboo. These men had no books, but they knew how to make an effort. tóu xuán liáng zhuī cì gǔ bǐ bú jiào zì qín kǔ 头悬梁 锥刺股 彼不教 自勤苦    頭懸梁 錐刺股 彼不教 自勤苦 One tied his head to the beam above him; another pricked his thigh with an awl. They were not taught, but toiled hard of their own accord. rú náng yíng rú yìng xuě jiā suī pín xué bú chuò 如囊萤 如映雪 家虽贫 学不辍    如囊螢 如映雪 家雖貧 學不輟 Then we have one who put fireflies in a bag, and again another who used the white glare from snow. Although their families were poor, these men studied unceasingly. rú fù xīn rú guà jiǎo shēn suī láo yóu kǔ zhuó 如负薪 如挂角 身虽劳 犹苦卓    如負薪 如掛角 身雖勞 猶苦卓 Again, there was one who carried fuel, and another who used horns as pegs. Although they toiled with their bodies, they were nevertheless remarkable for their application. sū lǎo quán èr shí qī shǐ fā fèn dú shū jí 苏老泉 二十七 始发愤 读书籍    蘇老泉 二十七 始發憤 讀書籍 Su Lao-Quan, at the age of twenty-seven, at last began to show his energy and devote himself to the study of books. bǐ jì lǎo yóu huǐ chí ěr xiǎo shēng yí zǎo sī 彼既老 犹悔迟 尔小生 宜早思    彼既老 猶悔遲 爾小生 宜早思 Then when already past the age, he deeply regretted his delay. You little boys should take thought betimes. ruò liáng hào bā shí èr duì dà tíng kuí duō shì 若梁灏 八十二 对大廷 魁多士    若梁灝 八十二 對大廷 魁多士 Then there were Liang Hao, who at the age of eighty-two, made his replies in the great hall, and came out first among many scholars. bǐ jì chéng zhòng chēng yì ěr xiǎo shēng yí lì zhì 彼既成 众称异 尔小生 宜立志    彼既成 眾稱異 爾小生 宜立志 When thus late he had succeeded, all men pronounced him a prodigy. You little boys should make up your minds to work. yíng bā suì néng yǒng shī mì qī suì néng fù qí 莹八岁 能咏诗 泌七岁 能赋棋    瑩八歲 能詠詩 泌七歲 能賦碁 Ying, at eight years of age, could compose poetry. Bi, at seven years of age, could make an epigram on wei-qi. bǐ yǐng wù rén chēng qí ěr yòu xué dāng xiào zhī 彼颖悟 人称奇 尔幼学 当效之    彼穎悟 人稱奇 爾幼學 當效之 These youths were quick of apprehension, and people declared them to be prodigies. You young learners ought to imitate them. cài wén jī néng biàn qín xiè dào yùn néng yǒng yín 蔡文姬 能辨琴 谢道韫 能咏吟    蔡文姬 能辨琴 謝道韞 能詠吟 Cai Wen-ji, was able to judge from the sound of a psaltery. Xie Dao-yun, was able to compose verses. bǐ nǚ zǐ qiě cōng mǐn ěr nán zǐ dāng zì jǐng 彼女子 且聪敏 尔男子 当自警    彼女子 且聰敏 爾男子 當自警 They were only girls, yet they were quick and clever. You boys ought to rouse yourselves. táng liú yàn fāng qī suì jǔ shén tóng zuò zhèng zì 唐刘晏 方七岁 举神童 作正字    唐劉晏 方七歲 舉神童 作正字 Liu Yan of the Tang dynasty, when only seven years of age, was ranked as an "inspired child," and was appointed a Corrector of Texts. bǐ suī yòu shēn yǐ shì ěr yòu xué miǎn ér zhì 彼虽幼 身已仕 尔幼学 勉而致    彼雖幼 身已仕 爾幼學 勉而致 He, although a child, was already in an official post. You young learners strive to bring about a like result. yǒu wéi zhě yì ruò shì 有为者 亦若是            有為者 亦若是 Those who work will also succeed as he did. quǎn shǒu yè jī sī chén gǒu bù xué hé wéi rén 犬守夜 鸡司晨 苟不学 曷为人    犬守夜 雞司晨 苟不學 曷為人 The dog keeps guard by night; the cock proclaims the dawn. If foolishly you do not study, how can you become men? cán tǔ sī fēng niàng mì rén bù xué bù rú wù 蚕吐丝 蜂酿蜜 人不学 不如物    蠶吐絲 蜂釀蜜 人不學 不如物 The silkworm produces silk, the bee makes honey. If a man does not learn, he is not equal to the brutes. yòu ér xué zhuàng ér xíng shàng zhì jūn xià zé mín 幼而学 壮而行 上致君 下泽民    幼而學 壯而行 上致君 下澤民 Learn while young, and when grown up apply what you have learnt; influencing the sovereign above; benefiting the people below. yáng míng shēng xiǎn fù mǔ guāng yú qián yù yú hòu 扬名声 显父母 光于前 裕于后    揚名聲 顯父母 光於前 裕於後 Make a name for yourselves, and glorify your father and mother, shed lustre on your ancestors, enrich your posterity. rén yí zǐ jīn mǎn yíng wǒ jiào zǐ wéi yì jīng 人遗子 金满籝 我教子 惟一经    人遺子 金滿籯 我教子 惟一經 Men bequeath to their children coffers of gold; I teach you children only this one book. qín yǒu gōng xì wú yì jiè zhī zāi yí miǎn lì 勤有功 戏无益 戒之哉 宜勉力    勤有功 戲無益 戒之哉 宜勉力 Diligence has its reward; play has no advantages. Oh, be on your guard, and put forth your strength.
  7. 6 points
    Well, that's completely backwards, but I doubt I'll be able to convince you of that given how certain you are of your strategy. Look, I went to graduate school in Taiwan. In the Chinese Department, researching the history and evolution of the language and writing system. All in Chinese, of course; I was one of only 4 foreigners in a department of hundreds. All my papers were written in Chinese, all the books I read were in Chinese, all the lectures I attended were in Chinese. I also worked as a Chinese to English translator for two years. I've read novels and watched movies in Chinese. I led a classical Chinese reading group for over two years in Taipei. My bookshelves are filled with academic and popular books written in Chinese about Chinese writing, language, history, philosophy, archeology, and culture. I did research on excavated bamboo texts from the Warring States period and on ancient character morphology (文字形體學). I know about 3500 characters. Maybe 4000 at a stretch, when my Chinese was at its best. You don't need 8000 characters. But you'll figure that out eventually, if you don't burn out first.
  8. 6 points
    Kunming is best known for its flowering trees that begin blooming very early in spring, often defying light night frost to do so. But last week I found a fine blaze or two of fall color in another of Kunming's minor parks, this one called Lotus Pool Park 莲花池公园。It's easy to get to and free, virtually undiscovered by tourists, although enjoyed with great regularity by locals. I entered by a back way, having ridden the number 29 Bus, and the first thing I saw inside the gate was an elderly man practicing water calligraphy 水书法 on the slate paving stones of the open courtyard. I watched from a respectful distance and snapped a couple of discrete photos. The gentleman looked up and saw me, took off his hat and walked over. Was I going to be chewed out and reprimanded for invading his solitary space? Had I broken some unwritten rule? Rather gruffly he asked, "Can you read it?" I smiled and took a stab at doing so. The writing was very clear and precise, not really difficult to follow. I stumbled over one or two words, and he gave me appropriate prompts. He moved very close now, face to face, took off his dark sunglasses and hit me with the crucial follow up question, "But can you understand it? Do you know what it means?" Well, I floundered for 10 or 15 seconds before confessing my ignorance. "Do you remember when Liu Bei 刘备 met with Zhuge Liang 诸葛亮 before the founding of Shu Han 蜀汉 and they swore to...." Well, he was off on a rapid reprise of the history of the Three Kingdoms that was well over my head, though I did catch a reference to the evil Cao Cao 曹操 from the north, to which I nodded vigorously. What he had inscribed on the ground with his wet pen, had to do with these matters. He walked me up and down the two columns of rapidly disappearing characters, pointing with emphasis to some of them, wanting me to repeat those key terms out loud, perhaps so I would remember them better. Eventually, I told him I had to meet some other friends deeper inside. Thanked him, he wanted to shake hands, which I found a little unusual. Had I just become his disciple 徒弟? It's always a treat to meet a genuine enthusiast; someone who cares strongly about any given subject, and I had just unwittingly managed to do that. Good start to the day. The park is not so densely forested as to prevent glimpses of tall building nearby, easily seen through the coloring foliage. Night-time temperatures so far have not been below freezing, so the color change of the leaves has been subtle in most species. Parts of the park are high on a hill, while other surround a quiet lake. It is dotted throughout with small and medium sized gazebos where people gather to chat, sing, play music, drink tea and just enjoy being outside with nature. I was there on a weekday, so the park was not crowded. Games were available for kids. Here a stand sold plaster of Paris molds which children could paint wildly, expressing their creativity after first putting on a disposable artist's smock. Some people did slow solo Tai Chi 太极拳, like this gentleman, which to me looked more like a moving meditation than an actual exercise workout. Soon I found a bridge that crossed a stream which fed into the lake. Small footbridges like this are always a feature of Chinese parks, embodying "crossing over" symbolism as well as simple functionality. Supposedly this stream, and others, were once fed by strong springs. Now they are just a trickle, but the runoff from the lake still goes into Panlong River 盘龙江, snaking through the downtown part of Kunming. Volunteers, some with red arm-bands, netted debris out of the lake. One could rent paddle boats or slow-speed electric boats by the hour. Families posed by the water, snapping memory-album photos against the backdrop of the pagoda, which rose across another arched footbridge. I met 5 middle-aged ladies fashionably dressed and out for a walk, full of giggles and laughter, jockeying for flattering selfie positions on the low steps of the pagoda. I later briefly got roped into being their group photographer. A few patient fishermen had their lines in the water, protected by large conical bamboo hats. I didn't see any "big catch" action, in fact, I didn't witness even a nibble. A concessionaire had tables set up which provided a pleasant view. He would provide cards, Chinese chess 象棋, or ma jiang tiles 麻将 for a small fee. I sat a while and sipped a tall glass of tea. One could have green tea or red for 10 Yuan with a tall thermos of hot water off to the side for free refills. Pu'er tea cost a little more, because it needed actual brewing. I sipped a very decent biluochun 碧螺春 while listening to a small group of musicians rehearsing nationalistic songs off to my right. It was approaching lunchtime and I wanted to move on. Crossed a different bridge and exited at the main gate. No bus stops were handy for any of the lines that would take me where I wanted to go, so I rented one of the public bicycles for 1 Yuan and peddled away. Another pleasant small-scale taste of Kunming beauty. Life can be good here if you let it.
  9. 5 points
    Limoncello is native to the citrus growing region along southern Italy's Amalfi Coast, but it can be home made in Kunming as well. We have an abundance of fresh, full-flavored citrus, especially in the cooler months of the year. If silk and porcelain and tea could make their way west centuries ago, no reason why the caravan cannot now head back to the east. Home made limoncello has always been the best kind, with a taste more fruity and fresh than commercial brands. It is traditionally enjoyed as a post-prandial digestif, served cold in a small glass right after eating. It is also loved as an aperitif, before the meal. Or it can be turned into a tall drink with club soda or tonic water. It is sunny and bursting with fresh lemon/citrus flavor. Let me show you how I make it. Buy a couple of bottles of trusty and potent Red Star Er Guo Tou 红星二锅头, which is known and maybe loved/maybe hated by every Old China Hand worth his salt. This notorious 白酒 is 52% alcohol, making it over 100 proof. One of the beauties of this recipe is that it is a way of "taming the dragon" -- transforming this fiery "rocket fuel" Er Guo Tou even beyond the palatable, actually turning it into a beverage which is smooth and enjoyable. This is the famous grain neutral spirit that is sold in every hole in the wall lunch stand in "unit dose" sized bottles. You regularly see hard hat guys knocking it back with their noodles. A 500 ml bottle of this powerful concoction costs the princely sum of 13 Yuan and 50 Mao. I used a bottle and a half, about 750 ml, just because of the size of my containers. The Er Guo Tou distillery produces some other whiskey that is more refined and lower proof. Don't need it; this original wild potion does just fine at a price which cannot be beat, only pennies more pricey than Coca Cola. Buy four to six nice firm lemons, preferably from the market where they haven't been sprayed with wax to extend their shelf life (as is common in the US.) Oranges are prime just now and I bought five of those along with my five lemons. Limoncello can easily be modified by using part tangerines or grapefruit. I've experimented with youzi 柚子 (pomelo) and the small green limes 青柠蒙 that are so popular here. Both have very thin skin, making them difficult to use. But mixing lemon with another citrus fruit makes the resulting liqueur have a less aggressive character; sort of rounds it out. Scrub them well with a vegetable brush and sharpen your best paring knife. The goal is to deftly remove the yellow zest with very, very little of the bitter white pith underneath. I used a ceramic-blade peeler and the paring knife. It takes some time to do this right. One can alternatively use a micro-plane grater, but it will make the finished product slightly cloudy. Do the same with the oranges. Just like the lemons in the picture above, you can see the full thickness peel on the left, the white pith sliced away with careful scalpel strokes, leaving the finished peel on the right. I pull a chair up to the table, set it all out on a cutting board, put in earphones with some Bach or Beethoven, and take my time. Let my mind go blank into that semi-meditative 刀法 zone. (daofa = knife skills) As you work, drop the finished peels into a big wide-mouth jar that contains your alcohol. Screw the lid on tight. If the fit is not snug, put a piece of Saran wrap 保鲜膜 over the top before sealing. To backtrack a moment, Er Guo Tou is really not the only way to go. Everclear plain grain alcohol would do, but I've never seen it for sale in China. Similarly, vodka is ok, but you need the 100 proof kind, which is nearly impossible to find. You want a high alcohol content because it acts as a solvent and puts the aromatic elements of the fruit into solution. Set this jar up on a shelf for at least a week. Every day or two agitate it gently. Some schools of though call for leaving it like that for a month or more. A week is as long as I've personally been able to delay. Maybe resting it longer would make it a hundred times better, but I will probably never know. After a week, it is time to make it sweet. This is done with a Chinese version of simple syrup. Bing tang, Chinese rock sugar, 冰糖 adds an element of smoothness that works with the Er Guo Tou like the two were made for each other. I used a cup of rock sugar and three cups of water. This will make the finished product about 50 proof, which is about right for my palate. You could use less water or more depending on your personal preference. Bring the sugar to a gentle boil in a saucepan, stirring off and on until it's all dissolved. After that, be sure to let it cool completely to room temperature. If you rush that step the resulting brew will be muddy in appearance. Now pour the cooled simple syrup into the alcohol and citrus peels. Seal the jar again and let it stand overnight. My jar wasn't big enough to hold it all, so I improvised with a clean ceramic casserole. Next morning strain it into a bottle. I used a fine mesh strainer first, set in a large funnel, then did it twice more with cheese cloth. One can also use a coffee filter, but I didn't have one. When you do this, don't be greedy. Don't try and press all the liquid through with a wooden spoon or such, determined to get the very last drop. The reason is that this would push through the unwanted crud attached to the peels; stuff that you would like to discard. Here's my finished product. You can smell the citrus across the room. And the taste is smooth, without that ferocious 白酒 bite. I poured mine into a saved vodka bottle because it's the right size to fit in my fridge. This finished limoncello doesn't absolutely have to be refrigerated, but it keeps longer like this so I don't feel compelled to guzzle it too fast. Safe for a month or more. It still seems to disappear pretty smartly on its own; I sometimes think there must be some refrigerator mice with straws at work after lights out. Why have I included a picture of ginger? Because I thought I would tell you a Chinese herbal secret. This limoncello is fantastic served hot with an additional squeeze of lemon or lime and several slices of fresh ginger. Put the juice, ginger, and a generous shot of limoncello into a mug and fill it with nearly-boiling water. In the technical parlance of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it will "cure what ails you." So you have wound up with a bottle of first rate home-made joy that can be served strait as an aperitif, mixed tall with club soda or tonic water, taken after the meal to settle things, or utilized as medicine to chase away the winter vapors. Can't go wrong with that. Give it a try and see what you think.
  10. 5 points
    Do use this as a place to come to for information and to ask questions regarding applications for the Chinese Government Scholarships for 2018. I have found that in past years, people have been tremendously helpful in addressing questions and concerns and I expect that this year's thread shall be no different. For this year, we have set up a whole subforum for CSC. Do peruse all of the topics and please try to keep pertinent questions and concerns under the appropriate topic. While we do encourage you to ask questions about the process here, we also encourage you to check out the following websites first (and check them out again and again!). The CSC has gotten better over the years in producing more transparent information about the process and a lot of questions can be answered by simply checking out the following websites: CSC main page: http://en.csc.edu.cn Study in China page: http://www.csc.edu.cn/laihua/indexen.aspx Intro to Chinese Government Scholarships: http://www.csc.edu.cn/laihua/scholarshipdetailen.aspx?cid=97&id=2070 Universities that accept scholarship students and their programs: http://www.csc.edu.cn/laihua/universityen.aspx Preparation of Application: http://www.csc.edu.cn/laihua/newsdetailen.aspx?cid=66&id=1145 Information about Scholarship Application: http://www.csc.edu.cn/laihua/newsdetailen.aspx?cid=66&id=3074 Also, DO email representatives at your desired universities as well as representatives of the Chinese Embassy in your home country with your questions. They have answers and they are willing to help you. The application process is now open. The application deadlines should be in early April, but do check the specific application deadline for your home country. To apply, contact and send your application to a Chinese embassy/consulate located in your home country. For example, Australians must apply at the Chinese embassy in Australia, and Americans must apply at the Chinese embassy in America. People currently in China can also apply, but they still have to mail their applications to a Chinese embassy in their home country! For people that are only applying for Chinese Language (as opposed to a degree), you can choose between 1 or 2 years. For people who are pursuing a degree, you can request 1 or 2 years of Chinese Language study BEFORE taking your classes if you either can't speak Chinese or need it improved. WE DO NOT KNOW THE CHANCES OF GETTING THIS SCHOLARSHIP FOR ANY COMBINATION OF THESE CHOICES. We don't know if we have a better chance of getting a partial or full scholarship, or if it's easier to get it if you request 1 or 2 years. Nor do we know how much your GPA matters, or if already having Chinese language skills hurts/helps you, or if having been to China before means you get extra points. Whatever it is, we don't know. Programs generally start in September, but there are also a few that start in March.... and SUMMER CLASSES are NOT included in the scholarship. If you already received the scholarship and wish to extend it you will need to apply again. First talk to your school or any contact to see what your options are. This is where your application will be going: Steps for Embassy application 1. You send your application to a third party representative of CSC (maybe your school). 2. The third party (OR you can apply directly) sends application to your native country's China Embassy. 3. Your native country's China Embassy sends your application to the Beijing CSC office. 4. The Beijing CSC office sends your application to your selected schools. 5. If and when a school accepts you, your acceptance is sent to the Beijing CSC office. 6. The Beijing CSC office sends your acceptance to your native country's China Embassy. 7. The China Embassy sends your acceptance and all needed documentation to you. Steps for direct application to universities for Post graduate applicants 1) Send your application to your preferred school 2) If admitted, school notifies you. 3) School sends it to CSC 4) CSC approves 5) School notifies you. 6) You get yourself into China At any step of this process your application may be rejected. Again we don't know why, how, or when the decision is made. In the end, the school gets a final say on whether you receive the scholarship or not. The Application 1. Proposed Study in China: e.g., Chinese Language Student 2. Duration of the Major Study: For people learning Chinese - you can study for either one or two years, starting in September. 3. Study or Research Plan: In the previous years, they required all applicants to write something like a personal statement that was no less than 400 words (THIS IS STILL TRUE FOR EU APPLICANTS and probably for "degree" applicants), but now, you can just write in a few sentences that you would like to learn Chinese. Feel free to write a full "study plan" if you'd like. 4. Organization/Person Recommending You: I say go for anything that sounds official: Use your university, your professor, the company you work for, this forum, whatever. 5. The Guarantor: Anyone you know in China. 6. Letters of Recommendation: It seems that letters of recommendations are NOT required for those studying Chinese and not pursuing a degree. This is also written on the website. Include them if you wish. Those who are pursuing a degree will need TWO letters of recommendation from professors/employers. 7. You need a notarized copy of your most recent transcript, and your high school diploma (for those who are still in university) or degree (if you already graduated from college). If it is not in English or Chinese, you need to get it translated into one of those two languages. 8. They want TWO copies of the application: send two of everything. The Foreigner Physical Examination Form You can get it filled out by your family doctor, internist, or a doctor from a clinic. As for the "photo section" - it requires either a signature or stamp on the photo and paper (half on/half off at the same time) so that it can act as a seal to prove that it is your photo and has not been tampered with. DO NOT send the ORIGINAL Foreign Physical Examination Form with either the CSC application or your visa application. Send copies. You keep the ORIGINAL with you - treat it like your passport (even though you'll never use it again). Post-Scholarship/In China Notification: If you get the scholarship (notification is sent to you sometime around May/June - some people were notified as late as August), CSC will send you a package filled with information on the selected school, an admission letter from that school, a letter reminding you that you must register at the school between certain dates, and the Visa Application Form for Study in China (JW201) already filled out by CSC. All you need to do is get the visa, book your flight, and come to China. Stipend: All fees are taken care of. The only thing you need to manage is your stipend. Some universities will give you an ATM card that gets money deposited in it every month, while others will require you to pick up cash from a certain office. The stipend is generally handed out at the end of the month. The stipend starts at 2500 RMB a month for bachelor's degree students, and then moves up to 3000 RMB a month for language students and master's degree students, and then tops out at 3500 RMB a month for doctorate students. Housing: The housing provided is the cheapest international students' accommodations the school offers. Usually, it's a tiny room with two desks, two closets, and two beds - without a private bathroom (you use a shared one with the rest of the floor). At some schools you can move to a nicer dorm, even to a single - as long as you pay the difference. If you consider moving off campus, check with your university to see if they will give you a monthly allotment to assist with paying rent. Some universities give CSC students a minimal amount to cover off-campus rent, some don't. This is a new thing. Insurance: ... ENGLISH-TAUGHT COURSES If you are applying for courses taught in English, be aware that these are often new and designed to attract high-fee paying foreign students. Check your scholarship will cover the fees. Also be aware that levels of English among teaching and administrative staff might not be as high as you want, and that new courses could be very disorganised - or sometimes just not exist. If possible try and find people who've already done the course. JOIN THE DISCUSSION - SAY HELLO Hello. Where are you applying from? Just studying Chinese or pursuing a degree? What did your local Chinese embassy say? Where and how did you get your papers notarized? Did you apply for your school of choice beforehand? Where did you get your Physical Exam done? Anything else you learned or would like to share? There is a lot of information you may find around these forums. If you find the application process to be too overbearing, we are here for you. Please be patient with the whole process and do put your best foot forward in the application process--this is an excellent opportunity for those of us who will get the scholarship so cherish it and do your best with it.
  11. 5 points
    IIRC it meant city wall originally (the inner wall specifically, 郭 was the outer wall) then by extension the city as a whole, presumably as a sort of synedoche at first but over time that usage became fixed. So as has been said, you have to go by context as unsurprisingly (since it would be quite a coincidence) that same process didn't happen to a word in English so the same range of meanings could be contained.
  12. 5 points
    First off, I'd like to welcome our first new moderators in.... years! @Lu and @陳德聰 have been getting used to how things work behind the scenes for a month or so now and are pretty much doing all the post approving / moving / deleting duties. This might mean some minor changes in what gets through the moderation queue, but nothing drastic, except perhaps improvements in response times in the Americas. Indeed as they've been doing this for a month already, you'll have noticed any changes by now. So thanks to them for offering to help out. And now that they're in place... Second: We should also have a small team of people in a volunteer / curator role. The tasks here would include: 1) Choosing content to be featured on the newer version of the homepage. The interface for this is quite straightforward, see the attached image. 2) Welcoming new members on-board. We've done this sporadically in the past, I'm hoping to get things running a little more systematically. By way of example, the poster here says she's studying in Nanjing. Right away that means she's got information which is useful to our members (Where? What's it like? So on). There are also topics she could be posting in right away (the fact that topic hasn't had a new post in six months shows the scope for improvement). Obviously not everyone is going to become a regular, but some will. Tools to aid this will include some kind of post-feed (like the new posts block on the homepage, maybe) including only posts by new members, highlighting posts by new members in topics, that kind of thing. Perhaps each new member automatically gets assigned to a volunteer, who gets a notification about their posts. Basically, I want to make sure the first posts by every new member are seen by someone who's thinking not just 'how do I answer this question' but also 'how do we make this person more likely to be here in six months'. 3) Similarly, encouraging existing members to contribute more. If someone mentions they're enjoying their new textbooks, suggest a write-up. If someone apologises for a late reply as they were on a trip through the Chinese countryside, suggest a trip report. The above is the top of the list and we can get started on this (enthusiasm permitting) by the end of the year, easily. There are other things I'd like to be doing in the longer term, but I'm going to leave those aside for now. If you're wondering what's in it for you - well, it's basically the above. If that's not the kind of thing you enjoy, continue using the site as you do currently. There'll probably be access to some more stats (tracking how we do on encouraging new members to stick around, for example) and definitely a private forum for volunteers and mods to discuss organisational stuff and post pictures of cats. If you enjoy the site and would like to help improve it and help others get more out of it, speak up. Don't worry if you're a relatively new member. I'm looking for, I guess, 5-10 people and it'd be nice to have a range of membership 'ages', and also people in different circumstances (eg, folk who are studying Chinese in China, at a university outside China, independently). If you're interested let me know. admin@chinese-forums.com Private Message or reply below. Questions and clarifications welcome. And don't forget to say hi to the new moderators! Edit: Changed the terminology to moderator, from admin. This is more accurate, we roughly have Admins: Me and Imron. Full server and back-end access, although Imron only uses his if I disappear. We can never be on the same plane. Mods: Our two new additions. Can approve, hide, delete, move, edit and generally toy with all posts. Can ban and warn members. Volunteers: None yet, role explained above.
  13. 5 points
    I’ll tell you what you should avoid doing: Working in another school in China. As above, it’s too visible. If you can find tutoring, it’s likely in a cafe or in someone’s home. Who knows what you’re doing there or the arrangement. It’s much less likely to be cracked down upon as it’s harder to know about. Especially if you find students yourself - if an agency has your details and they get raided then it would be the same deal as working in a school. Another option would be find some online tutoring work. Do it from anywhere and take a break, explore China, learn Chinese.
  14. 5 points
    Hi all, I am so happy to find out this forum on Chinese learning and hope that I am not being intruding to introduce one of my books to you. I've been struggling to find a good introductory book on classical Chinese poetry to my 3 kids who were all born in the US. Current related books on market are often illustrated with cartoon pictures which I dislike very much because I don't think they go well with the classical poems. So I decided to make one by myself. And what pictures can be better than the classical Chinese paintings? So I carefully selected 50 simple but elegant ancient Chinese poems each of which is paired with a traditional Chinese painting by a famous artist in different ages. My kids and many of my friends and their children love the book. Although it's originally designed for children, adults find it enjoyable as well since the combination of classical Chinese poems and classical Chinese paintings enhances the beauty of each other. The book is titled "50 Simple Ancient Chinese Poems with 50 Ancient Chinese Paintings" with a Chinese subtitle "古诗古画50首". It's currently available on Amazon worldwide including in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, etc. The book has two versions in both formats of ebook and paperback. One version is marked with Pinyin and the other without Pinyin. Please select the version best suits your need. 本书包含两个版本,“注音版” 及 “无注音版”, 分别有“电子书”和“纸版书”两种形式。请根据您的需要选择不同的版本。 For your reference, I'm attaching a few interior pages from the book and hope you like it. I'm also making the audio book version. So stay tuned. Please visit my author page on Amazon for more information: https://www.amazon.com/Slow-Rabbit/e/B078BNTHDX Thank you all. Slow Rabbit
  15. 5 points
    Hmm, lots of questions. Let me see if I can sort it out for you. Firstly, Chinese is a topic-prominent language. Topic-comment structure is very common. 这样的包 (topic)  价格很低 (comment) As for this kind of bags, the price is low, (whose price we're talking about is clear, without using a modifier)  但是  很多 (topic)   质量不合格 (comment) but as for many (of them), the quality is not up to standard. (the quality of what? of many of them, the topic) And since in the second part, the top-level topic is still in effect, there is no need to repeat it. 'Many' can only have one possible referent: this kind of bags. When something is inferable from the context, we omit it instead of using a pronoun. The topic-driven syntax and the frequent omission of known information will take some getting used to. But you'll get there eventually. Hope this helps. And, add oil!
  16. 5 points
    This recent International Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Beijing LGBT Centre released the results of the first national survey targeting China’s transgender population (“2017中国跨性别群体生存现状调研”). The release was accompanied by a cartoon video breakdown, sort of like a couple minutes of Transgender Discourse 101. This survey was conducted in collaboration with several other organisations but I am more interested in the fact that it was conducted at all. I think this is a positive step towards much needed research and education around transgender issues in China, but it feels curious that it has been framed (as may be familiar to some of us in the Chinese-speaking LGBT community) in the usual “this is a Western concept” way. But presumably with more research, more culturally appropriate terminology should emerge. Perhaps a reclamation of terms like 陰陽人, and hopefully an understanding that not everyone desires or needs to undergo sex reassignment surgery to be their true selves. I am accustomed to putting content notes on things I post to social media so I’ll do so here as well. ** content note: the video contains cartoon depictions of self harm, suicide, domestic violence, and uses before/after-style photos of known trans people ** Video with Simplified Chinese subtitles (Youku): http://m.youku.com/video/id_XMzE3MDE4MDA4MA==.html Video with English subtitles (YouTube): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=K0CdK1ZKrok For terminology buffs: 跨性別(者) kuàxìngbié(zhě) Transgender (person) 性取向 xìngqǔxiàng Sexual orientation 性別認同 xìngbié rèntóng Gender identity 跨性別男性 (又稱: 女跨男) kuàxìngbié nánxìng (also: nǚkuànán) Transgender man 跨性別女性 (又稱: 男跨女) kuàxìngbié nǚxìng (also: nánkuànǚ) Transgender woman 性別酷兒 xìngbié kùér Genderqueer 指派性別 zhǐpài xìngbié Assigned sex 非二元性別(者) fēi èryuán xìngbié(zhě) Gender Non-binary (person) 轉變期 zhuǎnbiànqī Transition period 異裝者 yìzhuāngzhě Cross dresser 扭轉治療 niǔzhuǎn zhìliáo Conversion therapy 激素治療 jīsù zhìliáo Hormone therapy 性別重置手術 xìngbié chóngzhì shǒushù Sex reassignment surgery And a bonus that doesn’t appear in the video: 順性別(者) shùnxìngbié(zhě) Cisgender (person)
  17. 4 points
    This article from the state sponsored "The World of Chinese" magazine talks about something a cultural rennaissance in Chinese TV. I'm not sure that's true, cultural content and quality of dramas and documentaries has plummeted compared to those in the 2000-2010 period. http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2017/12/tvs-cultural-revolution/ The article mentions 3 interesting programs. Here are the links to their respective CCTV web pages where there is a helpful introduction to each program (at least in the Poetry series) and a full archive of past offerings. All these programs now have clear Chinese subtitles. The Chinese Poetry Competition《中国诗词大会》 I would need many long hours to get through the subs and unravel the very basics of what goes on in each program, but the short introduction in the web site is very helpful to get an idea of what is going on. The subs are very helpful! http://tv.cctv.com/2017/01/22/VIDAQoJpwyHDfoVTAuFqjrFd170122.shtml There already is a thread about the program in this Forum: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/51296-classical-poetry-quiz-show/?tab=comments#comment-393164 Reading Aloud 《朗读者》 I've watched a few. Some readers are very good and some of the texts are interesting, but why is it that women guest readers feel they must read in a faltering voice while shedding glycerine tears? http://tv.cctv.com/lm/ldz/ National Treasure 《国家宝藏》 http://tv.cctv.com/2017/11/29/VIDAjmY28VSqK4hfQtHw0yJE171129.shtml Looks promising and there may be English subs coming up in the CCTV/ CNTV 4 version.
  18. 4 points
    I'd just like it noted that I've refrained from posting a number of sarcastic and unhelpful posts.
  19. 4 points
    卧房 is acceptable for 'bedroom' (although I think the meaning is slightly different from a 卧室), but 客房 is not the same as 客厅. For now, I think it's best to just learn the words as they are presented to you. It would be nice if Chinese was 100% logical, but it isn't.
  20. 4 points
    设立 branch office (actual body but small) 成立 corporation/group(actual body bigger than you could 设立) 建立 dynasty/great achievements (something intangible)
  21. 4 points
    Yes, or Harbin, Tianjin etc. Basically, you live in a Chinese family home. There are several types, some are inexpensive or even free, but they expect you to teach English (or another foreign language) to the kids (you may or may not get Chinese classes outside the home depending on the scheme). Others are expensive, but you are not expected to speak any language other than Chinese. You live either in your teacher's home, or with a family close to your teacher's home. (or if you prefer group classes, you live in a family close to the school). So in addition to your scheduled classes, the teacher(s) and the family can help you find activities such as calligraphy or whatever you like, and you are encouraged to talk to the family members in Chinese. Well, I'm sure a Google search for "homestay in XXX" will give you some idea. If you find a company that looks interesting, you can open a new thread to ask if anyone on the forum has experience with them. You can also look at this thread for a company that regularly posts on this forum, and organizes group and/or private lessons with homestays in Beijing and Chengde: LTL Mandarin School with Chinese homestays (expensive, but apparently the service is very good. And they have other schemes that they call "internships", maybe less expensive? anyway their website can give you ideas for further Google searches).
  22. 4 points
    This is way off topic by now, but I can honestly tell you that, at least for me, realising that 荼 was not 茶 came a lot easier than remembering that 如火如荼 was not 图, or learning how to use that phrase at all. If I can give one more piece of unsolicited advice before I shut up, I also once spent a small fortune in grammar books, only to realise that beyond a very basic level, reading and hearing a lot of native material is by far the most efficient way to make progress.... Of course we all learn differently.
  23. 4 points
    That depends on the context. As you noticed, 城 has a range of meanings, from wall to fortress to city, and there is not one translation of the character.
  24. 4 points
    Off the top of my head, and bearing in mind these are preferences rather than hard and fast rules: 建立 is more abstract. You use this for, eg, diplomatic relations. You might 建立 a new welfare system, but you'd need to 成立 or 設立 the actual bodies to implement it. 成立 and 設立 are very similar. 成立 is closer to 'found' and so is a bit grander - there are many examples of a 成立典禮, fewer of a 設立典禮。 Everyone can pick that apart now while I get on with what I actually wanted to say. Bear in mind these aren't meaning issues, they're usage issues. A good dictionary might help with them (particularly if you pay close attention to the example sentences), but there are specific books for this. I'm not going to track down a current one, but here's an older and hard to get one. (and say what you like about new vs old hsk, I've yet to notice the new HSK spurring the same quality of linked text and reference books) If your dictionary really is just giving 'establish' as the only information for all three, it might be worth looking for another dictionary. But also, you're getting beyond the scope of the simpler dictionaries.
  25. 4 points
    Pah! I knew over half! A kind of fish; another kind of fish; some sort of bird; another bird; oh another bird; something hot; hmm and wet wet wet wet. And the funny thing is I can't even remember when I studied them.
  26. 4 points
    @gwr71 Listen, forget for a moment that people think you can't do it. Let's say that you can. Okay. I believe you can memorise those 8000 characters. But the point is that, it won't help you be fluent in Chinese. You've set yourself a difficult goal and the sad thing is that, if you succeed, your Chinese will be worse than if you don't succeed. It's like, you've decided that running lots of marathons will make you a great 100-metre runner. You decide to run one marathon every week for two years. Everyone says you can't do it. You do it. You feel really happy. They were wrong, you were right. But then you realise: even though you ran all those marathons, you're still a really slow 100-metre runner. I'm not saying you can't memorise all those characters. Just that, if you do, it won't help you be fluent.
  27. 4 points
    Actually, the visa requirements for teaching English in China mean you need to be from a native speaking country. This is regardless of race. The requirement is really just about your passport. You could find work in China teaching English but it’s very likely you’d not be working on the right visa (a work visa). It’s likely it wouldn’t feel like a very stable kind of work situation. I dont really know what gwr71 is talking about. It doesn’t matter about contacts etc if you want to legally work in China. Also, your mandarin skills aren’t really a factor when it comes to teaching English. Anyone that hires English teachers speaks English to some degree and when you’re teaching it they absolutely don’t want you to speak Chinese.
  28. 4 points
    Hello all, I'm looking for my next job, and you can see more about me and what I'm looking for here (https://josephlemien.wixsite.com/website), but rather than merely asking here I thought that I would share some resources as well. In brief, if you are looking for work in Beijing and you don't want to be a language teacher, here is my recommended plan of action: First, make two resumes. Use https://cvmkr.com to make a nicely designed one, and use a word processor to make another resume that follows this advice. Both of these resumes should be "comprehensive" and include everything that you've ever done. Each time you apply to a job, you should A) decide based on what you know of the company if they would prefer to receive a resume that is information dense or if they would prefer to receive a resume that has a nice visual design, and B) remove all the non-relevant experience from your resume. This means that although I have a 4 page comprehensive resume, I rarely send out a resume that is more than one page. Next, let your friends know that you are looking for work. Don't ask them "can you give me a job"; ask them "could you share this information with your friends and colleagues?" and "could you keep your ears and eyes open and let me know of anything that pops up?" You can create a blurb to describe what you want or you can create a landing page (like I did). You have to be able to give a good answer to the question "What kind of job are you looking for", so practice talking about your preferences and goals, as well as the things that would be deal-breakers. For example, one of the things I tell people in my job search is that "I want a job that will be meaningful. It doesn't have to be distributing anti-malarial bednets, but it has to be better than making rich people richer." As soon as I tell people this, they know that I'm not interested in corporate finance, helping wealthy Chinese kids apply to school, etc. They also know that I'd be interested to work with a company that is doing something to make the world a better place. You should have at least a few sentences that you can tell people about what you want; this is your "elevator speech." You should also go to a lot of events, and let people know that you are looking for a new job. Next, get into useful WeChat groups. The more people you know the easier this step will be. Ask your friends if they are in any job-hunting and professional WeChat groups (or LinkedIn groups or email listserves or QQ groups or whatever it is that people happen to be using). I'm in a few that are specifically for job-hunting, but I'm also in a few that are professional (for product managers, for people working in EdTech, etc). Don't be an annoying person and spam the groups with your requests, but you should contact whoever runs the group and ask if it is okay for you to post a blurb in there. Finally, apply to jobs. Write a unique cover letter for each position, and (if you apply by email) write something in the body of the email. When I am doing hiring work, I always think very badly of a candidate that sends me a blank email with a resume attached. A few notes about your cover letter and resume: Spellcheck it. Let it sit for a day or two and then look at it again and make edits. Ask a friend to review it and to give you advice for how to improve it. Send a .pdf version (not a .word version) when you apply for jobs, because is a .word version the formatting can be different depending on how the user is viewing it (what software, what device, etc). There is also a perspective that .pdf files are more professional (just as illogical as khaki's being seen as more professional than blue jeans). Where to find jobs, you ask? Well, the best way is through friends, colleagues, and other people you know. But you can also look at these sites. These would be most useful for a citizen of the USA that is already in Beijing, so feel free to shift and substitute other resources depending on your nationality and language skills. Also keep in mind that while a few sites are long-lasting (like TheBeijinger) many sites come and go, so maybe it was a great resource a few months ago, but by the time you looks at it early next year there will be almost nothing on there. Don't get discouraged. That doesn't mean that there aren't any jobs. It means that the jobs are announced elsewhere: www.projectpengyou.org/jobs/ http://www.thebeijinger.com/classifieds/employment-available (select the appropriate sub-categories on the right for the type of work that you are looking for) http://jobs.amchamchina.org/amchjob-front/jobInfo/searchJobs (other Chambers of Commerce probably also have similar job posting pages) http://jingjobs.com http://mojob.io/jobsearch.html http://www.laowaicareer.com/ www.atlas-china.com/jobs/ http://www.foreignhr.com eChinacities (this is kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel, but there are occasionally good jobs here) Craigslist Beijing (same as above) Local Meetup groups that are relevant/related to your professional interests
  29. 4 points
    Another enjoyable week, although not a huge amount to write about! Only 4 more weeks now until exams, so for the title of this post I combined that with some grammar we studied this week - 要/就要/快要。。。了。 I have encountered this before but it was good to go back over it and be reminded of things I have since forgotten. For example, the fact that I can put some sort of time in front of 就要,but not 快要. This week in my 综合课 we are going to be covering sentences using 把, I am looking forward to this because I am sure I will learn lots of new things, as well as refreshing myself on the stuff I think I already know! I got my surprise test back and got a 90, which kept me at the top of the class. It also highlighted areas I need to be sure to cover when preparing for my finals, and just to continue improving in general. I made a few small mistakes, so I need to be sure to take care when I am writing - I wrote 出发 incorrectly for example, missing off the little down stroke on the start of the horizontal. Just a small mistake, but enough to get the character wrong! I also need to spend a bit more time on my grammar. Our teacher said that as a class he is really pleased with our level, but our weak point is definitely our grammar. This showed up in the section where we had to read various sentences and simply say if they were written correctly or not. At this point our grammar is not exactly extensive, so this should have been a very straightforward question, but none of us did particularly well on it. Anyway, it is a great reminded to go back and look over even what I assume to be the simplest sentence structures. Life in general is good! Our landlord said she isn't going to sell our place this year, so we don't have to move. It's perfect because we absolutely love this house, the rent is cheap, there are 3 bedrooms (wonderful with our 2 kids), and the area is really 方便。The weather continues to get colder, today was -20C, a couple of days ago was the lowest so far this winter at -21C! Not that much snow yet, but I'm sure it's on the way! I really want to get some pictures uploaded but unfortunately I am still getting an error message every time I try. I am waiting to hear from admin, so watch this space!
  30. 4 points
    This could be that they have been working illegally in China and don't want to say. Just guessing This is worth noting. If I had to summarise China and the law, I'd say its like this, you go about your daily life, don't cause trouble, you will have zero problems whatsoever with the police etc. You break the law as in drink driving, driving without a licence, do drugs, they will come down on you like a ton of bricks and your embassy will be of no help. Every case I heard of a foreigner getting into trouble with the police was because frankly they deserved it (drugs, fighting etc) and were arrogant and silly.
  31. 4 points
    The leftmost column, 青暈, should be the name of the artist. The middle column, 初秋山水圖, is "landscape drawing in early autumn".
  32. 4 points
    December is here and a bright sunny day is a gift not to be wasted. Rode out a couple days ago to Kunming's Daguan Park 大观公园, which is built on a branch of Lake Dian 滇池 in the west edge of the city. This park is famed for a long rhyming couplet engraved on the doorposts of a three-story pavilion where the Kangxi Emperor 康熙 used to visit to enjoy the "grand view" 大观 of West Hills 西山 mountains as seen over the water. The poem is still there, but most visitors today find it underwhelming. Instead the main draw is the willows, the lotus flowers in season, and the blue water. It's a traditional gathering place for men of letters and is supposed to be good place to compose a poem. Being there put me in a pensive frame of mind. The main buildings were erected in the 1600's, but most were partially destroyed and rebuilt in the 1800's. Currently the main seasonal draw is the Siberian seagulls which migrate here to spend most of the winter. They aren't exactly tame, but you can feed them pieces of stale bread if you're bold. You can also chase them and laugh if you're six years old. I found a cluster of elderly men playing Chinese chess 象棋 xiang qi. In China, chess is a group sport, with very active participation by kibitzers. I met a family blowing soap bubbles for their child in the shadow of one of the pavilions. I followed the sound of instrumental music and discovered some people playing at the edge of the water. The sound seemed to attract seagulls, which perched on the roof for a while. I walked in a leisurely loop for a couple hours, with two stops along the way to read my book. Pretty sure the park is now being promoted by the tourism authorities. Didn't find any significant crowds, though I did see one tour group being led by a guide. Also saw preparations in progress for some kind of a trade show set to take place in a few days. An amusement park is connected at one end of the park. I've visited that before with friends to ride the Ferris Wheel, but this time I was solo and gave it a miss. This park has had more economic development than some, and now even sports a brand new McDonalds's, which looked like it would be opening soon. I exited to find a bus loading a couple dozen orderly Korean tourists. This park is less obscure and hidden away than some I visit, but is still a good place to enjoy the winter sun. Admission was 26 Yuan. In February they usually have a colorful display of tulips. In summer the star performer is lotus; in October it's chrysanthemum season. I took local bus number 100 back to the 梁家河车场 stop on line 3 of the metro, ready to return to my labors.
  33. 4 points
    Perhaps you're looking for something like this: https://ninchanese.com/ It will keep you interested with some sort of story but does a great job of explaining the grammar points and goes well pass 2000 Chinese words. At a certain point, I recommend you adding more to your learning process than grammar and vocabulary, as that will only go so far. The fact that you worked through all of HelloChinese is a great accomplishment and shows a lot of commitment. Props to you for that. I recommend you consider checking out some graded readers once you pass roughly 300 words (mandarin companion, Chinese breeze). This will help you naturally review the words according to frequency as you'll encounter the most common words more often. These graded readers also go to great lengths to include the grammar patterns you need to know, which is awesome. You can get more grammar explanations on the grammar wiki as well. (the hyperlink page is loading too slowly ATM so here: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/) More importantly, graded readers might help to keep you interested and add reward to the hard work you're putting in to learning new vocabulary.
  34. 4 points
    这样包 is not right. Because the measure word that goes with 包 is 个. (EDIT: To express 'this kind of', the classifier is 种: 这种包.) 样 is a classifier in 这样东西 (demonstrative + classifier + noun). 这样的包 is simply a modifier phrase + noun, [这种样子的]包.
  35. 4 points
    @Flickserve: I'm almost certain that HK schools (now and for the foreseeable near future) would provide a higher standard of TCM education than mainland ones. As the creep of Beijing's control extends further into HK education over the coming years, that might change. @mcdew9085: I'm happy to provide more. Today I'll share a bit about the housing situation, not necessarily because I think the dorms are the biggest issue, but because how the following stories unfold reflects everything about the terrible attitude that almost all of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine administration has. To start this off, I'll rewind to 2013, when I visited BUCM while I was contemplating transferring there from Shanghai U of TCM. During my visit, the recruitment administrator I spoke to (* see aside below) told me that I would be able to live in on-campus housing, and that I should just sign up when I arrived in the fall. Since both Beijing Normal University (which was a great place to learn Chinese in 2009, by the way--I'm not all negative) and SHUTCM had worked this way, I figured I could trust her. Well, five months later when I showed up in Beijing, I went and found said recruitment admin to inquire about the dorms. In addition to acting as though she'd never seen me before, she, naturally, "kicked the skin ball" (踢皮球), absolving herself of all responsibility for and knowledge of campus housing, and sending me down the hall to another office. Off I went, only to be told on no uncertain terms: there are no empty rooms in the dorm right now, you're on your own. Now, luckily for me, I didn't mind the thought of living down in the hutongs between Dongzhimen and Yonghegong (后永康胡同 is where I ended up), so this wasn't the end of the world. But it was unsettling to get such an early glimpse of BUCM office staff's utter lack of concern for honesty, reliability, and responsibility. To make matters even more ludicrous, a few weeks later when I got to know my "vice-class chairwoman" (副班長), she heard my story and laughed, "but don't you realize that there are empty rooms in the dorm?" Whaaaaaa--? Well, I looked into it again, and there were! The person I asked that day evidently didn't give enough of a 屎t to help me... or was expecting a bribe (aside: until 2015, the BUCM dorms indeed did operate largely through petty graft. To the university's credit, they mostly fixed this problem in '15. To their discredit, the dorms worked far BETTER back when the fact that you'd paid a small bribe or given a gift meant that the person you were dealing with felt some onus to actually #&*^#ing do something! Ah, sweet PRC, how I miss you...). Well, that brings us up to 2013 and to the end of that chapter of my own story, for now. Let's look at a story belonging to a good friend and classmate of mine, who I'll call George. George was a year ahead of me in the herb-centric program taught in Chinese (I was a needles and massage guy). He's fully fluent in Chinese, though he comes, comprehensively from "the West," as he hold passports for one South American and one European country, but grew up in North America. Now, about George--this dude just wanted to be able to study the TCM classics, practice taiji and qigong, and chill out. Low key kinda guy, so passionately dedicated to his studies that he regularly stayed up till 2 or 3 am reading this or that ancient tome. I'd guess he still does. So for him, having a small, simple, affordable home on campus was extremely important. George--for reasons I won't get into, other than to say he got a full ride + stipend scholarship from the CSC to do it--ended up going into a master's program at BUCM right after he graduated. By then, thanks to skyrocketing housing prices in Beijing (some say it's now more expensive there than Manhattan, dunno if that's true or not), there was a huge demand to live in the BUCM International College's dorms, which cost around 30% to 50% less than most places you would to lay your head aboveground and inside of the 5th Ring ("O, 五---環,你比六環少一環,怎麽辦?"). Shortly before he graduated and summer break was to start, George visited the office of then-Dean of the International College, one Tang Minke/唐民科 (actual name--this extremely untrustworthy man who has actually been promoted should only be listened with serious caution). Dean Tang promised George that he could keep his dorm room, but said that George would need to move his stuff out for the summer holiday, because his room was scheduled to have its bathroom be renovated. George understood and cleared out, putting his things in a friend's house during the summer holiday. At the start of the next school year but six weeks later, George returned to Beijing planning to move back into his dorm room. He went to the "reformed" (no longer taking bribes) office of the dormitory and tried to register, only to meet a stone wall: "no, you can't move into the dorm. You already graduated from your undergraduate studies, and now you're a grad student. New grad students cannot move into the dorm." George at first wasn't worried--Dean Tang had given him his word, so Dean Tang would be able to quickly sort things out... right? He went straight to Dean Tang's office, where Dean Tang proceeded to look him directly in the eyes and say, "no, I never promised you that you could keep your dorm room. I don't even remember talking to you about your dorm room. You're going to have to follow the rules and move out." While I was not present for either of George's conversations with Tang Minke 唐民科, I had quite a few personal interactions with him where he similarly lied to me. George's story, when I heard it, absolutely fit the man's modus operandi. Naturally, George was quite livid, but losing his temper wasn't going to fix anything, so he swallowed his rage and managed, through the Department of Graduate Studies, to secure a dorm room a couple of miles away from our NE 3rd Ring Road campus, at BUCM's (now defunct?) satellite campus in 望京/Wangjing. Now, you'd think perhaps that would be the end of this story, but alas, it is only the end of a chapter for George. Suddenly, at the end of George's first semester as a grad student, Wangjing dormitory staff swung by his room to ^&^%ing evict him. Why? Well, they said, "the entire Wangjing campus is being sold off, and this entire dormitory building needs to be empty ASAP. You won't have a place to live on campus next semester." Those who have lived in China will know that getting this sort of news two weeks before the Spring Festival is mafan so far up the wazoo it's coming out your mouth, but whaddyagonnado? Now far more furious than he was in September, George made phone calls to his Chinese friends in Beijing, and luckily was able to find somebody who could give him a place to stay. His Chinese New Year holiday in tatters thanks to the school admin, he proceeded to move home, third time in six months. If you've lived in the PRC long enough, you'll know that injury often comes with insult, and this story is no exception. When I saw George shortly after the 2017 Chinese New Year, he looked like he could've killed a man. Why? When he reached the end of the story I just told, the reason became clear: after he returned to school from vacation, he quickly noticed that the Wangjing campus and its dorm had not been sold. Furthermore, upon investigation (i.e., knocking on his old dorm room door), he found out that there were already NEW TENANTS living in it!!! Oh, man. Who were they? Ah, well, people of value to BUCM: short-term foreign TCM exchange students, meaning students from American or European TCM colleges in Beijing for a few weeks or months of training, or else foreign TCM professionals, also in town for a few weeks or months. Why boot George to let these people in? Well, there's a steady stream of them, they pay more for their rooms than long-term students, and it would be a major pain in the 屁股 for BUCM to help them find apartments or hotels... so some genius in middle management (or maybe the cynical 唐民科 himself) decided to empty the Wangjing dorm to make room for the short-term exchange students. Foul, foul, foul. But for George, just one of many instances where the university screwed him over. The only bright side is, it's nothing personal. They treat everybody like dirt. No exceptions. I guess you could call that equality, right? Ok, now howzabout one last little chapter, this one about me? After more than 2 years at BUCM, I finally got a chance to move into the dorm myself, and I took it--I was tired of riding my bike in pollution and everybody-checking-WeChat-while-driving Beijing traffic, and med school is busy as hell--an extra hour of time each day means a lot. Most of my own time in the dorms was pleasant enough, except for the time they decided to renovate my bathroom without sealing off the sleeping area, and a layer of pulverized concrete and moldy filth literally covered everything I owned, causing me to verbally excoriate one of the dorm admins in a way I doubt he'll ever forget. But all in all, it was okay for me. I even manage to develop a reasonably friendly rapport with Teacher Su (苏老師--Su is her real surname, important to know if you end up becoming a student and she's still there), who appreciated that I "understood" when they wrecked my room, and who took note when I helped chase off a would-be thief, etc. Fast forward to this summer, I was to graduate in late June, but my visa allowed me to stay in China till the end of July or the beginning of August, and I had already paid my rent for all of that time at the beginning of my last semester. I even went so far as to verbally confirm with Teacher Su that I would be able to stay in my dorm room till my visa expired and keep my stuff in my dorm room until September after the holiday, as I was originally planning to stay in the PRC (I left when I realized that my Social Credit Score would probably be -9,000,000 and even the staff Mr. Li's California Beef Noodles wouldn't want to serve me). Like I said, I thought Teacher Su and I were on good terms, as she really did seem to be a fairly reasonable and friendly administrator, especially when compared with her colleagues. So, this year, June 28th I think it was, to be exact, I graduated. What a shitty affair--I took a photo with my pants down while wearing my graduation gown, giving a double middle finger, and mouthing the consonant "F." Captured the spirit. I was happy to realize that Dean Ding (丁院長; another pathological liar; beware) saw this pose, and looked like she was plum about go into shock. Anyway, sometime while we were baking in the sun waiting to get through the rigmarole (it's all downhill after they sing the 國歌), a classmate let it be known that we graduating students would need to be out of our dorms within three days! Well, that was a surprise, and I had already bought a plane ticket for late July, a month later. This bad news spread through the graduating foreign students like wildfire, and before the ceremony was over there were seven of us who realized we were just three days from eviction. But... was this rumor even true? Well, rather than do what normal people who just graduated from five years of F*CKING MED SCHOOL do (i.e., celebrate!), we banded together and marched down to see Teacher Su and get to the bottom of things. And you know what we found? Yep, we were all slated for eviction in three days. So you see, sometimes insult and injury come simultaneously, instead of one after another. It was a blazing hot day and our graduation ceremony had started at 6:30 am (not a typo), to give all the university cadre functionaries plenty of time to blather on through their tinny mics in tidy sentences made out of four syllable constructions... 共同努力,往前發展,弘揚光大, blah-blah-blah-blah. Tempers were flaring. There was one positive development, though: we actually knew where to find the dean, because we'd seen him at the ceremony. Like some sort of Igmagnificent Seven, we cornered the guy (not 唐, who had by then been promoted), and began to read him the riot act. Since we'd all just graduated and were within inches of heat stroke, this was the first time I'd ever seen such an outpouring of unbridled rage, and at such volume. The dean could barely get a word in edgewise, as we gave no quarter to his stammering justifications and excuses. He did the only thing he could do, and dug up Teacher Su, who was largely responsible for this mess because she (a) had told most of us face to face that we could stay till our visas expired, and (b) hadn't actually informed anybody of their impending evictions. When Teacher Su showed up, she immediately put on her friendly smile and started trying to smooth things over (和稀泥). On that day, since none of us had anything to lose, she was shocked to find that nobody was willing to politely play along (which we typically would have, for fear of losing everything if we somehow made an administrator lose too much face). At this point even the dean was upset, and demanded to know why she had dropped the ball so badly. Well, according to her, she hadn't. Standing in front of all of us, she began to flatly deny that she had ever even spoken to us about staying in the dorms through the summer. A soft-spoken female student, a woman I'd almost never seen in four years without a kind half-smile on her face, suddenly lost it and nearly shouting with exasperation pointed to Teacher Su and demanded, "I was so worried about this that I came and talked to you about it no fewer than three times!! Now you're denying that we even talked!?!" Teacher Su continued her denials, and with me as well. This was particularly infuriating, as she was one of two or three administrators I thought I could more or less trust in BUCM. But no. She lied directly to my face, claiming we'd never spoken about housing. In the last paragraph of this long tract, I mention that one way of "getting to yes" in the PRC is by putting down roots and just refusing to physically move away from whomever you're dealing with. In this instance we employed an additional tactic, of screaming, shouting, and creating such a ruckus that soon news of Teacher Su and the dean would be impossible for them to contain. I mean, we were really animated, and an Aussie with quite a muscular frame, bless his soul, got so in the dean's face that I think all of us--not the least of which the slight-framed dean--half expected the student to start throwing punches. It really was that tense. And actually, in the end, we won. All of us who were there that day were allowed to remain in the housing (WHICH WE HAD LONG AGO ALREADY PAID FOR) till our visas expired. But, was that really a happy ending? Well, when I finally did go and grab a beer to "celebrate," my hands were still shaking from rage and adrenaline. I spent my f*cking graduation yelling at a liar who'd betrayed me. And you know what, there were many other graduated who didn't hear the eviction news during the ceremony, didn't join our posse, and didn't have the fluency in Mandarin and "social skills" necessary to defend themselves. What happened to them? Yep, out on their asses. You can be it's all roses and month cakes when they look back on our beloved alma mater, eh? If you made it through that story, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I dis-enjoyed living through it. I also hope you walk away with one thing very clear in your mind: I am not telling these stories because they stand out as unique, memorable events of my time at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine/北京中醫藥大學. I am telling them because that's how life there was day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. If it wasn't one thing, then it was another. If it wasn't another thing, then it was yet something else. Over, and over, and over again. Next time I write I may talk about the deception that the TCM majors who were taught in English faced. Their story is especially important to share, not only because their tuition costs are significantly higher than those of students who study in Chinese, but also because their inability to use spoken Mandarin to stand up for themselves makes them vulnerable in ways that I wasn't. * On the recruitment officer--she was the picture of churlishness. She bizarrely actually made me feel unwelcome at the university when I came to apply to transfer, constantly reminding me that I would probably fail out of the school, because it would be so much harder than Shanghai. In actuality, it was slightly less academically challenging than Shanghai was, but that's another story. In addition to her dishonesty, she was simply unfriendly to the point of absurdity. One day after I'd transferred to BUCM, my 班主任--the administrator in charge of my own class--was nowhere to be found and I needed to log into the campus network to confirm that I had successfully registered for a course. BUCM's course registration website is a joke that often cannot be opened by any computers except the office's, so I walked over to the desk occupied by the woman I'm talking about to ask if she could quickly log into the system and confirm my course selection. At the time, I kid you not, she was sitting in her office chair leaning back as far as the thing would allow, with her monitor off, languidly clipping dead leaves off of a small pot plant she was holding in her hand. She was literally the picture of 閑, leisure, to the degree of actually being indoors fiddling around with a plant (for those of you who like Chinese characters haha). Amazingly, as soon as I presented my question, she looked up with the sourest glower I may ever have seen and sneered, "you students can't just think you can waltz in here any old time of day and expect us to drop everything we're doing so that we can deal with your personal issues with our computers. We have work. We're busy." Again, this woman was leant back so far in her chair you'd think she was sipping malt liquor, pruning her house plant! Unluckily for her, by then I'd already been in China a good five or six years, so I just said, "uh-huh, ok, got it, 好好好," and stood there presenting as an immobilized dumbass with no plans over leaving (that's one of the best ways to get things done in the PRC, for you greenhorns). Finally, she heaved a mighty sigh, put down the plant, and turned on her monitor to help me. Which took the "busy" woman all of one minute. So, moral of the story? Well, is this sort of asinine behavior commonplace at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine? Absolutely!!
  36. 4 points
    @gwr71, please stop posting about Cuban education in this thread. It is entirely offtopic and not relevant to this university. Further posts on this topic in this thread will be removed. @bigtops, please just ignore posts on Cuban education in this thread and don't resort to ad hominems. Thanks for the extensive write-up, and especially for being specific on why you had such a bad experience.
  37. 4 points
    @Zbigniew: As it is late at night here, I'll offer one anecdote. I'll try and return another time to write more: About two years ago in the lobby of the International College of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine I ran into a middle-aged Thai woman of Chinese descent who'd come to the university with a deep passion for medicine. Her grandfather had been a TCM doctor and, now that she was old enough to afford to take a few years off of work, she'd decided to devote her mid-forties to learning TCM. Admirable, no? On that day she recognized that I was an upperclassman and wanted my opinions about the school, as she was now entering into the second semester of her first year, and starting to realize that things were not as promised. Number one among her concerns was: exactly how much hands-on acupuncture instruction do students at BUCM receive? At that time, I was in my 4th and final year of classroom-based studies. In one more semester I would be an "intern" in the hospital. Acupuncture was my field of study. I gave her my honest answer: "I have received, probably, about 5 hours of practical instruction. But that might be too generous. It might not quite be 5 hours." Think of that again. A 4th year med student whose field is acupuncture, having only gotten 5 hours of hands-on instruction. At most. Already that is a massive problem. BUCM is not training students how to do the most basic tasks that will be asked of them as acupuncturists. They are dropping the ball. But there is something worse, which her reply illustrates perfectly: "what do you mean 5 hours? That can't possibly be true! When I came her so-and-so laoshi told me that we would be getting 500 hours of hands-on training! She even showed me a print-out that explained how much time in the curriculum would be spent on this! She said 500 hours!" The woman I am describing was, rightfully, very upset. She chose to leave her successful business career in Thailand on the basis of the lies that are told by the 招生 (recruitment) staff at BUCM day in and day out. The actual ratio of lie to truth in terms of hands on training is 100:1. This ratio is, suffice to say, egregious. She could hardly believe me, but she could see that I was sincere, and she had already seen enough of the university to be able to tell that things were not as they should be. I told her not to take my word for it, but to ask other upperclassmen before deciding whether or not to drop out. I never saw her again over the next two years, so I presume she did withdraw, which would make her one of the lucky ones. One of the sad things about the fraud that BUCM and other Chinese TCM universities (I attended Shanghai University of TCM/上海中医药大学 for two years before transferring to BUCM... the quality of its instruction was significantly worse than BUCM's, but their administration is infinitely more reliable and pleasant to deal with) are perpetrating is that it doesn't just affect unlucky students. It also affects patients all over the world. As I have described, what I would guess is around 60% of foreign students do graduate. They then go back to their home countries and often become TCM doctors and acupuncturists (very many also choose to leave the profession after graduation). BUCM prints up all manner of certifications which declare, incorrectly, that graduates received hundreds of hours of hands-on acupuncture training as well as ~1,500 hour hospital internships. They simply did not. These documents are then certified by a Chinese government-run notary firm called "China Academic Degrees & Graduate Education Information" (http://www.cdgdc.edu.cn/) and then, in the US, by companies like World Education Services, despite the fact that the information they contain is fraudulent. Once one has been thusly certified, one can then sit for the exams of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as well as the California Oriental medicine board exams. On the basis of these documents there are likely hundreds of graduates of TCM universities in China operating in the US, even though they received little or no actual clinical training. Luckily it is actually very hard to injure or kill somebody with acupuncture needles, as long as you aren't a total idiot; unluckily, it is hard or impossible to do good medicine if one hasn't been trained. That is just one small aspect of the endless litany of problems at BUCM/北中医. I you want to know more, I am happy to provide more info. If it starts to sound like I'm narrating a Franz Kafka-Joseph Heller collabo novel set in the PRC, that's because that's what life there is like.
  38. 4 points
    Hello all. I wanted to update this page as I graduated from the 5 year acupuncture, moxibustion, and tuina program (taught in Chinese) at BUCM this summer. In a few sentences, here is my review: Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (北京中医药大学) is a TERRIBLE university. I strongly advise anybody who is seriously interested in learning the practical skills of traditional Chinese medicine to avoid this university. It is plagued with deep-rooted problems that include an extremely low quality education; a pathologically dishonest, unreliable, and incompetent administration; sub-par facilities; and an extremely high level of stress in student life. The majority of foreign students at BUCM range from being, at best, jaded and unenthusiastic about their educations, to, at worst, downright hating the university. There is a very high rate of attrition (~25 of my incoming class of 40+ graduated this year). Those who finish the program are generally so committed Chinese medicine that they put up with the horrible experience in order to obtain a needed diploma. Nobody in his or her right mind will claim to have learned how to understand or practice Chinese medicine because of BUCM. Almost all students graduate so thoroughly incompetent that they cannot even treat a simple sprain or headache with acupuncture or improve cold symptoms with herbs (our "class chairman" forgot how to say "common cold" in Chinese in his 4th year, and still graduated!); those graduates who can effectively use TCM to treat illnesses learned their skills IN SPITE OF this university, not because of it. Again, unless you are obsessed with learning TCM in Beijing (which can potentially be done, outside of the university, if you devote thousands of extra hours and dollars to your education outside of campus), then AVOID BUCM. I realize that my above synopsis might seem to be an overly emotional rant, perhaps the work of a single disgruntled individual whose views don't represent the greater student population. I will try my best to get some of my friends who went to this university to contribute their views to this forum, as my disgust with this borderline scam of a university is widely shared on campus. I will also return here from time to time to share detailed vignettes that might help a few lucky souls to avoid wasting years of their lives at this institution, and hopefully also divert people's hard earned cash away from the coffers of a corrupt, hard-hearted, contemptuous, and buffoon-like admin that manages to spend all of its cash on golden (太土豪了!) BMWs, Mercedes, and Audis, but not a 角 on improving the curriculum or the facilities. 北京中医药大学 = 一大骗局.
  39. 4 points
    It's Japanese. 九谷秋山製 Made by Kutani Akiyama 松花堂 Shōkadō (seems to be a bento brand, whose traditional black-lacquered bento box inspired IBM's ThinkPad design...)
  40. 4 points
    I finished 三体 after almost two months, and well, science fiction is definitely not for me. The scientific parts were a bit hard to understand (but, as a friend of mine said, I wouldn't have understood them even if I had read the book in Spanish, so who cares), and the rest of the story was both easy and even interesting at times, but at the end the chunks I didn't understand were too many and I totally lost interest in the book. I don't know if I'll ever read parts 2 and 3... I've just started a totally different book, 城南旧事, by 林海音, and I love it. It's a story about the author's childhood in old Beijing. My edition also includes many black and white photos in every page, it's a delightful story to read! Besides, the language is very easy (you see Beijing through a little girl's eyes), and the book is short, 99千字, it will take me less than two weeks to finish it. I strongly recommend it to everybody!
  41. 4 points
    No, it can't. The interesting question then, is why doesn't the English match the Chinese? Having a look at the company's history it seems that they have a close association with a place called 江阳 and, being based in 江苏, the Yangtze River (长江). According to this website, "2000年12月,经江苏省人民政府苏政复(2000)227号文批准,江阴长江电子实业有限公司依法变更为江苏长电科技股份有限公司。" So it seems that "changjiang" was originally part of its name. In fact, the logo actually says "Jiangsu Changjiang Elec. Tech." So it seems they didn't fancy changing the English when they changed the Chinese.
  42. 4 points
    The confusion would have been avoided for those characters, but then when you have to write characters with a horizontal rather than vertical structure and nobody can tell what your 立日心田心 is...
  43. 3 points
    You should be worried. China doesn't care what the official language of your country is, it cares about whether or not it's classed a country as English native-speaking for this specific purpose. I'm not sure even SA qualifies. That's why the list gwr posted is misleading and unhelpful. The simple fact is that China's a lot less welcoming than it used to be, and it has some pretty strict rules on who can come and teach. It's not just nationality, it's a degree and post-degree work experience. With a B.ed and TESOL qualification you're in a better situation than many, but... And it's not just the official requirements, it's a very real unwillingness from many schools to employ anyone who isn't white. Good luck with the embassy, but I doubt you'll have much joy. The embassy requirements are the easy part, the hard part is getting the invitation from China (again, which is why the list posted by gwr....) Get in touch with some agencies that place English teachers in China. They know what is possible and what isn't. Watch out for people trying to get you to teach illegally on a tourist visa.
  44. 3 points
    as @ChTTay say you are worrying way too much. Nothing to be concerned about at all. Remember china love rules and regulations and it all seems a bit overwhelming at the start but it is just a mass load of bureaucracy. I have often not gone to the police station to register a new address and months have passed by. When I did go, they never batted an eyelid. i am not the only one who does this. The police did arrive at my door once (during APEX week and the recent 60th anniversary. They just ask to see your passport and off they go. They are friendly. China seems intimidating but in reality its not. I have been to many cities and countries and Beijing where i live, I can honestly say its the safest I have been to. Its all new at the moment so naturally will be over whelming at the start but it will get better and fast. Every year I go all sorts of hoops to get a visa as the goal post keep changing. Chin up, I'll bet any money in 6 months (when the weather is better) you will feel much different about the place Keep telling yourself you can just get on a plane at any time and go home that day if you want. You won't but it's comforting to have a mental "escape route".
  45. 3 points
    Thanks gwr71. No I haven't got that book yet. To be honest at the moment I am finding that my teachers are the best resource, and it also helps that they know what we should be learning when, and so can go into the required detail. Further on I think grammar books will be much more useful. Iso, sure thing! 他没在游泳呢。 他在在室外跑步呢。 昨天上午十点我在教室上课呢。 今天是周末,我要出去玩二,不要学习。 我打电话给妈妈。 The questions all cover grammar that we have gone over in class.
  46. 3 points
    I think you misunderstood the theory. Spaced repetition is based on the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve , which shows that deterioration of memory is not linear over time. You're supposed to review BEFORE you forget. The initial repetitions should happen within 24 hours. And each review increases the optimal interval before the next review is needed. If your first review is after a week, it's relearning, not reviewing...
  47. 3 points
    Hi. I am a current student of Beijing University of Chinese Medicine BUCM. I am doing integrated Chinese and Western medicine bachelors program taught in English. I came here only with one agenda to warn everyone who is thinking of signing up for any program offered by that institution. Honestly i wouldn't even know where to start telling my story if i wanted to. So many bad, weird and unpleasant memories from my years of study in here. The teaching system, the ridiculous attitude of the teachers who are not able to speak in the language that program is actually held in (not all of them of course), the administration, accommodation, the constant pressure u had to deal with and on top of that the most polluted city in the world is just not worth it. Seriously unless you are receiving the full scholarship and that is the only option on earth that is left for you avoid BUCM at all cost. I have seen a previous post from BIGTOPS and i agree 100% with his message. Believe me that 90% of students are ending up really unsatisfied after getting to know the policies that BUCM is made upon. I hope that there will be more of our school mates to share their stories in the future but honestly i think most of the people are so burned out after graduation that they just simply want to forget about all that said experience. I say it once again AVOID BUCM...
  48. 3 points
    This reminds me of one of the first East-is-East-and-West-is-West concepts I learned. That is, in the West, home-cooking is plauded, while in the East restaurant fare is the gold standard, So a Western restaurant will declare it serves home-style cooking. But as a guest served a home-cooked meal in China, you compare the host's skills to a professional chef's: "比四川饭店好!“
  49. 3 points
    This has been an awesome week, and I felt like I really learned a lot. First of all, for some reason I am still unable to upload photos. I have sent Roddy a message and so hopefully by next week I can put some up. I got my reading/writing midterm back, and it turns out I actually did write 容 correctly, and I got 100%! Obviously I am over the moon with that, but it led to something even more cool. There were 9 of us who did really well on the midterm, and so our teacher said that after looking at our results, attendance, and homework each week, we don't need to attend class between now and our final exam in January if we don't want to. She said we are welcome to come, but our time is probably better spent devising and studying our own 内容。 She said we obviously still need to take the final exam, and we need to make sure we cover what's in the book as that will all be on there. Each week we have to send photos via Wechat showing that we have been studying, and we have to produce 3 paragraphs/articles each week, on whatever we choose. We can either send photos of those to her, or leave them in the classroom the night before and she will correct them for us (I am definitely doing the latter so that I actually continue to learn). I am really pumped about this. The remaining Hanzi in the book that will be on the final are fairly common, and so shouldn't take long to learn. Most of them I can read, I just need to remind myself how to write them. But it means I have more time to study personal vocabulary, and writing the articles will be really fun and allow for a lot more experimentation with new words and grammar. Finally she said after our final exams she will reassess and let us know whether she wants us to return to class, or we can continue to do our own thing. I just started a thread on sentence structure, so I won't repeat it here, but one of our teachers gave me a brilliant revelation when he was teaching this week - basically, if we know general sentence structures (subj + v + obj) and all that, then when we discover a new word, in most cases we can work out how to use that word by just checking what type of word it is. I have always struggled with this when looking up words in the dictionary! Now it seems so simple, why on earth was I finding it so hard, I should have just checked what kind of a word it was and then I would know how to put it into a sentence! I spent some time hanging out with my friends at the tattoo place on Friday which was fun. They wrote me a list of vocabulary as I walked around the shop pointing out things I didn't know, and then trying to explain things. I think (I haven't actually checked them all in the dictionary yet though) I managed to get outline and shading, which I was quite proud of, or at least I will be if they are right hah! Aside from Chinese study, the weather here has been getting very cold. Today was -16C, which is the coldest it has been so far this winter. There has also been some snow which is nice! Some rather unfortunate news is that we may have to move house. Our landlord is letting us know by the end of this month whether or not she wants to sell the place (I naively just assumed we'd be here for 4 years). It's annoying because this place has 3 bedrooms which is perfect with our kids, the location is also fantastic. It's not too far from uni and we are right by a big supermarket and a great kindergarten for the kids. The silver lining is that our contract is up mid-Feb, so we will most likely move in January, right in the middle of my holiday! I think I will stop there for this week, before the post gets too long!
  50. 3 points
    (Brushing off the dust on this old topic) Looks like the English translation of Jin Yong's "Condor Trilogy" is soon to be published - or should I better say 'start being published'. This article has some interesting information and good links. The "Lord of the Rings" of Chinese literature is finally being translated into English There are several other threads in this Forum mentioning Jin Yong (Louis Cha), here are a couple Wuxia (aka martial art or kungfu) novels by Louis Cha Best kung fu novel ever?
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