Category: China

Update on Colby College China Issue

In my original post about the alleged incident in Colby's faculty led program to China, I had mentioned that would report back once I had a reply to my message to Colby College's President's office. Yesterday, after calling again, I received a call back from Sally Baker, Vice President and Secretary of the College, who is handling press requests regarding the alleged incident in China.

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“Vlog” Video Blog 1: Feedback on Colby College in China

This past week, I received several emails about the Colby College incident in China and therefore want to share the dialogue that took place ‘behind the scenes’ at Melibee.

This is the first time I’m “vlogging,” so please let me know if this format should be used periodically. Apologizes for the “extreme close up” also! When I filmed it, there was a lot more space around my head. (Ah, technology – I am learning, slowly but surely!)

UPDATE/CORRECTION (February 17, 2011):  Per Brian Whalen, the Forum’s Incident Database Project would capture incidents of significance of this type, but none have been reported so far. The Forum will issue an annual report at the end of the summer, but they are in the process of collecting monthly data and continue to sign up institutions and programs that are reporting.  The report will be issued on an annual basis.

5 Tips on Chinese Language and Culture for Rush Limbaugh

The President of China, Hu Jintao, visited the US this past week. Rush Limbaugh, one of talk radio's well known characters, mocked the Chinese language, complaining that it wasn't being simultaneously translated. Here is the video:

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Please Vote for Me: An Experiment in Democracy by 8 year olds in China

If you read Melibee regularly, you know I’m a big fan of documentaries. I have written extensively about Crossing Borders, a film that I think should be screened everywhere!  This weekend, I watched a terrific documentary from China entitled “Please Vote for Me.” Here is the trailer:

This film chronicles 3 adorable eight year old children (Xu Xiaofei, Cheng Cheng and Luo Lei) vying for the title of “classroom monitor.”  The film, directed by Weijun Chen, claims to have documented the first democratically elected elementary school classroom monitor in the city of Wuhan (in central China.)

This film is an outstanding educational tool on many different levels.  First, I found it hysterical (and sad) that these kids were so competitive that they manipulated, bribed and tortured their competitors.  They engaged in political strategy and debates that make some very seasoned politicians look amateurish!  Perhaps most disturbing was how incredibly overly involved their parents were in the coaching of their political “campaigns.”  You had to wonder at times who was running for the position.

This film gives a bird’s eye view of a Chinese elementary school in a large city.  We see some of the opening school ceremonies, the classroom spaces and learning tools, the food eaten at lunch (which certainly looks a heck of a lot healthier than the average American classroom school lunch!) and the type of dialogue between students and their teachers.  We also see 3 different homes:  one of a married couple, one of a single mother, and one of a mother who has remarried.  Finally, we get a sense of life in a country with a one-child policy.

This film creates an excellent opportunity to explore politics, human nature (are we naturally competitive?  is feeling guilty when we wrong someone a universal feeling? etc), education and family dynamics.

The film is only an hour long and is an easy, funny and enjoyable film to watch.  (Subtitles are in English.)  You may purchase the film here: