Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chinese Class

For the past 4 years I have been asked to teach an English survival class to Chinese agriculturalists who come over to do research in Thailand. Thailand is the #1 exporter of rice in the world and one of the top fruit exporters in the world, so they come to study with the Thai professors. It is always a pleasure for me to get to work with them. I learn so much about Chinese culture and about the Chinese mind set as they emerge as a global power. This years group was full of spirit and in general they were a very fun group of students. The work ethic of Chinese people has always amazed me and it makes me feel like I'm a really good teacher when they improve so fast, even if it was more do to their hard work than do to anything I presented. I hope all of these students will stay in touch during their year in Thailand and when they return to their homeland. 

The final point that we came to in our best discussion is this: China is rapidly becoming a free market society in which people who work hard believe they can find their way into the class above them. In other words, the Chinese are socially mobile as the poor work to move into the middle class and the middle class is endeavouring to become rich. And we decided that the United States, my homeland, has become a socialist state in which the government owns all banking and supplements all jobs by owning huge shares in all major manufacturing companies. So when I was in high school and Mr. Miles described communism and capitalism I think he made a critical flaw, given time all white becomes black and all red swirls into blue and all capitalists will turn communist if their capitalism is failing.