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Friday, April 18, 2014

Cantonese in Hong Kong, for non Native Speakers


Observations from the article:
  1. It's hard for a non native speaker to learn Cantonese in Hong Kong. The materials are made for native speakers.
  2. If you get the tones wrong in Chinese, native Chinese speakers will mock you. No comment about people in my family doing that to me when ever I speak Mandarin. Or asking me to repeat a word, after Of course, I don't do it when they make mistakes in English, and yes, that is a double standard. Or may be it's just funnier when a mistake is made in Chinese by a non native speaker?
  3. Great quote - Some students compared their experience of composing Chinese characters with drawing pictures, which, according to their teachers, could only be learned through rote learning and frequent practice. They found Chinese characters difficult to learn and easy to forget.

I am not understanding this paragraph:

Written Chinese is challenging for Chinese and non-Chinese speakers alike. This point is encapsulated in the title of an informative research-based book, Difficult Characters, which presents compelling empirical evidence showing speech plays a crucial role in the process of becoming literate in Chinese (and, indeed, in any language).

This makes sense:
Written Chinese is challenging for Chinese and non-Chinese speakers alike.

Not sure about this, since Chinese is Character based, and is not phonic like English:
showing speech plays a crucial role in the process of becoming literate in Chinese (and, indeed, in any language).

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Lunar New Year, Chinese Holidays Won't Be Added to School Calendar This Year

I was surprised that 80% of Chinatown's P.S. 130 have been absent on the Chinese New Year. 14% of NYC students are Asian.

Of course the challenge is the state requires 180 days of instruction, and the current school year is 182-183 days per year. Where do you get the extra days for the holiday?



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jet Search Tests Beijing's Crisis Playbook

Great article that shows a huge amount of changes in how China works with other countries.

Jet Search Tests Beijing's Crisis Playbook - WSJ
China Has Proved a Forceful First Responder in the Hunt for Flight 370, but Also Reluctant to Partner Up With Others

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Future of Small Private Colleges

My 2 cents on what is happening:
  1. Small colleges participated in an arms race for tuition charged and amenities, paid for by student loans.
  2. Parents and students are finally questioning the value of a small college that would buy a house. More money is now owed for college debt, than for credit cards, and it forces graduates with school debt, to put off a lot of things in life such as marriage, buying a house, and kids.
  3. The continued lack of success of graduates finding jobs has made the value of a small private college questionable.
  4. Moocs, online courses that reduce cost will have a huge impact in the near future.
Since I did get my MBA from a small, private college program that is 2nd or 3rd tier (top 50 in some surveys) with a bit of student loans, I do have a few opinions on the matter. MBA and Law Schools are also not the guaranteed meal ticket they used to be.

My thought on colleges:
- Go for the best value.
- If you can't get into a top tier program, and go to a state school.
- Select the program your interested in, and then the college
- Find out the employment rates and pay for graduates of the program at your school.
- Find out the graduation rate for the colleges your interested in

My thoughts on Graduating:
- Your goal in going to college is to graduate. It's not the college experience. Getting a great college experience, and not graduating, is just a waste of your time and money.
- Your time is valuable! Go to school full time, and graduate ASAP.
- Working full time while going to college part time usually does not work. It is better to go to school full time and get it done.
- They money you make before graduation is usually a lot less than you will make after graduation.

Small Colleges Sink Further into the Red - The American Interest
Private Colleges Fight to Keep Data Away from Students - The American Interest
It Doesn’t Matter Where You Go to College - Time Magazine
Do We Over-Invest in Non-Traditional Students? - Minding the Campus

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

China demands satellite data as weather stops search

I don't understand all the twists and turns on the missing Malaysia Airlines.

From what little I picked up:
  1. The flight was going from Malaysia to China.
  2. Malaysia has affirmative action for native Malaysians - basically punishing Indians and Chinese for doings too well.
  3. Malaysia's government does not want to be pained with the term, Islamic Terrorism, and are doing there best to avoid it. The country is majority Islamic.
  4. The opposition and government have a horrible relationship.
  5. It appears there was a deliberate disabling of communicating / location devices.
  6. Nobody knows what happened

China demands satellite data as weather stops search - NY Post

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Sen. Leland Yee and ‘Shrimp Boy’ get the Taiwanese Animators treatment

State Senator

Yee, an ethnic Chinese who was a CA State Senator, just got immortalized with a Taiwanese animation after being charged by the FBI for several issues. He seemed to have some type of relationship with a person with the nickname of Shrimp Boy, who has been reported to be the boss of a Triad (Chinese Gang), in San Francisco.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

NY Schools Segregated?

The headline in the Daily Mail article is misleading and link bait , but this paragraph brings up a lot of questions:
At elite Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan, just seven black students and 21 Latino students were admitted this year compared to the 164 white students and 680 Asian students. It was the same story at Bronx Science, which admitted 557 Asian students, 252 white students, 50 Latinos and 18 black students, according to data reported in Drop Out Nation.
Interesting the focus of the article. It reminds me of the recent fuss about putting back Affirmative Action into college admissions in California.

Questions that are not asked:
  • Why do Black and Latino students do poorly on the standardized tests, compared to Asians?
  • What percentage of the population is Asian, compared to everyone else?
  • What is the typical income of the Asian students, compared to everyone else?
The article:
New York public schools segregation - Daily Mail 

This entire topic I covered last year, but it has come back again.  Hmm, I wonder what is driving this... 
NY Elite Tests Favor Asians?

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