Graduation day

IMG_0015 Graduation day!

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Fuzz(y) impressions, brushes with the law

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The fuzz, Mr Plod or just the police. Impressions are lent by what’s around you, especially the first time. My impression of the police stems from my time in New Zealand. Yes, I am a Kiwi and proud of it.

Big cars, a clean and pressed uniform replete with cap made them look official and impressive. That aside, most of them look like rugby players. I heard that most of them bulk up at the gym.

But this entry is really directed at their vehicular mode of transport. Their wheels are, the biggest object that lends the impression.

NZ police have always tended to drive big cars. Back in the 70’s it was the Holden HQ. Come to think of it, the NZP has had a long line of Holdens. Going from the Holden Commodore, Commodore, and.. Commodore.  It’s quite a lineage.

The next photo is the Vatican Police. Given the size of Vatican square, it’s a small car. The photo speaks for itself. I did actually have a brush with real police (actually an undercover detective) who seemed to appear from no-where. I just happened to be asked for directions by a Greek national (also on holiday).  I think the Crumpler photo bag gave the impression that I had drugs inside of my bag. They went as quickly as they came.

The picture of the Chinese police, was taken in Shenyang. About six of them were mounted on bicycle. That in itself is okay. I’ve seen Mr Plod on a mountain bike. But these bikes had a red light mounted on the back. What would have been more comical is a light mounted on the helmet ala The Goodies or even Kenny Everett. Though these police officers are meant in no way to appear ‘daggy’.

The ‘Shenyang flying squad’ actually compares well to their Korean counter parts. The motorbikes were a par for the course, also had the red lights mounted on the back. Come to think of it, where else could you cheaply mounted on the bike? Jon and Ponch from the 70’s TV show, CHiPs can feel safe and secure that their image and their Kawasaki motorbikes have not been tainted. I have had encounters with the Korean police. Twice. Once for jaywalking; I got a very stern non-verbal sermons. He used his fore finger as he pointed to me, then to the road. He didn’t smile once. A true professional. The next encounter was much more friendly, in getting lost on the first day in the void, I came upon the local police station. Staggering up, I asked for directions. I was ushered into a police car, driven by a youngish policeman. Sat in the front seat, it was an uneventfull entrance as I pulled up to the school. Their cars, are of course, Korean made, the policemen, from the best Police academies.

One feature of Asian government agencies is the need for cute mascots. The first one is Korean, named ‘Podori’. I don’t know what it translates into English, but the idea was to soften the image of the police force. The Chinese mascot shares the big eyed features of the Korean one except it’s female. Frankly I’ve never seen an Immigration officer smile and salute, let alone have big bug eyes.

Hot coffee, usually taken orally

Having sat down in front of my computer. I proceeded to fall asleep. Who knew that surfing the internet could be so soporific. Meanwhile students were playing a noisy game in the other room. A sudden surge of noise woke me up with a start. The coffee wasn’t pipping hot, but enough to bring me around. Talk about a trouser accident. My lap, the floor and part of the desk infront of me had coffee on it. But mainly on my lap. Ouch.

I had to go home and change. One of the advantages of my new apartment (size not inclusive) was that it was close to the school I was teaching at that day. I’ve got to learnt to place my cups of coffee to one side, and not infront of me.

Their worst nightmare is just an inspection away

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I had an inspection team come through my ‘Tuesday school’ that I teach at, an elementary school. My contact teacher there in my opinion, is competent and able. She also knew what she wanted (out of me). But she also appeared nervouson at the expectation of the inspection. Koreans don’t really like criticism (or inspections). I say the quickest way to make a KET sully their underwear is to tell them they have an open-class. For me, it was just another class.

Mr Yu of the inspection team (there was also another member) made some recommendations. Not all that unkind, but also logical. The end message: use your NET more, get your students more involved.

In my opinion, my co-teacher was doing the right thing. For me, the class was just another formality, but it always gives me cause to smile when I see my co-teachers’ response.