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Teacher's Tips (ON-TOPIC) / Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Last post by AMonk on Yesterday at 06:44:47 AM »
In letters, 10 feet high ---

One other note that should be considered a Commandment for FTs.
Never trust a recruiter.  Never trust any recruiter.
This even includes members of fine establishments like the Saloon who can seem like nice and helpful guys in the forum.[/b]
Dragon Boat Day was supposed to be practice, but for Day 3, it was one hell of a practice session.  The boats undocked earlier and back and forth in the pond far more times that yesterday than the day before.

I see I have to make a small amendment to the "match the paddle in front of you" advice I give.  Several people ahead of me were having trouble staying in synch.  The smart thing to do if your paddle hits another is to pull it up and wait for the next chance to match the paddle in front of you.  The problem was there multiple people doing this and at a couple points, I had to match the paddle 5 or 6 seats forward since all the crew in-between weren't paddling.

The good news is that this sort of thing usually works itself out as practice continues.  Typically, during the last few days synchronization gets pretty close to perfection.

In other news, one short boat from another section of the village sank, resulting in the entire crew (I think that size boat has a full crew of 26) being seriously wet.  I didn't see it happen, but I did see the ones who didn't swim to shore working on bailing out the boat.  The shorter boats sit much lower in the water, which makes it easier for the whole boat to flood if it leans a little too far to one side or the other.
Ummmm... we were definitely talking finished pages.  The good news is that he knows there are going to be TONS of photos.

And it's Dragon Boat Day!  Which has people asking me on WeChat why I'm posting about a race on the 16th - because my village sets its own schedule.  Dragon Boat Day itself can be at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the celebrations in my village.

I'm focusing primarily on my local boats, but I was planning a chapter showing some different styles of boats and boating in other places (like the Dragon Boats on Ice in Harbin).

I already messaged a photographer friend in FengHuang ask asked for some good shots of the people who paddle while standing up.  Evidently, it's a choice each crew makes (I still need to ask if the boat have slightly different designs), and he promised to get me some good pics.  Oh. and they are throwing 500 live ducks into the river there today while people swim from the opposite shore to try to grab ducks.  I've seen a few videos.  ahahahahah ahahahahah ahahahahah

There are ducks in my village pond, but I suspect me jumping in and and trying to grab them would be . . . discouraged.
Teacher's Tips (ON-TOPIC) / Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Last post by Escaped Lunatic on June 10, 2024, 04:54:47 PM »
This is a dilemma.  Every site that offers reviews claims "We're 100% honest!"  In reality, most of them will quickly remove (or even never display) bad reviews for companies that pay  them.

Also, no matter how good an employer is, there will be some employees who just can't be satisfied.  Only the absolute worst employers would have no good reviews, since there are people out there who are so desperate that they would rate a place with very low pay and an 80 hour workweek well if it came with 3 meals a day and a free bunk in a dormitory.

Check what their forums and reviews say about their Top Howevermany Employers.  If the review for those are 10/10 (with one or two 8/10 and 9/10 reviewer ratings to add realism) and few, if any, complaints in the forums, that's a very strong indication that the site is not presenting an honest picture of selected companies.

Since you are already in China, if you see what looks like a good school, don't settle for just a phone or live chat iterview.  If they are interested in you and you are interested in them, go for an onsite visit.  Before signing a contract, ask to meet some current foreign employees.  Invite one or two of them out for coffee, beer, or baijio just to get them away from their supervisors.  Chat a bit and see what they really think.

One other note that should be considered a Commandment for FTs.  Never trust a recruiter.  Never trust any recruiter.  This even includes members of fine establishments like the Saloon who can seem like nice and helpful guys in the forum.  Recruiters lie.  Recruiters cheat.  Recruiters steal.  If there is a problem with the employer, the recruiter is not on your side or the employer's side.  The recruiter is always 100% on the recruiter's side.  If there ever were any honest recruiters, they were quickly murdered by the dishonest ones.  ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS deal directly with the school/company that you hope to be hired by.
Teacher's Tips (ON-TOPIC) / Re: Ok, then how DO I find a job?
« Last post by Ivyman on June 07, 2024, 07:38:32 AM »
1. Can we make a list of reputable forums that give honest reviews?

2. I pay 39 USD a year for ""

a. They seem to rate every school and administrator and have a huge forum with so many tidbits of knowledge.

b. As a lesser known part, they give a free year of membership if you write an article that they decide to publish.

c. Yes, we all cringe at paying for anything. But, I found the info is worth the cost. It gives me that little bit of foresight.

3. Any other forums we value greatly?

well begun sir! Writing this book will indeed be an achievement. I'm looking forward to seeing it.
Going bilingual is an excellent idea. Not because it will double the length, (I'm assuming you have already thought about that), but because checking the translation possibilities will bring up more unanswered questions, giving you more to think about and thus write about.
Not asking enough questions is the bane of writers. This btw is what editors fear in a new writer. Publishers and editors take it as given that any thing they receive is twice as long a it needs to be. If it's already rather short when it comes to them, they suspect it doesn't have enough content and won't sell. So yes, a 300+ page manuscript probably means a 150 page book, at least in their eyes. Well, they have heard you talk about it, but they haven't read samples yet. We saloonaticks have seen at least a little of your work, and are hungry for more. Go get 'em!
As usual, I'm getting ready for Dragon Boating.  "Victory At Pond" practice begins on June 8th this year.

Being far too fascinated with dragon boats has led me into all sorts of entertaining situations:

I've gone for a swim to get pics from the waterline.

I've been reverse-mutineed into being captain (and liked it so much that I try to command a boat a few times each Dragon Boat season).

I've captained a dragon boat launching out of the boat shed, only to find that the crew of the boat leaving before mine took all the paddles. llllllllll bibibibibi llllllllll

I've been interviewed multiple times and participated in a video made last year by the local Culture Bureau guy.

I've been planning my retirement.  I have a list of books about China I want to write.  The top book on the list is about Dragon Boating.  Looking at my savings account, I realize that I'm not retiring any time soon ananananan, but I want to get a book written anyway.  So, I started organizing all the stuff I'd written about my adventures in the pond here at the Saloon, in my blog, and in emails to family.  This turned out to be quite a lot of material.  I then laid out planned chapters.  Woohoo!  I've got about half the writing done.  Also, the writing would end up being twice as long, since I plan for the book to be bilingual.

There are some photos I want to include that were taken by other people.  One of the people I want photos from is the local Culture Bureau guy.  My wife had a chat with him and the next thing I knew, there was a WeChat group with him and a few other people in it.

Yesterday one of those people (the supervisor of the guy I know) wanted to meet me to discuss the book.  I was doing my best to follow the conversation (thankfully Mandarin - I'd be totally lost in local Cantonese), but had to rely on my wife for all the finer details.  Then I got hit with one of those questions that every writer dreads.  "How many pages are you planning for this book?"  I'd been looking at self-publishing options, and, if possible, I want glossy paper since the book will be full of photos.  In terms of being able to produce something nice while not causing me to go bankrupt, I was planning on about 100 pages.  I told him my target and there was a flurry of conversation.  I was bracing myself for a request to cut the length in half.

Instead, I was told that if I could expand it to at least 300 pages (WOW!), it may be possible to get some assistance in getting it published.  One suggestion for expansion include more info on life in my village (happily, I already have some of that written).  Another was to consider add some illustrations (now I need to find an illustrator/cartoonist).    I've also decided to visit a company that builds dragon boats.  That alone would be a great chapter and maybe they would let me include some blueprints.

"When do you think it will be done?"  My original plan was to have it ready for the printers by the end of this year, but the added length will require more time.  I told him that I really want it published before Dragon Boat Day next year.

Two other attendees at the meeting are somehow tied to the press.  They want to interview me sometime soon.

So, looks like I've got myself a far bigger than planned project as well as a deadline.  This should be fun.
The Bar (ON-TOPIC) / Re: What About Mail Forwarding from USA to China?
« Last post by Escaped Lunatic on June 03, 2024, 05:30:34 PM »
I have a very trusted friend collect what little mail I get inside the USA, so I don't know the names of any companies.  A quick search for "mail forwarding addresses" or similar should get you plenty of candidates that can offer a variety of options.
Teacher's Tips (ON-TOPIC) / Re: Any ChatGPT Focused Prompts, Etc.?
« Last post by Escaped Lunatic on June 03, 2024, 05:27:48 PM »
AIs still have hallucination issues.  Your best bet would be to look for ESL/EFL lesson plans online and find some that fit your level and available course time.  From there, customize them to fit the interests of your students.
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