China’s paradoxical shortage of trained graduates

One of the saddest phenomena facing young Chinese college graduates is the shortage of jobs. After spending years of stress and grief passing their exams and paying for higher education (often bankrupting their families), millions graduate only to discover there’s not much for them to do. And yet, according to this article, a shortage of college grads with the right training may soon threaten China’s economic expansion.

A shortage of well-trained graduates could hinder the growth of the Chinese economy and prevent it from developing more sophisticated industries, according to a report by consultants McKinsey.

A lack of practical skills and poor English-speaking levels will make it hard for China to develop service-based industries such as the sort of information technology outsourcing that India has specialised in over the past decade, it says.

The study underlines the difficulties China faces in trying to shift from an economy dominated by manufacturing into services and research-based industries, despite the large number of new graduates that the country is producing. McKinsey also predicts that multinationals will have an increasingly hard time recruiting high-quality staff in China at a time when growing numbers of foreign companies are expanding their operations there.

“It is a paradox of shortage among plenty,” said Andrew Grant, director in McKinsey’s Shanghai office and one of the report’s authors. “Few of China’s vast numbers of graduates are capable of working successfully in the services-export sector.”

This bodes well for Taiwan and Hong Kong and others who are filling China’s need for trained middle managers. But it’s a real shame that China is churning out all these new graduates who lack the skill sets their country needs.

The Discussion: 41 Comments

It is a strange paradox. I think one factor involved is the way Chinese choose their majors.

Westerners typically consider many factors such as personal strengths, interests, and the job market. But here, many of my students answer the question “why do you plan to major in accounting?” with replies like “My mother’s friend says this job has a good salary.”

I would say about 98% of my students headed overseas to study are planning to major in business management, international business, international trade, or accounting.

Then they return to Shanghai (or some other urb) and find that they can’t get the job they want because they are competing against all the other just-returned overseas grads who studied the same majors and have the same qualifications.

In the past I sometimes suggested that students consider alternatives such as marketing, advertising, design, architecture; or perhaps studying a language other than English.

Now I know better. The decision has been made, the case is closed.

I don’t want to overly blame the parents, they are new to this situation, too. Yet I cannot help but be struck by the waste of potential I see in my classrooms.

October 6, 2005 @ 9:10 pm | Comment

I want to illuminate that last post with an anecdote from a fellow teacher I will call Mark.

One of Mark’s students, who I will call Jefferson, was a clarinet player with the Shanghai Youth Symphony. He had toured with the symphony and performed in many western cities. Mark persuaded Jefferson to bring his clarinet to class one day, and perform a sample. He said that Jefferson was clearly talented, students from other classrooms had crowded the door to see who was playing.

Jefferson was headed to Germany for overseas study. But he was not going to study his love, music. He was going to study … business management. According to Mark, Jefferson didn’t really display any special talents in this area, nor was he interested in it. His love was music.

However, Jefferson’s father had informed him that playing the clarinet would never earn him a high salary, so music study was out of the question.

In fact, Jefferson was heartbroken to learn that he would not even be allowed to take his clarinet along to Germany, lest he be tempted to play, to the detriment of his business studies. His music days were over, he would come back to China to take a secure job as a manager of some sort.

What kind of father would make such a harsh decision?

Jefferson’s father was a professional clarinetist.

October 6, 2005 @ 9:24 pm | Comment

Actually, the vast majority of Chinese studying overseas major in enginering and science. It is also true for most college students in China.

October 6, 2005 @ 9:44 pm | Comment

I think English skills are a huge part of it, unfortunately. That’s why India is doing so wonderfully in this area.

October 6, 2005 @ 10:28 pm | Comment

Yes, everyone in China wants to be a manager.

I remember when I was at uni here in the early 90s, the buzzword was ‘joint-venture’ – all the students (and I was at a key university in Beijing) wanted a job in a JV because of the expected high salary.

A few years later it was ‘JV’ OR ‘big Chinese company’.

Then that changed to ‘any big company’. All through the 90s graduates avioded govt jobs like the plague.

Nowadays, since the govt has cranked up student numbers and now everyone seems to be a graduate of somewhere, students simply want ‘a job’. Government, big company, small company, private or state-owned – any job will do.

October 6, 2005 @ 10:39 pm | Comment

I don’t think China will ever be able to compete with India in outsourcing service segment, simply because of the language. China has to focus on her own strength. Market is huge, nobody is expected to grab it all. Instead, China and India will both have their own well partitioned market after a few rounds of competition. For now, it’s safe to say the future of China is in production and R&D, while the future of India is in software and service related industries. Looks like Indian will make more money in the end, just because of the nature of the service industry. However, it’s true only when India is able to beat those developed countries, which have 70% of their GDP in service segments.

October 6, 2005 @ 10:43 pm | Comment

My mate works for a large and famous multi-national in Beijing. He’s a manager there. The company obviously only recruits graduates from either Beida, Qinghua or Fudan (China’s top three unis). The starting salary for successful job applicants is about 25,000 Yuan per month.

He’s got little good to say about the graduates. He reckons that they are normally full of themselves and expect the moon on a stick…but are not prepared to work hard for it. They want a high salary, promotions every six months but refuse to knuckle down for the requisite few years needed to gain real on-the-job experience.

He’s told me that it’s common for them to call in sick whenever a conference call is arranged with London or whnever an important meeting is arranged.

Another problem is retaining staff. If a rival company down the road offers jobs for a couple of hundred more Yuan per month, they’re off like a shot.

Now he’s trying to prersuade senior management to allow him to recruit from less prestigious unis.

October 6, 2005 @ 10:47 pm | Comment

Lin said: “For now, it’s safe to say the future of China is in production and R&D”

Production, yeah. But R&D? I’ve never got the impression China was in the big leagues of R&D. I’m not saying its not true… but from what I’ve heard, India has a leg-up in that race too.

Slim, I used to mention design, architecture, etc. too. Alot of students said “yeah, we’d love to be doing that stuff – but my mom said everybody is doing this, so here I am”. We had great classes about branding and design – which I think is the key to China’s next step in developing its own international businesses. I also think its a great way to incorporate more study of Chinese traditional art and philosophy into China’s development. Teach them to look to traditional art, for example, for product design. Look to Chinese philosophy, like Zhuangzi, to encourage creativity and management.

October 6, 2005 @ 11:12 pm | Comment

The students from the big schools are overpriced and lazy. All of my staff are from smaller less well known schools and they work hard and more importantly are eager to learn.

October 6, 2005 @ 11:16 pm | Comment

Dave, that’s my prediction…we will see.
I don’t think top school’s students are lazy. However do recognize that their expectations are high. I know some harvard business graduates have the same problem as well. :)Another factor is that top students in top schools went overseas.
BTW: recruiting people according to the school is wrong in principle, I mean wrong in business principle as well. If you do want to seperate people by their school, then accept the fact that graduates from top schools are snobbish. It is true everywhere, and it’s always more challenging to manage them well.

October 7, 2005 @ 12:24 am | Comment

Lin, I’d just be curious to hear more about how you think China will end up everybody’s no 1 R&D shop. I mean beyond having millions of students determined to get advanced degrees. I don’t really know anything about labs being set up, or things like the HP/Westinghouse competition. I generally haven’t seen anything that clearly lays out who is moving up and who is falling behind as the source of technical innovation, beyond the perennial scaremongering about the U.S. getting dumber (true, perhaps, but never really getting beyond crappy high school test scores. That doesn’t really account for our power braindrain capability).

And as for top school people being snobbish and not working hard… I do know a *few* nice hard-working people at Harvard.

October 7, 2005 @ 12:31 am | Comment

Dave, I am not saying that China will be No. 1 in R&D qualitatively, but quantitatively it could be ture in the near future. Many top 500 companies are setting up or have set up research labs in China. The No. 1 innovation source will still be from US in at least another 50 years. You guys have a working systme for this. However the bottom of the pyramide will be grabbed by China perhaps…

October 7, 2005 @ 12:43 am | Comment

Re, Martyn’s comment on Chinese graduates working for the MNC: In Beijing I found nearly all of my Chinese co-workers to be intelligent and hard-working. Where most were sorely lacking — with some dramatic exceptions — was in the area of problem solving, critical thinking and “thinking outside the box.” Their unwillingness to think for themselves on their feet was maddening, yet not entirely unexpected, considering their chalk-and-talk education system. But never witnessed laziness or lack of drive. There was, however, a sense of entitlement that they’d all be made senior managers.

October 7, 2005 @ 3:34 am | Comment

I just wanna echo Shanghai Slim’s comments. Unfortunately I have also found many students to be lcking in the critical thinking department. Last semester I gave a great deal of time to two classes of students to write a 2000 word essay with predictable results – plagiarism and textbook recitation ahoy! It was predictable but utterly disappointing as I bent over backwards to help and encourage them to research their own interests. I even didn’t object to obviously political anti-us or jap bashing stuff.

I wonder then how will china become an r&d place? it is hard to see how the education system will reform and also it is risky for foreign companies o setup r&d here due to the rampant intellectual property theft.

October 7, 2005 @ 5:08 am | Comment

I agree 100% with the above comments on china graduates. My own experience is that many of them look the part and talk the part but will not think for themselves or take responsibility.

Very much a case of style over substance.

October 7, 2005 @ 8:13 am | Comment

Back when I was in business school (OK, stop laughing, I know it was as long time ago) I did a vocational course that taught me the practical skills that I would need in a business, my school even arranged an internship for me, and I came out with both training and experience. What I have seen Chinese come out with though is the ability to recount things and memorise things

If I were to interview Chinese for a position tommorow, I would be more likely to choose one who worked in his or her parents business after school than one who went to a big name institution simply because they would have the ability to think for themselves and would have actual practical skills. I could easily present them with forms and tell them how I wanted them to be completed or procedure and how they should be done, but the other aspect are best learned on the job or through vocational training which many people in China aren’t getting.

October 7, 2005 @ 8:37 am | Comment

The high school education in China is a success while the higher education (particularly at the graduate school level) is a failure, many years behind the US. Chinese students really excel in *suitable* environment. In almost any research unversity in the US, the graduate school packs with Chinese students in the engineering and science fields. Because of the large number of highly-qualified applicants from China, many schools have to have unwritten rules to put limit on the number of Chinese students they can admit each year (many Chinese students have near perfect GRE test scores. It is a stereostype to say Chinese student only memory things. The ability and willing to memory things is good, not bad). Chinese students generally have very good reputation on US colleges.

Here at Silicon Valley, Chinese and Indians are eating American’s lunch. In each company that I have worked, about half of the engineers are Asian, mostly, either Indians or Chinese.

China doesn’t have the suitable environment to encourage innovations. But it is changing, although at a slower pace when compared with the economic area. I read an article in the New York Times a few months on scientific innovation. Based on the number of quality patents and the number papers published on respected science journals, US still dominates. But the percentage has declined. And the numbers from China have increased dramatically in the last few years.

October 7, 2005 @ 11:27 am | Comment

By the way, borrow a line from Tom Freeman, the Chinese (and Indians) are eating your luch (or are going to eat your lunch), so be aware. Just 10 years ago, who could imagine China could have such a success in the economic area as it is today and the US has to beg China to change its currency policy. China is going to be a major player in scientific field.

October 7, 2005 @ 11:41 am | Comment

I believe more Chinese should setup their enterprises, not in manufacturing, but in the field of higher service, such as information and computer technology. Of course, you need capital for that. The current generated of enterpreneurs have little or no education, so they have decided to setup manufactoring enterprises, such as shoes or toys.

So I believe private enterprises on other fields should be encouraged. Not sure if anyone has noticed it, but unlike The West, university students in China have little creativity. They only study, study and study. My parents sometimes joke that these students are only studying to become dumb. China, with such a big population, has room for many more enterprises.

Higher technology is an issue that is hard to grasp as commercial product for the old guard, but the new generation should see it as a bigger opportunity.

October 7, 2005 @ 12:08 pm | Comment

ZHJ,

Manufacturing is extremely important, actually, essential, for China during the early stage of development (I think it is a good stratety of the leadership on this). Only with strong manufacturing foundation, China can move large population from rural areas to the cities. If it has success on that, other things will follow.

October 7, 2005 @ 12:30 pm | Comment

Xing, I agree with you. Manufactoring is absolutely needed to help the poor farmers/peasants becoming workers and helping them getting a better life. Urbanization is key to China’s development.

A decade ago, being a university graduate was quite a thing. Nowadays, many of them are unemployed or haven’t achieved their dreams and hopes yet. University graduates are not automatically good business people. Instead of waiting for a job, they can employ themselves by starting a little company. This was my idea.

October 7, 2005 @ 5:02 pm | Comment

My parents sometimes joke that these students are only studying to become dumb.

I’ve heard similiar jokes, ZHJ. I knew a university professor from Shanghai who commented on our university in Xinjiang: “these students are taught not to think”. Of course, ask me what I think of the Kansas school boards and you’ll hear the exact same words.

The thing to remember is China is huge. Even if a tiny minority of China is “taught how to think”, and another tiny minority goes into the sciences… that’s alot of boots on the ground.

October 7, 2005 @ 5:25 pm | Comment

Dave,

I saw a bumber sticker the other day. It reads: I think, so I don’t listen to the radio of Rush Limbuagh. I think Rush has plentiful of followers in the US. Dave, you know, it is very interesting, many Americans think Chinese students can not think; but many Chinese (here in the US) think many Americans can not think. What a sterorstype of each other. -:)

October 7, 2005 @ 8:38 pm | Comment

I think it’s not so much about Chinese and American, although both sides definitely have stereotypes of each other.

I think its more a matter of class. The professor from Shanghai was from a prestigious university, made a much better salary than any professor in Xinjiang, and was simply more cosmopolitan. So she saw the university in Xinjiang as being backwards.

Likewise I’m a university educated New Yorker, and when I look at people in Kansas believing in creationism and listening to Rush Limbaugh, I think they’re backwards. Urban college graduates in any society tend to think that way. Likewise, the people in the sticks think we’re arrogant (just like alot of people feel about the Shanghainese).

And they’re right, we’re snobs.

We’re also smarter than them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

October 7, 2005 @ 8:50 pm | Comment

Also, on my students, it wasn’t that they couldn’t think. But what was true was that they had been fed such a steady diet of a single viewpoint on the world, that when I expressed a different viewpoint, they didn’t know what to do about it. It totally confused them. This can happen in the US as well, though in China there’s one definite distinction I can make. The US doesn’t invite foreign English teachers, doesn’t consider itself “catching up” to China, or anyone else, doesn’t feel it was humiliated by foreign powers in the past century and doesn’t believe that modernity is a magical secret to success possessed by people in another culture. All of those things, however, are true in China. So when my students talk to me, part of them says “he comes from the magical Western world”, part of them says “he comes from the evil imperialist Western world”, and “we must learn how to surpass him”. If they’re juggling all these conflicting concepts about who I am and where I’m from, of course they’re going to have difficulty critically thinking about what I say.

October 7, 2005 @ 8:56 pm | Comment

Dave,

you are very convincing and I very much agreed with you.

October 7, 2005 @ 9:06 pm | Comment

ZHJ,

College students in China just have to get used to the idea that a college education is nothing compared with the old days. In many advanced countries, it is also true that people with college degree can not find proper jobs.

October 7, 2005 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

The biggest problem with he Chinese education system, in my view, is the party’s control over it. There are some changes in this regard. But it is pretty the same as in the old days. The control really needs to be completed removed. But we all know that’s not possible unless there is a real plotical reform in China.

October 7, 2005 @ 9:30 pm | Comment

Xing,

What I find interesting is that even without political reform, the opportunity for alternative viewpoints to enter China is as readily available as it is. The teacher from Shanghai, for instance, thought the weekly political education classes at my university were a joke. She said no one takes those seriously at all in Shanghai, though in Xinjiang it was still considered the study of sacred text – reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution. I bought a book in a Xinjiang bookstore, co-written by a Chinese scholar and a Japanese scholar comparing the ethnic policies of the KMT and the Communist party. I have yet to read it, since I’m not exactly up to reading dry academic material in Chinese. The bibliography, however, cites every major English language scholar on ethnic politics in China – a list that includes many scholars who are denied visas to visit the PRC and certainly do not capitulate to party thinking in their work. Despite internet restrictions, the combination of a government sponsored drive for English language ability across society and the impossibility of restricting access to all English language internet with alternative viewpoints has powerful implications.

I actually think there is so much material available to people on the Mainland right now that change in peoples ability to incorporate differing ideas into their thinking is possible, and already occurring in the elite pockets of the east coast. I think all the domain name banning and attempts to slow down WTO requirements on publishing are ultimately futile losing battle.

The real question is how the Chinese public is going to use and incorporate these ideas.

October 7, 2005 @ 9:55 pm | Comment

Dave,

The political educational class is not only useless, it also poisons people’s mind (because they know what they are taught are not true in real life and they are forced to study it). It is something …

October 7, 2005 @ 10:21 pm | Comment

Xing: Don’t your students just sleep through politics class/political meetings? And then copy all their essays off the internet at the end? I know that mine do. Even my old students from Jiangxi, which is politically quite hard-line (especially in comparison to the “urban elite”).

Davesgonechina: Agree with you on the different channels of information and possibility of thought for those mainland Chinese people who want to do it. But I disagree that it’s confined to the urban elite. Again, when I was in Jiangxi sometimes my college students and my adult students would express opinions on topics that made my jaw drop. (For example: that special day near the beginning of June about 16 years ago.) When I asked where they had come up with these opinions, I was given the answer: Voice of America radio.
You’re right that the information is out there. Of course not every Chinese person has the leisure, education and wealth to access these channels of information, but…some of them do.

October 7, 2005 @ 10:47 pm | Comment

I agree that you will always meet students who are very clued up, but I have to say there are a depressing number of students in my class whose great wish in life is to join the party because ‘thats where the money is’. the free thinkers seem to be in a real minority. whilst i don’t want to push our way of doing things i feel very strongly that the only way forward is for people to be able to say what they think and not be worried of the consequences. i recently had a student talking about the student union in his journal. he said that what was the point of having a meeting to elect people as it was already decided and all they di was raise their hands and say they agreed? he finished his article by saying ‘but perhaps i shouldn’t say this, so i will finish here’. it’s sad.

October 8, 2005 @ 6:16 am | Comment

Sometimes I teach classes to help students prepare for the IELTS test (English language skills test for the UK and some Commonwealth countries). I soon realized that the main difficulty for many of my students was not giving an answer in English, it was trying to come up with the ideas for an answer. They simply weren’t accustomed to giving off-the-cuff answers on topics beyond smalltalk.

After all those years spent memorizing and copying in the Chinese school system, my students often just want to know what the most likely questions will be, and what answers they should give. I have to explain that this test doesn’t work that way, there are hundreds of potential question topics, there is no way you could prepare a memorized answer for each possible topic.

So instead I try to help them understand the different types of questions, and what kinds of answers westerners expect for them. Explaining reasons to answer a “why” question seems particularly challenging (I know you other teachers are familiar with the dreaded reply “No why.”).

The education system is certainly a central player, but there are plenty of other social and historical factors that explain the lack of initiative, critical reasoning, imagining “outside the box”, etc. relative to some other cultures, which can put Chinese candidates at a disadvantage in the eyes of multinational corporate employers.

Hopefully as the value of these skills in successfully conducting international business becomes more obvious, the Chinese gov’t will see the competitive advantages they confer, and will start emphasizing them more in the classroom.

I gather that some Chinese universities are already experimenting with such ideas. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if the most prestigious schools are the least able to transform themselves, as they are more closely tied to the gov’t, and more conservative.

Like I said in another similar thread, these days it ain’t easy being a Chinese college student (or recent grad).

October 8, 2005 @ 6:26 am | Comment

xing wrote:

Actually, the vast majority of Chinese studying overseas major in enginering and science.

I’m sure that’s true for China as a whole, but I think Shaghai might be different because of its role as “financial capital” of China. I seldom have more than one engineering student in a class.

davesgonechina said:

I also think its a great way to incorporate more study of Chinese traditional art and philosophy into China’s development. Teach them to look to traditional art, for example, for product design. Look to Chinese philosophy, like Zhuangzi, to encourage creativity and management.

Dave, I’m with you on those great ideas, but sadly, here in Shanghai, there is little interest in (and sometimes outright scorn for) anything traditional. For example, among young Shanghainese, I would say the proportion of those who can play the piano or guitar versus those who can play any Chinese instrument is about 50:1 or maybe even 100:1.

October 8, 2005 @ 6:36 am | Comment

I believe the PRC’s educational system should slowly phase out “political education”. It seems to be a waste of time and resources. I agree with Shanghai Slim who said: “The education system is certainly a central player, but there are plenty of other social and historical factors that explain the lack of initiative, critical reasoning, imagining “outside the box”, etc. relative to some other cultures”
Confucianist elements still exist, despite efforts to get rid of it during the Maoist period. Listening and obeying your parents, elderly and showing your respect and loyality is very common in Chinese culture. This can be very good, as it creates order and stability, but it also limits the free choice or individualism of a Chinese. This is also the case for Chinese students who need to listen to their teachers/professors, disagreeing or debating with this seems very uncommon, which is contrary to academic reasoning in the West. This could explain why thinking “out of the box” is limited.

October 8, 2005 @ 8:16 am | Comment

Si:

i recently had a student talking about the student union in his journal. he said that what was the point of having a meeting to elect people as it was already decided and all they di was raise their hands and say they agreed? he finished his article by saying ‘but perhaps i shouldn’t say this, so i will finish here’. it’s sad.

Dude, I’ve seen the same half-ass self censorship in my students writings. I’d note however, that he did say it AND he handed it in. He’s covering his ass out of fear, yes. But that’s just goes to show that he’s thinking critically. If you talked to that student in private, I bet you’d find he has an argument to back that up too. He’s just, as you said, scared shitless.

Slim, I submit that as a counter to “other social and historical factors that explain the lack of initiative, critical reasoning, imagining “outside the box”, etc.” I’m not saying these other factors don’t exist, but after teaching the same students for over a year, I started to figure out just how much critical reasoning was going on. It’s just that I was a laowai, all their other teachers didn’t like them opinionating, and the system would stomp on views that challenged the status quo. It took a long time and some luck – like happening to teach them right after the Japan protest weekends, when they just had to talk politics or their heads would explode – to get past all that, and the dreaded “no why” (I always responded with “It’s “no reason”, dammit! You can’t say “no why”!”, to which some smartass once replied “why?”)

here in Shanghai, there is little interest in (and sometimes outright scorn for) anything traditional.

I think that’ll change. I’d be interested to see a comparison of Japanese and Korean scorn for tradition during modernization. I bet it wasn’t as strong as what has happened in China. That scorn ties directly to the self-flaggellation implied in all the talk of “humiliation”.

October 8, 2005 @ 12:54 pm | Comment

There was an article posted here at PD a few months back, in which Chinese teachers were quoted bemoaning students’ lack of questioning or participation in class, so it’s not just a matter of interaction with foreign teachers – although I agree that can certainly be a factor.

I certainly agree that the role of questioning and authority is one of the other key factors. You can find this difference throughout both cultures, compare relations between teacher-student, parent-offspring, gov’t-citizen, employer-employee, etc.

I sometimes teach business English or give presentations on comparative business culture. One key difference I talk about is willingness of employees to question/disagree with a boss, and conversely, willingness of bosses to tolerate questioning/disagreement. This is just another aspect of the same cultural difference.

October 9, 2005 @ 1:28 am | Comment

Mr Slim,
I do know what you mean about Chinese students in general being unprepared to give off-the-cuff answers. Sigh. At the provincial round of the CCTV English speaking contest my students were the ONLY ones who hadn’t memorised a complete set of prepared speeches for the “unprepared speech” section. (Mine had been given training in how to improvise a speech. Didn’t help, we still lost.)
However, I did discover an interesting phenomenon. Students who have been taught for 2-4 years by committed, active and creative foreign teachers seem to have no problem answering off-the-cuff.
I was running some preparation courses for the Cambridge BEC exam (which is business-orientated, but has many similarities in format to IELTS), and I found that the English-major students from our college, who had had a lot of exposure to myself and some of my wonderful colleagues, had absolutely no problem in bullsh*tting and thinking on their feet. The students who joined my class from other local colleges with no foreign teachers frequently had high standards of English (there are some amazingly talented Chinese English teachers out there) but they weren’t so good at giving creative answers.
You can look at this two ways: either foreign teachers are helping their students to think out-of-the-box and creatively. Or, we’re teaching the Chinese nation how to bullsh*t.

October 9, 2005 @ 6:01 am | Comment

@ dish, heh-heh, since I’ve met my fair share of native Chinese bullsh*tters, I think the former has more influence. Like you, I have also met some outstanding, dedicated Chinese language teachers (not just English). They are unsung heroes.

Interesting to hear about your CCTV contest experience. Back when I used to watch Chinese TV, I watched one of the annual CCTV English contests and was amazed at how often the students completely failed to answer the questions they were given. They were obviously reciting something loosely related to the topic, but unrelated to the question.

But, no surprises when each one was given high marks. ๐Ÿ™‚

October 9, 2005 @ 12:21 pm | Comment

Hey, you guys have an excellent conversation. Insightful, helpful and interesting…

I wish I knew how to bullsh*t……

October 9, 2005 @ 1:35 pm | Comment

No problem lin, I’ll introduce you to one of my gemenr, you can study at the feet of a master. ๐Ÿ™‚

October 9, 2005 @ 11:22 pm | Comment

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