There Are None So Bland As Those That Will Not Be

Spaced Teacher’s Adventures In The Middle Cosmos


Sister Of The Jardeen Rose

This woman is a ” Sister Of The Jardeen Rose” They are the sworn enemy of the HaNazee

There Are None So Bland As Those That Will Not Be

By Spaced Teacher


My first year in China I was working at a university near the Provincial Capital of a Central Chinese Province. This university was famous for  having the most foreign teachers of any university in China. To the best of my knowledge that is still true. They were also famous for being the lowest paid university  for foreigners in China. I did not know that at the time. I knew little of China of any substantive practical use.The vast majority of these teachers were Americans from all over the country.

Of the 95 teachers probably 80 were American. We also had teachers from Japan , S. Korea , Germany , England , Ireland , South Africa and France. It was a very interesting faculty.

Every year this university would have their Culture Day Festivities in Oct. The purpose of Culture Day was to expose these students most of whom were from the countryside and many of whom had never even seen a foreigner before to the various cultures of the countries of the faculty’s origins. There was going to be food , music  , dance , art , fashion , movies and virtually all aspects of the various cultures concerned. Also as Americans since we were the vast majority we were to also present our individual state’s cultures. Although I was chronologically advanced I was by Chinese experience standards very young. I actually thought this would be great fun and was looking forward to it. I couldn’t understand why some of the more experienced teachers were dreading it. After about a month of preparation Culture Day had arrived.

My personal assignment was to be one of The Clanton Gang in a re-enactment of The Shootout At The O.K. Corral. This university had a section of the campus that was designed to look like a European , probably Southern Italian  , city square. That is where the re-enactment took place. The first performance took place in the afternoon just as classes let out and the students were walking back to their dorms. None of the students knew what we were going to do. Picture twelve ” cowboys ” walking around a Chinese university campus made to look like an Italian town square. Needless to say these Chinese students were a bit confused. LoL The guns we were wearing in particular caught their attention. They didn’t know quite what to think. All of a sudden the guns started firing , the cowboys were screaming at each other people were ” dying ” in the street. All activity in that square came to a screeching halt. Abject looks of horror and terror and more than a bit of fright were etched on these students faces. After about five minutes when ” The Gunfight At The O.K. Corral ” was over all the ” dead ” cowboys rose and we all took a bow. It took a minute but the students finally realized what they had seen. We got a standing ovation.

O.K. Corral

That evening I went to see some of the other exhibits. I saw a demo of Western Swing Dancing by two very talented young people from the West of America. I saw a very nice photo exhibit of Tokyo architecture. I ate some Korean food. It was a very enjoyable evening. All the faculty had done a first rate job putting together a classy week for these kids.


The next morning in class I asked my students if they had seen ” The Shootout At The O.K. Corral “. Much to my amazement not a single one had. I asked if any of them had seen any of the other exhibits. Again to my amazement not a single one had bothered to see any exhibit. I was a bit pissed considering all the FREE time and effort we had put in to make this exciting for these kids but I figured since it was the first night of seven and maybe they were tired or had other plans I’d let it go. I went out that evening and saw more of the exhibits and had another wonderful time. I also kept an eye out for my students. Not a one anywhere I went.


I went in the next morning and asked them again if any of them had seen any of the exhibits. Again not a one. I was getting pissed. Why I asked? We are not interested they answered in unison. My tone changed dramatically as I instructed them why they needed to participate in Culture Day and how much fun they’d have. I also explained to them why it was rude on their part not to take advantage of this opportunity considering all the free time and effort their teachers had put in to make sure they had fun and learned something.. I told them I expected to start seeing them every night for the rest of the festival. Again that night I saw none of them. Again they just didn’t bother. I went to class the third day and informed them that it was now their homework assignment to go see one exhibit of their choosing every night for the rest of the festival and be prepared to speak about it in English in class. Begrudgingly about 10 % complied. The rest ignored me as usual. The rest failed the class miserably as they so richly deserved.


I was very pissed about their lack of courtesy and arrogance and let it be known to all concerned , them , the Administration , and my colleagues. One of the more senior of my colleagues took me aside one day and explained to me that the reason they wouldn’t participate was because they were afraid. I thought that assessment was bullshit then and I think so now.

Fast forward 4 years. I am now at a private school in the N.E. of China a whole lot smarter about China and Chinese culture. Being ever the optimist I figured I would at least give them the chance to be exposed to American culture. Again the same reaction. I had university level students ranging in age from 16  to 28 tell me with a straight face that they were not interested in going to  horseback riding , boating , hiking , bowling  or having a pic nic because they were afraid. Those things are dangerous was the general theme. Being older and wiser and having run into this phenomenon everywhere I had been in China I ignored my impulses to do anything of a fun or cultural nature with 95% of all my students from that point on.

Friends if you ever do decide to come to China and teach be prepared to hear the following from your students ” We want to learn about culture.” Do not fall for it. They do not want to learn about culture. The HaNazees in charge of the education system in China have taught them to say that. The reasoning is that it makes them look sophisticated and intelligent in front of the lao wai / foreigners. It never occurs to them that you must talk the talk and walk the walk. It doesn’t take the lao wai / foreigners long to figure out that they have no interest in walking the walk.


You will be told that the reason they don’t participate in cultural things is that they are afraid. Do not fall for this either. The real reason is based in arrogance , stubbornness and laziness. If it’s not Chinese culture they are not interested. If it requires a bit of work and participation on their part they are also not interested.

I find it very sad that in this day and age when China is opening up to the world the vast majority of Chinese students choose to beat themselves both culturally and academically before they even play the game. Sad indeed.

I can tell you based upon vast personal experience that Chinese university students are the most boring people on the face of the planet. Avoid socializing with them at all costs if you want to keep your sanity.


“The Adventures Of Spaced Teacher In The Middle Cosmos { China }” are a collection of short stories based upon my actual experiences.They are written from the point of view of an American ” lao wai” { foreigner}. As is the case with all of humanity’s gardens there are flowers AND weeds.The Chinese garden is no different in that regard , they have flowers in the form of the Jardeen Roses and Jasmine and crabgrass in the form of the HaNazees. I try to weed the crabgrass while focusing on and accentuating the Jardeen Rose and Jasmine .

I have taken only the barest minimum of poetic license in an effort to make these stories more enjoyable to read for you. Trust me when I tell you it happened 99 % exactly as I tell it. All names have been fictionalized to protect the guilty from legal action be that civil or criminal and to protect the innocent from the guilty and most importantly to protect the author , yours truly , from the crabgrass in the Chinese garden. Those HaNazee can be vicious bastards!! lol

The HaNazee are well known for having an aversion to the spelling and grammar challenged among us. These guys are in the employ of the HaNazee.

All characters , plot lines , fictional places , and anything else even remotely associated with these stories is the intellectual property of Spaced Teacher D.B.A. Bea Wildered Enterprises and may not be used without the express written consent of the aforementioned Spaced one or Bea herself.


9 Responses to There Are None So Bland As Those That Will Not Be

  1. Lana Statler says:

    How can I print this story out? When R these stories going to put into a book? OMGosh these R pieces of Art N their finest form. I would buy books from this artist to share with family & friends and to read to my children. Do you have any idea of when it will be published ~ Please do not loose my email address as I would not want to miss the opportunity of purchasing anything written by this artist ~

    • Dear Cracker Lana :

      I have no idea how to print these stories out. I do have an idea when you’ll be able to buy my book though. As the Chinese say ” Shen me shi hou zhu hui fei / when pigs fly.” I can’t seem to find anybody interested in publishing my ” memoirs ” lol.

  2. Dear Esther :
    Thank you so much for the nice compliment. May I return the favor to you. Congratulations on being the first one to have the good literary taste to read that article. lol

    • Esther Ferencz says:

      Most SURELY you may compliment my good literary taste! BTW someway somehow you will figure a way to get this publsihed and others too……………….just watch and seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. ~~~~~e

  3. Esther says:

    Very very interesting and delightful presentation~~~

  4. Pingback: There Are None So Bland As Those That Will Not Be | Γονείς σε Δράση

  5. Pingback: Your Garden

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