Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bev's New Classroom

QSI Middle School Grades 11-13, Opened August 28, 2008

First drawing of the front of the building, yes it was to be upper elementary.

During Construction June 2008
Final Look August 2008

The back side from the alley

Construction in June
Final Look September 2008

No they do not wear any harness!


Bev's Future room, but who knew!

And a Fridge and Microwave too!

Thank you Paul and Jeannette for the printer!

Last Spring, a decision was made to remodel an apartment/unused store building at the far corner from our current building as a new intermediate school. It was an on again/ off again project for much of the school year. The government here, and the company that owns the school, plus all the local politicians make re-purposing a building quite a challenge! Enough said. Anyway, in the end the major part of the building was given the go ahead in about March to be remodeled into an elementary school.

The plan was to house the 9-11 year old students, and teachers went over at the end of the school year and picked out there rooms. Schedules were built,. around a new library, computer lab, and music room etc. There was no gym or space for one to be built. But alternate plans were devised for P.E. classes.

One week before school was to open this Fall the local fire inspector decided, and this is not adequate after many inspections and major modifications of our Main Building, therefore, China would not let some lower grade levels above the 4th floor of the main building. Long story, a major change had to occur, so with just five days before the arrival of students it was decided to move the 11-13 yr old students into the building. Bev is a 12 yr. old teacher, so she had to move ,and did so just a few days prior to the opening day. All 30 classrooms were moved lock, stock and barrel after only one phone call from the inspector.

Things were very complicated with schedules and staff members that cross teach, or did, between both age levels.( 12-13 yr old's and the Secondary students.) Everything, eventually worked out in the end with major adjustments by most of the teachers. Here are some pics. showing the plan and final implementation. I took these pics just a few days before we left for the summer and I had no idea that the room I photographed would end up being Bev's classroom!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hot Electricity

This is a flash shot in almost total darknesss. They got to the problem very qickly.

Working on one of the AC units.

Well as you may know the electricity over here is hot. Everything is pretty much 220. That means appliances run faster, toasters heat quicker, microwaves even cheap ones are quick, even batteries seem to charge up much faster.

Well last Monday is when this took place. Well it has taken a week to recover and get this post up, we had a electrical incident in our apartment. As I was sitting and working on the computer, the lights flickered. Well that is not a uncommon experience so I did not think much about it. The next think I know the lights and AC and everything is off, then on, then dim, then super bright. I jump up and go to the electric panel and start switching things off. As I look around I can see that some things are smoking and very hot. Well long story short, I know not really short but, it took the guards, a repair man and then a bunch of repairman over the next few day to get things repaired. AC was out for three days but lights worked. We stayed in a hotel for one night to get some much needed sleep. Well after a week and many repair guys, lots of coordination and new purchases, we now have AC, all other appliances work or we have had to purchase new. Anything that was plugged in like small transformers burned out as well as any electronic stuff. My laptop survived but the power supply did not! What fun, not really.

Oh, the collective wisdom on what happened was that one of our AC units, we have three, shorted and caused a spike on the line which burned out some pretty thick ground wires in the electrical box. Why did the circut breakers not cut the power. They seem to be more like switches then actual breakers. We have no insurance to cover such occurances nor is it even available, and no, the landlord bears no legal responsibility!