Ping Tracker

Monday, May 22, 2017

Visiting Longchi Village: A Poignant Reminder of the Wenchuan Earthquake

What started as an innocent enough daytrip to Longchi Village just north of Dujiangyan turned into a much more eerie and contemplative time than I expected.

It turns out that not everyone and everything is all well and good in some areas after the Wenchuan Earthquake struck....even ten years later. I was quite sad during some parts of this tour, and I'm not really sure how I feel about making a video about it.

Your thoughts?

Monday, May 8, 2017

Teaching In China | Training Schools vs. Universities: Pros and Cons

So, you want to teach in China? Here are some tips!

My Patreon:

Working at a training school, you will have:

- Longer working hours. Many, if not most, training schools will sign you for something around 22-25 teaching hours a week, not including “non-teaching hours.” This includes: English First, i2 International Education, Wall Street English, Disney English, New Oriental, Meten English. You can sign part-time contracts with most of these companies, but generally speaking, if you want a living wage, a full-time job, and a Z visa (work visa), you’re gonna put in the hours.

- Higher pay. You’re working longer hours, so you will get paid more. Salaries range from 140/hr to 200+/hr. If you’re teaching 25 hours a week, you can work that out. Some training schools give housing stipends/other compensation, so you’ll be making 10-15k yuan/month.

- No experience / credentials needed, depending on where and which company you teach at.

- No housing included. You’re on your own for a place.

- Lots of young students and annoying parents with abnormally high expectations.

- Fairly rigid curriculums to follow and little freedom to teach what you like.

- Not a normal social life. You’ll be working weekends.

Working at a university, you will have:

- Shorter working hours. Most university contracts are for between 12-18 teaching hours a week, with 16 being the most common. However, each “hour” is usually 45 or 50 minutes, followed by a break, then another “hour,” so you’re not teaching the whole time.

- Lower pay. Working less = less money, of course.

- Experience / credentials needed. This also depends on where you’re going to be. If you want to be at a university and you don’t have any experience, you’ll have to start small. You’ll at least need your original degree, and sometimes they’ll want to see your transcripts as well! They’re cutting down on fake degrees.

- More free time!!

- Housing included (most of the time) or a housing stipend.

- Complete freedom to teach what you like, sometimes to a fault.

- Older students, often (not always) with better English, so you don’t need to teach from the ground up.

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

American Cooks Kung Pao Chicken For the First Time

Here we go! I, Austin Guidry, am embarking on an experiment: expanding my arsenal of Chinese dishes that I cook. Today, I'm trying Kung Pao Chicken.

If you want to cook this, you'll need this!

Authentic Kung Pao Chicken Recipe:

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

- A little less than 1lb of chicken breasts (400g is okay)
- 1 cup diced leeks (1.5 cm)
- 1 cup peanuts, skins removed
- 4 large cloves sliced garlic
- 10 round decent-sized slices of ginger
- Oil (preferably peanut), Salt, Sugar, Starch, Water, Cooking Wine (料酒 Liaojiu),
    - (Optional, but recommended) Huajiao (Sichuan peppercorn)

- Wash all ingredients before beginning.
- Prepare one bowl of marinade
    - 1 tbsp water, 1 tbsp starch, 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Dice chicken breasts into 1.5cm cubes and transfer into the marinade. Marinate for 20 minutes minimum
- In another small bowl, mix: 1tbsp water, 1 tbsp starch, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp cooking wine / liquor (料酒 liaojiu).
    - This is your flavor base

(If using Sichuan Peppercorn)
- Heat oil to medium heat, and when hot, add 1-2 tbsp of peppercorn. Let cook and stir until peppercorns visibly darken. Remove. (The flavor will remain in the oil)

- Prepare to fry your peanuts. Put enough oil for the peanuts to sit in and fully fry, but fully submerging them is unnecessary
- Fry until the color changes and gets darker
- Remove the peanuts and set aside

- Once your chicken has marinated for 20 minutes, heat up the oil to medium high and add the chicken and stir until nearly done.

- When the chicken’s nearly done, turn down to medium and add ginger, garlic, leeks, peanuts, and flavor base.

- Cook for 2 minutes then add dried peppers, stirring continuously. After 1-2 minutes, plate and enjoy! :)
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