The high school
Opened eons ago at the beginning of this century by American businessmen doing their stuff in China, at one point it was actually the most reputable of the American international schools in Asia, providing a semi-decent education. Most kids went to boarding school soon, so the school catered to younger kids. It remained open throughout the chaos of the Civil War, closed its doors in 1935 due to the Japanese invasion, opened again in 1945, then was shut down for good in 1949 with the ejection of all foreigners and the communists' rise to power.
It was reopened in the early 80's for a small group of expatriate children. Expanding slowly, there are about 600 kids there now, from nursery school to high school, but the number of high school students decline rapidly as you move up the grades, there were only 30 seniors in a high school of 200. For some reason, I was denied a decent education in my late teen years (like my sister, who went to Taft), and was forced to sweat it out in some inferior, low-quality institution.
Charging an exorbitant sum of money (US$20,000) for a very bad education is a bit outrageous, hinting at the presence of embezzlement, fraud and other white-collar crimes among the administrapo. The teachers, with the exception of a few older high school personnel, all suck, being young fools teaching in China because they want to "see the world". I knew more mathematics than the math teacher, and I sure as hell knew more about history than the history teacher. I outargued the government teacher, who turned out to be a socialist. I humiliated the English teacher in class for her religious beliefs incorporating itself into her grading practices, and was rewarded with detention time. Oy, those were the days......
We lacked proper equipment for most science courses, so we improvised. We used a butane cooker for a bunsen. Without pure water, we had to boil our own. Heck, we couldn't even do the titration experiment because we didn't have the tubes. The school sucked in that aspect.
Expatriate kids are by definition rich and spoiled, so I didn't get along well with those brats. They weren't too bright either, so I wrecked the senior grade-curve, and for that they hated me. My refusal to conform to school norms got me kicked out of the valedictorian seat, despite the fact that I had the highest GPA and was involved in more volunteer activities than everyone else. In the end, I received my diploma, and it is now gathering mold at the bottom of my drawer.
Last year's college list (in a class of 30):
All some of you people thought your high school was bad. Now you know why I hate high school so much.