Oxford International College Qingdao vs. Ilona Csáková

Oxford International College Qingdao

I have always been extremely jealous of kids who get to go to swanky boarding schools in exotic places because their parents are diplomats or something fancy like that. I also love private schools that smugly proclaim to develop the “whole” child (full disclosure: I went to one) as though the alternative is that only one small part of the child will be developed, like the pituitary gland, or the shin. But checkout the website for the Oxford International College Qingdao. That campus is about 1,000 times nicer than my university (full disclosure: I went to York), AND they also get “guidance from considerate and patient coaching teachers.”

To be fair, the students do have to wear goofy-looking bright yellow shirts, but that seems a fair trade off when you can do an exchange year with an even fancier boarding school in England (Eton College if you’re a dude, Cheltenham Ladies College if you’re a young lady), and when your campus boasts that it is “environmentally friendly”. Plus, because they are a British-run school, students get their A-levels, which sounds extremely impressive to North Americans.

If you overlook the vaguely racist overtones of the school’s website, OIC Qingdao seems to offer a Harry Potter fantasist’s dream high school experience, in China. Will some Czech singer covering Madonna help you pass A-levels? I don’t think so.

VS.

Ilona Csáková

Well, I’m afraid there’s not too much I can tell you about Ilona Csáková other than what Wikipedia has to say. Unfortunately, I don’t speak Czech so her official site doesn’t mean too much to me. But she means a lot to the Czechs. In 1998, she won an award for best Czech album (which I imagine was for Modrý sen if you’re looking to check up one of her albums). She learned how to play the guitar when she was a kid and also played the drums in her school orchestra. She was then part of a group called Laura a její tygři but then decided to go solo.

That’s about all I got, and this cover of Madonna’s La Isla Bonita. And that says a lot about her. Every country has their respectable artist who can do these kinds of things without it reflecting on them poorly. And Csáková seems to be one of those people. She’s good enough to collaborate with Lucie Bílá, who is one of the most famous Czech artists of all time (http://www.luciebila.com/). And she’s also versatile enough to go be a part of the Hair revival cast. I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t know anything about Csáková and I probably never will. But the fact is, she’s a cultural institution to the Czechs. She helps define them. Rather than the Brits imposing their ways through a college in China.

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Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 1:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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