The following is a conversation someone had with a Chinese ESL student studying in the U.S.:

A:  So what did you think about the results of the election yesterday in the U.S.?

Student: Not much because isn’t Obama still the President?

A: Well yes, but he lost control of the House.

Student: So where will he live?

A: The White House-that’s where the President of the U.S.A. lives.

Student: So he didn’t lose his house?

A: Oh no wait-I meant the House of Representatives.

Student: Oh I see, so how can he still be the President if he lost control of something in his government?

A: Well the American political system is different from the Chinese political system.  Obama won’t be up for election until 2012 but because of this election he will have more difficulty doing his job.

Student: He already seems to have a lot of problems doing his job.  So why do Americans want to make it even more difficult for him?

A: Good point-I can’t explain it.  American politics is very complicated.  I’m not sure even most Americans understand what happened yesterday.

Student: People say the political system in China is bad but it is very simple and I think China works very well.

A: Maybe so but then why are you trying to get into An American university?

Student: Good point.  Ask my father.  It’s not my idea.

I was shocked when I first heard about this conversation. But I understand it later because most of us do know nothing about elections. SAD.

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