27/50 – Printing Problems


It was sometime during the first week that we were here that we realized that there is no system set up for allowing foreign teachers to print from any sort of department budget. Let me take that back– there is in fact a method of printing things from our department. It requires that you gather your teaching assistant, make a trip to the Foreign Language College building, get several slips of stamped paper (after justifying your printing needs), print an initial copy in the Foreign Language College building on an inkjet printer, travel across campus to a small building behind the large auditorium, and then print your copies… on B5 (really small) paper. It’s such a convoluted task that it takes 1 – 2 hours to print anything. I’ve done it exactly one time (to print my final exams last semester).

Instead, we teachers front the money and print at the numerous print shops around the West gate of our campus. It’s not so bad– single sided copies cost 0.1 RMB and double sided copies cost 0.15 RMB (for reference, 6.47 RMB = 1 USD). Typically I’d say we print between $2 – $5 worth of papers a week. It’s really, really ridiculous. And kind of a hassle.


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