High school students at the important prestigious Barrie School of Silver Spring, Md., were all excited about going to China last Friday for a fancy "extended study week" of ... Chinese stuff. The Barrie School, named after a famous San Francisco Giants baseball player, stresses "experiential learning," meaning you learn by doing fun things rather than by just sitting around reading dumb books.
And what an experience they've had this week in the Chinese province of Ghizhou!
Ever since arrival, they've been quarantined in individual hotels rooms, watching teevee, and maybe even reading dumb books, all because some jerk on their airplane from the States supposedly had, guess what, swine flu.
This led Chinese authorities to dispatch the preppies to Eastern Mongolian work camps, from which they will never return.
Government officials quarantined the students and chaperons at a hotel in the city of Kaili because a passenger on the plane was suspected of having swine flu. Students have been permitted to converse through the open doors of their hotel rooms, to write e-mails and to talk on room-to-room telephones, but not to leave... School officials have been told the quarantine will end tomorrow evening, leaving the students one day to tour China before their return flight Sunday.
One day only?? In that case, we recommend "The Great Wall." It's famous!
And worse yet, it turns out that sick jerk on the airplane didn't even have pig flu -- he just had cancer, or some other snoozer.
U.S. & World
Parents and school officials said they learned Tuesday from U.S. consular officials that the plane passenger with the high fever did not have swine flu, raising hopes that the quarantine would be lifted. But the students remained confined as of yesterday evening.