“What Would You Save First?”

That is the title of a Workshop that I gave a couple of times last week. The results were uniform with almost complete consensus in both classes. This is, after all, China. I want to compare results with how Americans would respond. Call it a “cultural, compare and contrast”, if you will.

The framework is, in an emergency situation (earthquake, flood, hurricane, etc) which of the following ten items would you arrange in importance of saving, with the first being the most important and ten being the least.


valuable paintings








MP3 player

These are the order they’re arranged in for the Workshop. Never mind how ridiculous the list is. This is what the students had to work with. First, they arranged them in “pair-work” having to reach a consensus and then I had them get into groups of three or four to get further consensus. I then posted the results on the board in terms of the top three and the bottom three, in terms of importance.

I am now curious as to whether or not our Chinese friends think as Americans do in terms of what they consider important. Of course, that statement could easily be turned around to read: I want to know if our American friends think the same as Chinese do. Feel free to indicate your list as a reply to this post or email me your list, especially, if you fear public ridicule. I will then post the photo I took of the results I placed on the white board.

As an aside, I am composing this at work on Tuesday evening. One of the teachers handed out different types of candy which I refused at first, but the Durian flavored candy was, pardon the pun, eschewed by everyone here. You know from my previous missives (because you read ALL of my posts), that the Durian fruit is unlike any other. You also know I haven’t screwed up the courage to actually try it. So I was game to try this candy. I was assured that it tastes the same as the actual fruit. The results?: I no longer feel the need to eat a real piece. One bite and I had to eject if from my mouth; it was that vile a flavor.


2 thoughts on ““What Would You Save First?”

  1. Grandmother is the obvious first choice. But in my case that would be Joan. Hmmm. I may have to go for pet.

    Seriously though, most of these are not as important as they might first appear. Forget anything can can be replaced (computer, tv, clothes, mp3 player, passport/documents). Photos might seem important. Nope, all digital and all in the cloud. Valuable paintings? What would I do with those, sell them to the other homeless survivors? Money: Maybe if it was enough to matter. That leaves only grandma and pet. Which brings me back to the start of this post.

    Oh, all right…top three:

  2. Here is the order of importance for me in an emergency. Grandmother, pet, photos, passport/documents, money, clothes, valuable paintings, computer, TV and MP3 player. Given my generation, I’m thinking about all the photos that are not digitized and that could not be replaced, which is why they are in my top three. My computer is backed up, but my clothes are not, so they hold more importance.
    I’m guessing that the Chinese list my last three choices as their most important. I wouldn’t be surprised.
    Saw Jeff’s cute remark about me… I’d probably need to rethink the list too if it had son-in-law. LOL. Look forward to the results.

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