American tax dollars for foreign grad students w/ fake tests scores

I imagine this will come across as racist or at least nationalistic, but read this link:

I work at a large university, and I have been just dumbfounded at the deficiencies of Chinese grad students that have been accepted. They get stipends to be grad students. Let’s say ~close to 20,000 dollars a year.

Specifically: I work with grad students fronm China that have TOEFL scores that would be probably better than mine if I took the test and I’m an American (who scored over 700 on the GRE verbal). My problem with this is there are some Chinese students who apply with GRE verbals scores that are over 700, and 1550 on the rest of the exam–but when you meet them: WTF!

Over 700 verbal on the GRE puts you up around the 95th percentile, at least. But I’m out-scored by Chinese students with English that isn’t even functional when you talk to them.

A chinese girl accepted to grad school with only two questions (total) missed on her TOEFL asked me how ‘far I was’ when I met her because I’m a fairly tall guy. That was the most understandable thing she knew how to say.

My BBQ rant is this:
(it is not just chinese students) BUT:

American tax dollars pay for the education of foreign grad students who are accepted to Universities with suspect qualifications.

If these qualifications are bullshit, why are mine, yours, and everybody’s taxes that go to state universities, being wasted on unqualified students if their qualifications are BS or faked?

**(Any grammatical errors are due to booze and not my vaunted GRE score) but this shit gets my goat. Your tax dollars are being wasted on some frauds.

I must say that not all chinese students aren’t frauds, but with this BS about test scores, the question becomes:

How does the legitimate foreign scholar separate himself from the other applicants with BullShit qualifications?

A legitimate foreign grad student should be able to get a degree in the USA. Or the opportunity.

But goimg to grad school just because it’s better than living in your home country and expecting the american taxpayers to foot the bill is bullshit.

That person needs to produce some real, relevant research.

And if they’re not able to do that–why the fuck should my (and everybody’s else’s) taxes pay for an american vacation in grad school?

Well, after reading my post, I realize my grammar ‘waz too less good’(embar’assing’, considering my OP). It’s the end of a snow day on the East Coast, but I think my point has some merit.

What is more annoying is being taught by them. Perhaps reading and answering the test questions are simply easier than speaking it on the spur of the moment? When my Chinese friend swithched grad schools, he had to retake the tofel. He passed. Never the less he couldn’t speak english for shit. Still, it is impressive to me that they can do grad work in a second language. It’s more than I could do.

I always wondered about this, too. When I was attending the Ohio State University, there were a fair number of foreigners in my classes (engineering) and I wondered what the deal was. To stereotype a tiny bit (and I do mean only a really small amount), a number of tem drove BMW’s and had money falling out of their ass to do things (travel in the US, go on Spring Break or buy electronics) and finally I asked one of them, sort of in curious awe, whether most of these guys came from rich families or what. That’s when I found out about the stipends and whatnot.

Granted, not all students got huge sums of money, and I really do not intend to paint this group with a wide brush, but WTF? Don’t we have enough American students trying to go to college? Why should we pay for other countries to come to ours? Is it a world benevolence thing? I don’t know, perhaps I’m just bitter because I have student loans of my own and these guys skated through college and went home…or didn’t, without a bill or a financial care in the world.

The more I look at this, the more I think it may come across as xenophobic or intolerant, but I’m really not, I think I just subscribe to the tenet that we should take care of our own. I don’t feel liek arguing about it, I just wanted to throw out a long-winded “me, too.”

As for the legitimacy fo test scores, simply re-test them here under proctored conditions. If they do as well and people want to throw money at them, more peower to them, otherwise, get their cheating ass on a plane (and make them pay for the ticket). IMO.

As for the grammar and spelling, I can only blame cold meds and MSWord spell-checker. It passed the checker, and I really don’t have the energy <sniff, hack, wheeze> to worry about double-checking, sorry.

Odds are that I’m the relevant expert on this list, so I’ll take a stab at this. Here are the fruits of my experience:

Firstly, yes, there is a lot of fraud (attempted and successful) by foreign students going to the US, especially those from China and India (disclaimer: this is not to imply that Chinese and Indians are more dishonest than others, nor that the majority of students from those countries commit fraud; these are the countries from whom IME the majority of foreign graduate school applications come). Despite the best efforts of both the overseas and US schools and ETS (which administers most standardardized exams), a fair amount of fraud slips through the net.

Having spent five years doing international graduate admissions in the US and two and a half years doing international undergraduate admissions in the UK, I can tell you that sometimes it’s virtually impossible to tell whether a fraud has been committed. I’ve seen my share of altered transcripts and test scores; sometimes they’re blatantly obvious (non-existent schools, white-out, that sort of thing), and sometimes the only way to find out is to phone the home institution and pray that the person who answers the phone speaks English (I once spent six months in correspondence with Marmara University in Istanbul before nabbing three students with fake transcripts). I’m sure there are a lot I’ve missed.

So what about those who aren’t frauds? Next, you have to consider what those English tests actually measure. The TOEFL is very different from the English portion of the GRE, and measures listening and reading comprehension, with some writing (the Test of Written English (TWE)). There is a Test of Spoken English (TSE), but it is not offered in some countries and not on as many dates as the TOEFL. Many students who achieve good scores on the TOEFL often have poor English speaking skills; in many cases this is because they studied specifically to pass the TOEFL, not to learn the language.

The English portion of the GRE is a bit harder to do well on without a better grasp of English, but again, what it measures is reading comprehension, not speaking and writing skills. The GMAT people eventually (about 10 years ago) introduced an essay section to the test after getting a lot of students (including US ones) with sub-par writing skills.

Also bear in mind that most students from countries like China and India come to the US to study in technical disciplines – engineering, the hard sciences (chemistry, physics, etc), computing – and come from educational systems which emphasize specialization earlier on in the educational career than the US. Which means grad school admissions committees see students with a stronger science and math background than a lot of the US applicants, and are willing to overlook language deficiencies (or accept on stipulation that the student attends ESL courses first). Is this fair to the US students? Dunno – presumably the faculty think so, or they wouldn’t keep doing it.

In answer to your various questions:

Why do grad students want to come to the US? Several reasons:

  • Especially at the graduate level and in technical fields, the US is seen as being on the cutting edge of research. A US degree is a real advantage in finding work in the home country.
  • The US is one of the few countries which “subsidizes” (via assistantships) graduate study.
  • Many students hope to stay and work in the US after graduating (which is illegal – if you even suggest to a visa official this is your plan, you ain’t getting a visa – but it happens quite a lot anyway).

How do these students get in with poor English abilities?
As stated – either via fraudulent credentials, or on the strength of other qualifications.

Should the US subsidize this?
I can only offer my personal opinion on this, rather than any expert data, but all I can say is: it depends. I’ve met a lot of highly talented international students who needed some English language study, to be sure, but whose research credentials were outstanding. In general, these have added a lot of value to their institutions (although I chafe at having them teach freshman classes). And I’ve met a lot of timewasters who obviously either conned their way into university through fraud or had suffered some sort of brain damage since taking their exams. But then I’ve met a lot of US students who couldn’t form a coherent sentence either, so who’s to say?

I forgot to add two things:

  1. Many schools do require students from non-English speaking countries to take an English proficiency test when they arrive on campus before registering for the first semester of classes, and will put poor performers into ESL classes until they reach the required standard. Some schools will give exemptions from this test based on TOEFL/GRE English scores, some don’t.

  2. The fields that attract the majority of foreign grad students (engineering and science particularly) are also the ones which tend to offer the biggest stipends. There’s a lot more research money floating around in biochemistry than in music, for example; at Nebraska, biochem grads could get upwards of $14,000, while the music grads were lucky to get $4,500. I’m not suggesting that this is why those student come here, just that both the foreign students and the research grant money are attracted by hot research areas.

Another thing to take into account is that their test scores may be perfectly honest, but that they spent their pre-college years not studying how to speak English, but only how to pass the test. I see this all the time in Japan, where students spend all their time studying only to pass a college entrance English exam that has very little bearing on how they will need the subject in real life. The average Japanese college grad has studied English for 10 years, yet a question like “how’s it going?” will almost always be met with a blank stare.

Two of my roommates in college were Chinese, and neither of them spoke great English when they started freshman year. Over the next four years, though, they worked their butts off, which to me should be the real measure of whether or not they deserved to be students there. They did.


Also don’t assume that there are American who want that position. Especially in fields like Comp Sci, or engineering, nearly all American students are satisfied to get their B.S. then go out and get a good paying job. Foreign students looking to get a job back home, are much more likely to head on the M.S and P.H.Ds. After I got my degree I decided I was going to bum around with my friends for a few months before I got my job. I got bored, and decided to take a class or two. I walked into the Comp Sci Head’s office, and when he found out that I was A: doing grad study in CS, B: paying for it myself(rather than a company tuition program), and C: a native english speaker, he nearly wet himself. Two hours later I was a class with a decent stipend, though nowhere near $14,000.

I spent several years as a grad student in an middling-to-good engineering department in which I was the only American out of about 20, save the occasional part-time master’s student. Based on what I saw, the TOEFL ain’t the only thing they’re cheating on.

We had foreign students come in with GRE math and analytical scores well into the 700s who couldn’t calculate their way out of a wet paper bag. So how did they survive grad school? By cheating on homework (which typically represented about 75% of the grade), keeping exam files, glomming on to the few people who knew what they were doing, and paying for writing help on papers. The faculty was in voluntary ignorance about this, because without foreign students, the department would have shut down.

The most maddening thing was the general exam. (For those unfamiliar with grad school, the general exam is a long written and oral test that can cover any subject in the curriculum. Once you pass it, you don’t need to take any more classes; you just do research.) These idiots would get scores in the 40s and 50s and be allowed to pass (I got 84 - my diploma looks the same as theirs except for the name.) The faculty were very reluctant to fail anyone, because they were hard-up for slave labor (also known as research assistants), and foreign students are widely known to be docile and cooperative when asked to spend 80 hours a week checking the advisor’s arithmetic for his latest submission to the International Journal of Cardboard

I have mixed feelings about this. I am currently doing biology graduate work at a school with possibly the highest stipend and one of the lower cost of living expense in the country (not to brag, but $20,000 a year in Houston goes far).

I have met foreign students who were nearly completely inunderstandable. In my experience, they fall into 2 categories – ones who make no effort to learn English better (and often leave) and others who actively talk English, even amongst their friends. I’ve known some as to go as far as to take accent and conversational English classes. It is not fun to try and communicate complicated ideas with the first type of foreign graduate student. The second type, however, are usually a joy and inspiration.

I have also graded for classes which required essay tests (Genetics exams). Very rarely are the answers uninterpretable. From the tests I have graded, I can say that the worst written English didn’t come from those with the bad spoken English. To lend support to this theory, very few of these foreign graduate students get booted from school, and we are fairly stringent. Most get As and Bs in their classes (and I have not heard or seen any evidence of cheating). They join labs and are usually quite productive. Also, the people who are not passing their qualifying exams (which we take in second year to prove our worthiness to pursue a PhD) are not usually said foreign grad students with poor English. This, in most departments, is a combined oral and written exam that is quite strenuous. Those who fail are usually those without the intellectual ability.

Of course I am against fraudulent test taking. I do have to say, however, that the graduate students we get (we may be lucky) are by and large smart and go on to make good scientists. Maybe this is because we also require interviews before admission. Anyway, just beware of painting anything with too large of a brush. Many Chinese and Indians who come over here are just looking for the best educational opportunities availible. The competitive ones should be afforded that opportunity.

Throwing in my two cents about this–

I’ve sort of seen the relations between universities and foreign students from both sides, as I went to three different universities abroad (however, as one was in Canada and two were in the UK, there wasn’t a language problem). From my standpoint, I have to say that the three foreign universities were more than happy to have the extra revenue I “generated” (in all three cases, my tuition was paid for, but mostly by someone else). In the case of the Canadian university, for example, the university received $C12,000 for my year ($C10,000 from an external scholarship fund and $C2,000 from me).

Of course, I would have liked to have been 100% sure that my qualifications were as good as those of Canadian students who were accepted into the same program. But I will always have my niggling doubts. I mean, if I were in the <insert university name> admissions program and I had a choice between a 90 average student paying $C2,000 and an 85 average student paying $C12,000…and the university was on my back to maximize revenue…geez, that’s got to weigh on your mind.

From the other side: I’m studying British history, so obviously fluency in English is a must. It’s not just the research skill, but the ability to commit your findings in exactly the right turn of phrase and tone, that makes a firm grasp of English a necessity. Of the five universities, where I’ve studied English history, I encountered fellow students with some problems with English in only one of them. I won’t name the place, but I really had to raise an eyebrow at the standard of EFL that was accepted there. I felt bad for a number of foreign students who had been set some very complicated historical texts in Early Modern English–some of them told me they hadn’t been informed on the difficulty of these texts.

My guess is that there are a few universities out there who are intentionally bending the rules for foreign students and qualifications. I’m not saying that from a standpoint of “Who let them in?”–I think, personally, the more foreign students at a university, the more reputable the university. I just wonder whether, knowing what I saw, many foreign students are getting what they paid for.

Thanks for the feedback on my rant. I’ve been out of town and I was buzzed when I originally posted.

Everybody makes pretty good points, but for me it’s not just the lack of English.

If a foreign grad student is productive in research, yeah he/she is probably worth having around. And stipends are the way are our system works.

I guess it’s the two idiotic Ph.D. students in my lab that I have to deal with every day that set me off.

They both have impeccable GREs and TOEFLs and Master’s degrees from China but they couldn’t boil water without directions.

One of them, as a condition of becoming a Ph.D. canidate, had to take 2nd semester Biochemistry (undergraduate level). The kicker for me is that her Master’s is in Biochemistry. So she has a Master’s but needs remedial work. When I asked her how her class was going, she told me how boring and uninteresting it was. I was like: “Why the hell did you get a Master’s in it then?” (I suspect that she doesn’t have one).

The other genius, right before her orals, asked the postdoc in the lab if animals besides humans had immune systems. WTF? We’re a molecular and celluar biology lab. Where did she think the antibodies she uses in her research come from? Yet she passed her orals also.

English is not the only defect they demonstrate. Fundemental biology is lacking. But they’re now PH.D. canidates. I shake my head.

I guess it goes to the fact that labs need students to crank out work and if qualified students aren’t applying, unqualified students will have to do.

But my OP goes to qualified students. If you accept students you’ve never met or spoken to, how do you know that they’re qualified? Some students are accepted because of superlative test scores. When they show up, they’re fucking worthless. In my department, there’s a student from Spain with a (very) mediocre GRE score, but she’s a great worker and her advisor couldn’t be happier. But, she’s probational because of her low GRE score. Meanwhile, the PH.D. students in my lab show up for like 30 hrs a week and spend half that time surfing the internet for recreation.

My professor should lay down the law, but as posters have commented, sometimes the only option is to take foreign students in the disciplines where american students aren’t applying in any great numbers. Every researcher needs the grad student slave labor.

I guess the other thing that gets my goat (and set me off) in my personal situation is the arrogance of the these two Ph.D. students. I’m not techincally a grad student (I don’t have a Ph.D., but I take the same classes on tuition remission that they do, for my own benefit), so they tell me that since I’m not a Ph.D. student, they shouldn’t have to listen to me. Excuse me!? I’m the one who taught you the techinques you use in the lab and you still don’t get them ( come on, how do you do ICC if only humans have immune systems?).

Although I’m not technically a Ph.D. student in the lab, one of my photographs was on the cover of one of the highest impact journals in our lab’s field last summer. So when I hear that I’m not a Ph.D. student that they might have to listen to, my opinion is like: “When you make the cover of a journal with your research, then maybe you can denigrate me for not being a Ph.D. student”. Until then: “Why don’t you do some real research”? Or at least believable research:

Ph.D. student A claims that administration of a hormone induces effects: 1). although she got an A in a grad statistics course, she doesn’t know what a mixed model ANOVA is. This is due to the “Chinese Mafia effect”–the one smart guy does the work for all the other chinese students who copy it so all benefit (a trait of a communistic society?). I’ve seen the students copy their homework from one guy minutes before it was due in class.
and 2): She administers hormone at a level that is ~100 fold lower than physiological norm. And yet she claims an effect. Think about it: if you add one molecule more to a thousand molecules, do you think it will cause an effect in vivo, or in vitro? According to our able tax-supported grad researcher, that causes significant differences (although she doesn’t understand what significant differences are).

My opinion: they can’t.

I wonder if this, in the case of Chinese grad students, goes back to Tianamen Square? After that, I suspect that the Chinese goverment didn’t want students that could think for themselves. (As an aside, I’ve been informed that the TS uprising was the work of domestic ‘terrorists’).

I guess that I’m still pissed about frauds taking up space and using money that could go to real students who are qualified to actually produce some research. And that american tax dollars subidizes this shit.

Maybe it’s just my situation, but in talking to other labs all over the country, I doubt it.

But do they piss in the streets?

:: fleeing ::


As has been pointed out, these students you’re dealing with are neither representative of all Chinese grad students nor a rare example of poor students faking their way through; there are both good and bad students everywhere, and I’m not sure blaming it on Chinese culture is entirely fair.

Let’s look at some of the issues:

1) Admission based on test scores
Frankly, I hate this. I hated it as a student (although I’ve personally benefited by it), and I hated it as an admissions officer. Too many grad committees use the GREs/GMATs as a cheap and easy way to assess the qualifications of candidates. It’s sheer institutional laziness. Unfortunately, without a highly placed individual (Dean or Grad Committee Chair) willing to change the system, it will continue.

2) Admission based on false records:
As I said above, it happens. It is the job of the admissions office to catch these wherever possible. I do know that many Chinese universities have been working hard for the last fifteen years to combat fraudulent records, although there are a lot of schools in China and many don’t have the money (even where there is the political will) to do much. Transcripts have been traditionally handwritten onto preprinted forms and stamped with a colored or embossed seal, but fake forms and seals abound; many schools have changed their seals to foil counterfeits, and some of the more affluent schools have started using more detailed letterhead and computerized forms (very few could likely afford the special paper most US schools use for transcripts, but it will come in time).

In your situation, where the student has a suspiciously poor grasp of a subject in which they supposedly have an advanced degree (and Chinese schools aren’t that bad in technical fields), the department can go back to the admissions department and request an authenticity check, or ask an independent agency to do so (which would cost money). But that assumes that they want to, which brings us to…

3) Faculty turning a blind eye
This is the real problem. However the students get in, by fair means or foul, letting a substandard student pass the oral exam suggests that either:

a) they got lucky;
b) they know more than you think they do; or
c) the faculty can’t be bothered to fail them.

Given the apparent unlikeihood of the first two options, you have to ask what the hell is going on. Either the professor is too chickenshit to fail a poor student, or the department needs the bodies in place for funding reasons. Either way, it’s a sad state of affairs.

To recap: if your faculty don’t care that they’re letting bad students through (and ultimately damaging the university’s reputation), there ain’t much you can do. Certainly, if they’re not going to listen to you anyway there’s no reason why you should help them (even though it may gall you to see bad work done), and perhaps eventually they’ll slip up. But don’t assume that all foreign students, or even Chinese students, are like that.

Satan–No, but I wouldn’t be suprised if they needed written instructions to know how to wipe their asses after taking a shit.

jr8–you make good points and I’m not claiming all foreign students are unqualified.

I’m ranting in the BBQ pit, not asking a GQ or a GD.

The postdoc I work with is foreign and he’s extremely competent (he was author of the work that made the cover of the journal). But he’s not Chinese and the article in the Post was about cheating in China and I have to work with two Chinese students that can’t do shit, although their GREs and TOEFLs scores are higher than his. This is my personal situation. But I know I’m not alone in thinking these test scores are suspect.

These two would have trouble earning a cup of coffee if they weren’t subsidized grad students.

jr8–you said you were an admissions officer, so you might find this interesting:

We had a big debate about in the office the other day, the postdoc and I had pointed out the Post article to the two Chinese students. They were pissed off that someone would insinuate that there is cheating on tests in China. “Not true” was a phrase used over and over. It seems it’s all anti-chinese propaganda. As proof, they offered up a copy of an email (and I can’t know the provenance of it, but it was their exibit of evidence) that was sent to the deans and admissions offices of US schools by the chair of the ETS (which administers the GRE and TOEFL). Whatever, I can’t know if this is a real email from the ETS

The crux of the email was that the ETS was posting a notification that the security of the GRE had been compromised and the Testing Service had noticed a dramatic increase in GRE scores by chinese test takers in the last year or so. Increases that were statistically irregular when compared to other countries and past chinese scores–as in red flag increases. The text also had the obligatory caveats about using test scores as only a part of the evaluation process and that there was no way of knowing if a student had access to the test questions beforehand. The email stressed that the tests had been compromised and that admission people should take that into consideration and compare the scores with the rest of the qualifications.

What gets me is the fact that this email is offered as a arguement by the chinese students I debated this with as evidence that chinese don’t cheat, because the email said there was no way of knowing which students could have cheated (the ETS has no way of knowning; all they know is that the test is compromised and chinese scores have shot up since) and that it’s improper to assume that anybody cheated without specific evidence. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that the test scores are suspect.

So, the memo warning admissions offices in the US about suspect scores is evidence that there’s no cheating on tests in China–because it states that you can’t know about a particular student’s score for sure. I don’t know if this memo is real, but that’s beside the point, because the chinese students debating this with me believe it is.

Bottom line of the memo–recent scores in China may be compromised.

And this is their exhibit A. If they really had 95 percentile+ verbal scores on the GRE (which is a LOT higher than most americans, obviously born to the language, get) I would think their reading comprehension would be greater.

This memo was only a single page and they don’t get it. The foreign postdoc with the lower (probably legitmate) scores got it as soon as he saw it.

jr8–you make legitamate points, like I’ve said. I’m just venting in the Pit, not debating you. I’m just pissed that american taxes support the phonies.

And consider this: the recent bombing of AA missle sites in Iraq were timed to avoid the chinese working at the target sites.

Isn’t possible that the chinese who sell their techincal expertise to the Iraqis received their training in the US at american tax dollar expense?

Foreign students who do real research are legitimate in our system.

Let’s give the dummies to Iraq :slight_smile: Or, save our money in the first place.

As to chinese culture, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen chinese students copy homework or assignments from each other. What I’m talking about is, sure students will collaborate (everybody does it), but to blatantly copy shit verbatim right before it’s due (in the lecture hall) is a bit much. I personally suspect that this is due to being part of a communal society and the fact that there is pressure to exceed in a strange and foreign land/ academic setting.

Is there anything to my thought about Tianemmen? Square, do you think? Look what happened when the Chinese Goverment had to deal with college students who could think for themselves. The solution maybe: students who can’t think for themselves. They do want they are told. I don’t know how the college system works in the PRC, but maybe the PRC goverment wanted drones after TS, maybe? If they think for themselves, trouble may ensue.

Now, I’m dealing with drones. Or at least it seems like it.

I’m not saying that all chinese (or foreign students) are deficient. Of course not, that would be BS. I’m just pissed about the BS I witness. And pay for with tax dollars.

I can’t do anything about your pair of Chinese chuckleheads although, having read some of the documents ETS puts out, I can understand why anyone might have difficulty understanding them. :slight_smile: It certainly sounds like something they’d say (and if you have a copy of the notice – and care enough to bother – ETS would probably verify its provenance).

Yup. The caveats are for the benefit of those PhDs on graduate committees who still can’t quite manage to grasp the difference between “Some may have cheated” and “They’re all a bunch of lying, cheating bastards”.

Why are we not bombing the Chinese in Iraq? It’s probably post-Kosovo sensitivity (you blow up one little embassy, and they get all upset :rolleyes: ).

Is US knowledge being used against us? Of course. Given that the US accepts students from pretty much any country with which we have diplomatic relations (which I think is everywhere except North Korea and Cuba, and I’m not so sure about NK these days), it’s inevitable. Heck, we can’t even control where the weapons and nuclear material we sell go.

I think your first suspicion is more to the point; this sort of thing went on long before Tianemen Square, even in China.

If you really want to blame someone, blame the faculty who have the power to admit and advance these students. They don’t have to pass them. Have you tried concentrating your efforts there, or will it just irritate them?

[hijack] Off subject, but something I’ve been wanting to bitch about for a while and this seems to be as good a place as any.

I work as a maintenance tech in a large manufacturing plant and frequently call support for one of our many shears, breaks or presses that are produced overseas. These calls are necessary because of cryptic quotes in the manuals like “Care must be when testing I/O on 6v board not to touch on grounding and no shorts.” WTF?

Then when you finally get through to tech support, you get someone who barely speaks english and says “Yes, yes, care to circuit board, not to ground, you test to T1-3 and grounding and looking to 6v but not to touch.” Again, WTF?

Your sales reps all spoke perfect english when they pitched this three hundred fifty thousand dollar turret press to us and promised us support. Is it too much to ask that your service techs do the same?

Thank you for allowing me to get that off my chest. [/hijack]

Carry on.