We had our first in-class lesson today with some wonderful people from the Communication University in China. We learned how to introduce ourselves, say our name and mention that we are American. Test the students once they get home – they should all be experts in introductions. We are all learning to use new muscles in our faces and mouths trying to make the different sounds associated with the Mandarin Language. After just one lesson we are able to differentiate sounds now.
After our lesson we all headed to the Media Museum on campus for a tour. This was not scheduled in our itinerary, but after the campus tour yesterday and getting to see just a glimpse of the media museum, I decided it was a worthwhile experience for the students to learn about the history of media in China. What the students quickly learned was that American media and Chinese media are vastly intertwined. We also observed many replicas and a plethora of examples of different forms of media, i.e. radios, television, video recording, mass media equipment and much more. The tour lasted just over an hour and it was well worth the time we spent.
As an aside – I teach Comm 131P, New Media/You Media at SJSU and I’m already trying to figure out how to incorporate the information from the Media Museum tour into my class back in the states.
The students were able to break away from the instructor for a little while after the tour – I had to deal with some logistics on campus, and they were glad to have some unstructured time. We had to, once again, try and deal with the internet situation. Thankfully it was an easy fix and now the students should be fully up and running when it comes to the internet.
The students continued their adventures into the local cuisine by going to the cafeteria to sample some more delicious dishes. I must commend the students for jumping in head first with the cafeteria food. They are adventurous and not afraid to try new things. This group of students is truly an amazing group. Although the students are not restricted from going off campus to eat, most eat at least a couple meals a day there. The food is incredible, super tasty not to mention cheap. One of the things we were concerned about is tummy trouble and picking up a bug from the food here. However, no one has had any issues so far. To be honest, we prepared for the worst by packing pepto and immodium, but from what understand, no one has yet to use it.
After lunch we met as a group and took a brief tour of Tian’ an men Square in the early afternoon. We were not able to stay too long, but I have a feeling most students will venture back on their own to spend a bit more time there. We had to rush back to get a few things worked out on campus, then freshen up to prepare for our acrobatics show. We left campus with ample time to find the theater, and we ended up having over an hour of free time. But since we missed dinner on campus, some of us were a bit hungry. When arose from the subway steps to see a Starbucks and a McDonalds. The students voted to have a slice of fast food from home, so we headed to McDonalds for a quick bite. Some folks finished early and headed down to an indoor market to see what they had to offer, which means that some have been fully bitten by the shopping bug. We had to wrangle everyone to get them to the theater on time, otherwise I have a feeling we would have been late because the students wanted to shop.
The Acrobatics show was a lot of fun. The students were thoroughly entertained with feats of strength, agility, skill and amazing flexibility. Once the show was completed we hopped back on the subway to get us home. We used a little well known motto “no child left behind”, meaning everyone gets on the subway and everyone gets off. We stayed together as a group and had no issues at all with the transportation.
It was a very long day filled with many observations and activities. The students, and their weary professor were exhausted. However, some of us found the strength to gather in one of the dorm rooms and have some great bonding time.
I continuously hear whispers about how well the group is getting along and how we are just one big happy family now. It is wonderful that the students are getting along as a group, and that they are looking out for each other. With an open-door policy from both me and the students – meaning we wonder in and out of each other’s rooms at will most of the time – it’s hard not to become one big happy family. These relationships are going to last a lifetime!!!