Fall 2014

October 20, 2014

Before leaving Nanchong for their teaching service, the SST group took one more field trip, visiting Lingyun Mountain National Forest Park east of Nanchong. Professor He Mingyu of the China West Normal University’s English Department served as our guide. She had been an exchange scholar at Goshen College in 2002 and eager to meet this year’s group of GC students.

Continue reading »

October 17, 2014

As our time in Nanchong came to an end, we planned a party for our host families to thank them for welcoming us into their homes for six weeks. They were patient with us when communication was difficult, they cared for us when we came down with colds or sore throats, and they introduced us to hot pot restaurants and to KTV (that is, karaoke, a common entertainment here).

Continue reading »

October 15, 2014

National Week Travel

October 1-7 is National Week in China, a week-long vacation commemorating the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949 and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. Schools at all levels are closed, so our classes at China West Normal University were suspended. Although roads and tourists destinations are crowded during this week, we used three of the open days in our schedule for field trips.

Continue reading »

October 13, 2014

China SSTers are spending their first night in the towns that will be their homes for the next five weeks. They will be teaching English in three secondary schools, living with host families in each place. All three schools are hosting SSTers for the first time, so all sides are negotiating relationships and expectations anew. Given our encounters today, it is clear that all the schools are eager to have the Goshen folks teaching oral English. Having native English speakers in the classrooms is uncommon for schools in these places where foreigners are rare.

Continue reading »

October 6, 2014

Sharing Music and Dance

On two recent afternoons the SSTers learned and shared music and dance with Professor Wang Xiao and her students from the College of Music. Ms. Wang introduced Chinese musical notation and explained the history of two popular folk songs, “Kangding Qingge” (Love Song of Kangding) and “Mo Li Hua” (Jasmine Flower), and taught them to the SSTers. Ms. Wang had arranged for some of her students and another music faculty member to perform traditional works for us, and then she invited Goshen students to sing and play in return.

Continue reading »

October 3, 2014

Deng Xiaoping, China’s principal leader from 1978 to 1992, famously described his country’s distinctive economic blend of free-wheeling market forces and centralized controls as “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Since then, people within China and those who visit have often tried to articulate the “Chinese characteristics” that mark various aspects of life here. During the study portion of SST – the first six weeks of the term – we’re been experiencing Chinese academic life and its distinctive characteristics. We’ve been learning on two levels: the material that teachers present to us directly and, indirectly, something of what it’s like to be a university student in this part of the world and how education functions here.

Continue reading »

October 2, 2014

On Sunday, September 21 we visited a traditional farm in the countryside. We rode the number 6 bus out of the city and then walked for about…

Continue reading »

September 30, 2014

On September 17 and 18 we had calligraphy instruction with Liu Qingyang, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and a master calligrapher. Professor Liu introduced us…

Continue reading »

September 29, 2014

We spent the weekend of September 13 and 14 in Langzhong, a smaller city that lies north of Nanchong, further up the Jailing River Valley about an…

Continue reading »

September 28, 2014

Practicing Tai chi

For two afternoons this week (September 11 and 12) we practiced tai chi, a traditional physical exercise rooted in the martial arts tradition and dedicated to disciplined…

Continue reading »

Page 1 of 212