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    [post_content] => So I sit in the program house after cleaning...always such a mix of emotions after a program finishes. This semester was such a success- it was wonderful for me to be part of the students growth experiencing China and learning how to be independent in this city. And now they are really truly independent! This morning early I said goodbye to Camille as she went off to a new Mission trip with Operation Smile. Will left in the early afternoon for a meeting with a woman holding an English competition he will be a judge for later next week. Zach was picked up at 3:00 by his new homestay family, which includes twin boys. Aurora stayed on a bit helping me clean up the program house, and Graham was the only student who I actually got to take to the airport and watch go through customs! He is now somewhere over the Chinese skies, winging his way back to the US. I miss all of you already, take care of yourselves and stay in touch!
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China Internship, Spring 2012

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Students off to new adventures

Logan Fitzpatrick,China Internship, Spring 2012

Description

So I sit in the program house after cleaning…always such a mix of emotions after a program finishes. This semester was such a success- it was wonderful for me to be part of the students growth experiencing China and learning how to be independent in this city. And now they are really truly independent! This […]

Posted On

05/8/12

Author

Logan Fitzpatrick

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    [post_content] => Taking the role of leader on the student lead transference trip was the final personal test for my year with Dragons. I knew I had come a long way, but I would have to pull out all of the stops if I wanted to do this successfully. We had chosen to go to a village called Bamei for a few days. We took a sleeper bus south to a city called Guangnan, then a morning bus just outside of our destination. The only way in that we knew of at the time was by canoe through a cave. Once we were finally in the village, we searched for a meal, lodging, and… Bamei. After another canoe up river and a horse cart, we realized that the first village that we were in was the actual place and hiked our way back. The first day was very relaxing, with not much planned except for a lesson on development in the evening. Day two we went on a longer than expected hike to a Miao village about three and a half hours away from Bamei. When we arrived most of us were exhausted, but we managed to find a family that was nice enough to feed us lunch and a van driver (with the only van in town) to drive us back. The morning of the third day, a man from our hostel agreed to guide us through another cave that was in the side of a mountain, above the cave we came in through. We all brought our head lamps, and crept through the darkness in awe of the vastness. It was soon over though, and we were back in the canoes going through yet another cave to exit the village. We took a van back to Guangnan, stayed the night, and went back to Kunming via beautiful bus ride. The trip went very well. I’m proud of how I handled my final opportunity to prove myself as a leader, and my wonderful group made it so much easier on me. A year with Dragons well spent. 
    [post_title] => Transference
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China Internship, Spring 2012

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Transference

Graham Stone,China Internship, Spring 2012

Description

Taking the role of leader on the student lead transference trip was the final personal test for my year with Dragons. I knew I had come a long way, but I would have to pull out all of the stops if I wanted to do this successfully. We had chosen to go to a village […]

Posted On

05/7/12

Author

Graham Stone

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静夜思

床前明月光,
疑是地上霜。
举头望明月,
低头思故乡。

Thoughts on a Still Night

Before my bed, the moon is shining bright,

I think that it is frost upon the ground.

I raise my head and look at the moon,

I lower my head and think of home.

If I could count the times this poem has nestled its way into my life, I would be counting for almost eternity. I’ve seen it written in calligraphy, had it recited to me on a stroll through a park, and understood it’s meaning on nights that it describes. Since the first time I’ve heard it, its simplicity has resonated in my brain, every time I look at the moon, the moon that inevitably connects us all, I think of my home. The moon shines bright, looks over us on still and restless nights, brings the hope of a new day, the beginning of a time to rest and recollect all the things that went astray during the day and put them back in place. The moon to a certain extent dictates our lives, and its eternal presence is somewhat of a comfort to me.

The thought of leaving China, if I’m very honest, terrifies me. I have made a home here: I have bonds with the sights, the sounds, the array of smells and most of all the people. Grounded would be the word, or maybe secure. Fear of going back to the known is more present than fear of the unknown: I suppose lately my relationship with the unknown has been more valuable. Known is the past, and unknown is the present and future, full of possibilities and opportunities. What continues to strike me is the comfort I feel with those I have only shared fractions of my life with, the comfort I feel somewhere that I would have never known anything about last year; the unknown place that became a paradise of sorts. And I look at the moon, and think about home.

What is home really? A place to hang one’s hat? The place we’ve lived the longest? The place we feel most confident? Home: Kunming, Boulder…. where else might home reside in a week’s time, a year, a century? I suppose keeping this present place alive is in how I think about it, whether I think about it as over and done with or something that will stay with me. In this case, I want to keep this poem close, the moon will not only remind me of my birthplace, but of my home in Kunming, China, what I learned here, how much I grew, the things I want to keep within me that I could have only ever found here. As long as the moon still shines, this home will forever be on my mind, allowing me to remember all the things I’ve found along my beautiful journey.

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China Internship, Spring 2012

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Thoughts on a still night

Camille Henrot,China Internship, Spring 2012

Description

静夜思 床前明月光, 疑是地上霜。 举头望明月, 低头思故乡。 Thoughts on a Still Night Before my bed, the moon is shining bright, I think that it is frost upon the ground. I raise my head and look at the moon, I lower my head and think of home. If I could count the times this poem has nestled its […]

Posted On

05/6/12

Author

Camille Henrot

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The most interesting way I thought to write my final yak is to directly answer the questions I posed in my first yak and then some. I thought this may be the most fun way for you to read about my progress, the answers and commentary are in red ink. Sorry for those of you who are color blind. L

The best way to summarize my thesis is: What is Chinese herbal medicine and what is the relationship the patient and the average Chinese beneficiary have with herbal medicine?The way I wrote my focus is: “This leads one to wonder what happens when culture or the current health care system changes. What then happens to the Chinese public’s experience and attitudes with and towards health and medicine? To begin to answer this question a proper understanding of the fundamentals of health, medicine along with the history and current state of health care in China is needed. Using this analysis I will be examining how it all impacts the public’s attitudes and perspectives and what role it has on their behavior towards health and well being.”

To elaborate, I am looking at two things the first is the medicine itself. Asking the same questions mentioned above as well as many others to gain a better understanding of not only the botanicals, but also TCM as a whole. To do this I did a lot of reading, shadowed two different doctors at two very different hospitals and lastly I had lessons on Saturday mornings on TCM fundamentals and theories. As for the botanicals, I read what I could otherwise I paid close attention during my time at Sheng Ai’s pharmacy as well as trying to ask any question I could when I had the chance. In the end I think I did get a great understanding of TCM as a whole and a good gist of the botanicals. My second focus follows linearly. I am researching the relationship the average doctor, patient, and citizen have with TCM and health. To edit this line I did research the “relationships” the general Chinese public has towards health, mediicne and well being. Though it ended up being more their attitudes and experience. My title summaries: An examination of health care and culture as it impacts public attitudes towards health and medicine in Kunming, Yunnan, People’s Republic of China. Thus, I didn’t really focus on doctors’ relationships in my paper even though I asked them questions regarding this during interviews. How I structured my paper then is by examining; The Recent History of Health Care in China and Chinese Culture and Health and Medicine and how these two realms affect the general public’s attitudes.

This includes numerous questions such as:

**What preventative measures does one takes towards health?

**Many. Chinese culture has a large, widespread, ingrained health culture that gives rise to preventative measures. As a result the way an average Chinese person lives their lives is full of preventive health measures.

**When does one decide they need to see a doctor?

**I didn’t really get this answer by asking people, as it is a little personal. How I did getting is by observing culture. This wealth of common knowledge when it comes to health results in many people treating themselves and so by default on average people will go to the doctor when they can’t treat something themselves.

**With what I know about thus far about Chinese medicine, how does food and medicine relate? ** This was a huge focus of my paper when I didn’t think it was going to be. In the beginning I thought it may be a small factor, but it ended up being the center, most iatrical way one prevents sickness and stay healthy, (if you eat right).

And how on a day to day basis?

Food is medicine and medicine is food. The dividing line is quite vauge. The only answer I have ended up with is that all food has its own affects and is long term medicine; while most herbs should only be used temporarily. In a sense herbs are the strongest food.

*How integrated is this in the public mindset and behavior?

* This relationship is quite integrated in the public mindset, behavior and in day to day life. In my questionnaire answers this was obvious, people saw the two as the basically the same.

**How do gardens play a part in health and medicine?

** Private gardens and public gardens and parks do play a part by their presence and also use.

* Is it common to have a garden at home?

* Yes. 68% of people said they grow plants.

* For culinary or medicinal reasons or both?

* Not many people, maybe one or two said they use their gardens for direct medicinal use. 24.3% of people said they use their gardens for cooking.

*What do they have and why do they have them? what for?

I didn’t end up asking particularly what they grew in their gardens, but some people wrote vegetables, flowers and aloe that they have uses for. Most people had gardens for viewing pleasure or mental well being and grew a variety of flowers.

** How about the botanical gardens in Kunming and Jinghong? Why did they build them? What is in them? And Why?

** I didn’t really answer these questions exactly as the semester went on I more focuses on what these gardens did to impact the public’s knowledge and awareness in regards to the environment for my other course. My food and gardens/parks questions overlapped and I ended up using some question answers from one in the other.

Needless to say I learn a lot. I had an idea and some questions coming into the semester and I would say those changed and adapted wonderfully. I am happy with what I have accomplished thus far and feel satisfied. My conclusions did match what I originally was looking to answer. Right now I don’t think I would have done that much differently. Things played out as they played out and I can’t really change how things happened. As for the future, who knows what will happen. I come from a medical family and have always had a perspective of and interest in medicine and have a meeting soon with my thesis advisor so honestly who really knows what the future will bring.

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China Internship, Spring 2012

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Final Yak 2

xiaohongmei,China Internship, Spring 2012

Description

The most interesting way I thought to write my final yak is to directly answer the questions I posed in my first yak and then some. I thought this may be the most fun way for you to read about my progress, the answers and commentary are in red ink. Sorry for those of you […]

Posted On

04/29/12

Author

xiaohongmei

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The most interesting way I thought to write my final yak is to directly answer the questions I posed in my first yak and then some. I thought this may be the most fun way for you to read about my progress, the answers and commentary are in red ink. Sorry for those of you who are color blind. L

The first: What environmental efforts are in place in Kunming and or Yunnan and how are they working?

**What work is being done? How? And Why?

** There is a lot of working being done in Kunming!!! Why? Well there are many interests and motivations behind organizations from what I can tell. One factor that I looked at that I saw was a reason for this health community is the diverse environment and cultural landscape that Yunnan offers. It seems to be the cause of the motivations and interests of every organization I spoke with. How this community and network works is a whole other wealth of information that I learned that never made it in to the scope of the paper. However, the process of which I learned this information helped me get the answers I did use for the paper. It also wasn’t just business. I wanted to know how this network worked for my own interests and possibly the future.

**What process do organizations have to go through to do what they want to get done?

** This depends on what type of organization and when. As for NGOs, all must be registered with the government and today that process in long, quite long. Before, at least in 2003 to register it could take 3-6. There has only been a decrease in tolerance and an increase in restrictions that is making in harder to run. If organizations operate with out be registered because they don’t want to or are in the process there is a risk of being kicked out and barred from ever registering. It is a odd system. As for GONGOs or just GOs to do work it seems quite a bit easier.

* Are the local, regional and national government hoops to jump through?

* There are hoops at all levels, but they seem to start in the reverse order.

**Is there an amount of public advertising that needs to be done?

** To operate or begin not so much. Public outreach seems to be focused on project sites or possibly host countries, though I am not sure.

**How long is the process from and idea to action?

** A while, as expected. One NGO that I talked to said it could take around a year give or take. For GONGOs a little bit faster because they have government clearing the path and maybe, maybe not depending on who you ask given money.

*Is there a way to speed it up? Slow it down? Encourage more?

* The common answer seems to be government at all levels. I think it is clear that if government lifted restrictions things would speed up and more organizations would come about.

The second: How do the locals relate to the environment?

**What is the average public opinion about the Environment in Kunming?

** The environment seems to have a place in the people’s minds of Kunming. Yunnan’s environment is bountiful and unique and is worth saving as well as the global environment.

**What is the public opinion about Environment protection?

** Environmental Protection is also present. Through public imprints put out by the government everyone knows they should do a,b,c for the environment. In addition, the younger generation seems to know more by the fact that they are learning the pros of environmental protection at all levels in schools in Kunming.

**What is the public opinion about Environmental organizations?

** What I found is that no one really knows about environmental organizations. I only has 3 people out of 41 that gave org names.

*What is their relationship with said organizations and how did it come to be this way?

* There isn’t really a relationship.

**What environmental education do people have and how do they use that knowledge?

* This was a huge part in my paper that I will try to summarize. Basically, people have a fair amount of en.edu. that ranges depending on whether you live in Urban or rural areas and demographics. If you are well off financially and have a good education that introduces you to global issues you tend to be more aware. Behavior has What I got into a little bit into my paper is how this knowledge and awareness transitions into behavior and action. Behavior changes with attitudes to a degree. I found that environmental action on the other hand is progressing, but at a slow rate and I talked about possibly reasons why.

** What does the presence of public parks and garden contribute to this idea?

** I took this question and looked at it a little bit differently. I looked at how public parks and gardens impact their amount of knowledge and awareness of the environment. What role they played in this game. Like zoos I saw that their presence is one thing and also their ability to hold exhibits and teach all benefit the visitor.

** I have seen many posters and advertisements advertising for a healthly earth and water conservation. What factor do these play in the public’s mindset?

** The many posters I saw led me to look for and examine any thing in the public eye that talks about the en. or en.pro.. I found a lot and the amount led be to believe that this amount and their content have to impact the public’s attitudes, knowledge and awareness towards the environment.

So to clarify the topic I am looking at the presence of Environmentalism among the public and organizations of Kunming and loosely Yunnan; In efforts to compare them to the different regions in China and China as a whole. Roughly I did look at the first part, but the second I bring that up in the paper, but that is what you can do with the information I found out. My title better summarizes what I focus I ended up with: An examination of environmental efforts and public environmental attitudes in Kunming, Yunnan, People’s Republic of China.

As you can see I learned a lot, but this isn’t everything I learned. While writing my paper I really realized how much I know and have learned that didn’t make it in. I feel like I can write more on how environmental work gets done, conservation (whoa, loads), the history and affects of the rubber trend in Xishuangbanna and Laos (which is huge), energy, development, organic foods- agriculture. I think I have at least touched on most of the biggest topics going on right now is the Yunnan area. Looking back at my initial questions for the most part I stuck to them changing pretty little. I am pretty happy and satisfied with what I have learned and accomplished in the end. That being said I don’t think I would of changed anything. I can here with a mission and under the structure of the semester I got done what I could. As I have told on a few occasions I am here doing what I love to do so as for the future there is a good chance I will continue doing environmental work. What I do is that I have a Skype meeting with my thesis advisor in May so truly who knows what will happen and what the future will bring!

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China Internship, Spring 2012

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Final Yak

xiaohongmei,China Internship, Spring 2012

Description

The most interesting way I thought to write my final yak is to directly answer the questions I posed in my first yak and then some. I thought this may be the most fun way for you to read about my progress, the answers and commentary are in red ink. Sorry for those of you […]

Posted On

04/29/12

Author

xiaohongmei

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Well, our time in Kunming is coming to a close. Tonight we are hosting our appreciation dinner, and all of the students have invited their homestay families, internship mentors and ISP mentors. Language teachers will also be there. I am looking forward to seeing how the students interact with their families tonight all together and with their mentors.

And tommorow we take off for our last trip together. This final travel portion has been organized by the students. It is our "Expedition Phase" of the trip, which means student led. After some research and discussion, they have chosen to go to BaMei. This is a small village over in southeast Yunnan, accessible only by boat though a cave. We will stay there for several days doing activities which the students will plan, and including some activities led by me wrapping up our final days together. We will return to Kunming either the night of May 5 or the morning of May 6. Our last 2 days in Kunming will be filled with ISP presentations, Zach's fundraiser performance for his NGO, and last minute errands before the program finishes on the 8th!

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China Internship, Spring 2012

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Wrapping up in Kunming

Logan Fitzpatrick,China Internship, Spring 2012

Description

Well, our time in Kunming is coming to a close. Tonight we are hosting our appreciation dinner, and all of the students have invited their homestay families, internship mentors and ISP mentors. Language teachers will also be there. I am looking forward to seeing how the students interact with their families tonight all together and […]

Posted On

04/28/12

Author

Logan Fitzpatrick

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    [post_date] => 2012-04-26 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => I always loved hearing stories about the adventures that my grandparents went on when they were younger. One of my favorites, and one of their favorites to tell, was the story about when they went to Borneo. Either by accident or with determined efforts, they ended up in a very secluded part of the jungle, up a river that travelers don’t normally think about going up. The small tribe of people that they met was skeptical, but welcoming to their unexpected visitors. These were the first white people that they had ever seen. We were on our way to the second destination of our orientation. Our plan was to see some famous rice terraces, some of the largest and oldest in all of China, but try to avoid the crowds. In the first town there were just a few tourists that stuck out, but it wasn’t too bad. We kept going, and when we finally got to the town of Niujiaozhai, it seemed that it was purely Chinese. If we stayed in a local’s house, we could have the full experience. Sleep in the same environment, eat the same food, go where they go, and live like they do. It seemed like a stretch though, and we would most likely be staying in a hotel. We rolled down the window of the van, and the first person that we talked to knew of a cheap place that we could stay! It turned out to be the concrete floor of a restaurant, so we politely declined and found a hotel room. Although later that evening, that same boy, Xiao Ming, offered us a place to sleep at his house. He lived in a village called Maha about an hour’s walk from Niujiaozhai. It was getting late, so we decided to stay the night at the hotel and go there the next day.  After an exciting Valentine’s Day night of eating, singing and dancing with the locals, we packed up what we needed for one night and headed up hill to the village. Along the way Xiao Ming and his fellow college friends showed us different plants, and told us a little about the people who live in the village and their language. Maha is populated with an ethnic minority, one of the many residing in Yunnan. The hike wasn’t too hard, and soon enough, we were walking into a humble farming community. Stares and surprised smiles poked out from behind corners on the narrow path. As soon as we dropped our bags off at the house we were staying in, our new found guides then whisked us off towards the rice terraces. The sun was going down behind the mountain, as we walked down another trail. It opened up into a lake of shimmering pools. Ducks were in paradise, and children were playing and catching fish. Xiao Ming and his friends weaved along the skinny walls of dirt that were holding up the crops. We followed in a single file line, occasionally stopping to find a new route, or just to take in our surroundings. We were surrounded by large pools stair stepping down the mountain. Most weren’t steep, but there were areas that seemed unreachable. It was no problem for the locals though. They hopped from one terrace to another with experience, helping us as much as they could. We stopped in some rows of tea bushes, and watched the sun finish creeping across the water. Then we headed back.  Still overloaded with beauty and amazement, our group was brought to Xiao Ming’s parent’s house for dinner. The house was compact and simple. We all crowded around one table, and ate the best food they had to offer. Everyone that we met was always happy to help. We were treated like royalty by these people who didn’t have very much to give. They must have worked so hard to raise a family, and send their kid to college. The father entertained us with stories of hardship and toil over dinner, but the mood was brightened again when we went outside, huddled around the fire and ate sticky rice. Their immensely cute baby was passed around, and so were more stories. It was a relaxing, fun, slightly cold, and definitely memorable night. The fire died out and we said goodbye before we headed back to the house where we were staying.  In the morning we woke up to a gorgeous view of the clouds rolling through the valley. First things first, dress the girls up in traditional minority clothing. After a fashion show on the roof, we packed our things up and went back to Xiao Ming’s parent’s house for breakfast. Over breakfast we found out that his grandparents, who had been extremely hospitable as well, had never seen white people before, and that we were the first foreigners that had come to the village. When we found this out we knew that we had fulfilled our goal of getting off the beaten path. We were breaking new ground, at least in this particular village. We had noticed that they didn’t have any good pictures of themselves around, and it might be nice to have those mementos. As a thank you we decided to take some pictures of the family together in front of the house, and send them back with one of the college kids once we printed them in Kunming. Aurora and I got some good shots of them, we said goodbye, and started walking back down to Niujiaozhai very satisfied with this adventure.  My grandparents’ story about going to the village in Borneo ended with a photograph. They asked some of the people if they could take their picture before they left. In this area having you picture taken was very taboo and they actually believed that the photograph takes a piece of your soul with it, so it was extremely rare. I guess my grandparents were kind enough, and connected with the villagers, because they let them take the picture. It is now proudly displayed in my grandmother’s house, and has a fantastic story behind it. I’ve always strived to be like them, and adventure like they did. Going to these places this year with Dragons has brought me closer to that. Even though it might not be quite the same, the few similarities between this excursion and my grandparents’ story have made me proud of myself and what I am doing. Now I have a story of my own.
    [post_title] => Off the Beaten Path: A Very Late Yak
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China Internship, Spring 2012

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Off the Beaten Path: A Very Late Yak

Graham Stone,China Internship, Spring 2012

Description

I always loved hearing stories about the adventures that my grandparents went on when they were younger. One of my favorites, and one of their favorites to tell, was the story about when they went to Borneo. Either by accident or with determined efforts, they ended up in a very secluded part of the jungle, […]

Posted On

04/26/12

Author

Graham Stone

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I am currently trying to cram 9 lessons worth of Chinese characters into my brain. I’m in the bind that every student faces, the days before a final exam when you rush through everything you’ve learned hoping that it stuck. Over and over again I write each character, stroke by stroke, sometimes they appear flawless and sometimes I’ve added something wrong and each time I tell myself, yes this is it or no change it. This whole studying thing has been foreign to me this year and it’s interesting to find myself once more hunched over my work tediously repeating structures and strokes so I can hopefully commit them to memory. Some come easily, a smooth progression from empty space to meaning, some are more difficult a missed line here a closed box there, a swooping fluid hook at the end, these are harder to remember, and these are the characters that I can only hope my memory will carry me through on an exam.

I sit here writing and rewriting words from my textbook, general words, like happiness, excitement, sadness, pain, forgiveness… all things that I have experienced this last semester. I admire the simplicity of some words how the unity of two individual meanings can create something of depth. Like sadness, it is merely a heart that has been hurt, or how safety is depicted as a woman under a roof. It’s in the simplicity of these complex emotions and ideas that we find the purity of these terms, these things that we feel so frequently that we forget really what they do to us. I guess to see these ideas in a language where it is not just a written word rather its a character that in and of itself has a story and a history can bring together what these words mean or meant, in the past, in the present maybe what they’ll mean in the future. That’s just it the term ‘character’ that’s what words are at the end of the day, a character in our lives, something that affects us, changes us, creates us.

It’s through this studying that I realize how affected I am by things that are so easily swept off as normal vocabulary to learn in a foreign language. I’m no expert in the Chinese language yet some of the most abstract emotions that a human can feel are part of the beginning lessons. Why? Because these are the words we use to describe our lives.

As I slowly write each character stroke by stroke I think about how throughout this semester I have felt every one of these things. Every one of these characters has taken the stage at one point or another, for a short while or for a long-winded problematic stay. I’ve felt every one of these to the furthest extremes, whether it was welcomed or not. I have found true happiness, I have felt excitement, my heart has been hurt and I’ve forgiven things that I’ve done and things that were not asked for. I wonder why only now I realize how defining these moments are, the moments of joy, of fear or of desperation, we never let them consume us, as we should.

I feel like I’ve made a life for myself here in Kunming, but in comparison to my life back at home I know what’s different. Here, I’m willing to take all these words we use so easily as an influence, I let it affect me more profoundly, and I learn what these characters can do. They can destroy, they can empower, they can relieve, it’s easy to stop them from interfering with your routine but it’s when you let them catch up with you that you discover the most about yourself.

I’m still here, studying away, stroke by stroke…but I have a new respect for what I am studying, these aren’t just words that are said and immediately forgotten, these are evolved characters that hold within them the most profound meanings known to us.

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China Internship, Spring 2012

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Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace

Camille Henrot,China Internship, Spring 2012

Description

I am currently trying to cram 9 lessons worth of Chinese characters into my brain. I’m in the bind that every student faces, the days before a final exam when you rush through everything you’ve learned hoping that it stuck. Over and over again I write each character, stroke by stroke, sometimes they appear flawless […]

Posted On

04/25/12

Author

Camille Henrot

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    [post_content] => Although you've just recently been updated about what's going on in Kunming, there's also a little more to share. We are in our final week in the city, next week we head off to Bamei for a lovely transference far away from electricity and normal civilization. Through the river in the cave we must go to enter the 'paradise' that awaits us for our final week together. Everything is starting to wrap up, we're beginning preparations for ISP presentations, those who must are writing their 12-page essays for the college credit they've been striving for all semester, some are cramming Chinese characters into their heads to try and pass their final exams and some are doing all of it. Not only this, but we have some serious organization to do in the remaining few days of the week to make sure our transference goes swimmingly, but I have much faith in our group we will get everything sorted. As of now we're trying to find a way to wind down and get everyone who has made this semester possible together to thank them, which will be happening this Sunday. All our host families and mentors will attend for a final HUGE Dragons thank you for all the help. This week is quite busy but a pretty crucial week, when we try to tie up loose ends and get our minds together so we can reflect on all that we've done and find a way to detach ourselves from our lives here, lives we love so much to get back into the mindset of home. But it is not time yet to worry about going home, we still have an excellent week of travelling and exploration ahead of us, and we're all ready to go!
    [post_title] => Last week in Kunming
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China Internship, Spring 2012

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Last week in Kunming

Group Scribe,China Internship, Spring 2012

Description

Although you’ve just recently been updated about what’s going on in Kunming, there’s also a little more to share. We are in our final week in the city, next week we head off to Bamei for a lovely transference far away from electricity and normal civilization. Through the river in the cave we must go […]

Posted On

04/25/12

Author

Group Scribe

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    [post_date] => 2012-04-24 00:00:00
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I have learned a lot from my experience teaching English in China. Learned from observing classes, from teaching classes, from the feedback that followed the classes i taught, and from interviews i conducted with various teachers.I asked them about things I wanted to know about teaching. I asked them about issues such as discipline, motivation, and getting around the language barrier. I also asked them about their educational background, what they think people should study if they want to become a teacher, and ways to improve as a teacher. I have taken all of the answers I have gotten into consideration when I prepare a class, and when I teach a class.

I asked the teachers why they decided to become teachers, and I learned that a lot of them had the same reasons as myself. The same goes for when I asked them what the best thing about being a teacher was. One of my favorite questions asked was what one should study in college if they wanted to be a teacher. I was not sure what my major was going to be in college, and this question helped me narrow down my options. The most common answers were psychology, education, and other languages. Another question I liked asking was what the best way to improve as a teacher was. The majority of the time, the answer was to observe successful teachers, and to talk with other teachers.

The time spent observing classes was also very helpful. I learned what each class required, and also some helpful teaching tips. Since I was going to teach the class i observed in the future, I took note on things that I wanted to improve. Sometimes when I took over the class, I was not able to improve everything that I wanted to improve. I now see that this was not an issue with the way the teacher was running the class, but the problem was with the students and sometimes their motivation.

I learned a lot from the teaching experiences, and from the feedback that followed. I was able to improve after each lesson, and was able to put what I learned into action the following class. I did not only get feedback from other teachers that were helpful, but also feedback from myself. There were things that I noticed that I wanted to improve on that I was able to put into affect the following lesson.

At the beginning of the semester, I wanted to gain a lot of knowledge about teaching, what makes a good teacher, and what makes a good lesson. I definitely got this out of my experience teaching, observing classes, and through the interviews I conducted. All of the experiences I had can, and will be used in the future.

I have decided to stay in China for an extra three weeks to continue teaching. I had nothing to do during May for my summer job started in June, and I feel that there is still a lot more I can learn through teaching in China. I will be working at Champion education during the month of May. My summer job is also teaching kids how to swim so I will continue to pursue teaching in that sense. I have also decided that I will study education in college, and plan to pursue teaching (possibly ESL) in the future.

[post_title] => Final ISP Yak [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => final-isp-yak [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-04-24 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=41696 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 316 [name] => China Internship, Spring 2012 [slug] => china-internship-spring-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 316 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 242 [count] => 43 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 16.1 [cat_ID] => 316 [category_count] => 43 [category_description] => [cat_name] => China Internship, Spring 2012 [category_nicename] => china-internship-spring-2012 [category_parent] => 242 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/spring-2012/china-internship-spring-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => China Internship, Spring 2012 )

China Internship, Spring 2012

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Final ISP Yak

William Barnard,China Internship, Spring 2012

Description

I have learned a lot from my experience teaching English in China. Learned from observing classes, from teaching classes, from the feedback that followed the classes i taught, and from interviews i conducted with various teachers.I asked them about things I wanted to know about teaching. I asked them about issues such as discipline, motivation, […]

Posted On

04/24/12

Author

William Barnard

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