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China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010


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Hi everyone,

I'm Caleb Fujimori. I'm 16.I live in Shrewsbury, MA and go to Phillips Exeter in New Hampshire. I like to run, wrestle and fiddle with Rubik's cubes from time to time. This'll be my first time to China, but I've been learning Chinese for a few years. Besides learning language and general culture, I'd like to learn more about minorities in China.

See you guys soon

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China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

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Intro

Caleb Fujimori,China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

Description

Hi everyone, I’m Caleb Fujimori. I’m 16.I live in Shrewsbury, MA and go to Phillips Exeter in New Hampshire. I like to run, wrestle and fiddle with Rubik’s cubes from time to time. This’ll be my first time to China, but I’ve been learning Chinese for a few years. Besides learning language and general culture, […]

Posted On

06/11/10

Author

Caleb Fujimori

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Hey Guys!

My name is Branch Johnson. I'm 15 and go to the Hotchkiss School up in Lakeville, CT and will be a 10th grader next year. I play soccer and ski with and also love to get outdoors and kayak and bike. I've lived all over the wall, including china (shanghai), butcurrentlyI live in Mumbai, India. I have some experience in Mandarin (few years) but I want to improve my skills and hope to be fluent someday in the language. Can't wait to meet you guys in Los Angeles.

Till Then, 再见!

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China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

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Intro

Branch Johnson,China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

Description

Hey Guys! My name is Branch Johnson. I’m 15 and go to the Hotchkiss School up in Lakeville, CT and will be a 10th grader next year. I play soccer and ski with and also love to get outdoors and kayak and bike. I’ve lived all over the wall, including china (shanghai), butcurrentlyI live in […]

Posted On

06/10/10

Author

Branch Johnson

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Howdy all!

Let's get this yak board up and running with some juicy posts, what'd'yea say? Hey, we'll be spending 6 weeks together on planes, trains and buses; we'll jostle in the crowded streets, sleep soundly in bunk rooms and next to our home stay families under one great Chinese roof, so there's no need for shyness! If you haven't already, post a brief introduction blurb so we can begin to get to know each other.

On that note, we'll be able to speak in person since you'll all receive a phone call in the next few days from one of us instructors. Think about any last minute questions, concerns, interests or hopes you might have and bring them up in our conversation.

Hopefully you've all made it to summertime and have finished up with exams so you can truly gear up for the awesome trip that lies before us. I know I've been preparing myself: thinking of what to pack, what might happen, what we'll see, what we'll learn... An endless list of awesomeness to say the least.

I'm excited to meet you all,

George

Speaking of how not to pack, don't load you're tricycle like this guy:

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China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

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Up and Running

George McGinniss,China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

Description

Howdy all! Let’s get this yak board up and running with some juicy posts, what’d’yea say? Hey, we’ll be spending 6 weeks together on planes, trains and buses; we’ll jostle in the crowded streets, sleep soundly in bunk rooms and next to our home stay families under one great Chinese roof, so there’s no need […]

Posted On

06/9/10

Author

George McGinniss

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Nimen hao!

I am excited about the 10 days that we will spend as residents of Kunming, living with Chinese families and becoming a part of their daily lives. Not only is this an amazing experience to embrace Chinese culture firsthand, but there is no better place to do so than Kunming.You will develop close relationships with these families and the rural home stay families will become equally significant to you.

It is often nice to acknowledge the impact these people have had on you with a small gift. And, just like your parents have always told you, “…it is the thought that counts”, and this is true in China as well. Large gifts that will make your backpack feel uncomfortably heavy will also make the Chinese families feel uncomfortable receiving them.Likewise, expensive gifts that make your wallet feel uncomfortably light, will also make the families feel uneasy.There will be things you can buy in China that will certainly be suitable but something from your hometown will seem more personal.

To help you, we have put together a list of ideas:

  • Anything personal that will remind them of you! (Pictures of you and your friends, you and your family, your hometown, somewhere you have gone on vacation, etc.....although photos of people in swimsuits or consuming alcohol is culturally inappropriate)
  • Calendars, keychains, postcards, etc. from your hometown
  • Burned CD's of your favorite music
  • Tea from America (I know, bringing tea to the Chinese! The families will still think it's exotic)
  • Hats or T-shirts from your favorite sports teams or especially the NBA team that Yao Ming plays for....Houston is it?.....or anything else that has to do with NBA or English Premier soccer league
  • Your favourite children's book in English

And remember, nothing really big and nothing really expensive. Just something small and personal will express the most. Let us know if you have any questions about anything by posting a yak.

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China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

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Home stay gifts

The I-team,China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

Description

Nimen hao! I am excited about the 10 days that we will spend as residents of Kunming, living with Chinese families and becoming a part of their daily lives. Not only is this an amazing experience to embrace Chinese culture firsthand, but there is no better place to do so than Kunming.You will develop close […]

Posted On

06/8/10

Author

The I-team

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In preparation for the summer we will be posting yaks on this message board to keep you up to date on itinerary changes, ideas for home stay gifts, details about Independent Study Projects, additional packing lists etc. So please keep checking your Yak Yak message board in the lead up to the summer and post questions too; if you are unsure about it the odds are other students are too. The Yak Yak message board will be our main point of contact until we meet in LA!

Dragons的学生, 你们好!

Independent Study Projects (a.k.a. Independent ADVENTURES!!!)

The China Language Intensive 6-week course offers students the chance to explore some unique aspects of China that regular travellers would never have the chance to do. You can add to this experience through choosing a topic for your Independent Study Project that really interests you.

Think of your ISP as your own adventure, navigated by YOU. Your ISP is a way for you to explore your curiosity and creativity, connect with locals one-on-one, use your Chinese and have an independent experience within the group experience. There are some incredible options for exploration, and this is also your chance to learn through EXPERIENCE!

In order to make your ISP as rewarding as possible you will need to:

1. Carefully select something that excites you and will keep you inspired

2. Take initiative with the project’s creation and direction

3. Be dedicated to your project through all its challenges until its conclusion

From the experiences shared by many past Dragons students, we’ve learned that it’s IDEAL for all students to either know, or at least narrow down, the options for their ISP before we arrive in China, so that we (your instructor team) can be prepared for your arrival by already having some of your contacts and mentors lined up.

We would like you to review the following ISP ideas and options and choose one. Of course, you do not have to choose from this list, these are just ideas to get you started! There may be something else that you would like to investigate and we will do our best to help you arrange this. When choosing a topic please bear in mind that it must be realistic, a topic that can be pursued in China and pursued using culturally sensitive research methods.

Here is a list of fantastic ISPs that previous students have studied:

  • Photography
  • Documenting daily life through film
  • Migrant workers
  • Disability
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Chinese massage
  • Sports
  • Teaching English
  • The education system
  • Public health
  • Further Mandarin study

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Government systems
  • Music
  • Calligraphy
  • Ink painting
  • Taijiquan
  • Wushu
  • Tea ceremony
  • Study of ethnic language / customs (e.g. Naxi language and Dongba script)
  • Chinese Mandarin characters


After you have chosen your ISP topic, you need to start thinking about how you will investigate and research this topic. We will do our best to help you find the contacts you need, but first we need to know what YOU want! Do you need a mentor to teach you a skill? Do you want to interview someone? Will you need a translator with you? What other tools will you need to carry out your Independent Study Project?

We are really excited to hear more about your ideas for your ISPs here on the YAK YAK!

As you begin thinking about China we encourage you to head to your local library and gather up some information, the internet is also a wonderful resource as is the China Reader.

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China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

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Independent Study Projects

The I-team,China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

Description

In preparation for the summer we will be posting yaks on this message board to keep you up to date on itinerary changes, ideas for home stay gifts, details about Independent Study Projects, additional packing lists etc. So please keep checking your Yak Yak message board in the lead up to the summer and post […]

Posted On

06/8/10

Author

The I-team

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As you begin thinking about China, we encourage you to consider what you will need to bring with you and how you are going to get ALL OF THAT STUFF into your bag! Here follows some guidelines to help you with this mammoth task:

  • Spread everything out that you want to take with you. Separate into piles of essential items and things you would like to take if you had the space. Try not to fill more than ¾ of your pack. You will need space for gifts and items you pick up on your travels. When in doubt, leave it out! You can purchase most extras once in China.Rolling your clothes helps reduce the amount of space they take up and can help you organise your pack.
  • Don’t bring anything priceless or irreplaceable. Most things will suffer from wear and tear while travelling. Your favourite t-short probably won’t survive the trip!
  • Organise objects the way you will need them and consider how often you will want to access them.
  • Place heavy items lower and as close to your back as possible.
  • Pack larger items first and stuff the gaps with smaller items.
  • Your backpack will be thrown on buses, rained on, sat on, slept on, stood on; fragile items should be packed with most protection.
  • Place bottles inside Ziplock bags to avoid disastrous spills.
  • If you don’t have a waterproof backpackyou canpurchase one from a camping shop once in Kunming
  • You should be able to comfortably carry your pack for a couple of hours, essential when queuing or walking into town from the bus or train station, so you need to be frugal in your packing!
  • Keep valuable items inside a money belt or your day pack. Don’t pack valuable items in the outer pockets of your pack or carry them in your pant/shirt pockets; you will be a target for pickpockets.
  • Keep emergency cash (USD), a photo copy of your credit cards, passport, and insurance documents in a safe place.

For more information/ideas about packing your backpack, please see the following website:

http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/articles/pack+backpack.html

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China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

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Considerations for Packing

The Instructor Team,China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

Description

As you begin thinking about China, we encourage you to consider what you will need to bring with you and how you are going to get ALL OF THAT STUFF into your bag! Here follows some guidelines to help you with this mammoth task: Spread everything out that you want to take with you. Separate […]

Posted On

06/7/10

Author

The Instructor Team

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Dear fellow traveler:

Greeting from Xiaoqing (you can call me Yan laoshi :) ). I’m going to be one of instructors who take you to explore China. I’m so excited about this trip, and I hope you feel the same.

I hope this letter will help you start getting to know me before we meet in person. I am a Chinese girl grew up in a small town on southeast coast. But surprisingly I didn’t swim in the sea even though there was a lovely beach. And more surprisingly, you could hardly find women in the sea. Why? Because Chinese girls protect themselves from anything causes tan. Some of you might not know about this before, some of you might do. But I can tell you, it’s just a drop in the bucket from the culture difference from yours. And I am here to help you to see what Chinese is like, and it’s not from TV, it’s not about politics, it’s not about economy, I will take you to see normal people’s life.

When I was 19, I went to university in Yunnan, a multiethnic area, where we will spend quite a portion of time in our program. It’s a great place with beautiful scenery, different minorities, and great food and so on. The time in this place had significant impact on me more than 19 years at home. Living in a strange land, meeting different people, experiencing new stuff forms one’s world view.

I majored in English while at university, and I started to study western cultures, and later made many foreign friends. I learned a lot from them about their cultures, world views, and how they see China. It was amazing experience. In the mean time, I participated in a lot of activities. I joined the volunteer club to visit lonely elders in rest home; I joined an outdoor club and went camping and climbing on weekends and holidays. We stayed in local families’ often, and some are minorities, we learnt about them, about the difference. And we have seen how poor a family can be. One of the families we visited lived in a 10 ㎡ home with a couple and a child, and few small chairs and a wooden board as a bed were all the furniture they had. When we see “poverty” as a word, we have a concept in mind, but when we really see what “poverty” is in real life, it’s a total different thing, it’s a shocking experience. An old Chinese saying “读万卷书不如行万里路”(Ten thousand scrolls are no better than ten thousand miles of journey) emphasizes experiential study than book reading. And I believe so.

After graduation, I went to Thailand to work as a volunteer for a year. And I also tookInternational developmentcourse at the same time. In this year, I experienced being an outsider and becoming understanding, fitting into the society and becoming like one of them. Being a foreigner once gave me great understanding for foreigners in China when I came back. I understand their needs and their difficulty, so I get to know better how to help them.

In 2009 summer, I worked for China Language Intensive 6-week as a language instructor after I came back from Thailand. We did home stays, studied language and travelled together. We were like a family, helping each other, having fun and growing together. We helped the students improve their Chinese, and how to behave properly with Chinese. And they had a wonderful time with the group and home stays.

I assume you are excited and maybe feeling a little scared in some way. Don’t worry! Because all instructors are here to help you and guide you, this trip is going to be great. Before this trip started, I suggest you do some preparation. Make a list for things you need in this trip, so that you won’t forget. Set your personal goals for this trip, and the goals should be challenging but achievable. And think about what you wish to learn or research, writ it down, and remind yourself when you are here. Yunnan’s altitude is rather high, so it requires more fitness while hiking and climbing, therefore keeping yourself fit is highly recommended. Chinese are curious about America and American culture as you are curious about China, so small gifts which can represent your culture would be a great gift to your home stay families. Remember gifts should be small, light and cheap if you bring any.

Our instructor team will be calling you soon, and we can talk more about things we need to prepare for this trip and anything you have questions or doubts on. I can’t wait to meet you and begin our journey of exploration. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

See you in LA,

Xiaoqing Yan

Isabe.xqyan@gmail.com

+86-158-871-46765

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China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

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Xiao Qing Intro

Yan Laoshi,China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

Description

Dear fellow traveler: Greeting from Xiaoqing (you can call me Yan laoshi 🙂 ). I’m going to be one of instructors who take you to explore China. I’m so excited about this trip, and I hope you feel the same. I hope this letter will help you start getting to know me before we meet […]

Posted On

05/18/10

Author

Yan Laoshi

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To my fellow journeymen and journeywomen:

Hey everybody! I hope all is well in our respective parts of the globe round, and I hope we’re all getting amped to go to China this summer as I know I already am. And who am I? I’m George McGinniss, a really excited instructor ready to meet you all and share the awesome experience we have coming just about a month from now. Why am I so thrilled to be going to China? In all of my travels I have never been to a country more magical and mystical than the Middle Kingdom. China has too much to offer: from its absurdly delectable cuisine to its beautiful geography and some of the most intriguing people the word over. We’re going to immerse ourselves to see it all, and I couldn’t be happier than to go with an interesting and dynamic group that I’m sure ours will be.

I hail from the forested rolling lands of Connecticut, though I’ve spent the last four months since I graduated from Georgetown driving 15,000 miles around the great old US of A. Armed with my skis and surfboards, undoubtedly my most cherished possessions, I’ve been living out of my pickup truck visiting friends and strangers the country wide. I’m back home now and am gearing up for our journey East, tossing in my sleep just imagining all that we’ll see in our six weeks abroad.

At Georgetown I majored in Chinese and minored in Spanish and Math, studying abroad for six months in China and then another six down south in Chile. I spent most of my time in China in the frigid northern city of Harbin, though I’ve traveled the country extensively by hard seat train. I also passionately read anything I can get my hands on (especially Chinese philosophy) and write short stories. I teach the dreaded SAT writing section to high-schoolers like you, and spend my summers guiding kayak tours and instructing surf lessons on Long Island. I’m a certified ocean lifeguard and wilderness first responder (as our other instructors are similarly qualified), so I’m sure we’ll not only have a fun filled trip but a safe one also.

I want to share with you an ancient Daoist text I translated from the Zhuangzi because I think it reveals a bit about what our coming trip might entail and gives some good insight into the philosophy of Daoism. It’s called “The Idea of Caring for Life.”

“Cook Ding was cutting up an ox for Lord Wen Hui. His hands sliced, his shoulders bore down, his feet dug in and his knees propped up—all for the Schhheuw! Hwwwah! of the knife as he brandished it cutting the flesh from bone. Such were his movements that all sounds would have harmonized with the Forest Dance and the Jing Troop Jingle. Lord Wen Hui remarked, “My! How impressive! How did your skill advance to such a level?”

“At this Cook Ding set down his knife and said, “What I am attracted to is the Way. It surpasses all skill. When I began cutting up oxen all that I could see was the whole Ox. Even after three years I still had not experienced seeing the Ox as a whole comprised of many components. Now though, I use the spirit of the Way to access the Ox and do not use my eyes to see. The knowledge of the senses ceases and the spirit takes over, complying with the structure of heaven. According to the composition of the Ox, I stroke the knife though the big gaps and guide it along the hollows between the bones and flesh. My knife has never had to cut veins and sinews, let alone chop through bone! Capable cooks saw and replace their knives every year. Common cooks hack and replace their knives every month. My knife is nineteen years old and has cut up one thousand oxen, yet the edge is as if it just came off the whetstone. The joints have space in between, and the knife blade is thickless. Using the thickless to enter these relatively vast spaces leaves ample room for the wandering blade. This is why after nineteen years it is as if it were just sharpened.

“However, every time I get to the tight joints, I see their difficulty arise and timidly I become hesitant, inspecting and pausing, implementing meticulousness. Here, I move the knife ever so carefully, and Hwwwah! The meat is as soil falling to earth. Holding the knife in my hand and standing, I look four ways around and am satisfied.

“Lord Wen Hui, “My! How impressive! I have heard Cook Ding speak and have understood the idea of caring for life.”

I try to be a little bit like Cook Ding everyday, acquiring new skills and knowledge morsel by morsel until I can see the whole comprised of its many components. I hope we can all aim to do that this summer in China. And so what’re we going to do? We’re going to bear our shoulders down, dig in our feet and learn the idea of caring for life, honing our Chinese knives on the wonderful whetstone that is Zhongguo.

Have a great few weeks and I’ll see you all in LA!

George

Gm229@georgetown.edu

Skype: George McGinniss (pbj563)

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China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

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George intro letter

George,China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

Description

To my fellow journeymen and journeywomen: Hey everybody! I hope all is well in our respective parts of the globe round, and I hope we’re all getting amped to go to China this summer as I know I already am. And who am I? I’m George McGinniss, a really excited instructor ready to meet you […]

Posted On

05/18/10

Author

George

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    [post_date] => 2010-05-14 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Hey everybody,

My name is Zoe Holman and I'll keep Zachary company by posting on the yak yak board. I am 15 years old, attending Pinewood Preparatory School in South Carolina, am currently a sophomore there, playing volleyball and softball for them. I like to play the piano and guitar along with sleeping in my freetime. I don't know much Chinese but want to learn plusI like to travel. Any type of music is fine with me butI prefer to sing along if I can. I can't wait to meet all of you!

Talk to ya'll later!

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China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

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Personal Introduction

Zoe Holman,China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

Description

Hey everybody, My name is Zoe Holman and I’ll keep Zachary company by posting on the yak yak board. I am 15 years old, attending Pinewood Preparatory School in South Carolina, am currently a sophomore there, playing volleyball and softball for them. I like to play the piano and guitar along with sleeping in my […]

Posted On

05/14/10

Author

Zoe Holman

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    [post_author] => 39
    [post_date] => 2010-05-04 00:00:00
    [post_date_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00
    [post_content] => 

Salutations. Well, I guess I'm the first one to post on the yak yak board. My name is Zach, I'm 17 years old and I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I'm a junior at Wakefield High School. I do swimmimg at school, I also like to ski and I've attempted snowboarding. In my spare time, Ilike to read, sleep, learn about other places, and Scuba dive. I like to listen to rock, rap, pop, and techno music. Idon't know muchChinese, but I want to learn; and in the process, all of you will probably think my mistakes are hilarious.I think those are the basics about me.

Seeya

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China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

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So, I’m going to China with you guys

Zachary Mormann,China: Language Intensive (6-week), Summer 2010

Description

Salutations. Well, I guess I’m the first one to post on the yak yak board. My name is Zach, I’m 17 years old and I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’m a junior at Wakefield High School. I do swimmimg at school, I also like to ski and I’ve attempted snowboarding. In my spare time, […]

Posted On

05/4/10

Author

Zachary Mormann

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