Comparing Jishou 2007 and Jishou 2014

Comparing Jishou 2007 and Jishou 2014
Here’s a view from atop my apartment building, taken in September 2007 by Kannan Puthuval, a previous foreign English teacher. (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Click the link below to see the full resolution. Super-duper size. And here’s same view, taken by me just yesterday. Click the image to embiggen, or the link below to see the full resolution.. Super-duper size. The two vantage points are approximately the same. I think Kannan was standing farther from the southwest corner of the roof than I was by maybe 1 meter (3 feet). We’re looking southwest to northwest. You should be able to pick out buildings common to both images. You can also see several new buildings both on the campus and just outside it, as well as new homes on the hills west of campus. The dormitory in the foreground went up just three years ago. Also the tree at far right in the 2007 image has grown tall enough to obscure the view toward the north. The tree is not visible in my shot. Jishou has grown some in seven years. For the shutterbugs reading this, I created the panorama with four separate shots stitched together with a free tool, Microsoft Image ...

Jishou U students perform ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in Tujia setting, nab runner-up prize

JISHOU, HUNAN — Chinese universities have had a Shakespeare competition for the last nine years. This year, Jishou University was first runner-up. Students from the Zhangjiajie campus adapted scenes from Romeo and Juliet to a Tujia minority setting, complete with a Tujia-style wooden home, costumes and songs. Check it out! [You will see some advertisements first. Sorry about that.] The Tujia are one of China’s ethnic minorities, and have lived in this part of China for thousands of years. Setting Shakespeare’s blank verse to traditional Tujia songs works surprisingly well. If the embedded video doesn’t play, try this direct link.

Graduation season means busy-ness

Graduation season means busy-ness
JISHOU, HUNAN — Before I begin another list of excuses why I haven’t blogged anything, here is some ear candy courtesy of Mother Nature. This song bird was perched outside my bathroom window early one morning, and I got him on tape (as it were). So, aside from birdsong, what else has been happening here? Well, there was the farewell dinner for the two graduating English education classes June 4, the graduation variety show (called a “party” in China) June 6, the dinner for the four graduating business English classes June 7, and their graduation ceremony June 8. (There was another activity just for our college, but I was teaching at the time.) Following this spurt of activity, we had to teach our June 10 and June 11 classes (Monday and Tuesday) on the weekend, because of the Dragonboat Festival holiday June 12. This results from the peculiar Chinese habit of shuffling class schedules to permit one-day holidays that fall midweek to become three-day holidays. Then, there were more farewell dinners and a blowout party — this time for Maddie and Daniel, the other Americans teaching here this year. They are on their way back to America by way of ...

Springtime in Jishou 1

Springtime in Jishou
JISHOU, HUNAN — Just some pretty pictures I took with my mobile phone while walking around this week.

New panorama of Jishou University

New panorama of Jishou University
JISHOU, HUNAN — Here is a new view of the Jishou University campus, from the new high rise apartment complex near the southwest corner of the campus. I didn’t take this photo, and I need to track down a higher resolution image. The old panorama, which a previous foreign teacher took from the top of my apartment building, is at Wikimedia. Since it was taken in 2007, a new dorm and several new buildings outside the university have gone up.

Video of Jishou University: Mission part 1

JISHOU, HUNAN — I find it amusing that this video is available on YouTube, which is not accessible from China. Parts 2 and 3 are also available at this link. The video opens with scenes of the campus, including the main academic building, a computer room and exterior shots of the library. Here’s a rundown of what comes next. About 2:00: Whitewater boating on the MengDong River, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Qianzhou ancient city 3:45: More scenes of Qianzhou, which is immediately south of Jishou 4:00-about 6:00: artist Huang YongYu, a native of FengHuang, a city about an hour from here. The university has a museum devoted to Huang’s works. 6:00: a steam locomotive (long retired) passing through the hills 6:15: scenes of rural life in XiangXi (western Hunan) prefecture, of which Jishou is the seat 7:00: Jishou and its history, the early university circa 1958 7:36: the original university building, now the home of the medical college at the old campus 7:50: construction of the new campus 9:00: one of the language labs (the instructor is Miss Liu, now director of the Public English Education department) 9:56: a shot of FengYu Lake, with the music building designed by Huang ...

The freshmen arrive at Jishou University

Cross-posted at The Daily Kos and rescued! That’s two diary rescues in a row. JISHOU, HUNAN, CHINA — Last time I wrote a diary for Teacher’s Lounge, I introduced myself and my experiences of teaching English in China for this past year. This time, I’d like to introduce you to my freshmen and give you some sense of their lives here. We have just come back from an eight-day break for the National Holiday and Mid-Autumn Festival. The freshmen have started their classes, which means we faculty suddenly have many more classes to teach. My own courseload just doubled, in fact. Chinese universities reverse the order in which students arrive at school, compared to the US norm. Here, the returning students arrive first, and begin classes right away. Then, two weeks later the freshmen arrive. Their orientation is generally brief and utilitarian — there’s none of those open houses and parties that are a major part of American Freshmen Orientation Weeks. All freshmen are also required to have military training; in Jishou University’s case, they had 10 days’ training between arrival and the National Holiday. JiDa’s 4,000 freshmen arrived on a dreary, rainy weekend, beginning with the first trains at ...
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