The dance video, as promised

The dance video, as promised
JISHOU, HUNAN — Here’s the dance we teachers did Christmas Eve. A student shot the video, so the quality is not quite professional, but you can at least get the idea. If you can’t view the video, you can download it from my server. Right-click to download, or click to view in a separate window. And here’s a photo of the whole crew.

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 annual sports meeting 3

JISHOU, HUNAN — Imagine the Beijing Olympics … on a much smaller scale. This is our college’s opening performance. Look for me among the faculty, behind the teachers in the long magenta (fuschia?) dresses.

Video ad for a Chinese T-shirt company

Don’t worry, there are subtitles. It’s a long commercial for Beijing-based Plastered T-shirts. You can see some scenes of hutong life in it.

Call Roto-Rooter! 5

JISHOU, HUNAN — Recently, we’ve had a lot of rain here, which is typical for this time of the year. When it rains heavily, some parts of campus get flooded. It happened once last year, and twice this year (so far). Basically, the storm drains can’t seem to handle the runoff, and the area around the dorms and the stadium ends up with knee-deep water. Someone took a video of the flooding last week, and uploaded it to, one of China’s answers to Youtube. The title, “吉首大学校园再次被淹” (Jishou Daxue Xiao Yuan Zai Ci Bei Yan), means “Jishou University Campus Flooded Once Again.” You can see the street between the stadium and the dorms, where a bus is parked, the greens near the dorms, people walking along the sidewalks, some stores, and workers setting up temporary “bridges” so the students can get out of their dorms to go eat or take their exams. My dorm is on the top of a hill, so we send all our rainwater down to the student dorms. So thoughtful we are. Incidentally, Youku is one of the best sites to watch TV and movies online. There are English language movies, too. If you visit ...

Scarlett – awaiting your call – JW 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — If you’ve ever seen the movie “Lost in Translation,” you’ll recall the scene in which Bill Murray’s character has to shoot a liquor commercial for his Japanese employers. Those images played in my head today as I assisted a communications student with her homework assignment, by being her model for a mock juice commercial. The student, Denise, was one of the two finalists in the university’s English-speaking contest a couple of weeks ago, which I helped judge. (The other finalist, by the way, won the local contest, went on to provincial contest and took first place.) Denise asked me to be her model because my appearance suited the concept she had for her commercial. Her concept: A philosopher type is lost in thought, frustrated because he cannot overcome some mental block. While anguishing over his task, he suddenly spies a bottle of Baige juice drink. He takes a swig, loves the taste and lo! his mental block is gone. Denise said my white hair and beard reminded her of philosophers like Marx and Hegel, so she asked me if I would help her shoot the video. (Well, it trumps being called Jerry Garcia …) We used a ...

Ben Stein shills for Expelled on Christian TV, part 5

This clip from Ben Stein’s interview on Trinity Broadcast Network includes his amazingly stupid, misinformed crackpot idea that scientists murdered Jews during World War II. I had always assumed it was Nazi soldiers “following orders.” My bad. Watch it and weep. Someone took Ben Stein’s brain.
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