The class trip to Chongqing

The class trip to Chongqing
CHONGQING– It’s a little late in coming, but here’s a rundown on the trip in late April with the junior class. Each year, students are expected to go on a “practical experience” trip, which is essentially the equivalent of an American spring break trip, but with a couple of teachers along. In the past, students could choose from several destinations, such as Hainan, Guilin/Yangshuo, Beihai, Chongqing, Beijing, and even Fenghuang for those pressed for cash. This year, however, all 150 or so juniors for the College of International Communications went together on a three-day trip to Chongqing. The journey included visits to two factories, one in Jishou and the other in Chongqing. I suppose the national education bureau wants these “practical experiences” to have some kind of relationship to the students’ major and just not be a frivolous trip. As before, though, the students have to write reports on their experiences, so no matter what, the trips were still part of the curriculum. Good thing none of us Americans are required to report on our spring break junkets. Hoo boy! We left on Monday morning (April 2) on three chartered buses. Our first stop was a manganese processing facility about ...

A Chinese wedding celebration: getting there is half the fun 3

HUANGJIAKOU, HUBEI — Last weekend, I went on a trip with a friend to see her friend get married. Since I haven’t written anything lately about what I’ve been doing, now’s a good time to tell you what I’ve been up since classes ended July 3. Elektra (her English name) recently graduated from the Jishou Teachers College. Last summer, she worked in Guangzhou with a young man just three years older than she. He was getting married this month, and so invited Elektra to the wedding in Hubei. She knew I was planning on visiting Hubei this summer, and mentioned her trip there. I asked if I could go along. The couple was cool with the idea, so Elektra and I left last Thursday for Hubei. Quick geography lesson: Hubei 湖北 is the province immediately north of Hunan 湖南. They get their names from proximity to Dongting Lake 洞庭湖, near the city of Yueyang 岳阳. “Hu” 湖 means “lake. “Bei” 北 is “north,” and “nan” 南 is “south.” Jishou is in the western part of Hunan, but we were going to the eastern part of Hubei, near Wuhan, the provincial capital. In China, as in Wyoming, where I used to ...
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