Monday, August 4, 2008
After several talks by the Dean and teachers, students received their certificates at the ceremony. They also presented what they had learned in the Taichi and Chinese classes. Below are the film strips of their performances:
The form they practiced was Young style Taichi of 24 movements. Students learned this form by getting up daily at 7 AM for four weeks. It was supposed to be a part of course for training perseverance.
After Taichi, there were three skits performed by three student groups. Each group prepared a short skit to reflect what they learned from the language classes. Due to the size of the films, only one of them is shown here:
All three of the students in the skit attended the elementary class. It was quite an accomplishment that they could use their language skills to entertain the audience.
At the end, Monica and Robyn also spoke and thanked the teachers. We also took a group picture with the Taichi Instructor: Zhang Laoshi.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The entrance of the museum complex. The building of "Pit no. 1" is in the background.
We took yet another group picture before leaving the museum complex. The next stop was Hua Qing hot spring (华清池), where the famous Yang Gui Fei (杨贵妃) took her bath.
After breathing the fresh air at the foot of Li Shan (骊山) mountain range, we went back to Xi An City and payed a visit to Taichi Grand Mater Chen Quan Zhong (陈全中大师) and his school. They prepared a set of performance for us and gave each one of our students a T-shirt.
After dinner, we went to a music water show in front of the pagoda（大雁塔）, where Buddhist Monk Xuan Zhuang (玄奘) translated sutra from Sunkist to Chinese. The view of the ancient pagoda with the colorful water show, generated by modern technology, was extremely beautiful. It was such a great delight to see thousands of people enjoy the show together, while many young people danced under the water and got soaked wet. To our surprise, there was a firework display after the water show. We had the delayed 4th of July celebration after all!
Before boarding train to return to Tianjin, we also visited a mosque. I learned that even in China, these Muslim (回教徒) have to study the Koan (可兰经) in Arabic language.
Spencer was the brave general 吕布
Monica and James played a married couple in their wedding dresses
Brett played a Robin-Hood type of hero
Monica and Joe are empress and emperor
Monday, June 30, 2008
The Summer Garden 颐和园的神牛
Thursday, June 26, 2008
This week students participated in a Chinese painting class to learn the differences between Chinese and western oil painting. They also tried their hand with pain brush and drew crabs and lobsters.
Monday, June 23, 2008
After a week of studying with textbooks, the class traveled to Qufu (曲阜)- the birth place of Confucius (孔子) , ZouCheng (邹城)- the hometown of Mencius (孟子), and Mount Tai (泰山) during the first weekend in China.
Qufu was full of tourists because Confucius (551 - 479 B.C.) was the most influential scholar, educator, and philosopher in the Chinese history. His tomb, temple and residence showed us how highly he has been respected by all the emperors from Song (宋) through Qing (清) dynasty.
ZouCheng, in comparison, is not as well visited. We had difficulties finding the site because the signs were not as clearly displayed to direct the tourists. Nonetheless, I am glad we went to Mencius home town. The relationship between Confucius and Mencius is like that of Socrates and Aristotle in the Western civilization. It is also similar as Mendelssohn revived J.S. Bach's music in music history. Without Mencius's effort, the Confucianism won't be as widespread as it is today.
There are abundant scripts written into the boulders by famous scholars or emperors.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Life in Tianjin is not as hectic as in Maryland. Here, I only teach in the afternoon, so the lax schedule allows me to take private Taichi and Chinese Medicine lessons every morning and practice as much as I want.
Nankai University has a rather big campus. Walking from its West Gate to East Gate takes over 30 minutes. Famous people like Zhou En-Lai (周恩来), Wen Jia Bao（温家宝), famous mathematician Chen Xing Shen （陈省身), respectable poet Ye Jia Ying(葉嘉莹) all graduated from this university.
Since this is the first cooperation between Nankai and the University of Maryland, our group received a very warm welcome on the first day. Both the Dean of the the College of Chinese Language and Culture, and the Director of Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland attended the Opening Ceremony on Monday, June 16.
In addition to teaching, I hope my Taichi will improve under a professional teacher's correction and instruction. The air pollution is rather serious in Tianjin, because everywhere is under construction to prepare for the Olympics. The soccer games will take place in a newly finished center in Tianjin, called Water Drop (水滴).
Students in our group attend Chinese class the entire morning, and one cultural class each afternoon. We also enjoyed two city tours so far. This weekend, the group is going to Shan Dong (山东) Province to visit Confucius birth place (孔子故居) and the Tai mountain (泰山).