We have welcomed another teacher to our Assembly. She traveled to Iowa for graduate work last semester, got Important Information…excited to find regular study group

01 May

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Two of our teacher friends were married recently, and make a great-looking couple! We have enjoyed weekly Discussions with them for nearly two semesters now. We also saw Xiao Guan, our Foreign Affairs Office rep, on campus today. Her husband is on one-month leave finally for their honeymoon…they were all-smiles.

We have also welcomed another teacher to our Assembly. She traveled to Iowa Wesleyan College for graduate work last semester, got Important Information, and is excited to find a regular study group to continue her growth. She has great English and plenty of interest…admitted it took her 12 years to finally believe The One.

I thought of one comment from our classroom discussion on dementia and “growing old together.” One of the young men, named Youngman, said, “Gary, I did not enjoy the movie that much. I am too young to be thinking about getting old.” 🙂

A few more observations from the students when talking about lessons from The Notebook:

  • The most beautiful words are not ‘I love you’ but “I will be there.”
  • It is difficult for the students to listen to their classmates making their 3-4 minutes speeches, since there are 45-53 of them. What about me? Seven classes x 48!  I enjoy watching them ‘mouth’ new words of phrases they hear during those sessions. They are really serious about learning new English words.

There is a persistent rumor about our students being moved to the West campus next semester. It would mean a big change for us, since we live 7 miles away on the East campus…would really affect our weekend discussions if we are not on the same campus. Put this matter into your daily thoughts.

I have begun meeting with 21-year old freshman student seeking to ‘get darkness out of his thinking.’ He comes from a domestic anger situation…low self-esteem…but we’re making good progress.

Terry and I attended a Hostess Competition for a few of our students. It included a talent portion as well as a speaking section. They were dressed up extra special, and all did well (see photos right).

We also attended some intramural basketball games of our students. A women’s team won 48-18, with three of TJ’s class involved…the men’s team lost two close games but played very well and had some chances to win at the end of each game. They appreciate very much that their “teachers come out to watch us.” 🙂

Eric and his family have their assignment to teach in late August…at Yunyang Teachers College in Shiyan, Hubei. Shiyan is one of the most important centers of automobile industry in China, with Dongfeng, the premier Chinese truck, bus and heavy goods vehicle as a major employer. It is also labeled as the Detroit of China given this focus on auto manufacturing.

Before 1949 it was a small village, which grew after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In 1967 teams of workers and engineers were first sent to Shiyan in order to survey sites for automotive plants and factories. At this time the population of Shiyan was only a few hundred. Chairman Mao chose Shiyan as the site for China’s automobile industry because the surrounding mountains and relative inaccessibility could act as a barrier against foreign attacks.

Yunyang Teachers College is located in Danjiangkou City, northwest of Hubei Province, an hour’s bus ride from the Wudang Mountains, a well-known tourist spot of Taoism and China Gongfu, five hours’ ride from Shennongjia, the most mysterious place in the world.

YYTC is a teachers training college under the auspices of Hubei Education Commission. It have a staff of more than 600 people and enrollment of more than 7,500 students. The schooling system consists mainly of 3-year full-time teaching courses and some courses of degree study. There are 27 specialist fields in the 11 departments. The English department has more than 1,700 students , aging from 18 to 22 years old, studying in four grades, with 40-45 in each class.

YYTC is one of the garden schools of Hubei Province, with a pleasant and modern campus and easy access the beautiful countryside and rich local culture. Amongst many other attractions there is also the mini-pacific reservoir and the Hanjiang River with many wonderful locations for swimming.

Presently there are foreign teachers who come from Britain, Ireland, the United States and New Zealand. There is a smooth communication and interaction between the Chinese students and the foreign teachers, which helps to create a lovely multicultural environment on the campus.

The Wudang Mountain range run approximately east-west through the territory of the “Prefecture-level city” of Shiyan, crossing several of its county-level divisions. The peak commonly referred to as “Wudang Mountain”, or in Mandarin Wudangshan, is one of the most important cultural centres of the Taoist faith. The surrounding areas are dotted with up to 200 Taoist monastic temples and religious sites. The main attraction in this area, and also one of the most sacred Taoist sites, which forms an important stop for mainly Chinese tourists bound there, with up to twenty bus loads of visitors per day at peak times is Wudangshan Jiedao of the Danjiangkou county-level city.

One of our teachers said “Shiyan is the four largest city of Hubei, famous for its car industry…a very beautiful city and a very livable city.”

China News: — Over five days in January, a group of visitors to New York was treated to a private concert with the pianist Lang Lang at the Montblanc store, cocktails and a fashion show attended by the designers Oscar de la Renta and Diane Von Furstenberg, and a tour of Estee Lauder’s original office.

They were not celebrities. They were not government officials. They were Chinese tourists with a lot of money.

Though luxury brands started opening stores in Beijing and Shanghai years ago, Chinese shoppers still spend more on luxury products abroad than they do at home, according to the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. Because of China’s taxes, luxury products are about a third cheaper elsewhere.

European luxury stores have been catering to Chinese tourists for years. Now high-end retailers in the United States are pulling out their Mandarin phrase books and trying to convince Chinese visitors that Americans can do luxury, too.

“What started as a trickle has now become a flow,” said Ben Macklowe, the vice president of the antiques store Macklowe Gallery. “There’s been prosperity across so much of Asia that you’re starting to see it much more in the profile of the tourist on Madison Avenue.”

A record number of Chinese visited the United States last year – nearly 1.1 million, according to the Commerce Department. The number of visitors is expected to almost double by 2014, according to the US Travel Association. Chinese visitors spend about $6,000 each on every visit here, versus the $4,000 that visitors from other countries spend on average, the association says.

Beijing plans to allocate 2.84 billion yuan ($450 million) this year to further improve the capital’s notorious traffic, China News reported on Friday.

The fund will be used mainly to open up dead-end roads, widen road bottlenecks, and rebuild roads that cause congestion. Roads near schools and old residential communities are top of the list of priorities for improvement, said an official of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform. Beijing has already introduced a series of measures to tackle the jams, including a monthly quota for license plates. But since the number of cars registered in Beijing passed the 5 million mark in February 2012, vehicles are usually slowed to a crawl on major road networks.

Top Chinese wind turbine manufacturer power behind more jobs, projects in America. The company motto of one of the top Chinese wind turbine manufacturers, Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co, is “globalization through localization”.

The marketing phrase is a summation of how CEO and Chairman Wu Gang views the company’s global strategy, particularly in the United States where Chicago-based Goldwind USA has been extremely active of late.

Since its first project in 2010 in Pipestone, Minnesota, Goldwind has signed 18 deals in the US in less than two years, including one last month in Montana that received strong government support.

Its second project was a 109-megawatt tower called Shady Oaks in Illinois last year that will have a positive economic effect on North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, Illinois, Ohio, Texas and New Hampshire.

Tim Rosenzweig, CEO of Goldwind USA, says the company’s goal is to “build our platform in the Americas, to continue gaining acceptance in building our brand with customers and to have a chance to prove how a Chinese/US combination can work together. We want to be a case study of how China and the US could and should work together.”

Goldwind plans to install 12 turbines in two separate 10-megawatt towers in Montana next year.

CHONGQING – Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality will soon open an international air cargo route that will link the metropolis with the United States and Australia. The weekly route will link Sydney, Chongqing, Shanghai, Chicago and New York, sources with Chongqing’s port and channel management bureau said Monday.

It is the 14th international regular cargo airline opened by the Chongqing Airport, and the first freight route in China’s central and western regions, to be linked with Australia, the sources said.

Chongqing is building itself into a major center for laptop assembly, with this year’s output expected to hit 50 million units. The opening of the new airline will facilitate the delivery of IT products from Chongqing to the North American and Australian markets, the sources said.

The international air freight volume at Chongqing Airport is likely to exceed 100,000 tonnes this year, according to the sources.

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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Jingzhou


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