Tecumseh to China

This is a journal about the trip I'm taking with the Purdue GK12 program on October 9-22. Times are EST, but if you change AM to PM you get the China time! (12 hours ahead of Lafayette) Please write a comment so I can reply to your questions!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Today I started showing the classes some pictures from my trip. They told me about a game they played called Prove It! with Mr. Turner. It has been difficult getting back to the normal schedule.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm home safely!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009



technical difficulties!

It's my last night in Beijing and we've had a blast.
A short story to begin: I wish I was able to write the past 2 nights but the power on the left wall of my room was acting weird and literally was frying my power converter to my laptop, causing me to jump out of bed and unplug it before it exploded! (yes, there were popping noises and blue sparks). Thankfully, Monday night my cousin Ben and his wife Lily (who is from Beijing) helped me get a new power converter since my laptop was out of battery juice! Which is why I can now sit here Tuesday evening and work on writing what I've been up to... plan to see something in a few hours!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Here is the plan:
18 Oct: Meizhou Dongpo Restaurant (supper)
The Olympic Green (night view)
19 Oct: The Great Wall
Guolin Restaurant (supper)
20 Oct: Tienanmen square
Palace Museum (The forbidden City)
Quanjude Restaurant (Beijing Roast duck for lunch)
Wangfujing Street and Xidan Street
Beijing snacks (supper)
21 Oct: Summer Palace

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Shopping Trip

We went to a beautiful home, a garden, and the Confucius temple on Saturday. I had a bit of stomach sickness on Friday afternoon/evening so I hadn't blogged much. But now I'm feeling better. At the Temple it was fun bartering for gift and I got a cute tea set that my neighbor Sue recommended purchasing, it is a local handicraft. I will share the other gifts when I get back! We had a nice final dinner with Dr. Wua and Co from JIE then I also visited a interesting local supermarket last night. Flying to Beijing in a few hours!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


At breakfast I ate with the three ladies from JIE and they asked me about breakfast in the US, other eating and what we eat instead of rice pudding. We talked about Jun's baby boy and how many people are in our families. She said she would show me pictures when we got back to Nanjing.
At 8:30 we checked out of the hotel that was paid for by the local officials and took the bus to a school that was even closer to Shanghi. It is for Jr and High and college students who want to study education. They served us clementines already peeled and dragon fruit, a white fruit with seeds that is very bland tasting. We saw a group of girls practicing a song about how they love their city it was very nice outside and the sun was shining so brightly I wish I had sunglasses and not have wore long sleeves! We then went to a beautiful location on the lake and had lunch with the people from that school. I had my first experience trying to eat a crab with lots of help form my Chinese friend. there was lots of yellow in the crab. I really like the dim sun buns with vegetables inside as well as the white fish. I had some apple juice and it had little pieces of shaved apple in it! Later we headed into the small town and visited a beautiful building that used to be a home of a very wealthy businessman who lived in Shanghi. The rooms were all dark wood, but the carvings were amazing. I also have enjoyed how they pave the sidewalks with little pieces of stone in neat designs. On our trip "home" to Nanjing it was still very sunny and many people took naps while I worked on writing this. Dinner was on our own so we all decided a break from Chinese was good, and ate at a place called TACOS.

More about Wednesday/our lesson

On Wednesday we woke up and went to the school where we presented our lessons. Klondike went first where they taught about Genetics with a smile and then two groups taught during the second class, the group that Ming's group who did they taught about constructing buildings and Ming had a funny skyscraper. While they were teaching in the large group/auditorium room, Jackie and Leo taught in the Chemistry lab. We taught third. Melissa and I enjoyed teaching to the same group of students as they did. Their lesson was about polymers and they had the students make silly putty, so it related to ours, which was about chemical reactions. We had the students create a foldable book where they described and drew pictures of the chemicals. The best part was when they combined the chemicals and had no o idea what would happen and it started to blow up the bag and change colors and heat up. A lot of them seemed afraid and put their bags in the sink after one of them popped open! Everyone started laughing when 4 in a row went off! The time was running short and they didn't know they were supposed to weigh the bags until after the chaos broke, but I think some of them were able to weigh them. That was an important part because they were supposed to be learning about conservation of mass/ After cleaning up, we went to a large banquet hall/ restaurant where we ate with all the teachers that observed us teaching. At the meal was coming to a close, we talked about fish eyes and how good they are for your vision so I decided to try one. It was like eating a pebble In the afternoon we finished discussing the lab with the students over at the middle school classroom where they normally are instructed. Leo told them how he plans to be a doctor and Jackie showed them pictures of the salamanders that she works with. We gave out the banners and the tee shirts for answering questions, and the left over tee shirts we gave to the teacher, but he just pitched them in the class for them to fight over! Then we walked back to the meeting hall. And Dr. Harbor talked about Purdue and then each school did a short presentation. The kids were shocked at how short our school day is. They go from 6-5 everyday! They asked lots of questions for over an hour and then one of the questions was could one of you sing? I had totally forgotten that our group delegated me back at our last meeting for that, and so I stood up and sang God bless America. It was really funny because they were trying to clap to the song! The last question was asked by a young man who wanted to go to Purdue so After the last remarks by the principal I gave him the CD that Michael made he was very happy and many of his classmates seemed a bit jealous. They gave us beautiful scarves as a thank you. We packed up and headed to a beautiful restaurant on the lake. The fish were swarming, there were hundreds of them! There were two rooms inside our house of the water and I was in the room that had Dr Wau, and the interpreter, the principal, the lady magistrate and a few fellows. I wasn't able to take any photos because my battery was dead from all the video I took of the lessons. We started dinner around 5 and got back to the hotel around 8:30.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


What a day! Well, two days! Last night I was pretty exhausted after not sleeping well Monday night, so I crashed about 8pm when we got back from dinner. So what has caused all this fun? Dangkou Middle School! On Tuesday we met them at 9 to make introductions, meet the local officials, principals, translators, teachers and students! I was able to give the Sports Illustrated magazines to the 3 girls Martin, Ming and I talked to after they said their favorite subject was Sports! They loved trying to read the English aloud with some help! They told us about their school day and I shared some pictures from the field trip we took in September, as well as the silly putty lab that Ms. Madden did with my class last year. We looked at a US map and pointed out where we live and I gave the map to the Vice Principal today, she said she would hang it up for the students to see.
We had lunch at a nice restaurant on Tuesday and Wednesday, where there was more food than an average US Thanksgiving meal. So Tuesday afternoon they had us observe 3 classes, Chemistry, Physics, and Math where they studied uses of the Pythagorean theorem (I understood it because there was a right triangle on the board and a^2+b^2=c^2 on the board!) we had no translation, so it was a bit difficult to get what was going on, but we got an idea for how they teach.
Dinner was back here at the hotel. I was very tired during that meal and forgot my camera, so I don't have pictures of that night, but it was very similar to the first dinner we had (at this point they are all blending together!)

(I wrote the rest of this about Wednesday but then the email reset itself and I lost the last part and I'm TIRED so more to come. We head back to Nanjing in the morning.)