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.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Link to Photos


Not many of them have labels, if you want to know about some of the pictures just email me. Since it takes forever to attach the photos to the blog the first few days of my trip are at this site, but I ran out of room (flikr has limits!) so I am currently working on a website on photobucket since it has more storage space. I'll post it when I get it figured out.

Trip to Wuxi

Monday we woke up in Nanjing, had a nice breakfast (think breakfast buffet x10) and packed up our bags, checked out and loaded up the van to go to the JIE university again to meet with Dr. Hu (we had dinner with him and the VP the previous night) and his 4 colleagues in the math and sciences. Three of the ladies (all pretty young) met with us and had lunch with us. They all understand and speak some English. Jun (prof Geng) is working with Melissa and me as well as Jackie and Leo as she is a Chemistry teaching theory prof. I sat by her at the massive lunch they hosted at the very upscale faculty lounge on campus. All the table we have eaten at are massive circles with a large lazy-susan that the food is set on and spun from person to person. No passing of the dishes is necessary. The items I've eaten...well more variety than I've eaten in my life! If you go to my pictures I'll hopefully have some of them described there, it's not the Chinese food you get in the US for sure! So after lunch, we used the squat toilets (that's all they had, oh and no TP, you have bring your own!) and hopped in the van for your 2 hour highway trip to Wuxi. It is a large city (3 million!) and then we checked into the hotel and then went to the Fu Ren High School (a boarding/charter-like school) that has a great repuatation for the sciences. We had dinner tonight with the principal and other faculty after touring and having an hour meeting with them in their new/still under construction (but being used) building. We are not going there to teach tomorrow. The dinner was again very amazing, and I enjoyed sitting with Mariah and Jackie. You can't leave a dinner hungry, there is sooo much food! We all came back tired and ready to sleep (or blog first!) Off to meet our school tomorrow. At 7:30 we have breakfast!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chinese Dinner

We just had a fabulous dinner with four people from JIE (the university we are working with) More to come with MANY pictures and some video of the toasts! I'll be on Skype for the next hour 8-9 if anyone wants to talk with me about it before you head out to church!

Long walk!

10 of the 12 of us went for a nice long walk around the city of Nanjing and we just got back to rest up before the dinner this evening at 4:30. The first picture is of Helen and me with our oval shaped hotel in the background and the second is Mariah and me in a park. The parks are beautiful and Mariah and I got talking about our blogs. I just found hers: http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/China/Jiangsu/Nanjing/blog-443908.html and it is great, so if you want to read more about our trip check it out!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

In Indy airport waiting for my 10:36 flight to Chicago. I got seat 18F for the first flight and 39D for the one to Beijing!

I now have Skype! search for sarahfelde

9:20pm Arrive in Nanjing
4:30pm Meet with JIE administor and have welcoming dinner
9:30am Meet with JIE faculty mentors
11:30am Lunch
12:30am Travel to Wuxi and arrive in Xikou Middle School
5:00pm Arrive Xizhou Hotel
5:30pm Welcoming dinner
8:00-8:30am Breakfast
8:30-9:00am Go to Middle School
9:00-11:30am Meet with teachers and 6 students
11:30-1:00pm Lunch
1:00-2:00pm Observe in the classroom where GK-12 fellows will teach
2:00-5:00pm Meet with the Wuxi teacher and JIE faculty member to discuss lesson preparations for the next day
5:00pm Go back to the hotel and have dinner
7:30-8:00pm time for reflective discussion with the GK-12 fellows

weather looks good! http://www.weather-forecast.com/locations/Wuxi/forecasts/latest

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Currently thinking... what could I be forgetting... oh, yeah, I should go to sleep.
(side note: I planted a tree this afternoon!)

things to buy: handmade bamboo bookmarks! -Mr Gee!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I sent out the parent letter today with the students, so if you are a parent welcome to the blog! Today I started filling my suitcase, and rethinking how many clothes I really need... the gifts I'm taking are great but take up lots of space... 2 students brought in items like magazines and a mixed CD, our principal gave me pendants and mechanical pencils and "TMS" tee-shirts. You only have til Thursday to give me anything else! (assuming it fits in my bag!) Also any suggestions of things to pack for a 14 hour flight would be appreciated!


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Testing an update from email

I learned that I can update my blog from my email!
Sarah Felde

On Friday afternoon we had our last group meeting over at Purdue. I have arranged to meet up with Leo and ride over to Purdue with him next Friday at 6:20am! We have to meet everyone at the Purdue airport at 7 to pick up the rental cars and drive together to the Indy airport where our flying starts in Indy about 11am to Chicago to Beijing to Najing. It will be a LONG "day"... we arrive in Najing Saturday around 9PM (their time). And yes, I plan on sleeping for some of the flight, even if I was told to stay away for most of it so I want to sleep when we arrive that evening. Even though that is a long time, we actually are losing a day, and will be having our really long day on the flight home, where our Wednesday Oct 21 will be over 36 hours long!