From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






Skype: "ericandjamie"



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Guest at Shenzhen University

I had contacted some professors at Shenzhen University to see if they could help me locate some high school teachers in Shenzhen who might be willing to participate in my research interviews. One professor invited me to his educational research class at the university to participate in a round table discussion with his first year post-graduate students. They were all mastering in education.

So, on Sunday afternoon June 13, I decided to join his class for the day. I had been to Shenzhen University the previous week to meet with another professor, so I thought I knew my way around. I had told my research assistant/translator that I did not need her to go with me because the students and professor both spoke English (or at least enough to understand me). My assistant nonetheless gave me detailed directions and seemed worried. Little did I know that she would be correct.

I took the 30 minute bus ride and arrived on campus 20 minutes early. I actually walked in to a different gate from when I had gone previously, so I was immediately lost. I asked about 10 different people and they each gave me about 10 different answers as to the location of the teacher college. I fast-walked for 30 minutes before finally finding the correct gate and knowing my bearings.

Let me pause a minute here to discuss the humidity in Shenzhen. When you walk outside, it is as though you as going to drown because you might suck in water. A simple stroll a block away will leave you sweating profusely. Needless to say, when I arrived at the professors room, I was a soaking wet sweaty horrible looking American disaster. I had even gone to the restroom to wash up a little bit, but of course this being China, there were no paper towels.

I eventually caught my breath, joined the class, and had a valuable experience. I'm sure I looked like a complete idiot arriving 20 minutes late and soaking wet, but I believe I did well in leading the discussion on education research. They seemed pleased enough and really wanted to know the differences in the American and Chinese educational systems. I am becoming somewhat of an expert at this.

Decent story that I'll never forget for joining in a Chinese university class and showing up a sweaty mess.

Just thought I'd share.

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