Monday, July 9, 2001
Things are still good on this front. One student stepped in a pothole and cut her leg while we were in Pingyao, but thanks to Professor Sehrt's medical expertise, we were able to deal with the cut on site with our first aid kit.
It seems like the students have pretty much adjusted to their workload, which remains quite demanding: 3 quizzes and a test every week in Chinese, plus reading, quizzes, and field work projects for Professor Sehrt's class. The second field work project is an ethnography, where the students will observe a neighborhood in Beijing and try to get a sense of how it has changed in recent years. Professor Sehrt handed back the students' first field work assignments this past week, noting that everyone did quite well.
We celebrated two birthdays in the past two weeks, Allen's 19th on the 26th and Junko's 20th on the 29th. We had cake for both of them, as you can see in the pictures' section. We also had a good turnout for Beijing Opera, which we saw in a theater downtown.
Although no one ended up going to Shanghai last weekend, a number of students still got away from Beijing for the weekend. Students went to Datong in Shanxi province, Taishan in Shandong (where most of us will be going in August), Inner Mongolia, and Shidu, which is part of the Beijing municipality.
The group spent the past weekend in Shanxi province. On Friday, we took the overnight train to Pingyao, a small city with its ancient city wall completely intact. Saturday, we visited Pingyao's old city, which included a banking history museum (Pingyao was the site of the first Chinese banks, and was once the financial capital of China), a tour of the former county government compound, and a trip to a Buddhist temple.
On Saturday, we took a bus to the village of Qiaojiabao, where we visited the village leader's house and took a tour of the local schools and the corn and wheat fields. We then went to the museum at the Qiao family compound, where the movie Raise the Red Lantern was filmed. Afterwards we visited the Shuangta temple in the provincial capital of Taiyuan before taking the overnight train back to Beijing.
Make sure to look at all the pictures from the trip! More from Beijing in a couple of weeks.