Friday, April 20, 2007

The Trip of a Lifetime - 25 Days and Counting

With only 25 days left until I depart for the other side of the world, I am growing more and more excited. I just received the most wonderful set of notebooks from Vickerey. I will be using them to document the sights, sounds, tastes and smells. I plan to take a small set of colored pencils so that I can make some sketches as well. I will, of course, take my camera and laptop in the hopes of documenting things more formally on my blog. I only hope I can live up to the high standard set by Grace Lin on her recent trip to Hong Kong.

I have been struggling to post lately because it is not only the end of the semester, but because I seem to be spending every free minute reading in preparation for the trip. I was fascinated by, and learned a great deal from John Pomfret's book, Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China. This week I finished the highly academic collection of essays on Tibet found in Contemporary Tibet: Politics, Development, and Society in a Disputed Region. Over the next two weeks we will embark on our third book, Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait.

I am fortunate to be traveling with a very diverse group of faculty members, most of whom I don't know well, but am learning about already through our weekly seminars. They come from the departments of political science, philosophy, journalism, music, history, economics, marketing and management. The director of University Museums is also joining us. We are being led by a colleague who is a noted scholar of Asian studies, with a particular emphasis on China and Taiwan. So, on May 15th, eleven of us, five women and six men, will depart for Taiwan. In our nearly three weeks abroad we will visit Taipei, Beijing, Lhasa (Tibet), Kunming, and Shanghai. We will return on June 3rd, one day before my 13th wedding anniversary.

My mind is constantly filled with thoughts of the trip these days. During meetings, my mind and pen turn to making lists of what I will pack. I lay awake at night thinking about everything I will do and see. I am outlining what I want to collect for the "Ancient China Study Box" I will be creating for second grade teachers in our local schools. My plan is to write as much as possible about teaching this portion of the curriculum while I am actually in China experiencing all it has to offer.

I am so excited. I hope you will join me here once I set off on this grand adventure. I would love to share my story with you.

1 comment:

  1. This is so exciting! I don't know how I missed the news. I am looking forward to reading all about your trip and seeing some of your photos or sketches. I lived in northern China for two years and I love hearing about it!