Thursday, May 17, 2007

Day 1 - NCCU and Democracy Hall

Our day today began at National Chengchi University with a lecture on Chinese calligraphy by Professor Tang Yi-Ming. After sharing some information with us on the beauty of Chinese characters, the styles of Chinese calligraphy, and mechanics of writing, he did a quick, demonstration and then let us try our hand at writing. Here is a picture of him writing a famous Tang Dynasty poem for us.
Here's my very poor attempt to write the word east in a variety of calligraphy styles. The top is seal script, the middle regular script, and the bottom two (from L to R) are running and cursive script.

After this we met with the folks from the Office of International Education and then with our faculty counterparts. I spent an hour speaking with Professor Chang, a lovely man who works to prepare Principals for public schools. After this we all went to lunch. Here is just some of the food we ate.
The meal was amazing and we all left stuffed. This was not a good thing, as we headed next to a lecture on Taiwan Politics, then one on Elections in Taiwan. After meeting with some staff members from the Institute for International Relations, we headed to Democracy Hall (formerly Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall) and an evening performance at the Concert Hall. Here are a few pictures. The picture of the Concert Hall is on top, with Democracy Hall on the bottom.
The evening performance was given by a spirited percussion group that not only played well, but injected a series of skits that can only be described as G-rated Benny Hill type material, with lots of slapstick using drums as props.

We ended the evening with a small group of us taking a walking tour around this section of the city. We saw the Presidential Palace, the old East Gate, the monument to 2-28, and some other sites in Peace Park. The most interesting and invigorating part of this tour was my walk across the Path of Health, a long stretch of stones that massaged (poked?) my feet in every place imaginable. This was a form of accupressure that worked remarkably well. Here is a picture of the statue of Confuscius we stopped to admire.
I do have more pictures and some other interesting tidbits to share, but now I'm off to bed. Last night I was so disoriented that I woke at 1:05 am, read the clock as 6 am, and got up and showered. When my roommate asked what I was doing so early, I could only plead exhaustion. I did manage to go back to sleep until the alarm woke us at 6. Here's hoping I get some sleep tonight and begin to adjust to being 12 hours ahead.

More tomorrow. Good night all!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tricia,
    I'm gald your there and safe! Talked to Eddie today. Everything is fine. Saturday is all set. I'll keep you posted.