Hello all~ Sorry for the lapse in posting. I’ve learned that wifi here can be quite spotty, and even more VPN access is worse. My key high point in Beijing this week was seeing Chinese Acrobatics. It was more amazing than I could imagine. There were girls younger than me that were incredibly flexible. It was both amazing but terrifying to see. I felt like I had a heart attack every time I saw something so risky. We saw to guys thing swinging pendulum, and on even do it blind=folded for a moment. I was scared for his life! I think the most terrifying moment was the motorcycle act. There was a motorcyclist who rode though this life-size hamster ball. Right when I thought that was it, a second motorcyclist came out and joined him. When the third came out, I thought I was gonna collapse from fright. Ultimately, eight motorcyclists came out and all were looping within the ball. I couldn’t imagine that was possible!
The next day, we prepared to leave for Xi’an. We prepared and left for the trains early in the afternoon. Many of us were scared we would be looped with strangers. Lucky for us, we were all near each other in some way, and the space was very open so it was easy to visit each other. I ended playing cards with a few other people on the trip until the train lights dimmed. We went to bed, excited for arriving to Xi’an. We arrived around 8am and got off the train, Many of us desperately wanted to take a shower. Unfortunately, our rooms weren’t quite ready so we headed to our 10am class. We taught some of the students some TIMSS and PISA information. It was also very cool to see one of graduate and one of our undergraduate students present in Chinese.
We experienced culture night with Shaanxi Normal University students and they were very welcoming. Culture night was amazing because we played games and did arts and crafts with the SNU students. We did calligraphy and I was taught to write my own name to keep. They also showed us different mask representations and what they meant. It was very exciting. That night, we were excited for how fun the day was, but also terribly exhausted. Next up in Xi’an; the legendary Terracotta Soldier