Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday, June 26

As expected, the SJSU crew made the most out of their weekends. In small groups they toured more of Beijing - with many folks getting to know the city's nightlife. They're also working hard on journal entries, reading reaction papers, and preparations for final presentations. Topics include gender roles in China, comparative sporting traditions, fashion practices, class distinctions, and much more.

Yesterday, we began our classroom exploration of Walter Benjamin's flaneur gaze, and students departed with informal assignments to practice this form of writing that drifts between contemplation and distraction. Today, students presented their results, reading brief essays aloud. It's a fascinating thing indeed to hear Beijing conveyed through such varied bits and pieces of experience and perception.

Balancing intellectually challenging classroom conversations with physically demanding city exploration, this course has thus far proven to be both exciting and exhausting. Many of us celebrated getting this far yesterday with a long lunch at our group's new favorite restaurant - an Italian place near our hotel called "I do." There we chatted and laughed about our adventures, and we looked forward to what happens next.

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