Day 11’s collaborative blog post was written by Anthony Gallon [AG],Taylor Wheeler [TW], Rahni Johnson [RJ], and Ibrahima Mobley [IM], four of the splendid 13 who are part of Think China 2013.
[AG and TW] Have you ever wondered about China’s election process? Today, we learned about the process with a lecture on China’s government. Most people from the United States don’t know, but China’s government is more similar to ours than they think. China has a congress. They have a president and vice president too!
[AG] Ibrahima Mobley said “It was interesting learning about how they changed from a monarchy to a democracy in the early 1900’s.”
[TW] What really got me was that a president in China can not be impeached. The congress cannot take power from him. They have to deal with it for the whole term.
[AG] There are many differences between China and the US when it comes to their presidents. One difference is that Chinese presidents stay in office for five years whereas a US President serves a four year term. A similarity they share is that a woman has not been elected President in either country.
[TW] There is one woman in government currently. She is vice-president. I also found out today that women can be voted to be president, vice-president or even in congress in China.
[TW] A Chinese president can be reelected twice. I feel like if a president is even bad enough for most people to think about taking their power, they do not deserve to be president. Bryce Bell said “The government style really resembles the states, yet also has its differences. It was interesting seeing another style of government other than our own.”
[AG] China starts to become different again because if the President were to die, power would not go to the vice president. It would instead be decided by the state council, who would replace him or her. Bryce Bell said “We had a stimulating conversation and differences between the US and China.”
[AG] I do believe that there are a handful of similarities and differences between the two countries but I feel like there are more differences. China and US run successful countries even with the differences.
[TW] After our lecture on government, we had our last Mandarin class. We learned how to introduce our family and say what and how many family members we have. We also reviewed everything we learned.
[TW] All together we learned our numbers, names in mandarin, some foods and drinks, and careers. “Mandarin is a very interesting language. It’s easier interacting with people from Beijing with the little Mandarin I have learned so far” said Isaiah Mobley. When we first came to China we couldn’t say anything but “hi” and “thank you.” Now, our second language is coming along pretty well if you ask us. Even though today was our last day interacting with people from Beijing, we will not forget anything we learned!
[RJ] Throughout this wonderful study trip we have met and interacted with various Chinese students ranging from elementary school kids to high schoolers. Today was the first day we actually met and held conversations with college students. We visited Renmin University which is considered the Stanford of China.
[RJ] Everyone was nice, welcoming, and very interesting when telling stories about themselves and others at the school. The entire campus was beautiful, but my favorite part was walking past the athletic portion of the school. I also liked being able to see the differences and similarities between their fitness area and a variety of athletic facilities on college campuses back in the Unites States.
[RJ] I have always gone to small schools so walking on this large campus really gave me a glimpse of what it would’ve like to have to walk one or more miles to get to my classes. I did not know what the day held, but when we entered the room, we were paired with a Chinese student and were given a certain amount of time to engage in an introductory conversation with our partners.
[RJ] Each American student was given a Chinese name that had a specific meaning picked out by the Chinese students based on our American names. The name I was given is LEI Ning which means tranquility. My partner was engaging and surprisingly very open with me when I asked her questions. Her name is Janice LI and she is a 20 year old sophomore who will soon enter her junior year. She will not be continuing her studies in China, she will transfer to UC Berkeley as an exchange student and major in communications.
[RJ] During my interview with her, I had a few set questions. The first was what she thought about America and Americans. Her answer was, “Americans are strong and tough because you are able to live on your own, get a job while in college, and help your parents pay your way through college while a Chinese child relies on our parents to give us an allowance AND pay our way through college.” I agree with some of what she says only because not all Americans have jobs while in college or even have the help of their parents or a guardian.
[RJ] Janice continued to say, “I think California is better than Beijing because of the climate, the weather, and it is a better way to meet new people. The colleges are better because the courses seem fascinating, and the way of living seems superb compared to Beijing’s way of life and the curriculum seems better.” I can’t say I agree about the schooling because I have no experience in that yet but the climate and the weather is better in California in some ways. In other ways, California can be worse than Beijing.
[RJ] My next question was what American television shows she watches and she told me, “I watch Desperate House Wives, Nikita, Gossip Girl and The Big Bang Theory.” I feel she gets her ideas about America and the nice living from these shows which portray that life is easy and fun, but in reality there are a variety of challenges. Aside from our conversations, we saw hilarious video presentations from the journalism majors in the room.
[RJ] One of the guys conducted videos based on the question “Who should pay for things in a relationship…The man or the woman?” We saw couples and single people who all said different things. One said the man should pay, another said it should be split, and the others said it does not matter who pays because love is love and it has no price on it. This video was really unique and funny because people’s opinions were crazy, but I agreed with some of them.
[RJ] Another video we saw was titled “My Perfect Girl.” It was a micro or short film and was also produced by a few of the journalism students in the room. This was a really funny video. If it was longer, it would have made a great movie. The moral of this story was “When you see your Mrs. Right, don’t let the opportunity pass. Walk up to her and say hello and start a conversation.” The day was long but this meeting was fun and it is one of many memories that I will share with people when I get back home.
[IM] Next, we saw a cultural acrobatics show. The field trips and we usually go on are very educational, but this one was all fun and entertainment. There were 10 ladies who could all ride on one bicycle, and a man who could hold two women in the air while he rolled over on the floor. My favorite part was when there were 8 motorcyclists in a spherical cage and they all drove around each other on complex paths. The show was very exciting, thrilling, and frightening all at the same time. The Chinese acrobatics show was the most exciting entertainment we’ve had since we’ve been in China.
[IM] “The show was very exciting because you don’t really see the Chinese interpretation of acrobatics in the U.S. that much” said Taylor Wheeler.
[IM] “It was engaging and exciting to see how they combined their culture with the physical performing arts” said Marisa Jolivette.