Monthly Archives: September 2013

Connecting

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When I promised that Jin Jin and I would blog from China, there was one issue I forgot about. After I spent over an hour trying to get on Word Press, I asked Jin Jin to help me connect. “Probably you can’t,” she said. “Why not?” I asked. “It’s China,” she stated. “Probably they [the government] block that website.”

Wow! Jin Jin and I had been talking from time to time about how much we, as Americans, take for granted. One of those things would be the ability to share our thoughts – regardless of how irreverent – with whomever we want, whenever we want.

On the other hand, I saw another kind of amazing connection this morning that astounded me. A type of communication that perhaps you could never see in the U.S. It was around 6:30 when I awoke. I went to the hotel window to see what the day might bring. Immediately I saw a flock of white birds zooming around in a circle. There must have been seventy of them. They were flying as a group in broad circles about ½ block in diameter.

Then I noticed an elderly man on a rooftop garden across the freeway. There was a convenience store on the bottom, what appeared to be an apartment on the second floor, and then the rooftop garden with a long, skinny tin-clad building, and some furniture protected by dingy-colored tarps. Then I saw the elderly man.

He was twirling a long, sturdy pole with a red flag attached at the top. My first thought was that he was practicing tai chi or another marshal art. But when I paid attention a bit longer I realized that he was steering the flock of birds. If he swung the pole to the right, the flock swooped to the right. If he reversed directions, so did the birds. I couldn’t believe anyone could communicate with another species so well, so I paid attention for several minutes and sure enough! The birds were following his signals.

After directing the birds a while longer the Bird Whisperer put his flagpole down. Suddenly about ½ of the birds lined up closely on the ledge of another apartment rooftop. The rest of the birds continued to circle. The circling group then proceeded to land on the roofline of the tin-clad building. The man opened the door at the end of this building and, one by one, the birds disappeared inside. Soon thereafter the group up on the rooftops descended and entered the tin building.

Do you think these were carrier pigeons? I mean, who has that kind of communication with a flock of birds? It was AMAZING. Today, at a college fair, I met with many Chinese parents who spoke little English. We tried to communicate, but whether we got through to one another is a mystery. As is how this gentleman communicated with a flock of birds.

 

Candace Chenoweth, Director

Center for Global Education

First stop-Beijing!

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With almost 4 month’s preparation, we finally landed on our first stop-Beijing. The flight was great, not many people on board. I slept on my back all the way, what a first class experience!

We are off to Beijing! 13 hours of flight is waiting!

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Candace, me and my mom went to a Hunan restaurant for dinner. We had Osmanthus sauced water chestnuts, Mapo Tofu, and Grandma’s chicken. Candace had Yanjing Pijiu( beer), then she poured the beer into her hot water. In China, people drink hot water to show the respect to their guest. We had so many laughters.

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On the way back form our dinner, we found this convenient store, and their whole wall of cigarette

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If it’s Tuesday, It Must be Singapore…

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Join me and UW-Whitewater’s first international recruitment coordinator, Ms. Jin Jin (a recent UW-Whitewater graduate!), as we travel to China and SE Asia to meet with prospective students and their parents as well as high school principals and counselors. The CGE officially assumed responsibility for international student recruitment and admissions on Sept. 1, 2013, and Jin Jin and I will be recruiting both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for UW-Whitewater’s Intensive English Institute (IEI) which opens Fall Semester 2014. Our 21-day trek across China and SE Asia will enable us to participate in 12 international education fairs, visit 35 high schools and universities, and participate in briefings with embassy and EducationUSA officials.

I think it will seem like the film “If it’s Tuesday, this Must be Belgium” as will visit nine cities—Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok – taking very early flights some days and very late flights other days.  It seems like we’ve done little else but prepare to go.  We’ve put together recruitment materials in Thai, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Malay with the help of Marketing and Media Relations and international faculty and students.  Jin Jin’s created recruitment videos in Mandarin and English with assistance from the CoBE Tech team. Now we’re working on PowerPoint presentations addressing topics of interest to potential students and their parents: unique characteristics of US education, how to apply, what admission officers look for, the role of an academic advisor—even what to pack once accepted.

We leave on Sept. 19th, and will be in touch along the way!

Candace Chenoweth, Director, Center for Global Education, UW-Whitewater