I haven’t forgotten you, followers!

I wanted to take a few minutes to right a quick blog to explain why I have been absent from writing for a week! Pretty much it can be summed up in one word:

Midterms.

Yuck. But they are over now, I know I passed at least two of the three. I will hear about the third on Thursday. I am so glad I am taking the classes here pass/fail! I have some friends from other schools who are taking them for grades and they have to put in so much more work to not mess up their gpa, they miss out a lot on little trips and dinners that we do. While I’m in China, my priority is more to experience China than to spend the whole trip in the library. Pass/fail is the best of both worlds – thank you DU.

A brief summary of what else I’ve been up to.
Old Summer Palace – I and my friend Lindsay had a frustrating experience in being foreigners in China when we went to the old summer palace, got lost for an hour, couldn’t meet up with a Chinese girl we were trying to because she was lost too, finally got into the gardens and spent another two hours looking for the ruins and never found them. Everything was in Chinese, but not even helpful Chinese – for example, there were sign posts that would say, peace and harmony area this way. Fantastic, if we had any idea what that was. Also, I’ve noticed that the Chinese are not fans of “you are here” maps, and when there are directions, the actual thing will not have a sign post so the only way you know you passed it is that one direction was north and then the next sign says it’s south. Oh well, we plan on trying again to find the ruins next week, and this time we will be smarter and bring a guide book and/or guide.
Beijing Zoo – i.e. PANDAS. I saw them for the first time live, it was great. I was so excited. The zoo overall is not in as good condition as the Denver Zoo (I don’t remember going to any others), but one of the panda cages was huge and full of play things. Second favorite animal there: lemurs. They were hilarious and complete attention hams. Least favorite: lions and tigers in tiny indoor cages. I definitely felt like they needed to have a better, bigger, more engaging habitat. Well, it was a lot of fun anyways, and I was a dork and got one of those panda umbrellas with ears. Teehee.
Lama Temple/Confucius Temple – we buckled down and did some touristy things ourselves and went to a couple temples in the middle of Beijing. The Lama temple is something like the only remaining active temple in Beijing I think. I definitely enjoyed it. It was clean(er), smelled of incense (possibly my favorite part), and had lots of old Buddhist treasures. Maybe the most impressive part was a massive 28m (about three stories) high Buddha which is in the book of records because it is carved from a single trunk of wood. I obviously didn’t take any pictures because it’s sacred but even if it wasn’t inappropriate I probably wouldn’t have because there’d be no way to convey it’s presence. The Confucius temple was interesting too, it had a nice little museum of the life and teachings of Confucius. We saw a couple students praying there, we were told later that they sometimes go to pray for good grades – wish I had thought of that before midterms!

Well, that’s all I have time for right now, even though midterms are over there is still so much work to do! I have three ten to fifteen page papers due in a couple weeks, a book to read and present on by Thursday, etc etc. Even my internship is busy – we are trying to get the next journal out either this week or next so I have lots of articles to edit and format, and have been put in charge of finding material to possibly be used for the cover. It’s exciting though, to feel like I’m actually contributing a little to something I site for papers back home!
I am in the process of compiling another favorites/likes/dislikes/can’t stands list for China two months in that I will post soon. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten my blog!

P.S. Happy Birthday Dad!

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2 Responses to “I haven’t forgotten you, followers!”

  1. Sounds like you are BUSY!! What great sites and experiences, op11111rsz,mk.’;yjkk;;’p[-0=
    (Calypso got on the keyboard and typed you a message so I thought I would leave it there for you) I am glad that the Lama temple had meaning for you, that is something you won’t forget!

    I am also glad that you have planned it so that you can get all the experiences that you can! It is great that you have been there long enough to be able to go out on your own and you are not going out alone.

    I sent out the link to your Picasa web album and have gotten great reviews back but we all want captions when you get a chance.

    I certainly don’t write as eloquently as you do, thanks for keep in touch!

  2. Aunt Cecelia Says:

    Good luck with all of the work for your classes, plus work. So glad that you are able to enjoy the culture and sights with friends.One of my friends, Diana, at work knows a girl going to DU who is also in China studying while you are there. I’ll find out her name — you may already know her. It snowed today in the Denver area! Much love, Aunt Cecelia

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