I’ve named this post after my favorite song by the Blue Scholars, a hip hop duo from Seattle, Washington.
And with this post I am back in the states! Bellingham to be specific. So I’ve been holding out on announcing this publicly (although this barely counts since the only people who read this are people who I would want to tell), but I somehow got a Fulbright Student Grant! This means I’ll be going back to Harbin at the end of August for another semester of study at the program I did junior year, and then on to Heilongjiang University in the same city where I’ll be continuing my senior thesis research on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. I’m really excited to go bac to the city, and never thought it would happen. I’m incredibly honored. (I think I’m obligated here as a finalist to say too that my opinion does not represent that of the Fulbright Program). It will be a lot of time in China, my grant ends towards the end of October I believe, and after that I would like to come home to the States I think, but it’s really too early to say. Back on track, I’m in the States this week for the Fulbright orientation and am taking the opportunity to see my lovely Aunt and cousins.
Anyway, on to more recent stuff, one of my classmates Pabs had the idea to start a series of events called “师大Talks” (shi da, Sure-dah ) ala TED Talks. I got to be one of the first two speakers Tuesday night (I assumed I was going Thursday which gave me less time to get ready than I would have liked, but it still went off swimmingly), and talked about changing one’s direction in life. The Inspiration came from this comic that I had seen a couple of years ago and I believe I’ve mentioned on this blog before.
My presentation was basically that, drawn out into 13 minutes, and actually got a good discussion going afterwards, a lot of people messaged me telling me how cool the topic was and how it had helped them think about their lives, which was really touching. I never thought anything I did like that could have a profound impact on people.
My classmate Devon spoke before me on extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation when studying a foreign language (like the educational policy major that he is), and Thursday night we had talks about self-awareness (choosing what’s right for you, not what society says is right) and the preservation of culture and architecture when improving slums and developing cities, which was quite interesting as that’s the exact opposite of what China is doing. Cookie-cutter apartment skycscrapers as far as the eye can see.
It felt great, it was fun, and I’m glad to have it off my plate before a fun-filled hectic week! Currently jet-lagged, been up since 3 I think, but had a lovely night yesterday with some nice beer, a decent falafel, and got to see my cousin Bella’s last orchestra concert of the year. THe group was actually really good, very together and remarkably in tune. Played Brahm’s Hungarian Dance No. 5 and some other nice pieces I didn’t recognize. Bellingham’s beautiful by the way, I forgot how great the Northwest was. Picutes!