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going to china in june:books

updated tue 5 dec 06


Ric Swenson on mon 4 dec 06

Obvious choice but I might suggest THE GOOD EARTH, a Nobel prize winner 60 =
years ago by Pearl S. Buck. Re-read it, even if you had to read it in schoo=
l. It talks of the old China and culture pre-revolution. and another more m=
odern and somewhat disturbing view of China. THE GOOD WOMEN OF CHINA: HIDDE=
N VOICES by Xinran Xue, 1997. I cried.
"...then fiery expedition be my wing, ..."Wm. Shakespeare, RICHARD III, Act=
IV Scene IIIRichard H. ("Ric") Swenson, Teacher,Office of International Co=
operation and Exchange of Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, TaoYang Road, Easte=
rn Suburb, Jingdezhen City JiangXi Province, P.R. of China.Postal code 3330=
01.Mobile/cellular phone :13767818872+86-0798-8499600 (ofc.)+86-0798-849901=
2 (fax)E-Mail:

> Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2006 15:51:36 -0800> From: kgringhuis@YAHOO.COM> Subject=
: Going to China in June> To: CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG> > Russel -> > I liv=
ed for 3 mos in Shanghai fall '05 and went with> Po's tour in Oct. '05. He'=
s great!!! I'd go back> in a heartbeat. (Tour guide has got to be the job f=
rom> Hell and Po is unflappable and FUN to be with. The> whole experience i=
s high quality.)> > My trip happened so fast I had little time to read and>=
spent more time out and about rather than reading once> I got there. But h=
ere are a few suggestions.> > Non-tour books - The Chinese Potter by Margar=
et> Medley. More than just chronology, she discusses the> advances which ma=
de "new " work possible over the> centuries.> > Po's own guide book to cera=
mic sites, prob avail on> his web site, will help you keep straight where y=
ou> are. It can be a bit of a blur once you get home.> > Next carry light w=
gt notebooks and WRITE IN THEM. My> greatest regret is that I didn't write =
every day even> with a laptop in S'hai. (Second regret - after seeing> grea=
t ceramics in the Shanghai Museum (not to be> confused with the Shanghai Ar=
t Museum), we skipped the> ceramic displays in the Forbidden City. Maybe we=
were> just tired or crabby but I'm not sure we were wise.> This was OUR mi=
stake NOT Po's.)> > I depended upon a little language book "Survival> Chine=
se" by De Mente pub by Tuttle out of Rutland VT .> > Other books are out th=
ere - I bought and never opened> "China: Its History and Culture" by Morton=
& Lewis as> well as "A Traveller's History of China" by Haw.> > To get a f=
eel of China today, I recommend frequent> skimming of any serious newspaper=
s to which you have> access - The Internatl. Herald Tribune, The New York> =
Times, The Economist. Maybe you can go thru their> recent archives on line.=
> > Every morning I blew thru The Shanghai Daily (great> weekend event list=
ing incl art) & The China Daily.> When I could get it, also the daily out o=
f Hong Kong> which had "broader" coverage than the previous two.> Yes these=
are politically approved newspapers but if> you read and think beyond the =
statistics in some> articles, these will give you a lot of information and>=
feel for things.> > Tips for getting around little bit on your own. NOT> t=
hat I suggest leaving the tour - but sometimes some> of us would walk aroun=
d in some down-time. Also> depending on the size of the group, it MAY be po=
ssible> to split up IF Po and you are sure you can get "home"> on your own.=
This was easy in Shanghai.> > This is possible if you are sure to ALWAYS h=
ave with> you the business card from your hotel with its address> for a tax=
i driver (or any one else) in Chinese &> English. It may also be on your pl=
astic rm key card.> > In Shanghai and Bejing -- I lucked into a bilingual> =
map and carried a bilingual Oxford dictionary, the one> with Chinese charac=
ters but no transliteration. (It> had more words.) Thus I couldn't speak a =
word but I> could point. I could easily shop with this. (Of> course I have =
shopping tips!)> > Depending on your inclination, I followed the maps> even=
in taxis so I got a sense of the city layout.> > If all else failed, it di=
dn't take me too long to find> someone on the street who spoke enough Engli=
sh, (often> very well) to help me.> > I could go on forever but one last co=
mment - don't> miss the children. When opportunities occur, stop and> talk.=
Occasionally on the street I would hear a voice> hollering at me "hello, h=
ello." It startled me at> first but it would be teenagers wanting to practi=
ce> their English. *** Great fun!> > Even younger children are intrigued by=
visitors. The> USA hyper-vigilance against strangers is absent in> China &=
this is delightful. My absolutely most> treasured memory is being surround=
ed by Young Pioneer> uniformed grade schoolers (7 yrs old?) in Tienamin Sq.=
> They raced up to me, again calling "hello, hello,"> laughing & smiling up=
at me, delighted with my> fractured Chinese greeting. (Tall, blonde, with =
big> sun glasses, I must have looked like something from> another planet to=
them.) In 1 minute, I had them all> shaking hands and saying "nice to meet=
you." Should> have stayed longer!> > This in Tienamin Sq. where uniformed =
guards, tho not> numerous, were clearly noticeable. And that says it> all a=
bout China - a country of huge contrasts,> changing with the speed of light=
.> > *** If I remember my stat correctly, by 2010, China is> expected to ha=
ve more English speakers than the rest> of the English speaking world combi=
ned. Ric Swenson> teaching ESL is definitely where the action is.> > If you=
have more qns, feel free to write! (I obviously> like to talk about it all=
.)> > Karen G.> ------------> > > > > I'm going to China with Po`s tour in =
June next year.> > > Does anyone have any good reads to recommend? Any> Aud=
io or DVD`s> > > I'm already reading Ric`s posts to clayart.> > > Karen Gri=
nghuis> KG Pottery> Box 607 Alfred NY 14802> > > > ________________________=
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