China Diary:
Fulbright Mid-Year Conference


[Returning to Shanghai] [Spring Festival] [Chinese New Year] [Fulbright Mid-Year Conference] [Back to School] [Back Online] [Into the Heartland] [Ancient Capitals] [Judeo-Christian Holidays] [From Albany to Zurich] [Yellow Mountain] [Loose Ends] [Hello, Debbie ... Goodbye, Debbie] [Southern Capital] [Tropical Tour] [Unwinding] [Farewell Banquets] [Winding Down] [Good Bye, Shanghai]


Feb. 24: Reception – All newly-arrived Fulbrighters have been in town a couple of days, and the ones continuing this semester join them at the Regal downtown for the next few days. We gather in the hotel lobby and renew friendships, acquaintances, and colleagueship. Most take taxis to the U.S. Consulate, but several of us more hardy souls walk the mile or so. The Counsel General is there to greet us, as well as recent Chinese Fulbrighters who studies in the U.S. and the Waibans who came to greet the new Fulbrighters. I meet some newbies as well who did not attend the D.C. orientation last spring. We share experiences and expectations as we eat and drink. After, a somewhat different group undertakes the walk back. Debbie hangs out with Eli and Quin, children of a new Fulbrighter.

Feb. 25: Day 1 Sessions – After introducing everyone, a panel of six discuss living and working in the Chinese academic community. This is followed by announcements about several American Studies Conferences around China, including one I hope to participate in held in Chengdu. We have a buffet lunch in the hotel, followed by a panel discussion of three representatives of the Chinese educational establishment. The last session is an open discussion on recruiting for the program and a brief introduction to the China Web Page. In the evening, we take a bus to Yu Yuan (again!) to see the lanterns that hang for the first fifteen days of the lunar new year. Many of us walk around taking photos, and convene in a tea house for a variety of jiaozi (dumplings). Debbie and I wander a bit, and negotiate for our "chops" so we can make official-looking red seals with our English and Chinese names.

Feb. 26: Day 2 Sessions – Debbie makes the breakfast buffet this morning because I will be one of the panelists. Six of us Fulbrighters have agreed to speak on enhancing the Fulbright experience in China, and I begin with "How I Spent Last Semester." After a break, we have an open discussion on how we can improve the Fulbright experience in China. Debbie and I invite Elizabeth to lunch. She is a newbie who teaches law in Boston and will be in Beijing this semester. She misses her two kids so has befriended the many here with their parents. A trip to the Shanghai Museum is scheduled for the afternoon, but we are late for the bus so take a taxi instead. There is a dinner at the Peace Hotel which Debbie makes, but my friend Akif invited me to a Turkish Counsel General reception at his house. There I meet some Turkish members of the local business community as well as Jacques, the French Counsel General. Dinner, drinks, and conversation are great and Jacques drives me back to the hotel.

Feb. 27: City Tour – We check out and have breakfast, then load our luggage on the bus. We go to the U.S.I.S. office for a short lecture on the city’s history. I pick up one of her books, and then we climb back onto the bus for the tour through the old French Concession. We wind up at the Bund, where most of the Fulbrighters depart to walk around on their own. Debbie, Kathleen, and I grab a taxi home.

Feb. 28: Routine – Maurice returned late last night and posts an invitation for dinner. Including a new American, Linda, eight of us go to the Blue Joy. Linda teaches in the Business School at Appalachian State and will be teaching a couple of courses in Fudan’s School of Management. She and I chat at dinner about teaching and research, and some of the people we know.


[Returning to Shanghai] [Spring Festival] [Chinese New Year] [Fulbright Mid-Year Conference] [Back to School] [Back Online] [Into the Heartland] [Ancient Capitals] [Judeo-Christian Holidays] [From Albany to Zurich] [Yellow Mountain] [Loose Ends] [Hello, Debbie ... Goodbye, Debbie] [Southern Capital] [Tropical Tour] [Unwinding] [Farewell Banquets] [Winding Down] [Good Bye, Shanghai]

Rainbow

Copyright 1999 Paul Miesing. All rights reserved. Please do not use without permission unless in the People’s Republic of China which does not enforce intellectual property rights. Revised on January 17, 2001.