Monday, March 14, 2011

Post Reflection : Was Beijing fun or what ?

China being a foreign country and all i had not idea what to expect ,but there was no let down for us south Georgians. Beijing was the coolest place I think I've ever been to. Even though we were their tour, they were all very welcoming. My favorite places would have to be the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, and the acrobatic show. The Great wall was fun and exhilarating. It's just the fact that it's the seventh wonder of the world, but the seventh wonder of the world did have a huge slide all the way down the mountain. All I have to say is cocktail. It is the game they play that is similar to hacky sack. We first encountered this game in the Temple of Heaven. The people in the park were absolutely nice people and loved us Americans. Then there was the acrobatic show. I was so scared. They had no fear of falling three stories with no safety line. Beijing was just the experience of a lifetime and I want to go back again someday.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Going to Beijing, China, was the trip of a lifetime for me. I learned many things while I was in China. The main thing that I learned about was chinese culture. We got to see what many people do during their everyday life in China. We got to see many cool sites while we were in China. My favorite was the Temple of heaven and the tea ceremony. At the Temple of Heaven there were old people playing this game that is like hackie sack. At the tea ceremony we got to try five different types of tea. My favorite was called the "Black Dragon" tea. We got to eat what they eat, see what they see, and see where some of the children go to school at. Their schools are very different than ours are too. They offer a wider variety of sports for their kids to play including badminton, soccer, and rugby. They also offer different classes like orchestra and they have a class for running a video scoreboard like the one that is at the Atlanta Braves's stadium.
At the conference I met people from all around the world! There were kids from Oman, Europe, India, China, Korea, and many other places. I learned about all of their different cultures. I also learned how to collaborate with these people when we were trying to make our ideas for the next flatclassroom project. In my group I had a girl from India, two girls from China, and a boy from China. The main idea that we focused on was child labor. We came together and thought a good way to stop child labro was to publicly embarass the companies that were using child labor.
I would like to thank our school for letting us go. I would also like to thank Mrs. Vicki. She booked all of our tours and helped us get over and get back alive. She was one of the two women that started the flatclassroom project. I do not think that any of this would be possible without her.

post china reflection

I had an amazing time in Beijing. It was truly a once in a lifetime trip that was both awe inspiring and eye opening. China's educational system is employing some cutting edge educational techniques. While in China, I had the opportunity to tour WAB(Western Academy of Beijing) and it is truly one of the nicest and coolest places I have ever had the privilege of visiting. The 5th graders there who were operating the million dollar scoreboard system probably have more technological knowledge than me. The elementary school there is extremely advanced. I looked over a kids shoulder in a 2nd grade and he was reading a 600 page Harry Potter book that I read in the 6th grade. The High school looked like some of the best colleges in the United States. On top of all the high tech aids they even had a lazy river going through the lobby with fish in cool is that?
The Beijing city tour was beyond awesome. China has so much to offer in terms of places to visit and scenery. Among the places I visited were the Great Wall, the Ming Tombs, the Llama Temple, and saw the Kung Foo show. Among all the places I visited though, by far my favorite was the Temple of Heaven. As our tour guide Vincent said "its a Chinese Disney Land". But, there were no roller coasters in the Temple, nor any of the young screaming children. the temple is filled mostly with retirees who are dancing, playing cocktail(a game similar to hackysack), and participating in other activities. The Temple is truly a happy place.
At the conference itself, I was paired with a brilliant team. We came up with an idea of a mass student exchange program. We believed that by sending students to foreign countries we might gibe students a unique experience in a foreign countries that some businesses can find useful. in addition to the experience gained in the actual visit to these foreign countries, students could help end stereotypes that are springing up in today's society.
I would like to thank my teacher Mrs. Vicki for giving me the opertunity to go to this confrence. I would like also like to think Mrs. Julie Lindsay and BISS for hosting this confrence.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

After the Trip of a Lifetime: Post Beijing Reflection

I had the BEST time in Beijing! It truly was the trip of a lifetime, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend this conference, and tour the spectacular city of Beijing. While I was there, I made two videos, one a slideshow of pictures from the trip, another our team project video called Culture Connect. I learned so much about other cultures and on movie making! Even though we had some problems (lost luggage, "stolen" debit cards) this trip was truly a worthwhile experience! I thouroughly enjoyed every part of if (well... maybe not the Peking Opera). I really loved my team members! There were two from China, Sarah and Issac, one from Africa, Jasmine, and one from India, Gal. I really think we worked very well together and learned about the true meaning of collaboration. I was almost scared of the conference, because I didn't know what to expect, but I loved it! There were people from all over the world that were so interesting! I really want to thank all my team members, Ms. Bernajean, Mr. Frank, Mrs. Julie, and, of course, Mrs. Vicki. I never would have been able to have this amazing experience without all of you. Thank you!

Reflection on Beijing

Beijing is unlike any other place I have ever visited. The people are so friendly, and as our tour guide Vincet says, "you don't get old in China." The people at the Temple of Heaven awere mostly retired, yet they all played this fun game called shuttlecock, which is somewhat like hacky-sack and some were even dancing in the park. One of the funniest memories I will have is this older Chinese women dancing with Daniel, one of the juniors from Westwood. Those people made me smile. The vendors in Beijing are crazy! They are definitely not afraid to do anything they need in order to sell you something, even if it includes chasing you down and dragging you by the arm. The vendors are especially pushy in the Pearl Market. When you buy anything thing there, it's a battle to get a good price. It might even require twenty or more minutes just to assure that you are not ripped off! I think the majority of us did not do so well at first, but we definitley got better at bargaining. The food here is great, too. I'm looking forward to the Peking duck dinner, if not the Peking Opera. I am immensly enjoying my time here in Beijing (even though I wish I had my own clothes)! I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

China Trip Reflection

We have officially returned from our China trip, and I'm still getting over jet lag! We had such an amazing time! We got to see MANY sites including Lama Temple, Hutong City, Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven, Ming Tombs, and of course THE GREAT WALL! Needless to say, we were able to see many historic sites. We also were able to go to The Tea House the first day we were there after we toured and try many different types of Chinese tea, and some of them were super good! Out of the many sites we saw, The Great Wall was definietely my favorite part! We climbed tons of steps to get to the top but it was well worth it! The view was amazing and even better than pictures on the internet. After we had reached the top and taken our photos, we got to toboggan down. I didn't know what this was until I did it. There was this long slide all the way down and each person sat in a sled type thing and rode all the way down. It was super fun because you were able to control your own speed! Along with touring, we were also able to experience the joys of shopping (and BARGAINING!!). We went to a dirk market, as well as the infamous Pearl Market. There was so much stuff in Pearl Market, it was impossible to look at everything. We were constantly being bombarded by the vendors, but that was the fun of it! Real or fake, we got some really good deals and had alot of fun in the process! Experiencing the food in China was also a big part in the trip. We went to many different traditional Chinese restaurants, where we were able to try new cuisines. Most of it was actually pretty good, although by the end we were ready for some American food! They did, however, have a McDonalds, KFC, Dairy Queen, and Pizza Hut which gave us a little taste of home. By the end of the trip, MOST of us were pros at using chopsticks.
In addition to touring, shopping, and eating we also got a chance to tour two different schools in order to compare our education system with theirs. The first school we toured was fairly new. They had very small classes with up to date technology and were quickly advancing. The second school we toured was the Western Academy of Beijing, which was absolutely AMAZING! It was a one-to-one school, meaning all the students had an iMac. It looked like it was based on more of a college type feel rather than a middle/high school feel. There were cafes and restaurants everywhere you turned. The students could also go and sit in the lounge area during class if they needed to study. Compared to our classes and general school environment, their's was so much different. Their music and theater departments were awesome. They were also training 5th graders all the way up to 12th graders in broadcasting. They had a screen out on the soccer field to record games and it was run strictly by the students. We found this pretty amazing because the students were learning a huge thing at such a young age, and they needed no help to do it. Looking at our school compared to the ones in Beijing, we saw alot of differences. Their schools were alot more advanced in technology as well as the general surrounding atmosphere. Although this school seemed like a utopia for us as students, I am very happy to be a part of Westwood. Even if we don't have the greatest technology there is out there, I feel like we have one of the best educational curriculums around. I am very thankful that I was given this amazing opportunity. Many people think that it was just a vacation for us, but in fact it was an educational experience in which we put alot of effort into. During the conference we brainstormed, created, and pitched in groups of people from different countries. It was well worth all the hard work because we got to form relationships with people from all over the globe. Upon getting to know them, we also learned what it was like where they were from and alot about their culture. Through all of this, we had a very educational experience. I'm looking forward to sharing what I learned with other students as well as the community. Any person, if given the opportunity, should take advantage of travelling to another country and experiencing the culture because it gives you a whole new perspective on the world. Thank you Mrs. Vicki and the Westwood faculty for providing us with this amazing opportunity and making this trip possible!