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Useful resources for learning about contemporary China:

 English language Sinica Podcast

James Fallows - not always China-related, but always interesting

What's going on in Beijing:

TimeOut Beijing

The Beijinger

China Daily's Beijing Weekend 

Beijing Weather - Weather Underground

 

Useful language learning tools

Chinesepod podcast - free beginners' podcasts

Popup Chinese podcast - another very good podcast series

Hacking Chinese - interesting ideas on learning Chinese efficiently

Skritter character-learning tool for iPad/iPhone - really fun app

Sinosplice - John Pasden's site on many interesting aspects of China and the Chinese language

 

 

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Saturday
May212016

Week 2: Beihai Park, PanJiaYuan Market, Migrant School and Preschool, Mao's Tomb

Ending Week 1 was our first free day and large group of us went to a baseball game at BNU and then went to the BeiHai Park. We climbed up to a pagoda and hung out for a bit there before splitting up where some of us went to the Coal Hill and some us took a boat ride around the lake. 

We started off week 2 by going to the PanJiaYuan Market, which had cheap goods that many of us bargained good prices for. Many of us got souveniers for family and friends here. 

 

The following day was another relaxing day. We went to the Art District and checked out a few musuems and shops and some of us stopped at this really delicious frozen yogurt place. 

 

 

Later in the week we went to Migrant School and Preschool. At the Migrant School we paired up and taught english lessons to the kids. To our surprise, the kids barely knew any basic english words such as "How are You" or "What's your name," but we all had a fantastic time being able to play games with the kids all the while teaching them english. After class, the kids asked us for countless photoes and autographs...celebrity status for those monumental 30 minutes. At the Preschool, we went around to the classrooms and played with the kids and played some games in the courtyards with them. Overall from both the Migrant School and Preschool, I noticed how disciplined the kids were. No one talked when the teacher talked and when they were told to stand they would stand until they were told to sit. Quite different from American classrooms! 

On our free day, some of us ventured out to the Ming tombs. We were able to visit 2 tombs, one of the tombs had been raided and burned, the other tomb didn't consist of much either, but the countryside views and the walks around the tombs were very enjoyable for us. We were supposed to take a bus to get to the second tomb, but the bus was not opertaing because of construction, so instead we walked 30 minutes to get there, which I am thankful for because the scenery along the way was gorgeous.  Later in the day, we also went to WangFuJing aka the shopping district and food street. Some of us dared to try the scorpion and grasshopper, while the rest of us enjoyed some more "normal" looking snacks. 

Next we visited Mao's Tomb. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take any photos, but we were able to get a few of Tiananmen Square. 

 

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