One realization so far is that when the students are given brief or long form videos to preview the upcoming events, study or activities, their level of attention and engagement is expontially greater.
Before we begin to celebrate our arrival in mainland China, and a very intense stretch ahead, we had the students watch a video primer on ritual of Peking duck, and have video primers selected for each activity such as Forbidden City, Great Wall, Han Dynasty, Silk Road, and many more.
Duck! Stacia and I were amazed at the level of joy, and familial interaction this celebration took on. Why this dinner? Why now? Is it the sudden group cohesion that stems from the shared sense…that his is real…and the anticipation that this is about to get really real?
What does that mean? Indonesia was familiarization and school, warm-up if you will. Japan was fascinating, clean and charmingly unusual. Breakneck standard setting for our expectations. Hong Kong was, as professor Gugick called it, “Tokyo in shorts and jeans.” But China…China! Has a unique color and power, a BEAST all it’s own.