|Angela Valenzuela, Institute for Higher|
Education, Beijing University, China
It was been awhile since I've blogged. Just returned from spending three weeks in China. What an incredible experience. I was a guest lecturer at the Institute of Higher Education at Beihang University in Beijing, China. I especially enjoyed getting to know the masters and doctoral students and faculty at Beihang University.
|Sun Wei and Yonghong Ma|
Thankfully, since most students study English for many years throughout China, they understood most of what I was saying and when I wasn't communicating, they relied on each other for translations or we relied on phone apps like iTranslate to help us out. Not unlike our own students in the U.S., they, too, seek to make a positive difference in the world through what they research and write. I sincerely look forward to future collaborations.
I very much appreciate Dr. Yonghong Ma and Sun Wei for making this possible and look forward to future collaborations. Aside from visits to historical sights in Beijing, my husband, Emilio Zamora, and I managed to travel to Xi'an, Zhangjiajie, and Shanghai. It was great having Emilio with me to compare notes, figure things out, and to share in the experience, as whole. China is a beautiful country with warm, friendly, and loving people—and a world-class cuisine, to boot.
|Emilio and me at|
|Terracotta Army at Xi'an|
Every guide we had was professional, knowledgeable, conversational, and tuned in to the finer details like eating times and places, bio breaks, travel options, and the diverse cultural heritage performances, museums, archeological sites, and the like.
While there, we heard scholars, pundits, and politicos talking excitedly about a "Greater Asia," as well as building alliances with countries throughout the world.
Where is the U.S. in all of this? Our country is going in the opposite direction, and very much to our detriment. Why aren't we teaching Mandarin in our schools? Why do we know precious little about China's peoples and history? We could, of course, extend these same questions to so many other places, including India that is slotted to surpass China in population in the not-too-distant future (Ritchie, 2019).
|The celestial mountains of|
While many in the U.S, are critical about China's so-called insularity, we fail to note our own and our structured ignorance and silences about one of the world's most populous and influential nations that manages to put food on the table daily for over 1.4 billion people.
I remain genuinely fascinated and interested in all that I learned and look forward to deepening my learning and understanding in the weeks, months, and years to come. I am so grateful and deeply honored to have been this year's visiting scholar at Beihang University.