Teacher’s Talk: Chinese – Nixon and China, Then and Now! (Day 8 and 9)

photo[1]Students in Chinese have been learning about different things in the CI Learning Center. Today they each picked one item and explained the Chinese culture to our special guest speaker, Morton Holbrook, and his son, Stephen who went to VAMPY for 3 years.
In the photo, Sarah explained one of the “Four Gentlemen”– plum blossom and its meaning to Mr. Holbrook!


Students in Chinese skyped with Dr. Thomas Lo in Fremont, CA and practiced their Chinese with him. At the same time, they also asked him many questions about Chinese culture, education and enjoyed the experience. Dr. Lo went to the Chinese Air Force Affiliated Primary School in Taipei, Taiwan with Mrs. Lin and came to the USA in the early 70’s. Now he resides in the Silicon Valley where there is a heavy Chinese population!


  • Today we had the opportunity to hear from Morton Holbrook, a former consul general. He was able to give us more information on “the week that changed the world”, the week that President Nixon met with Mao, the leader of China. He was also able to tell us about Chinese-American relationship today, and how that week changed it. Along with hearing from Mr. Holbrook, we were able to speak to him – in both Chinese and English – about culture, what his job consisted of, etc. We took him through the museum and taught him about one artifact of our choice. I felt that helped my confidence regarding my knowledge of the culture as well as the language. —— Tori
  • Today in Chinese we did many different things. One of the things we did was learn about Nixon’s visit to China. We talked about the effect that this visit had on the United States and China, if any other president would have made this visit, other visits that had changed the world, how much this visit affected the world and other things. We also talked about the differences between the American and Chinese educational system. —— Andrew
  • Today we watched an episode of a show talking about Chinese schools. I found this to be very interesting. Apparently, you can only take the college entrance exam once, so there are high stakes and pressure. It is your only chance to get into a good college. Students spend all of their time studying for this test for that reason. There are practice tests leading up to this test, so that you can increase your level of skill. I am interested in finding out if other countries have similar systems. —— Katrina
  • Today we got to meet Mr. Morton Holbrook. Astoundingly this man has lived in both China and America, specifically Shenyang and Owensboro. He tells me that Shenyang  is very different from Owensboro, as it is very industrialized and heavily polluted. Tow of his sons, Allen and Steve, were once the only students in a Chinese school, Shenyang is also the main Jade producing area in Northern China. I love Jade. Anyway, we also learned about the Nixon-Mao meeting in more depth, which was pretty chill. —— Graham
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