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July 2 Wednesday July 2, 2014

Da jia hao! (Hello everyone!) Our days in China are coming to an end but our lectures and workshops are not. This is Cydney Walls and Brittney Ward here to tell you about our unforgettable day. To start our day we had to wake up at 7:00am but we "accidently" hit the snooze button 5 times so it was more like 7:20am. After getting dressed, we headed to breakfast. Breakfast was like any typical day in China; FaceTime calls with family and friends back home, long lines for the toaster, and a rush to the hash browns. After breakfast we had two lectures taught by Professor Min Zhu. The first one was on Wind Energy: Technology and Applications and the second one was on Natural Gas: Technology and Applications. Although these two topics seem like a bore they were actually the complete opposite. During the first lecture we learned what wind energy is, how wind energy is formed, and how many wind resources we have. In the second lecture, he explained to us the pros and cons of Natural Gas, how it's made, how it's transported, and how we use natural gas. Not only was this lecture educational but it gave us a huge insight into our future. By the end of these two lectures we were experts on the two topics. Don't believe us? Ask us any questions.

Immediately following the lectures it was time for battle. Or in the United States it’s called lunch. To prepare for battle we had to get our gear ready, make our game plan, put on our game face, and prepare for battle. Every day is very critical for food, but not just any food, American food. The toughest of the battles are for popcorn chicken, French fries, toast, and ice cream. Today, we managed to get our food without cuts or bruises, so I guess you can say we won the battle! BUT WAIT! There's more! If you continue reading you'll get to hear about not only one cultural workshop but two. Next on our schedule were two very entertaining workshops. The first workshop was about Folk paper-cutting art demonstrated by Professor Fang Jianguo. There were two parts to this workshop. The first part was "to try to cut out the same object the instructor was teaching us", but it would later turn into "follow the same steps as the instructor except our finished products looked very different from what they were supposed to look like". And the second part was guess what object, Professor Fang Jianguo was cutting out, but that would later turn into a competition of who could name the most objects with the loudest voice.           

After the cutting workshop we had a Martial Arts class. It was very funny and interesting to participate in. Our conductor Wu Xueshuang taught us how to fight with the one, two punches, and uppercut punches. This information was helpful, just in case we have to fight someone we'll know how to win. Just kidding! However the martial arts she taught were called Wushu. It's a very unique technique to it and for those who didn’t understand, she made sure that they had it down packed by the end of the workshop. In a short amount of time we learned how to punch, block a punch, kick, and say hello and thanks with gestures. My roommate Cydney got sick, so I didn't have as much fun. In spite of her sickness, I enjoyed the only time I would have to learn martial arts in China.
Shortly following the two workshops was dinner. If you thought lunch was bad you should witness dinner. Dinner is very similar to Olympics track meets. The race starts with who can get in the lobby first. Next up is the relay to see who can give their friends the most amount of food without being judged. And ending the meet with a 20 meter dash to the ice cream station! The one thing we have the most in common with the Olympics track teams is that we are family. Although our real family is thousands of miles away we seem to share a bond that is just as strong as our real family. This wouldn't have happened without such generous organizations like the Chicago Urban League, the China United States Exchange Foundation and United Airlines. So with the kindness of our hearts we would like to give enormous thanks to each of you! Zaijian! Signing off its Cydney and Brittney! See you in 3 days * don't miss us too much until then*

~Cydney Walls and Brittney Ward