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Zopp Thursday July 3, 2014
Hello everyone, my name is William D. Zopp and I'm in the beautiful country of China and there's no doubt about it. There are so many locations in the Chinese culture that are a must see, so my mission was to come to China and learn the ways of the Chinese people and about China as a whole. I slept great, way better then I sleep in Chicago, but then again it's Chicago. The food here is very interesting and unique at the same time. The reason why I brought up the food is because every day between 7:00am-7:30am, we have to be downstairs in the dining quarters of the Hangzhou Wanxiang  Polytechnic hotel. Now after breakfast today as usual we as a group of 22 student ambassadors from the Chicago Urban League walked to our classroom where we received lectures by professors from all around China. 
In today's first lecture, the topic of discussion was "The Decision on Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening Reforms by 18th CPC Central Committee" our professor for today was the beautiful Dr. Danzi Liao. She talked about the differences and similarities of the Chinese and the American governments. She also broke down a few key definitions such as "modern market system,” "rule of law,” "cultural system,” etc.  It was pretty interesting and I like how she asked us questions and how she kept us involved in the discussion. Now the second lecture was just as interesting as the first but a bit less interactive and engaging but it was ok. Our professor for the second lecture was named Shulan Fei , she talked about "China's Economic Development.” She explained their economic system and how it has changed over the years from bad to good and back and forth. We also learned about "China's Economic Reform" which explores the transition of China’s economic past, present and future. This topic caught my attention because it is kind of like what America talks about a lot so I wanted to compare and contrast them both and see where both countries have opportunities to grow. 
During the evening as a class we planted a friendship tree and we had a closing ceremony on campus where we left our mark as U.S. Students in China by having one of our student ambassadors Myles Gibbs, give a speech. The planting of the tree symbolizes new beginnings and life and the growing connections between China and the US, such as the connection that we have made with our Chinese student ambassadors. Like I said in the beginning, China is a beautiful country and I'm happy to say that I, William D. Zopp have gotten the privilege to come to China and learn, so thank you to the Chicago Urban League!
~William Zopp
Myles Thursday July 3, 2014
Hello! It’s Myles, coming to you from Hangzhou! Today was definitely an eventful day, and I’m glad this is my day to blog. So, the first thing I remember is groggily waking up. I slept over with Caleb, Kameron and Emmanuel. So, I woke up and quickly got dressed. Then, after breakfast we went to our lessons. Both were about the Chinese economy. Not only did we have our last two lectures but more importantly, today is our last day in Hangzhou. I’m actually tired of writing, you see, I wrote a speech today for the closing ceremony.
Here’s the speech “My father once told me that most elegance is found in simplicity. And China is simply beautiful. Its scenery is humbling through nature. And its people are rich in their love for the past, vision to the future, and their respect, generosity and kindness towards others. So, staying true to my father’s lesson, I’d like to extend a simple “thank you” from all of us. To the hotel staff, who spared us of our carelessness, thank you. To the drivers, who gave us safe transport, thank you. To our guides, Tony, Judy, Albert and Libby, who cared for people from so far away, thank you. To Karen, for being such a wonderful friend and translator to us all, thank you. To our new friends, Holly, Summer, Sam, Julie and Wendy and the many others, I am ashamed not to know, thank you, because you made this trip mean so much more. To Polytechnic, for giving us a home. To Wanxiang, for making this happen. And of course to Mr. Tzang for believing in us, giving us this opportunity and sharing these memories with us. Memories which we will forever hold dear.”
“We will never forget the Great Wall, winding endlessly into the mountainside. The Leifeng Pagoda, stretching into the sky, or the story of the white snake trapped beneath. We remember the people. Taking pictures. Touching hair. We remember what we learned of Confucius, Wushu, 1948 and Fusion Energy. We will remember this country. So rich with tradition and culture, yet so full of the future and change. We came here to have our eyes opened, to realize the vastness of possibilities of life, to become ambassadors. And we did just that. But we also came here to change others. Change them through talks of a faraway land. Change them through teaching the truth. Change them by changing the world. And I assure you that all of us will. In these two weeks, I’ve become friends with future politicians, writers, speakers, presidents, lawyers, artists and entrepreneurs. We came to China with a vision of it in our minds. And we leave with a piece of it in our hearts. Because the heart to heart connection will never fade.”
We also planted a tree here on behalf of the Chicago Urban League. On a personal note, a lot of my friends from Whitney Young arrived today for their own study aboard experience. Small world, right? That’s all for today, as I’m pretty popped.
~Myles Gibbs