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Home » 2016 Summer Seminar » Final Reflection

Movement in East Asia
8/4/2016 2:56:19 PM

nramon
nramon
Posts: 90
Subject: Final Reflection
  • When I first signed up for this seminar, I automatically assumed we could cover the Silk Road extensively, and having finished the seminar, I am glad we departed from this topic because I have had a good amount of training on the Silk Road. With this said, I am happy I was exposed to the topic of globalization through a broader set of topics because it helped me to understand the movement of people, ideas, and goods through various theological, economic, and philosophical perspectives. This year I will transition from being a social science teacher to being a Spanish teacher, so I face the challenge of bringing China into a class that typically does not cover China. I appreciate that I got a more contemporary perspective of globalization because it will probably be easier to incorporate China in this way. In thinking of how I can incorporate China into my Spanish class is to explore various cultural encounters with Latin America. A lot of East Asian good and idea have made their way into Latin American culture, cuisine, history, etc and I am looking forward to explore the connections between both parts in the world. Additionally, through my participation in another PD on immigration in Latin America, I was able to explore the challenges Chinese immigrants faced and how in many ways there resemble the struggles of Latin American immigrants, and I am interested in teaching my students about the universality of human migration. Perhaps, what I am most excited about is somehow collaborating with the Mandarin department in my school. I would like to form some connections between both foreign language department and participate in some cross-cultural learning.

edited by nramon on 8/4/2016
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8/15/2016 10:04:34 PM

nminassian
nminassian
Posts: 23
Subject: Final Reflection
I'm very glad that I had a chance to be a part of the China Institute Summer 16 program. I had extremely limited knowledge before this course, and looking back it is embracing that most of my knowledge was limited by sushi or Chinese restaurants. From day one I have learned many terms such as guanxi (relationships in business deals), the ever-growing Chinese economy in the world (from Stephen Cheung's presentation), and Japanese food traditions from Mr. Yamashita's presentation. I am very interested to learn more about Japanese food, and I wish we could have more time to discuss the Traditional tea parties. I had no idea that some of the Japanese food items had Portuguese origins. I also have learned about the four cooking techniques (ageru, yaku, niru, and musu). My favorite part of the presentation was the history of Ramen. The third day of our study was about Korea/globalization and the Korean wave. I am very interested in learning more of the fact that Korean kings preferred to marry to Mongolian princesses. I didn't have much interest in boy bands or girl groups, but was interesting to learn that the agencies would pay for their plastic surgeries, and make them "more desirable". To me they were loosing their personalities, and becoming fake, carbon copy puppets. The second part of the presentation by Yunxieng Yan was about the individuals and social groups. I found some similarities in traditional Chinese societies, and Armenian traditional family structures. In our culture we too honor our ancestors, and unfortunately not much attention is given to women. I agree with big self (me) vs. bigger self (family). The highlight of the China Institute was Lori Meek's presentation about Buddhism. I want to learn more, and will use every opportunity to take more classes that involve that topic. The perfect end of the institute was our field trip, which tied everything we have learned together, and was a perfect conclusion. I want to use this opportunity to thank all the organizers of this wonderful program, and as a teacher I will use the learned material to plant seeds of curiosity for East Asia in my students.
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8/19/2016 9:15:14 AM

jschilp
jschilp
Posts: 24
Subject: Final thoughts
The US-China Institute this summer reaped great benefits for me and consequently my students. From the information on the LA World Trade Center to Professor Meeks’ information on Buddhism and beyond, I feel like I have a better understanding of the role of China and much of Asia and their interplay with the US. It was also a big bonus to hear about the various religions around the region and how the play out here. Of course, it’s always a pleasure to hear about and sample foods.
The most beneficial part of the week for me was the information on Buddhism. As someone raised Catholic and curious about other religions & philosophies since my teen years, I’d tried to read & understand the Buddhist way long ago but I suppose I just wasn’t ready for it yet. This is why I appreciate Professor Meeks as much as I do. My understanding is deeper and easily communicatable at this point and will help deliver better perspectives and literature on Buddhism to my classes. The articles she provided are also great vehicles to bring to my more advanced students in order for them to see how Buddhism continues to spread throughout the Americas.
Now that I’ve gotten a taste of what these seminars are all about, I will most likely continue to attend in order to expand my knowledge of the East and gain a deeper appreciation for cultures about which I know some but wish to build my knowledge base in order to expose my students to these brilliant ways of life that are often wholly left out of high school curricula.
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8/25/2016 10:32:57 AM

mmadruga
mmadruga
Posts: 23
Subject:
Michael Madruga
La Familia High School


Reflection on the USC 2016 Summer Seminar

First, I would like to thank the USC U.S – China Institute, and the Annenberg School for Communication for the prodigious experience. The instructors are world class, their knowledge, and their ability to communicate difficult concepts is impressive.
The seminar topics were on point for the subjects that I teach. I will be able to integrate most of the information, materials, and insights from the seminar into my classroom. The sessions that focused on Hinduism, Buddhism, Caodaism, Daoism, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Dao Mau, will be especially helpful as my textbooks are very limited when it comes to Asia, and even less on Eastern Religions. My students will become high-level thinkers as a direct result of the seminar.

The Professors welcomed inquiries during their presentations allowing for student discourse. The unique teaching styles of the professors; was a seminar in itself. Their ability to communicate and shift gears to respond to a question, and then get back on point was notable. The information learned from the seminar has liberated me from the fear of instructing on the aforementioned historical figures and subjects. Attached is a lesson plan formulated specifically for incorporating East Asia into my teaching. I definitely intend on integrating my new knowledge of Karma, Karmic debt, and the cyclical doctrine of existence into my classrooms’ Socratic discourse. Guanxi will become a common vocabulary term, and the strategy of “same message, multiple sources, and multiple times” will be integrated into my school by cross collaborating with my fellow teachers.

The Korean Cultural Center is enlightening! I plan on exposing my students to the linguistic aspects of the Korean language, specifically the phonics element, as most of my learners are ELL and ESL. The Getty Museum speaks for itself.

The institution, the facilities, and the accommodations’ were first class. The campus is clean and safe, and the buildings and landscape are Ivy League. Thank you again for the opportunity to participate in the Seminar. I will look for your newsletters.

Best,

Michael J. Madruga
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8/27/2016 7:06:05 PM

hdao
hdao
Posts: 28
Subject: Final Essay
This was my first time ever participating in anything like this. I’ve always had to pay to have access to quality education, and now I was being paid a small stipend (pending submission of my lesson plan) to learn more about a subject I am personally interested in at the prestigious USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. The seminar, “Movement In East Asia: The Flow Of People, Goods, and Ideas” is of particular interest to me as an educator because I believe that in order for my students to become successful, they need to be worldly. That is they need to know about the world beyond their neighborhood. Despite, sometimes having an entirely different culture right outside their front door, they have learned to ignore it, preferring to act instead as though those strange customs and languages constituted a mere oddity amidst our mass culture, which isn’t much of a culture at all.

I don’t intend on introducing East Asia as a “foreign culture,” and I don’t want my students to get the impression that Asia is some exotic far away land. There is the temptation to turn it into a romantic exploration of the orient, but my hope is to always keep the discussion as down to earth as possible, while focusing on the history of East Asia, and the mutual exchange of ideas. If at the end my students can understand the contributions that East Asia has made to our human cultural heritage, I think they will be in a good position to embrace and be a part of the new and changing world. I hope to incorporate into my lessons many of the topics that were discussed at the seminar, such as the history of ramen and other foods that have become a part of the American culinary landscape. Buddhism is gaining in popularity in America, especially the idea of mindfulness, in addition to cheap Chinese manufactured goods, which has played a huge roll in the US trade deficit. The idea that, “east is east and west is west, and never the twain shall meet,” is an erroneous and outdate view, and one that needs to be discarded into the dustbin of history.

People and ideas are constantly moving across cultural and political boundaries, and I suspect there was perhaps a greater exchange in the past than those in academia are cognizant of. Today, of course the world has become much smaller and ideas and financial resources can move at lightning speed to overthrow governments and erect entire economies, seemingly overnight. While this is the new reality, what is not certain is the effect these changes will have on individuals, and how they in turn may put pressure on the political bodies of their governments. We are living in exciting times that present both danger and opportunity. Danger for those who want to stick their heads in the ground, but opportunity for those who can understand the changes and are able to reposition themselves. Interestingly, the two Chinese characters for danger and opportunity also make up the character for crisis. The spread of new ideas almost always brings about crisis. Of greater relevance however, to the students’ knowledge and skill set, is the understanding of how new ideas are absorbed and integrated into existing the ones.

I’m okay with crisis and I want my students to be okay with it too. Being a child of the Vietnam War, I was literally born into crisis. It has helped me to keep perspective in troubled times. The USC-China Institute Summer Seminar was an excellent opportunity for me to reconsider some of the ideas I had brewing in my own head, and to be introduced to few other things I hadn’t given any thought to, in a very relaxed and enjoyable setting. Thank you once again for the wonderful professional development opportunity that you provide to educators!
edited by hdao on 8/27/2016
edited by hdao on 8/27/2016
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9/2/2016 1:06:12 AM

mcervantes
mcervantes
Posts: 23
Subject: Final Reflection
When I first heard about the USC US-China Institute program I thought it would be great to learn more about China because I visited six years ago. I was on a tour with a chamber of commerce and just got a smattering of the culture. It was a fast pace tour of 5 locations. The weather was beautiful since the Olympics had just concluded. I wish I had been involved with the institute before going on the trip. It would have been more intense for me with the background knowledge. When I applied to the institute I wasn’t sure I would be accepted. It was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed the speakers and the museum trips. I even promoted the Korean Museum to a friend who has been teaching English the island off of South Korean. It was great to meet the teachers from different schools. Hope to keep in touch with some of them. The Getty Center tour was a highlight. It is astounding how the curators can bring these historical caves to cities around the globe. I hope to utilize all of the great resources put together on our behalf with my family, my students and my colleagues. I want to thank everyone involved to putting our week together. I was very nice and convenient that we were provided lunch each day. It was very much appreciated. This enabled the participants to get to know each other. Although it might have been nice to have been given more time to interact with each other. When we went on the field trip we started to get to know one another but it was the last day of the institute. In your future seminars it might be nice to allow for this type of interaction earlier in the week.
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9/2/2016 3:26:13 PM

kluna
kluna
Posts: 82
Subject:
1. I have participated in 2 seminars before, but I must say this one was my favorite! I think I really enjoyed this one the most because of the amazing field trip opportunities. I really enjoyed visiting the Korean Cultural Center as well as the Getty. These two visits showed me so much that I didn’t know, and allowed me to have an experience, which made it so much more enjoyable. I believe that as teachers, we need to provide our students with experiences that they will remember in order to truly learn about the content; this fieldtrip allowed me to do that.

Although I really enjoyed the fieldtrips, this is not to say that I did not enjoy the speakers. One of my favorite speakers was Steven Cheung, because I have very little interest in the was that markets and the economy works, but the way he presented the information, and his clear passion for the topic made me very interested. I look forward to learning more about the topics he discussed through news papers and other media outlets with a new perspective. I also enjoyed the lecture by Professor Meeks. Throughout the seminars, I have learned more and more about Buddha and Buddhism, but I believe that her presentation, although incomplete, allowed me to piece ideas together in my head and gain a deeper understanding in the religion and its ideology.

Overall, I have truly enjoyed the experience and learned a lot. I hope to learn more about the caves and I hope to be able to go back to the Getty to have a more in depth look at all of the artifacts. I gained so much knowledge from the docent, but I was trying to listen, and I couldn’t read and really examine the artifacts. Providing more time for the participants to walk around after the docent led tour would be one of my only suggestions for next seminar (if this field trip is included in the course).
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