• About Julie

    NJ native without the accent or the big hair. Currently residing in Beijing. Teaching English. Absorbing all things China. Exploring SE Asia.

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    Feel free to drop me a message: juliekhull at gmail

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PRC 60th Anniversary & National Day Parade: timelapse and slow motion video

I linked to some videos the other day of the parade, but then I found this which is a much better use of your time.  It’s a great 3 1/2 minute video clip of the highlights.

Also, here are some magazine covers from this week, commemorating the anniversary, by Danwei:


Happy 60th, PRC

The People’s Republic of China celebrated its 60th anniversary today with a spectacular military parade at the center of Beijing.

From ABC news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32fGCvEIll8

And some other footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vwXDWnYdNg

Life lately

I teach my history classes in an extra classroom. When I arrived for class I discovered two students there before me. One of them was changing – taking off his long underwear. I guess he was too warm? I can’t ever remember wearing long underwear when I was a kid, and certainly never three or four layers of pants. The Chinese do, however! They’ll probably wear more than one layer into May, even when spring is well underway. They think I’m crazy for wearing one layer all winter!

That student should have kept his long underwear on, because while temperatures hit hit the upper 70’s two weeks ago, they’re back down to the 40’s or 50’s during the day. The only problem is that the government turned the heat off on March 15 so us laowai need to pile on the layers at home because our apartments are cold! I’ve been sleeping under five blankets at night and the forecast for tomorrow says snow.

Here are a few happenings of late.

  • I helped out at a new English corner on Tuesday night. It’s held in a dental clinic for the employees to better communicate with their foreign patients. We practiced scheduling appointments, accepting new patients, and calling and leaving reminder messages. I love my students, but it was a nice treat to work with adults. The facilities are really nice and we should get some free or discounted cleanings at some point.
  • I studied Noah during a meeting this week and then saw a rainbow splayed across the wall the very next day.
  • The McDonald’s on our corner has a new walk-up ice cream window that serves chocolate soft-serve and four flavor twists: mocha, green apple, strawberry, and grape. Mountain Dew is now available at your favorite corner drink shop for the same price as a Coke. You left Beijing too soon, Mark!
  • Up until this point I’ve learned Chinese by listening, studying a little on my own, and using language CDs but Anna and Andrew and I are going to begin taking Chinese lessons soon. Soon = when we stop procrastinating and go take our language placement exam.
  • Beijing met it’s blue skies target for 2008 on November 30. Beijing has a big pirating problem, and I don’t just mean DVDs, fOakleys, and North Fa(r)ce. Government statistics should be taken with a healthy dose of MSG, if you know what I mean. Even so, I think I’ve seen more blue skies lately than when I first arrived. We haven’t seen any sandstorms yet this spring, either.
  • We are beginning plans for our massive annual Easter egg hunt. Last year we hid somewhere in the range of 3500 plastic eggs that the students could redeem for candy and money.
  • Anna and I are excited to visit Sichuan Province with the Joel, Mary, and baby Jacob at the end of April. We’ll be visiting Mary’s parents in Chengdu and her hometown of Nanchong for five days.

Obama’s gift gaffe

Check out this unbelievable story about the gifts that the Obama’s gave Gordon Brown when he visited the U.S.


Renmin University

If you’ve been following my tales in China, you know the visa troubles that have plagued the other schools in our program (Shi Yi and Ren Da) in recent years. China’s Foreign Experts Bureau (FEB) has a law on the books that says that all foreign teachers need to have some combination of a bachelors degree, two years teaching experience, and/or ESL certifcation. A new Renmin University VP decided that beginning next school year all foreign teachers must have two years teaching experience or a masters degree. The University has gone before the FEB in years past to petition for an exception for Cedarville teachers, but they will no longer do that.

With the exception of one, all of the teachers who were planning to return to Ren Da next school year have one year of teaching experience, which means they are unable to return. This leaves one position filled and seven empty. While it’s probably a step in the right direction for China to start obeying its laws (hello Sanlu-melamine-milk scandal, lead-toy scandal, poisoned-medicine scandal, etc.), it leaves our program at Ren Da in a lurch.

I have two years teaching experience (clearly this qualifies me to teach at one of China’s top universities*) so I may be changing schools and going to Renmin University next school year with Anna. Our small team of three next year is only five minutes by bike from where I teach right now, so I’m not moving far. I’ll be sad to leave my school and my students, but I’m up for a new challenge. I’m also okay with fuwuyuan at the new school cleaning my bathroom and changing my sheets. I’m pretty sure I won’t miss doing that. 🙂


GE meets Qin Shi Huangdi in Atlanta, GA

Chinese Relics and Relationships
Source: Internal
05 January 2009

Late last year, GE welcomed 500 guests, including nearly 200 employees, to view an exhibit at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art chronicling the reign of Qin Shi Huangdi – one of history’s most notable rulers. The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army is on display through April 2009.

Qin Shi Huangdi is responsible for standardizing Chinese writing, currency, law, weights and measures; building a system of roads, the first phase of the Great Wall, and even a 7000-piece warrior army to guard his tomb.

Comprised of more than 100 objects, the display includes 15 life-sized terracotta warriors, officials, horses, and entertainers. The High Museum exhibition is the largest grouping of these objects China has ever loaned to the United States.

As lead sponsor of the exhibition, GE hosted a welcome reception, where John Rice, vice chairman of GE, summarized the importance of the exhibit and the partnership between GE and China. “This is really a celebration for us. It’s a natural relationship with the country of China where we’ve been doing business, led by our Energy business, for 100 years,” he said.

“When [the High Museum] approached us about being the lead sponsor for the Terracotta Warrior Exhibit, we agreed because it symbolizes something that’s obviously important to the country of China and clearly of importance to our company: leadership, ingenuity, and longevity.”

A similar sentiment about GE’s relationship with China was shared by Zhou Wenzhong, Chinese ambassador to the United States, “GE is a good partner, and GE’s success story in China is a good example of this win-win relationship between China and the United States. We want to thank GE for their participation in China’s developed program.”

The mood and significance of the reception was further underscored by the fact that it served as the kick-off to GE’s 9th annual China CEO Program, which hosts CEOs in the United States and offers them a first-hand look at GE’s best practices.

“I think this is a very good opportunity for CEOs from China to come to the United States to have a good exchange of views and to figure out what to do in the future in terms of more cooperation, and closer ties between the two countries,” Wenzhong added.

GE’s sponsorship of the exhibit is a way to celebrate GE’s growing relationship with China, from a commercial, cultural and personal perspective, and China’s willingness to share the exhibit with the American people for the first time holds perhaps even greater significance.

Muslim Chinese at Guantanamo

17 Chinese citizens are imprisoned at Guantanamo. They are Uighurs from China’s Muslim-majority Xinjiang province. Read about it here: http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/02/lawyer-for-guantanamo-bay-uighurs-vows-to-fight/

Sometimes I hear interesting things below my window, even though I’m eight floors up. It’s not unusual to be woken up by cats fighting, which sounds eerily close to crying babies. Right now two men are having some kind of competition to see who can yell louder than the other. If I understood more Mandarin I would tell you what they’re yelling about.