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Archive for March, 2013

At AAS Conference

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

AAS ConferenceLast week, I attended part of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) conference in San Diego for a couple of days. One of the rare occasions where I saw more Asians than other ethnic group under one roof.

I was there for Mulberry Child movie. After spending weeks getting the Chinese subtitles ready and selecting a few episodes of “behind the scene” interviews for the premium DVD of the film, I was very excited to see the final package on display at the booth of China Classics, a distributor of Chinese classic literature and artwork at AAS conference. Wang, owner of the company, graciously agreed to showcase Mulberry Child at his booth when a mutual friend introduced us. He has been in the business of providing Chinese language materials to East Asian Studies libraries at universities across the U.S. for many years. I was impressed and pleased to see so many of his clients come to him to order books he carried. His booth must be the busiest one in the exhibition hall.

Over the period of a day and a half when I was at the exhibition hall, I met with more than 50 professors or librarians in East Asian Studies from universities around the world. Reportedly, more than 3,000 people attended this annual conference.

I was very encouraged by the interest in and positive response to Mulberry Child movie and the book. And more excitedly, upon my return to Chicago, I began to receive orders from universities via our website, which posted the sales of two different packages of Mulberry Child DVD to educational institutions.

I know Mulberry Child movie can serve as a very effective tool in courses on China’s history, women’s studies, and immigrant studies. And with the addition of Chinese subtitles, it can assist in the learning of Chinese language as well.

I look forward to the opportunity of reaching out to more students, professors, and librarians at universities in the coming months and want to thank those who have generously supported us, including Mr. Wang.

Jian Ping, author of Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China, which has been developed into an award-winning documentary movie by Susan Morgan Cooper and is narrated by Jacqueline Bisset. Visit www.mulberrychildmovie.com for more information.

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Curious and eager Chinese language students

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

I had the pleasure of working with the Confucius Institute in Chicago, and through them, giving talks about bringing Chinese culture into the classrooms of Chinese language studies at Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

CPS students listening to my talk about Chinese tea.

CPS students listening to my talk about Chinese tea.

CPS has one of the most successful Chinese language teaching programs in the U.S., with more than 13,000 students from elementary to high schools enrolled in the program. I started by giving workshops to Chinese language teachers at the Confucius Institute, providing tools and insights in integrating Chinese heritage and culture in their language teaching, and later, talking directly to students in different grades at CPS schools. I very much enjoyed the experience.

All the Chinese language teachers whom I’ve met, either native Chinese or Americans speaking fluent Chinese, are very enthusiastic about their mission. While a few have been teaching Chinese for years and accumulated a wealth of experience, most of the teachers are young and have started their teaching career not that long ago. Many of them have a heavy workload, teaching five classes of different levels nearly every day.

Students watched with great interest how tea is brewed and served.

Students watching with great interest how tea is brewed and served.

My talks included introducing Confucian ideologies, classic vernacular literature, Chinese folk arts, and tea culture to the teachers and students. Only when I started talking to students directly, did I realize how curious and eager they wanted to learn and how helpful it would be to make their language learning experience more enriched and fun by bringing more culture related content.

My latest 10 hours of presentations to students in various grades brought me a lot of joy and convinced me that more should be done in this front. These pictures here show how engaged the students were.

Jian Ping, author of Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China, which has been developed into an award-winning feature-length documentary movie and is narrated by Jacqueline Bisset. Visit www.mulberrychildmovie.com for more information.

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Happy International Women’s Day

Friday, March 8th, 2013
Alison Cuddy

Alison Cuddy

What’s more appropriate for the celebration of International Women’s Day than a Women’s Network event? That was DePaul University organized yesterday at the main campus in Lincoln Park.

The annual event aims at connecting women in their efforts “navigating personal paths and mapping professional growth.” It went from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with a keynote speech by Alison Cuddy from NPR Chicago and a numbers of panels, given and attended by women, accompanied with a very healthy and delicious lunch.

Panelists at the Women's Wellness panel

Panelists at the Women’s Wellness panel

Most of the attendees of the event were DePaul faculty, staff and students. I’ve been a part-time faculty member at DePaul for a year and have attended several events at the university. This women’s network event was well organized and attended. Panel topics included emotional intelligence in the workplace, motherhood roundtable discussions, understanding the power in owning your success and women’s wellness.

I was glad to be there, having the opportunity to chat Alison Cuddy, listening to the successes and challenges of other women, and networking with them. I found the event informative and inspiring. I want to solute to those who put their time and efforts to put it together.

We need more activities like this to empower women. Happy International Women’s Day!

Jian Ping, author of Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China, which has been developed into an award-winning film by Susan Morgan Cooper and is narrated by Jacqueline Bisset.

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