The day that is Memorial day in the United States is also a holiday in France. So instead of going to work today I once again set out to see more of Paris. The goal for today: L'Arc de Triomphe, Les Champs-Elysees, and Place de la Concorde. L'Arc de Triomphe was my number one must-see for my time in Paris.
So a metro-ride-across-Paris later and I was at Charles de Gaul-Etiolle metro station, walking up to street level where the arch is. As I ascended I looked to my right and the arch came into view. First impression was very much dissapointment. While very tall, the arch was not nearly as wide and I thought it looked in pictures. This gave it a misproportionate look and made it seem much less grand. As I reached ground level though I realized I was on the side of the arch and not looking at it straight on. Then I remembered from pictures that the arch is actually 4 arches supporting a platform. Together they look like one big arch. Second impression: wow!
On Friday, before the scorching Memorial Day Weekend, A&S Hive team members Derek Eggers, Amelia Stevens, Carly Germann, Russ Caldwell, and myself made a special visit to TiER 1 Performance Solutions in Covington, KY. Almost immediately, the similarities between the culture and workflow of TiER 1 and the HIVE were easy to spot. The HIVE, a fusion of creative and technical services does everything from designing and leading the online education offered by the College to producing video and audio content for all of A&S. Rooted in instructional design, TiER 1 organizes itself into teams (just like the HIVE) to satisfy the needs of their clients.
Since Paris is my home for the next two months I am trying hard to be more Parisien than tourist. However, I am in Paris. It would be foolish to not go see the sights. So with that in mind I set out this weekend to be a tourist. First thing on Saturday I took the metro to a crepe café near the Eiffel tower. The previous weekend I had met up with friends in the UK honors program on the honors trip to Europe and we went there. Since I planned on starting my day at the Eiffel Tower I decided to return. The owner and his wife are very friendly. They speak a little English although their accents sometimes make it hard to understand. The food was delicious (as all the food has been in Paris) and an American was also in the café so I had some English conversation while I ate.
We fly out of Beijing in the morning. The last few days have been some of the most exhausting and inspiring days of my life--from visiting the Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, to gazing at Huangguoshu Waterfallto touring Famen Temple in Shanxi province to climbing the Great Wall. Kevin and I have experienced so much generosity and kindness during our visit, and I have had so many moments of pure awe over the last two weeks. Take a look.
It's no secret that technology influences student life. From the ways in which we take in information, retain information, and synthesize information, technology provides a helping hand in each of these processes. I recently came across an awesome infographicfromPresta Electronicsthat maps college students' relationship with technology. I encourage you to look it over. Some of the stats may surprise you, as well as some of the useful apps for education.
I've hit the more-than-halfway mark for my trip to China this summer, and it's been really great so far! One thing that Dana Rogers (the Hive's photographer) and I got to do was visit Yiwen Chen, our Chinese Social Media Specialist, at her grandma's house in Wenzhou, about five hours south of Shanghai by bullet train.
Dana took some photos (many more to come), but you might want to take a look!
The past few days have been a whirlwind, meeting up with other UK students and faculty and participating (or, in my case, getting audio from) various seminars and group discussions on all sorts of topics relating to cultural exchange and Appalachian art & study in particular. When I return there will be a few podcasts from this event, so stay tuned!
As the 2011-12 academic year comes to a close let me thank you for all the incredible work, dedication and commitment you have exhibited throughout the year. Without a doubt, our faculty and staff rival those at the most prestigious institutions in the country.
Over the last year we have welcomed and educated a record-number of new students; we have successfully launched a new general education curriculum (UK Core) and a new residential college (Wired); we have made progress on shortening time-to-degree through our online and summer school initiative; we have greatly expanded our international efforts through faculty exchanges, short-courses, new education abroad programs, and our passport to the world initiative (Year of China); among many, many other successes.
Our faculty and staff have been recognized by countless national organizations and agencies, as well as by the University community. The following are just a handful of the many successes achieved this year:
For the past week I have been getting used to life in Spain. For the month of may I am studying here with Francisco Salgado-Robles, a professor in the Spanish department. Last Sunday for the first time ever I took a plane out of the States and made the journey to Spain. Right now I am living in Seville which is in southern Spain about an hour from the coast. I have been here in Seville for a week now and I still get lost when I am going to my classes. I am also doing service learning so I work at a Children’s Hospital.
On a Southern China flight to Guiyang The Double with Richard Gere is on. The sound is too low and subtitles are in Chinese. A box lunch consisting of a small foil container with beef fried rice, a package of fermented cabbage, a roll, and yogurt, is passed to each passenger by two young flight attendants with perfect, matching hair buns.
(our hotel in Guiyang has spotty internet service so I’m posting this days later)