Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Today (May 27) marks the half waypoint of the trip. After the weekend everyone seemed well rested and ready to get back into the full schedule ahead of us. To start off the day we had a 715 meet time for breakfast, which was amazing as usual. Although no where near the same as an American breakfast, the buffet we had out in front of us hit the spot and was a great way to start the day off.
After breakfast we went directly to our first Traditional Chinese Medicine Class (TCM) of the day. In previous classes we learned that TCM is based off of keeping your yin and your yang in balance, which can be achieved through different techniques like acupuncture and cupping. In todays class we were going to learn how to do both. We first started out going over different points on the body that are called accupoints, which you stick with a needle. Each of these points corresponds to different organs in your body and does different things for you. Our teacher, Mrs Hong, came around and made sure that we knew where each of these points was. After that, we were instructed on how to insert the needles for accupunture. We used a packet of tissues to practice. After we were confident in our puncturing abilities, we were set free to stick each other with needles. I know many of us were somewhat apprehensive to have this done, but I think everyone ended up having at least one needle in him or her by the end of the class. After accuputurute, we were taught the technique of cupping. Cupping is when you take a glass dome and stick a cotton ball on fire in it to take up the oxygen, and just as you pull the cotton ball out of the glass dome you place it on the skin and it creates a suctioning effect. This makes your skin rise and increases blood flow to the area. Everyone was very egger to have this done to him or her, as it did not involve needles.
After TCM, we had a break in which we got to play ping-pong with some students at the Stadium. I know that I had a great time doing this. Even though a language barrier separated us, we were still able to interact and make connections through the common language of sports. I know this is how a dialogue was started with China and America back when Nixon was president and it is no different now. Even though the Chinese students had to back off a little bit, I think all of us had a great time being able to interact.
After taking a small break for a shower, we were off to WUSHU with Mr Xiaoyuan. We started the class off as usual with a warm up that consisted of dynamic stretching, but that was about all that was similar. This class we learned how to do a traditional line dance. Line dancing is when you have a partner and a dragon suit over both of you. You then go through a dance like pattern, which I know my partner Christie and I, had a little bit of trouble with. We eventually got the hang of it though and ended up winning a competition between us and another group that consisted of Ariel and Coty. After that we were shown how to use the dragon. I was the leader and thus had to hold the head, which was quite heavy. Although we looked nothing like the demo group, I think we did an all right job.
Right after WUSHU we went to lunch, which is a short 30-second walk from the WUSHU hall. After the workout of line dancing and using the dragon, I think everyone had worked up quite the appetite. My favorite option out of the whole buffet of food that we usually have laid out for us is by far the fried rice.
After lunch we had a short break back at our rooms, and then we were off on a field trip to see a TCM pharmacy as part of our second class for the day. We were lucky enough to get the manager to show us around the store, which had more herbs and traditional medicine than I could have ever imagined existed. The pharmacy was about 10000 square feet, half of which was a used for herbs and the other half for TCM practitioners to assess your problems and do things like acupuncture. Many of us ended up buying herbs and we were also given a free gift at the end, which was quite the surprise.
After our field trip, we had another break and then it was off to our last Chinese class with Mr Yang. In this class we added onto our existing knowledge of phrases from previous classes. One thing that I liked about this class in particular was Mr Yangs presentation of the different sports in China. After this we were able to practice our speaking skills with some of the Chinese students that were with us. I am terrible in general with language, but by the end of the class I was starting to catch onto everything.
After our last class of the day, we had dinner and then we were off to go swimming in the Swimming Stadium with some of the water polo team. I a great time playing keep away with them, even though about half way through I had to take a break because of how out of breath I was. The students however had no problem because of how great of shape they were in. After playing what seemed for an hour, we wrapped everything up in a relay race of course had to take pictures with everyone.
After swimming I think everyone was pretty tired so we got ready for bed and for the big day of leaving and travel tomorrow.
- Samuel Cannella
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