Endings and Beginnings

By: Biajani and Piper
Friday, May 19th

My does time fly!

To start of the end of our week, Papa Sheehan began his lecture on the Chinese context from 1850-1925. During this time period China was plagued with a series of civil and foreign wars, all sorts of different rebellions that I cannot even begin to pronounce. Some of these include the Opium War, Taiping Rebellion, and the Boxer Rebellion. These back-to-back defeats marked a dramatic shift in China’s global position.

Though the lectures are also very fascinating, we ended the class with our undoubtedly favorite part — discussion. We returned to the book we had been reading, Lianne Yu’s Consumption in China. We talked about two more very intriguing chapters on “Lifestyle and “Commodification.” We discussed how one’s consumption is not just a mindless venture but says something about one’s desired lifestyle. The “Commodification” chapter was particularly eye-opening. It opened up a whole new outlook on how we can take almost anything and assign it some monetary value.

The best part about Friday was getting out a little early. Even though, that was only giving us a jump start to work on our papers due Monday. Though we separated, headed home for a weekend of writing, we continued our conversations in our “virtu-real” world. Piper facilitated the creation of our group WeChat, and our conversations have been non-stop ! We finished the week showing so much growth in both our knowledge of globalization and our relationship as a group. I can’t wait for all the fun we are going to have and how close we are going to be by the end of this all!

Here’s all of us with the Dornsife banner! We will soon be taking this same picture on top of the Great Wall !!

May, May 22nd, 2017

Monday’s lecture was about Global Connections between 1925-1945, so we picked up right where we left off from Friday. One particularly interesting topic we highlighted during this lecture was the way the radio changes communications as we knew it during that time. The second part of lecture was discussing the Chinese Context during that time. The conclusion? Let’s just say China was verrrry busy during that time! (As was most every country!)

In class Monday, we continued our discussion on our book, Consumption in China by Lianne Yu. I speak for my entire team when I say we are pleasantly surprised to have this book as one of our textbooks for the class. We all love this book as it provides exciting content, interesting perspectives, effective analytics and is overall easy to read! This makes us all extremely engaged in our discussion each class session as each team member eagerly waits to discuss interesting points they found in the reading! For Monday’s reading we discussed Awareness as Yu refers to it. She used this chapter title to foreshadow her dialogue of the both emerging and descending consciousness of culture and tradition in China.

One thing that fills in our class conversations is logistics about our trip. Today Papa Sheehan gave us the information to get RMB so we had some currency right when we hit the ground on Sunday! (I can’t believe it is coming so soon!!!!!!)  Along with currency, we continue the “are you going to get a simcard?” conversation because that is one thing we are all prioritizing for our trip- communication!

Anyway, a great class of course but Monday was particularly special because we went on a team bonding lunch after class!! We invited Papa Sheehan of course, but he had previous lunch plans. We went to Pizza Studio on Figueroa and took up almost half of the dining area, it was so fun! Our team I can already tell is a great combination for this trip!! We all come from different backgrounds, some of us speak Chinese, some of us don’t (at least 6 out of the 10), but how we come together and help each other is what I am really excited about and have already experienced. We had our first paper due Monday and in it, we analyzed an advertisement to a Chinese audience. Naturally, most of us had Chinese writing on it. For those of us who don’t speak Chinese, this seemed a little intimidating but our teammates who do speak Chinese were so ready to help us!! Teamwork at it’s finest! The best part is, we haven’t even made it to China yet, we are already being set up for success for our awesome teamwork capabilities! Definitely something to cherish during this trip.

Here is a picture of us enjoying lunch at Pizza Studio!