Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

On Wednesday 22nd we went to the Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum. This was a really interesting place to visit as the person burried there is one of the founders of modern China.

The Mausoleum is set in the purple mountain area on the North East of the city of Nanjing. It is located within a National Park however on the day we went the weather was awful so we could not see anything else as we were already soaked. It is classed as a ‘5 A’ tourist resort and the official website is here.

The design of the Mausoleum is spectacular having to climb 392 steps to reach the Mausoeum. One step represents a million people – linked to the population at the time the Mausoleum was built. If it was built now there would be over 1,000 steps!

View from the top of the Mausoleum

The image above is the view from the top of the mausoleum looking down. What I found impressive about the architecture is that you could not see the steps of the mausoleum until you had gone through the entrance gates after going down a tree lined boulevard. The entrance gates were similar to those of the forbidden city being styled after them. Like the entrance gates at the forbidden city entry was only by the two side gates; the main gate is shut; reserved only for the emperor.

Categories: Travel

H1N1

This is a brief summary of how the Swine Flu Risk has been dealt with at the Chinese Immersion course that I am attending with students from my school. It is not a criticism of the Chinese government / HANBAN (organisers) as I think they are dealing with a very difficult situation in the best way possible. The situation of the groups with students who were positive for Swine Flu were taken away and dealt with as described in news reports.

When our plane landed in Beijing two medical official boarded the plane and moved through the plane taking everyone’s temperature. The did this using thermometers that looked like guns zapping your forhead. There were a couple of people on the plane whose temperateture was rechecked by an oral thermometer. On the plane as well as filling in an immigration form we also had to fill in a ‘H1N1 declaration’. H1N1, as far as I am aware this is the medical term for the strain of swine flu and how it is referred to among the Chinese. Before going through immigration everyone had to pass through a health check. This invovled handing in your health questionnaire and walking past some heat sensitive cameras. Some people were taken off to have their temperature rechecked.

We then arrived at the summer camp and enjoyed the programme as scheduled on Thursday and Friday. Every morning our temperatures were taken going into breakfast and some of the Chinese staff were wearing masks but not all. The temperature was taken by a thermal gun type device.

temp

However on Friday evening two coach loads of students were escorted off the campus in coaches after having medical samples taken.

samples

At this point it was there was discussion between staff and students wondering what was going on. At this point some of the Chinese volunteers began handing out face masks to the students. At this point we were told a meeting was going to be held with all teachers who based on the campus (some teachers were based at a hotel approximately 10 minutes away). In this meeting we were briefed on the situation so far and the precautions that were going to be taken were explained. When I woke up there had been a summary of the situation and what we were told at the meeting produced and put under our door (click the small image for a larger version).

note

On Saturday 18th July we were kept on Campus all day; the main issue with this was it was boring for the students as they wanted to be in the City (and many of the students wanted to go shopping). That being said the Campus is large with a number of activities for the students to do. In addition cleaning has been increased and there has been someone going around spreading bleech on all surfaces. Throughout the Saturday there were largely mysterous commings and goings of the swine flu ambulance from the centre of disease control.

ambu

On Sunday 19th as no more cases of H1N1 had been detected were allowed to leave. As we boarded the bus we had our temperature taken one more time. The image below shows me with one of the school guards; he has a thermometer in his hand not a gun!

Guard in Beijing Foreign Language School

Categories: Travel

Wordle

I have seen these used on websites and reports of other people using them in the classroom. I have been spending a little while now playing around with them and I think they have a number of potential uses.

I have produced a couple of Wordle’s using ‘geographcial’ documents.

The Bruntland Report ‘Our Common Future’ – report in 1987 that is often credited with developing the concept ‘Sustainable Development’.

Wordle: Our Common Future (The Bruntland Report)

An Essay on the Principle of Population, 1798 – Thomas Malthus

Wordle: Malthus' Essay on Population

In September I will get my sixth formers to put their essays into Wordle. Hopefully that will help them see if they have stayed on topic or not as it will identify the key terms that they have used the most.

Categories: General Teaching