Exit Shanghai


Originally uploaded by BCrosby

Like clockwork the ladies are out dancing in the park across the street like they have been everyday. The streets rumble to life and will soon become clogged because they are never wide enough to control the flood of cars and bikes and every kind of transportation. As fast as this city has sprung up I’m afraid it outstripped any chance to plan it for traffic flow and the like. It is also flooded by contrasts.

David Jakes, Alan Levine and I took the elevator to the top of the tallest building in the world yesterday (well it was the tallest building until a few weeks ago anyhow). It sits in the middle of the financial district along with other really tall buildings. You zoom to the top in state of the art elevators and when you look below you are struck by the sight of looking DOWN on the other tall buildings. As your eyes reach the ground there are rows of apartment-like buildings that stretch to the horizon, and those streets flooded by their inhabitants.

I’ve noted while here that although there is a large park across from our hotel and trees grow throughout the city wherever they can take root, you see no birds, squirrels … no sign of life other than the people. Perhaps in the rush to build the habitats were destroyed so fast, and for such a distance, that life hasn’t caught up yet. So perhaps Shanghai has that to look forward to. Perhaps it will catch up with itself and flourish as was promised and the Chinese people are counting on. We will see.

This has been a rush for me that I never could have attempted without having the students I have right now that can pursue learning on their own. If this had been a new class I don’t think I could have left them with a substitute teacher this early in the school year. I found out I was coming and had only days to prepare everything that was required for the trip … and it showed somewhat. My presentations were at least OK, but not as polished and well thought out as I would have liked. But this has been a trip and an education of a lifetime. The last minute dash was part of that experience and made it even more exciting.

I’m going to miss being with the people I worked with here, although we will stay connected through the network, it is not the same.

Learning is messy!

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