March 26, 2008

Jiaotong Daxue

So the big news today was ... two co-workers and I went to Shanghai Jiaotong University (daxue means "big school") to present on technical writing ... and I gave a little introduction ... in Chinese!! I was really nervous because we had like 40 - 50 students in the room and, well, that's my largest audience yet of non-acquaintances yet. I giggled a bit beforehand and then let it fly. Here's what I said:

Ni hao Shanghai Jiaotong Daxue! Wo jiao Rui an. Ta jiao Make. Ta jiao Steven. Jin tian women jiang yidian dian technical writing. Xianzai, tamen kaishi!

I was gonna translate that for you, but that would lessen the mystique factor and therefore make me feel less special :-) so I'm gonna leave it for ya'll to investigate if you want ;-) Hehehehe.

And when I was done, the students applauded!! Man, it felt so great. I guess that means they understood me :-) When it was my turn to speak, I said some other things in Chinese to introduce myself. w00t :-D

The campus itself is pretty beautiful. Very scenic. It's no wonder, because it's like an hour and some change south of Shanghai in the Minhang district, so it's kind out in the boonies. There's a nice lake right in the middle of it, complete with a giant eagle statue on the grass. If I go back there again I'll definitely take some pictures. My co-worker said there were 40,000 students there. God damn I can't believe that. That's 15k more than at Virginia Tech, and only like 10k less than UT. And the other thing I learned was that Hangzhou's population is like 6 million. That's twice the size of Chicago!! I guess I had assumed that because it wasn't Shanghai, it was some small, quaint hamlet. Nope, no dice. It's a metropolis -- just not a megalopolis like Shanghai is. Sheesh.

The next time I hear someone say "Everything's bigger in Texas!" I will have some choice replies for them, haha.

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