Greetings from Beijing! My name is Joe Vincent and I will be one of your instructors for this two week exploration of culture and sustainability in China! I hope all of you are excited as I am for this course – I really can’t wait to meet all of you and begin our adventure together next week!
I’ll start by telling you all a little about myself. I grew up in Canton, Ohio, and hadn’t really gone too far from home until I went to Taiwan for one year as a Rotary exchange student when I was 16. Since then, learning Chinese and exploring China and Taiwan really become lifelong passions. In college, I was a Chinese major and spent my summers working in the Middlebury-Monterey high school Chinese language intensive programs. Last May, I graduated from the Chinese Literature Department of National Taiwan University where I studied literature of the Ming and Qing dynasties. During my time as a graduate student, I took a break from the library by working with Dragons for three summers. This will be my ninth course with Dragons…I’ve led three other school partnership courses, three summer courses and two semester programs—one in China and one along the Mekong River.
Just coming back from the field, I’m realizing that I could spend my whole life traveling in China and still have so much more to see and explore. Working with Dragons, I travel around China a few times every year with students. And yet, even after coming back to the same places multiple times, my students help me to see China with fresh eyes, a new perspective, and questions that I had never even considered before…that is what I love most about being an instructor.
I very much look forward learning a little more about China with all of you over these two weeks….