Friday, May 13, 2016
National Nurses Day Celebration, May 11-12! It was a great show. Sketches, songs, dances, all done by nursing students. Above are some of the nice-looking performers…
…below: not so nice-looking, but making up for it in noise volume. Yours Truly, playing the piano in the opening act of the ceremony. The task was to lay a musical background onto the animated AUCM video playing on the screen.
Play well, or play loud. –Which?
Teaching the medical terminology is actually simpler than I had expected. We’re going through as much of the textbook as we can in the few sessions we’ve got. But the students need *everything* – so I’m throwing in topics that come up in the everyday work of nurses. The American epidemic of obesity. Stroke risk. Smoking cessation. Tobacco-free campus. Osteoporosis. Vitamin D deficiency. Sore throat, visual inspection of oral lesions… all these are common terms for us but entirely new to Chinese students.
Handing the quiz back today. A whole bunch of people made 100%. A couple of them have not had any passing grades, but they’re also not showing much interest in the course. Interesting coincidence: the ones who are willing and eager to be shown in the “future Brenau nursing student” profiles are the students who do well in class.
Besides the careful protection from solar ultraviolet, which is practiced particularly by the female students, another major cultural difference struck me early on. The students like to be in the classroom, studying intensely, 15 to 30 minutes before the session starts. Even to the point of wolfing down breakfast in the dining hall (I sometimes have to accelerate my cereal to keep up) just to arrive in class early. Not likely among the non-Asian students of Brenau, or any other U.S. university I’m familiar with.
For 8:30 a.m. classes in the U.S., the most dedicated students walk in at 8:29. The majority get there at 8:30, and our more insouciant young American scholars arrive at any time thereafter.
Portrait of a future
Brenau Nursing Major:
“Jack” Liu Zhang
Many Chinese students like to wear jackets and t-shirts with flashy inscriptions and references to rock festivals. First-year nursing student Jack is more the quiet, friendly “guy next door”. As the son of a factory worker and a homemaker, he’s the first academician in the family, and the object of the paternal pride that comes with this role. It also comes with great responsibility, so Jack hopes to expand on his future nursing degree by adding graduate credentials. “I can work in a hospital, but I’d really like to teach health science, especially pediatrics, at a university, “ he says.
In his free time, Jack enjoys basketball and the wildly popular LOL (League of Legends) online game.
Not in the 2+2 program, but way too nice to pass up:
Profile of “Ivy” Zhu Yingying and Zhang Xiaoyu
Zhu “Just call me Ivy” Yingying and Zhang Xiaoyu are students of Chinese Medicine at AUCM, so a few years from now they will both be physicians.
Xiaoyu is eager to work in a medical center in Hefei (pop. 7 million) because there are more learning opportunities than she’d find in smaller towns. Thanks to the medical knowledge she’s accumulating, she has already been assisting her parents with health maintenance and wellness advice.
“It was my father who suggested Chinese Medicine,” says Yingying. “This discipline already knows cures for many common illnesses, and it achieves them with fewer side effects than Western methods, and without relying so much on chemicals.” Both students felt enormously inspired by Dr. Fu Jian, a visiting professor. Their goal is to eventually move to Shanghai or Beijing , applying Chinese Medicine protocols for pain reduction and cancer cures.
In the evening, Ivy (Ying-Ying… what a nice-sounding name!), Xiaoyu and “two L’s” Hellen, the third in that lively trio, take me out to get dinner beyond the campus gate. The six-lane city street comes to an abrupt dead-end there, and dozens of vendors with battle-worn motor tricycles are selling traditional foods, cooked on the spot, day and night. Chicken, pork, and anything else that can be steamed or fried, right off the propane burner on the tuk-tuk. That moniker is actually from Thailand, but the Chinese students like “tuk-tuk” right away when I introduce the name.
The three are working on a class presentation about doctor-patient relations, and ask shyly if I might be willing to help by looking over their script, and smoothing out the English.
They buy me a large bowl of stuffed dumplings, and a cup of chilled gooseberry juice (it’s quite tasty, really!), so how could I say no?
If you want your food even fresher than that, you can always go to the farmers market near the lake.
Watch your fish being gutted while it’s still wiggling. But I really prefer the dumplings and gooseberry juice.
Songs, dances, costumes, sketches… an incredibly flashy variety show of talent at the Nurses Day celebration.
To wit – these are nursing students, not dance or fashion design majors!
Two of my 2+2 dinner buddies: Sissy (Chen Anting) and Rhonda (Huang Rong).
Portrait of a future
Brenau Nursing Major:
“Shirley” Xie Wenli
2016 marks Shirley’s first year at AUCM. Her father is an engineer and her mother is a homemaker, all from Hefei City.
Once she has her nursing degree, Shirley would like to work on the birthing or a neonatal station of a hospital because “I like babies very much.”
In addition to nursing work with newborns and infants, she’s interested in psychology, particularly the counseling side of the discipline. She doesn’t yet know if her university education will go beyond the BSN degree, but given her multitude of interests, it’s likely.
The USA strikes her as a “friendly, open society”, where she will acquire skills that can serve both countries.
Quite an honor: Photo op with the senior faculty at the end of the Nurses Day Ceremony.
Present author is the oldest dude in the bunch. I felt bad about covering the student behind me, but the photographer made us close up tight.
I haven’t mentioned the electric teapot that’s in every room of the International Dorm, along with a 1-quart thermos. A really useful accessory ! It’s not advisable to drink water straight from the faucet, so I can boil it and drink it hot (Chinese style), or let it cool off first. Also great to make a fast cup of Nescafe. Now that I’ve found the JoyMart that’s about a mile from campus, I can keep my room stocked with the little “2+1” instant pouches. Still don’t know what that means, but they make a decent cup of instant coffee.
I just read this on the WorldWatch Institute website: “Formerly the ‘kingdom of bicycles,’ China is expected to add as many as 220 million new vehicles between now and 2020.” Here on campus, bicycles are still ubiquitous and parked in long rows or small mountains. But the most popular vehicles are electric scooters, which I haven’t seen in the U.S. They are quick and silent. Of course, they have something in common with the electric vehicles in Georgia: As long as the electricity is produced by coal-fired power plants, there is very little net gain on the clean-air front.