再见

再见

Rachel Palfini
June 12, 2014
Filed under Little Sparrow with Dreams of Swans, Off-Campus Blogs, Web Only

I'm heading back to the US on Saturday, which means my study abroad experience is almost officially over. I was talking with another CIEE student and it is really weird to think that it is almost over because studying abroad is something that we had both been talking about with friends and teachers since... Read more »

Top 10

Rachel Palfini
May 28, 2014
Filed under Little Sparrow with Dreams of Swans, Off-Campus Blogs, Web Only

This post is somewhat overdue as our Spring Break was more than three weeks ago, but as finals are fast approaching, I need a reminder of the good ole vacation days. To start the trip, Christa Lee '15 and I went to visit last year's Chinese language assistant in Xi'an! Catherine was the best host and... Read more »

Volunteering at Migrant School

Rachel Palfini
May 22, 2014
Filed under Little Sparrow with Dreams of Swans, Off-Campus Blogs, Web Only

There are a lot of migrant workers in China, over 130 million. Most migrant workers are leaving poor, rural villages and moving to cities on China's eastern coast in search of better job opportunities. Most of these jobs are in factories, low-paying according to American standards, but much higher wages... Read more »

The Most Popular Game in China

Rachel Palfini
May 15, 2014
Filed under Little Sparrow with Dreams of Swans, Off-Campus Blogs, Web Only

I'm about to let you all in on a little secret. It's…how to play the most popular game in China! Now, there really is no name to this game, although I presume nicknames have popped up all over China. It is really easy to play, but you rarely win, and you don't even need to have someone explain... Read more »

Marriage Corner at People’s Park

Marriage Corner at People’s Park

Rachel Palfini
May 7, 2014
Filed under Little Sparrow with Dreams of Swans, Off-Campus Blogs, Web Only

As many of you probably know, Chinese culture, like so many others, places great emphasis on marriage. China has been a patriarchal society since its origin over 5000 years ago, and as such, much value is placed on producing sons. With recent medical advances in the past few decades, the sex ratio in... Read more »

Thick Skin

Thick Skin

Rachel Palfini
April 26, 2014
Filed under Little Sparrow with Dreams of Swans, Off-Campus Blogs, Web Only

Mandarin is the first oral language I have studied. In high school, I took four years of Latin, but we rarely read aloud, as Latin is a dead language and impossibly difficult to converse in (Latin grammar is very complicated). One of the reasons I enjoyed studying Mandarin so much my first year at Whitman... Read more »

Ancient Tea and Horse Road

Ancient Tea and Horse Road

Rachel Palfini
April 20, 2014
Filed under Little Sparrow with Dreams of Swans, Off-Campus Blogs, Web Only

This past week was the CIEE Weeklong Excursion and I went to Yunnan Province with 30 other students and 3 teachers. We were traveling along the Ancient Tea and Horse Road (茶马古道) and stopped at different towns that used to be along the route. The Ancient Tea and Horse Road is sort... Read more »

Qingming Festival

Qingming Festival

Rachel Palfini
April 16, 2014
Filed under Little Sparrow with Dreams of Swans, Off-Campus Blogs, Web Only

Last week I had midterms, which is why I have not posted in awhile. A lot has happened in the past few weeks though (besides midterms), so I'll fill you in on one of the more exciting activities. April 4-6 was the Qingming Festival (清明节) in China. In English, it is often referred... Read more »

Celebrating 21st Birthday in China

Celebrating 21st Birthday in China

Rachel Palfini
April 5, 2014
Filed under Little Sparrow with Dreams of Swans, Off-Campus Blogs, Web Only

Last Saturday, I, along with my Chinese tutor (Alex), and CIEE classmate (Kasia), went to Tianzifang (天子方) to celebrate our birthdays (mine was on Sunday and Kasia's was Tuesday). Tianzifang is this relatively new "old-style" shopping area in Shanghai that mostly serves foreign tourists.... Read more »

南京周末旅行 (Weekend Trip to Nanjing)

南京周末旅行 (Weekend Trip to Nanjing)

Rachel Palfini
March 26, 2014
Filed under Little Sparrow with Dreams of Swans, Off-Campus Blogs, Web Only

This past weekend was the CIEE Weekend Trip and I along with 27 other students and 3 professors went to Nanjing. The other options were Hangzhou, Yangzhou, and Wu Zhen but I chosen Nanjing because of its rich history. Nanjing (南京)is the capital of Jiangsu province in Eastern... Read more »

“The Goddess”

Rachel Palfini
March 20, 2014
Filed under Little Sparrow with Dreams of Swans, Off-Campus Blogs, Web Only

Despite what some days may feel like, I am taking other courses in Shanghai besides my Chinese language class! Last week in Chinese Film and Cinema, we watched Wu Yonggong's "The Goddess," which was released in 1934. "The Goddess" was part of the 1930s overall leftist-turn of Chinese cinema, which was... Read more »

Slice of Seattle in Shanghai

Slice of Seattle in Shanghai

Rachel Palfini
March 16, 2014
Filed under Little Sparrow with Dreams of Swans, Off-Campus Blogs, Web Only

Today, I joined a fellow CIEE student (Margot) at a coffee shop (Magodo's 520 Coffee) across from ECNU to work on homework together. I've been to lots of coffee shops in Shanghai and they are very similar to the US. Starbucks and Coffeebean & Tea Leaf are basically the same, and they are the only... Read more »