Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Throwback Tuesday: Orientation Week at the HNC

This week we are celebrating throwback Tuesday with a flashback to the start of the semester. John Urban, American Academic Coordinator at the HNC, takes a look back to the first couple weeks of the semester—from orientation to the Mid-Autumn festival.  

HNC’s first week of classes ended nicely with an HNC-wide party to celebrate the mid-Autumn festival. As any student would attest, orientation week and the first week of classes are busy, but for completely different reasons.

2015 HNC Cohort
Orientation week contains many important meetings like introduction to life at the HNC, academic policies, course introductions, and for international students, applying for residence permits. This is all on top of adjusting to a new city, new school, new faces, and new roommate!

Below are some selected events from the first two weeks.

On Tuesday, students elected representatives to the 班委 (banwei), or student government. The banwei is elected every semester and is in charge of organizing events as well as acting as the official representatives between the student body and the administration. It is composed of four members: one Chinese male, one Chinese female, one international male and one international female. After having the candidates talk before the entire student body, everyone votes for their preferred choice of the above four categories. One of the banwei members, Chelsea Toczauer, is one of the contributors to this blog!

The Banwei (right to left): Brendan Melchiorri, Deng Jing, Chelsea Toczauer, Deng Yitao
On Thursday night, students enrolled in the HNC Certificate/SAIS MA program attended a virtual meeting with Julie Micek, the Academic Affairs Director at SAIS. Student in this program spend one year in Nanjing completing the certificate and then spending three semesters in Washington, D.C. at SAIS completing their MA. Micek explained the course transfers for different concentrations, the differences between concentrations and specializations, and specifically, which courses at HNC have been approved at SAIS.

Faculty and students participate in dance competitions

With classes beginning, students worried less about orientation and finding their way around the HNC, and more about which courses they wanted to choose, and having to do readings in Chinese.
After frenzied planning, the students put on a talent show and held a party that capped off an exhilarating week of classes, but also, and equally as important, served as a celebration of the Mid-Autumn festival. Whereas last year’s talent show was rained out and held later in the auditorium, this year’s weather was perfect. Under a full moon, students showcased their widely varying talents: Latin dancing, traditional Chinese songs, modern takes on old Chinese dances, professors and students competing to see who could best do the dance to “Gangnam Style and a dance to military songs. The show continued with a skit about the moon goddess Chang’e, and a faux dating game, and a bilingual Disney song medley rounded out the night’s events. It was a truly delightful mix Chinese and Western, old and new. With the Co-Directors acting as judges, the skit about the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e took first. Second place was 1st year MAIS Slater Rhea performing two Chinese songs, while third went to the dancing professors.

Chang'e Skit
Stay tuned for ghoulish a ghoulish post and pictures for the upcoming Halloween Party!

Written by John Urban, American Academic Coordinator