Tuesday, December 8, 2015

HNC Fall Break

HNC students have several breaks throughout the academic year. Many students take this time to explore other parts of China and Asia. Our student blogger, Andrew Retallick, gives an overview of this year’s Fall Break trips.  

Chelsea beat me to the post about Halloween, but here’s one of my favorite Halloween photos.

Throwback to HNC Halloween
Halloween was such a cool moment for me because only a few hours before the celebrations, the same people that were running around and putting the finishing touches on citations for papers, had some of the most elaborate Halloween costumes that I have ever seen. 

Anyway, we just finished our Fall/Thanksgiving break. Some people went on elaborate trips throughout China and East Asia. I asked some of my classmates to send me some pictures from their trips, and here are some of my favorites:

Matt went cycling on Hainan Island’s east coast

Belinda, Xiaoyu and a lot of other HNC students took part in the Asia Career Trek where they went to Shanghai and Hong Kong to meet with representatives from a lot of companies focused on banking and finance. 

Asia Career Trek
Brendan took a long trip from Japan to Taiwan and then to Hong Kong where he ended up at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Hong Kong Disneyland
 Eli went to Chengdu and Chongqing and spent a day going to Leshan to see the giant Buddha.

Leshan, Chengdu
 Susan and Leowill went to Japan and got a picture with Totoro at the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mintaka.

Studio Ghibli Museum
Me, well, I decided to keep it simple and spend a few days trekking around Shanghai with two of my international friends (Justin and Chelsea), three Chinese friends (Deng Jing, Jin Hao, and Hong Lingyan) and every once and a while running into some other HNC friends. We had some good Italian food, spent a day walking along East Nanjing and West Nanjing Road, visited to a museum that displayed a lot of Communist era propaganda posters, we even got to spend Thanksgiving with some of Justin’s friends and had real turkey, stuffing, etc. 

Shanghai Skyline

But most interesting of all, we (along with a lot of other HNC students) were invited to attend the Barnett-Oksenberg Lecture on Sino-American Relations. The lecture is an annual event where an individual with significant experience dealing with China U.S. relations. Past speakers include Gary Locke (former U.S. ambassador to China) and former president Jimmy Carter. This year they invited David M. Lampton, the director of China Studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Maybe next year I’ll have the opportunity to study with Professor Lampton at SAIS in D.C.

Barnett Oksenberg Lecture
However, unlike many other students, we decided to only spend four days in Shanghai and then return to HNC. Why did we cut our break so short you may ask? Well, quite honestly, we had to get back to work! Seriously, the week before break we were taking our midterm exam and then the week after was loaded with a lot of big assignments.

For me personally, the Monday after break, I had to give a 15-20 minute presentation in Chinese for my International Political Economics Class about the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and the BRICS New Development Bank, using only Chinese sources for my research. 

The day after that I had to write an essay for my International Humanitarian & Armed Conflict Law class analyzing the applicability of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions during the Gulf War. The problem? The U.S. has not ratified Additional Protocol I, so how can you use Additional Protocol… Ahhh I won’t go into the specifics; lets just say it was a rough week.

But while we’re on the subject of my International Humanitarian & Armed Conflict Law Course, join me in my next post where I’ll give a few more details about that course and the professor who made it possible.

Written by Andrew Retallick, HNC Certificate/SAIS MA Student