Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Morning 

Sunday morning. Took a walk in the park before I rode the bus into church. There is a guy with a little blackboard who likes to give impromtu math lessons to anyone who happens by. His thing is using shortcuts to work complex math problems. It's interesting to me how he always seems to be able to find an audience. Folks are interested in seeing how he does it, and they generally seem to have a good grasp of what he is saying. I think he'd be a bit frustrated if he were doing this in an American park. The level of math skill that an average person is expected to have is considerably higher in China than it is in America. I remember when I was in teacher's college in the seventies, and a professor was working some math problems on the board. One of the students, became very worried and asked if we really needed to know this stuff. Appalling. The professor had been demonstrating root operations on common fractions.

The park is peaceful on Sunday morning, because the crowds have not come out from the city yet. And it is perhaps a little more peaceful now because the summer heat discourages many hikers. I don't like Beijing summers. Autumn is beautiful. Winter is not bad. Lots of nice days. And spring is pleasant most of the time. But summer in Beijing is steamy. I have never spent an entire summer in Beijing. I always escape to Western China for at least a few weeks.

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