Since I can’t be in Vermont defending my team’s Barre Men’s League Championship, I was thrilled to be invited to play basketball today with some of my graduate students. We played 4-on-4 half court, and, since I haven’t played basketball in months and due to the heavy air, it was quite the workout. I was happy to have played OK. The pick-up rules in China are a bit different, but the biggest oddity is that they don’t ever check the ball and don’t inbound the ball from the top of the key. Instead, after fouls and out-of-bounds plays, the ball is inbounded at the baseline. This really changes what plays one is accustomed to running when the ball is played from the top of the key like screens off the elbow of the free throw line and high-lows off the wing. Anyway, it was fun, and I was invited to be the center on the graduate school intramural basketball team.
After the games, we went to dinner. This brings me to another point…health tips. My Chinese students love to give them to me. For example, we all got our food tonight and I started to eat, at which point I heard, “Professor, perhaps it is best we rest before we eat.” We sat quietly for at least 20 minutes. Students always suggest that I drink warm water, not cold water, to help protect my throat. They also want me to use a mic when I teach even though they prefer that I teach without a mic. Finally, the best health tip I get is when I suggest to students that we discuss their questions over lunch. Just I we get our food and I start to ask them more about their query, I hear, “Professor, perhaps it is best if we eat first in quiet and then discuss our questions.” I have not had a “working lunch” since arriving in China.