很累 (very tired)

I think the lecture went pretty well. It was attended exclusively by graduate students which is what I expected. I spoke about my own research trajectory. On the way I provided an overview of some cultural sociological concepts and how they might be applied to research. I also used the talk as an opportunity to introduce a graphic I’ve been working on for my book. I’m still lukewarm on it:

There was some pretty good discussion afterwards. Although I hadn’t really worked myself up about the whole thing, it did feel good to be done.

The New Year Parents’ Celebration at the kindergarten this morning was great. Each of the classes (Big 1 – 4) gave their particular cheer and then they performed the morning exercises. I was so impressed with Jie-jie’s enthusiasm and focus. In only 2 days of school she managed to learn virtually the entire 20 minute routine. Watching her smiling face as she danced and laughed with her friends left me feeling both happy and mournful. I wish there was some way to provide her access to this place. Afterwards all the parents came up and welcomed me back. They talked about how much their kids missed Jie-jie – how many kept her picture up. They expressed admiration for her ability to master the morning routine and talked about what a smart, open and kind person she is. I really appreciated their kindness.

After the morning routine, the parents (grandparents, ayis or whatever) and their children participated in sports set up by each class – a wheelbarrow race, an obstacle course, running in a chain of hula hoops, and a race in which the child sat on one of those big bouncing balls with the handle and the parent dribbled a basketball behind. Jie-jie and I did not distinguish ourselves but we had fun and managed to collect plenty of stamps (for each completed activity) which Jie-jie could later exchange for a prize.

We are all feeling pretty exhausted so it was nice to have a quiet dinner with our close friend Liwei. Kids are already asleep. Jason is giving a lecture and I am going to relax in front of a movie. A good day.

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