I was just writing to a friend of mine who I've been to Wuhan with the last four summers. He wanted to know how it was going with the program here and that caused me to stop and reflect on things to this point. One thing I've noticed is that you have all the energy and optimism I have come to expect from my Chinese students. This is a tremendous pleasure to see and be a part of. Sometimes American students want to be "too cool for school"--they want to appear that they aren't interested or engaged, even when they are. This isn't a problem with Chinese students--I can usually tell right away when you're excited about something, and when it's time for a new experience, usually you jump right in. This is a lucky thing for me, because my job today is to talk about baseball--a topic many of you know very little about.
I was thinking of this last night as I put the finishing touches on today's lesson. I was looking forward to the activities I had planned and thinking about how you'd respond to them. For me, it's always a pleasure to teach Chinese students because they tend to be eager to learn new things. Chinese students often ask questions that I find stimulating because sometimes I take the information I'm teaching for granted--if I already know it, I assume everyone else does and sees the topic the same way I do. I have always thought that the important parts of the class happen in the questions--in the collaboration between students and teachers.
OK--I should jump on my bike and come to meet you at Arps. Let's have some fun today. I plan on inviting you to come with me tonight to play some baseball on the Oval--I hope the weather's good. It will be fun--you can take some of the things you learn in class today and use them tonight.