Greetings from Beijing! My name is Joe Vincent and I will be one of your instructors for this two week journey through China! I hope all of you are excited as I am for this course – I really can’t wait to meet all of you and begin our adventure together this June!
I’ll start by telling you all a little about myself. I grew up in Canton, Ohio, and hadn’t really gone too far from home until I went to Taiwan for one year as a Rotary exchange student when I was 16. Since then, learning Chinese and exploring Mainland China and Taiwan have become lifelong passions. In college, I was a Chinese major and spent my summers working in the Middlebury-Monterey high school Chinese language intensive programs. Last May, I graduated from the Chinese Literature Department of National Taiwan University where I studied literature of the Ming and Qing dynasties. During my time as a graduate student, I took a break from the library by working with Dragons for three summers. This will be my 12th course with Dragons…I’ve led 6 other school partnership courses, three summer courses and two semester programs—one in China and one along the Mekong River.
Just coming back from the field, I’m realizing that I could spend my whole life traveling in China and still have so much more to see and explore. Working with Dragons, I travel around China a few times every year with students. And yet, even after coming back to the same places multiple times (in fact, Chengdu and Beijing are both places where I have lived long-term), my students help me to see China with fresh eyes, a new perspective, and questions that I had never even considered before…that is what I love most about being an instructor.
I very much look forward learning a little more about China with all of you…center, periphery, and beyond.