The following post is written by Jackie Mack:
Today we attended classes and clubs with the RDFZ students. After eating breakfast in the dorm, Carol, our school guide, took us to the ICC building, a place specifically used by a select number of students in the International Curriculum Center. We met with two of the directors of the center, Amma Wang and Graham Turner, and then split into two groups that had different class schedules for the whole day. Group A attended English (language), Computer Science, Theory of Knowledge, Chem, and Environmental Science, while Group B attended English (language), Math, Physics, and Bio. The classes we attended, like all classes in the ICC, were taught in English. A common theme we saw throughout all of our classes was the strong presence of a global perspective. While at Porter’s we do make connections to real world problems in class, it seems like only the tip of the iceberg compared to how ingrained it is into the teaching methods here at RDFZ. There was a wide range of learning styles in each class, including group discussions, group work, tests, quizzes, experiments, and lectures. We worked closely with students during class; we even were asked by some teachers to take small assessments with them, and while studying the material beforehand definitely would have helped our scores, it did help us step into the shoes of the other students. After school we regrouped and went to an after school club called Pen Beat. Pen Beat is defined as the use of a pen to create rhythm by drumming it against a flat surface with different parts of the pen and the heal of the palm. The results, when done by a master of pen beat, can be super cool to watch and listen to. Today the club taught us how to play the pen beat to Taylor Swift’s Blank Space. It was a challenge for all of us as beginners; it was like learning a new instrument. However, despite how challenging it was, we all had a lot of fun doing it and it brought us closer with the students. The overall impressions we got of the campus and the people on it today were of inviting and eager. Eager to learn in class and eager to interact with us, and both the students and the faculty at RDFZ were very inviting. Everyone made us feel included, and that was especially nice for us since we are in a new environment. We ended the day at dinner with Carol, who took us to a restaurant with delicious food from Western China. It was the perfect ending to an exciting day full of learning and new experiences.