Off DeWall: School’s Out for Summer

     Whew! Class is over. We met for five hours a day for a week, which would have been grueling had we not had our two-hour lunch breaks. I love, love, love the students here. They’re smart, hard-working, polite, and a pleasure to be around. We also had a ton of laughs. For example, one of my students (named Yalu) knew how much I like the noodles here. I would often mention them in my lectures whenever I wanted to contrast something awesome with something not so great. Yalu is interested in applying to the graduate program in social psychology at the University of Kentucky. To tell me how much she loves psychology, she told me “psychology is my noodles.” Priceless!

     All in all, the class was a tremendous success. It was one of those extremely positive experiences that fundamentally changed how I think about myself and others. It taught me quite a bit not only about working with Chinese students, but also about how much of the work that I do is focused on people from North America. When we would discuss one of my papers, the students would often ask whether the social psychological research we conduct at the University of Kentucky would replicate in China or other Asian cultures. This experience motivated me to more fully acknowledge the limitations of my research, especially regarding cultural differences.

     I look forward to connecting with my Chinese students in the future. We took a ton of pictures at the end of class, including a picture of the whole group. Several students have aspirations of attending graduate school in the America. I’ll write them strong letters of recommendation to help them get in. Although Facebook isn’t permitted by the Chinese government, I heard that there is some software that people can purchase to allow them to access Facebook. Who knows, I might just find a bunch of friend requests from my students once I return to Kentucky and can access my Facebook account.

    With or without Facebook, I feel more connected to the global community at this moment than I’ve ever felt before. And for that, I’m deeply grateful.   

class photo