Spring 2017 GLS Orientation and Faculty Tour of Shanghai

My advisees for Spring 2017

On Friday we welcomed our new group of 65 students for the Global Learning Semester. We also welcomed our professors for the first session of our program, who are flying in from Duke or elsewhere to teach.

We began with an icebreaker, which helped everyone to relax and get to know each other.

The faculty introduced themselves during the convocation. Afterwards we all took plenty of photos in our academic garb.

On Saturday, I led a tour of the French Concession for our GLS faculty. We started out at the Garden Hotel on Maoming South Road, which formerly housed the French Club back in the 1920s-1930s, and of course we visited the ballroom on the second floor, which was once the centerpiece of the club.

We then walked south to the corner of Nanchang and Maoming Roads, where we visited an old shikumen/lilong/longtang neighborhood, where famous Chinese writer Ba Jin once lived in 1937-1949, next door to Xu Guangping, the widow of other famous writer Lu Xun.

After that, we continued southward and visited the Ruijin Guesthouse, which was formerly the Morriss family estate prior to 1949. From there we passed through the grounds of the former Canidrome race track and hotel, which is now a theater. And we headed to Shaoxing Road to pay a brief visit to the Old China Hand Reading Room owned by photographer Deke Erh (Er Dongqiang.)

We then walked to Jianguo Road and entered the neighborhood known as Tianzifang, a commercialized lilong that houses many restaurants and shops. We had dinner at the Indian restaurant, Golden Lotus.

The next morning, we met at the Astor House Hotel north of the Bund, and toured that historical hotel, including its ballroom. We then wound our way over to Yuanmingyuan Road, where we visited the Rockbund Art Museum and saw the Song Dong exhibit, which everyone thought was quite fascinating.

After that, we took a tour of the Peace Hotel (formerly the Cathay Hotel) on the Bund and visited the 8th floor ballroom where owner Victor Sassoon once held his wild costume balls in the 1930s.

We then did a quick tour of the Waldorf Astoria including the famous Long Bar, formerly the Shanghai Club. Finally, we had lunch at the Yunnan Restaurant, Lost Heaven.

Tomorrow, the real fun begins as classes commence and the GLS program goes into full swing. Wishing everyone good luck and a joyful session ahead!