Back in Beijing

Last night we gave another lecture in Yueyang (岳阳) to a crowd of about 1,000. It was my first trip to Hunan, Catherine’s home province. Before the lecture we took a trip to 岳阳楼 and had our share of spicy Hunan food.

I had to leave shortly after I finished my talk to catch a train back to Beijing, where I arrived this morning to record “English Evening” for China Business Radio. This week was my first time to record the show with Cynthia, our new host.

One of the exciting things about our trip to Wuhan was how learning how much students there loved “English Evening”. I had no idea that the program is listened to by so many students around the country.

Tomorrow morning I fly off to Changsha (长沙), and will then take a bus to Xiangtan University (湘潭大学), where we’ll give another lecture. Xiangtan is Hu Laoshi’s alma mater, and we’re all very excited to take part in New Channel’s first trip to Xiangtan.

江汉大学 and 东湖

We had a great lecture last night at 江汉大学 (Jiang Han University). I spoke first, followed by Hu Laoshi and then Yin Jiankun. It was the first time the three of us had spoken together. I talked about spoken English, and Hu and Yin focused on the NETEM (考研).

The classroom could hold around 600 people, but the crowd overflowed into the hallways and a nearby classroom which had a TV feed set up.

This morning the three of us and Zhang Qubo took a walk down to the East Lake (东湖). It started raining along the way, but not enough to keep us from having a nice walk

This afternoon we’ll head over to 华中师范大学 to give our final lecture in Wuhan.


Hu Laoshi, Yin Jiankun and I are in Wuhan. It’s my first visit here. Yesterday we had two lectures at Wuhan University. Hu Laoshi and I talked about general English study in the afternoon, and Hu Laoshi and Yin Jiankun talked about 考研 in the evening. It was my first time to see Yin Jiankun give a lecture, and all I have to say is “wow!” I was laughing almost the whole time and I think I’m even ready to take the test!


Below is a response I posted to a post on Hu Laoshi’s forum:



这要看你参加的是什么样的演讲比赛。是要求你选别人的东西来讲还是要求你讲你自己写的东西?如果选别人的东西,建议你多花点时间找一个精彩的英文段子。你可以上网查Google; Famous speeches 或 Interesting Speeches 等。也可以问问朋友或老师他们有没有可以推荐的段子。








I watched Million Dollar Baby the other day and was not impressed. It was a decent film, but certainly not a great film, and not what I would consider “Oscar material”.

The Maggie’s family was an empty cliché, as was the evil British boxing opponent. Also, I don’t want to spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that a very complicated issue was dealt with in a very simple way.

The movie was directed by Clint Eastwood, and starred Eastwood, Hillary Swank and Morgan Freeman.

Spring is coming!

Spring is coming! Or is it here already? The weather is warming up here in Beijing, and the heat has already been turned off in some places.

I was born in the spring (actually, tomorrow is my birthday!), and I’ve always considered it to be one of my favorite seasons. I’m from Durham, North Carolina, in the United States, and fall and spring are considered the most beautiful seasons there. Spring in Beijing always starts out great, but then the sandstorms come. I wonder what this year’s spring will be like?