Tye Rabens

tye zai zhongguo

Tye Rabens

Beijing + Chengdu = two places in China.

"It's enough to know that there is a meaning, and that it is a profound one."

Asia » China » Sichuan » Leshan December 15th 2009

Hello all, Nothing new to report other than that I went to LeShan last week with a friend to see the largest Buddha effigy on the planet last weekend. Read more here! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leshan_Giant_Buddha My thoughts aren't very collected at the moment, so I don't have much to say other than we met some fascinating people, saw some temples more personally inspiring than the main attraction, and that the Big Buddha was, despite the tourists, numinous. See more here! http://s294.photobucket.com/albums/mm93/sterlingsin/Chengdu2009/LeShan/ Actually, you know what? Let's try to collect these thoughts now. That was one damn big Buddha. Over 200 feet tall, you could completely fit inside its ear standing up. The day we went was perhaps one of the least crowded days of the year to go, luckily, and the weather held up nicely for this time ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu December 8th 2009

(currently listening to: Carlos Paredes) Hello anyone reading, First, an important announcement: My plane ticket home is finally, finalllly booked! I depart Chengdu 4 p.m. local time Jan. 14, and arrive in Phoenix just after 11:30 p.m. the same day (due to the quirks and skullduggeries of crossing several time zones in succession). That gives me a whopping 4 days of Winter Break before Spring semester at ASU! But no worries, my next semester's class schedule looks to be pretty 轻松(relaxed, easygoing). Now, trying to think if there's anything important about my life right now that I could tell everyone. ...I went to my students' campus last Saturday to help anyone who needed help or wanted to chat--out of the 70ish students who expressed interest, only 4 showed up. A little disappointing, but I was really, ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu November 25th 2009

Hey All, I haven't written an entry here in so long, I don't even remember where I left off last time. I just returned from my History class, which was held outside today at an open-air tea house where we talked freely about history and current politics in China with two old, well-learned professors, enjoying what may be the last good day to sit outside drinking Jasmine tea this winter. The weather turned bitter cold overnight a week and a half ago, dropping from about 15 C to 2-3 C. We even had snow for one minute one night, and snow comes to Chengdu in November about once a generation. But the weather here is so capricious that things are pleasant and cool again. Finals overall went well, with satisfying marks in Speaking and Comprehensive courses, ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu November 9th 2009

Hello all, Just wanted to let everyone at once know that I'm alive and doing (very) well, just haven't been keeping in touch as well as I should, 不好意思。 Let's see, what's going on in my life at present: Made some new, lasting friends recently; taught English today, with mixed, but mostly positive results; found a cool place where I can go to play the hell out of their drumset any night of the week; Mostly just meeting interesting people and learning an interesting language. However, this week is midterm week, which means I'll become even more recluse than I have been already, if possible, and I apologize in advance. There's just so much I feel I have to learn in these last couple and a half months here. At times feel like I did when ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 19th 2009

Hey all, Just finished my second Monday of teaching, and it feels pretty good. Seems as if the students like me, and are willing to get more engaged in class. These Chinese students are, by their own admission, too timid to speak out loud and practice their English, because the typical Chinese classroom is relatively non-participatory. I'm going to consider it a job well done if I get them to like to speak to each other and me in class. I don't feel like being a hard-ass to them. I'm sure they get enough of that in their civil engineering and architecture classes. Today, after the main lessons ("Last week, we practiced how to introduce each other. Now, we'll practice introducing our country..."), for the last 5-10 minutes in each class, we played Simon Says. Great ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 14th 2009

Hey all, First of all, I want to say thanks to everyone who sent me a birthday message, they really cheered me up this morning. Perhaps not making a big deal about your own birthday actually turns out to be more profitable, because as people find out they missed the date itself, they want to celebrate belatedly. For example, I didn't have to pay for food all day yesterday (day after I turned 21)-- a Chinese friend treated me to lunch, then two Korean classmates took me to a Hot Pot restaurant for dinner. 生日快乐! Classes and weather are as normal, so I'll just talk about my experience teaching English here. Two days ago, last monday, was my first day of "classes." Actually, first of all, let me explain my position: The students at Sichuan University's ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 10th 2009

Hey all, Just want to let everyone know I'm doing well and excited for the future. Also, I am able to receive packages at the address I've mailed to some of you, which I know because I received two today. Thanks for the newspaper and letter, dad, and for the drawings, Hannah; thanks of course for the book and Lemon Heads, G&G. I know there are some other b-day packages on the way, and although I haven't received them yet, rest assured that they will get to me. No real news, really, just wanted to say thanks to everyone at once for staying in touch with me this semester and supporting me. It's sustaining and fulfilling, because although I an having a dizzyingly busy and great time here in China, I naturally miss my family and ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan October 6th 2009

EMei Shan, Day 3 -- Descending written mostly on the bus ride home, October 3, Mid-Autumn Day Woke up at 6 to the chants of monks, resonance of prayer gongs and pungence of ceremonial, sweet, smoky-sick incense below us. Walked the grounds with my camera after a while of laying in bed awake. This mountain is most beautiful to me when misted at daybreak. I came back and, within the temple, in the prayer hall under where I had slept, I knelt before the Buddha effigy's serene golden-plaque face and offered prayer. Not out of new religious conviction, but from renewed devotion to and recognition of natural, intuitive, semi-destined experiences, those like I'd felt continuously all trip. The ceremony was an excuse, a chance for supplication to all the things that I make happen or that ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Emei Shan October 4th 2009

峨眉山,第二天 (EMei Mountain, day 2) Woke up from a decent sleep just before 7, although I was woken up once during the night by some other guy in the room whose snotty snores kept all of us up more or less. I was the first up this day, and decided to wander the temple and grounds with my camera for a while. The entire monastery was shrouded in fog. Pictures were inadequate, and what a Buddhist monastery shrouded in fog at dawn in China looks and feels like, I have to just preserve that memory. I returned as the others awoke, and we just talked for a bit, mostly complaining about the snotty snoring guy, and then packed up and headed out into the misty daybreak shortly after 8, just in time to miss breakfast at ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Emei Shan October 4th 2009

Hey all, Sorry I haven't posted anything in a couple weeks, but, y'know, typical excuses like busy classes etc. I'm all well, rest assured. I try to update everyone on my life here as much as possible, but also keep in mind that I'm pretty busy here, and not on the internet often, so don't get yourself worried every time I go a week or more without posting a sizable blog or sending out personal e-mails. I'm trying my best to keep in touch, but I need to sleep too, haha A couple quick, but major points: Because the semester here ends Jan. 30, and my semester at ASU starts Jan. 19 for spring, I was confronted with a tough choice--go through the procedure of extending my stay here another semester, and therefore have a few ... read more

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