The first for-real post

This is still a bit of an experiment to test all the capabilities of the site. I am planning on putting a picture in the post, though, as well as maybe a video? Every week I give two lessons to each of four class sections. Each section has between 30 and 35 students, so that makes my entire student load somewhere north of 120.

waves of bikes
An intent student charts out a path to his bike

Each lesson is centered around a PowerPoint presentation, something I have always hated, but I find I’m bound to it here by circumstances. Anyway, the first slide of each PowerPoint presentation contains a recent picture of the school. It occurred to me that it might be nice to post them on a blog, along with a paragraph or two of description, and then it would be an easy post every few days. Not much strain in simply posting pictures. So here are the two pictures for this week’s lessons. The first example was taken a couple weeks ago by the graduate student dorms.  And the thing is, a large fraction of those bikes are probably abandon-ware.  Students usually buy them for the equivalent of five to ten dollars, usually used, and then when they leave for greener pastures, they just leave them  behind.

bike trike
The maintenance guys head out early to work

The second sample for this week shows one of the many workmen riding his work tricycle down a relatively little-traveled alleyway early in the morning.  These guys use those trikes for every sort of errand and go-fer duty. They work long hours. In the back, coincidentally wearing the exact same shade of orange, a student recedes from view in the distance.  Actually two students in orange. Clicking on this picture should load the larger version, so you can search out the other one, if you’re so inclined.

crab apple flowers
The crabapple bloom astonishes everyone

Anyway, since I’m not planning on going back for old pictures, I’ll add one more while I have the chance. This was taken a couple weeks ago in honor of the Tianjin University crabapple bloom. The open mouth on the photographer in the foreground evinces the splendor in the crabs. or something.

Anyway, assuming all these photos work, and the links work for those who want to see the full-size version of the pictures, I will try one last big media file – my commute from work.

Or not.

Actually, one can see this video by clicking here: Riding through Tianjin University

I happened to have a video camera in my hand as I left class. So with one hand on the bike handlebars and the other holding the camera, I rode home at a leisurely pace. You can see it clocks in at about six minutes.  If I’m in a hurry, and the traffic isn’t so heavy, I can do it in five.

Anyway, highlights include the bridge over Jingye lake, the blaring loudspeakers blasting corny music for the evening commute, the west gate standing half-open, as it does for an hour or so every day. The other half never opens. Also you can see some of the sidewalk vendors that the line the streets of my cozy community, as well as the herds of automobiles, lining the sidewalks like beached elephant seals.

And that, as they say, is that. I’ll put this now live on the web.