Saturday, January 15, 2011

China Radio International

Courtesy of China Radio International, I'll be appearing live on the radio in Beijing tomorrow evening (Monday morning Beijing time). The topic? The climate of political discourse here in the United States. What should I say about it?


Friday, January 14, 2011

Mandarin Chinese And Duke Basketball

What do our passions for the Chinese language and Duke basketball have in common? Until now, not too much. But tomorrow's game against the University of Virginia will be broadcast not just in English, but in Mandarin as well. Click here to read all about it. Or read below the announcement from the Duke University Office of News and Communications...Duke University and will broadcast the Jan. 15 Duke men's basketball game versus the University of Virginia in Mandarin Chinese.

The free broadcast will be available both live and on-demand at Inside Access, and marks the first time in ACC history that a game has been broadcast in Chinese.

Duke undergraduate student announcers Yunze Chen, John Sheng and Jesse Sun will call the action live from inside Cameron Indoor Stadium at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time/3 a.m. China Standard Time.

"Duke Basketball unites people around the world," said Michael J. Schoenfeld, Duke's vice president for public affairs and government relations. "We are excited to bring this part of the Duke experience to our Chinese-speaking students, alumni and fans, regardless of where they live. It illustrates the global nature of the university, and our aspirations for the future."

Duke is home to more than 1,000 current students, faculty and staff from China, and more than 600 Duke alumni live in China.

Duke's significant presence in China includes executive MBA residencies, DukeEngage sites, study abroad opportunities, global health and medical research projects, and numerous faculty research and engagement programs. In 2010, Duke announced plans for a campus to be built in partnership with the city of Kunshan, China. The campus is currently under construction and expected to be completed in the summer of 2012.

"Given the university's footprint in China, Duke Basketball's international brand, and the popularity of coach Mike
Krzyzewski overseas following the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, this is a logical and intriguing step to take," said Jon Jackson, Duke's associate director of athletics for university and public affairs. "We are excited to merge campus and athletics resources to deliver Duke Basketball to a much larger audience."


Thursday, January 13, 2011


This past semester, one of my elective classes was Physical Education II. It consisted of studying secondary sports and activities other than the basics of basketball, soccer, volleyball, etc. Our curriculum basically covered three main topics: golf, self defense, and archery. Now, how self defense fits in I'll never know, but once we finished our unit on golf, we dove right into several movies about traveling safety for women. We even watched a movie on Ted Bundy and learned some combat moves.

More interesting than the class itself, though, are the projects that went along with it. At the beginning of the year we were informed that there would be two of them. The first was to go to and look up all of the predators and offenders in my neighborhood. The second was to change a tire. According to my teacher, this was to prevent us from ever getting stranded on a deserted road at night, alone, with a flat tire.

So when our tire recently went flat, the perfect learning opportunity presented itself...


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The 2011 Balla Family College Tour--George Washington University

The four of us are delighted to have the opportunity this evening to offer a presentation on the Catholic Church in China at the Newman Catholic Student Center at George Washington University. I am especially looking forward to showcasing to students a different side of what it is that makes Professor Balla tick. If you are in the Foggy Bottom area at 6:45pm, I don't think Fr. Greg would mind if you came on in to hear what we have to say.


Monday, January 10, 2011

2010, The Year In Review: Part 2 - Best Show

Back when Julie was an yidianr dongxi (little thing), we tried the dancing school route. After three years it was clear that Julie was just not interested. Sure, recitals were fun and exciting, but the rest of the year, attending class was a struggle.

So it wasn't until the last year or so that Julie expressed an interest in dance. Since the Academy of the Holy Cross specializes in fine arts, she thought this year would be a great opportunity for her to give it a shot. As a result, she enrolled in Miss Donna's jazz and hip-hop class and loved every minute. She came home each day of first semester exhausted but rejuvenated.

It was fun to shop for jazz shoes, jazz pants, and leotards again!

As time came for the winter dance concert, Julie grew more excited by the day. She encouraged me to buy our tickets the day they went on sale. Apparently this is a major attraction...Did I say apparently? I should say, definitely. Julie reported that Friday night's show was sold out the first day. By show time on Thursday, tickets for both shows were gone.

I now know why the winter dance concert is so well attended. This show was truly awesome. Not only did I enjoy the renditions of "Show Me the Money" and "YMCA" that Julie's class performed, but each group that graced the stage did so professionally and very enthusiastically. From modern dance to ballet, from the Irish Dancers to the Adrenaline Dance Team, each routine was filled with high quality moves and contagious emotion.

Glad you chose this on your own, Julie!

And thanks for blowing that kiss, just like you did all those years ago!

~Desi (Mommy)