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Reich named to Academic All-District First Team; Jamison is Second-Team selection

Fri, 2013-01-04 02:24 | By Anonymous (not verified)

 Grinnell College's Henry Reich '09 has been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 7 Men's Track and Field/Cross Country First Team, while Thomas Jamison '09 was a Second-Team selection.

By being named to the First Team, Reich is now in the running to be an NCAA Academic All-American. That team will be named in the near future.

Reich, a physics/mathematics major from Mahtomedi, Minn., has three conference titles to his credit this school year, winning the Midwest Conference individual cross country crown in 2008 (25 minutes, 51 seconds) and MWC indoor titles in the 3000- and 5000-meter races (8:46.61 and 15:09.55). He led Grinnell to just the third perfect cross country score in league history last fall (1 through 5 finish) and guided the Pioneers to the NCAA National Meet.

He was also the winner of the Roy W. LeClere Award, which is given to the MWC male student-athlete with the highest GPA his junior year. He ranks sixth all-time on Grinnell's 8 kilometer cross country chart and was offered an interview for the Rhodes Scholarship.

Jamison, a history major from Portland, Ore., won the 1500-meter run at the 2009 MWC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He had a clocking of 4:01.07 in the event. Jamison also broke into Grinnell's all-time leader chart in the mile run during the indoor campaign.

The ESPN The Magazine Academic Teams are co-sponsored by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America).

Click here to see Academic All-District Teams

Unfinished Business

Fri, 2013-01-04 02:24 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Shanghai was our last stop in China, and I was unable to post a blog about our experiences before we flew home. As the largest city in China, Shanghai (the city) is home to as many people as Florida (the state).  Not only do about 20 million people call the city home, but Shanghai is currently hosting World Expo 2010, which is averaging about 500,000 visitors A DAY. Needless-to-say, Shanghai was crowded, particularly in the places which tourists frequent. We made our pilgrimages to The Bund, gazing across the river at the high-rise extravaganza of Pudong; to Nanjing Road with its historic and contemporary department stores and shopping malls, neon lights, and throngs; and to People’s Park with its gardens and museums. Warning:  do not take the subway in Shanghai between 5:00 and 7:00 pm if you are claustrophobic.

But there are areas where we got away from the crowds and discovered a less frenetic side of Shanghai. In the early 20th century, Shanghai was controlled by European countries, each of which had their own “concession” or area under their governmental control.  The French Concession is still an historic district within the Shanghai master plan and retains a quieter pace, with few high rises and a European feel to the streets and shops. We took the metro to the French Concession one evening for dinner, and to another part the next morning to stroll the streets.

When we visited the Urban Planning Institute, we learned more about the parts of the city that the Chinese will preserve in the future.  The third floor of the Urban Planning Institute has an enormous scale model of the city, which really drives home the size of the urban landscape.  Without a preservation plan, it’s clear that Shanghai would likely lose most of its historic treasures in the mad march to modernize and provide for its millions of inhabitants.  Luckily they are working to protect the past as they create the future.

The Shanghai Museum is an amazing institution—one of the premier museums of Chinese art and culture. Like the Nanjing Museum, it has galleries devoted to ceramics, jade, bronzes, lacquerware, but it also has extensive galleries of Chinese painting and calligraphy. We knew we couldn’t see it all, so we concentrated on the paintings, ceramics and bronzes.  We had not had the chance to really look at an extensive collection of historic Chinese painting and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with the scrolls.  The collection is installed chronologically, which is typical in Chinese museums, so we could see stylistic evolutions.  The labels, however, were quite connoisseurial, relating each artist to his predecessors and noting the age of the artist at the time he created the scroll. The labels were not very helpful in pointing out stylistic details or information about the subject.

The huge bronze collection at the Shanghai Museum was a revelation. The pieces, again chronological, were beautifully presented in special cases with good labels.  We were amazed by the intricacy and workmanship of the bronze vessels, which were as much as 5,000 years old.  The galleries finished with a section showing, step by step, how bronzes were cast, which was very informative.

Across the park is MOCA Shanghai.  The curator, Victoria Lu, visited Grinnell a few years ago and I was interested to see her museum. The structure is contemporary and dramatic in design.  The day we visited an Italian motor scooter manufacturer was rolling out three new bikes and the entrance was taken up with promoters and fans of the product.  Inside was a most peculiar show called “Stay Real Forever,” which purported to be a view of the 21st-century generation’s sensibilities. It featured work by KEA, an appropriation artist, No2Good, a creator of popular culture figures (a sort of Chinese Hello Kitty), and Ashin, a rock musician who also fancies himself an artist. The work all tried to critique culture in fairly heavy handed and obvious ways.  The cartoony quality of the pieces had a nice commercial sheen and the “mousy” figures were wildly popular with the camera-wielding teens visiting MOCA. I was not convinced.  C

I may have been unfairly prejudiced against the exhibition since we went straight there from the MoGanShan art district, where we saw a lot of galleries and some really remarkable shows.  But I’ll save that story for another blog. 

Watching and Wanting

Fri, 2013-01-04 02:24 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Television is a funny medium. It brings us together through shared viewing experiences, and it isolates us in a pool of light in a darkened room.  We look to the ubiquitous box for information, forgetting that what we see is produced and edited to fit a format. What we receive is someone’s creation.

How fitting, then, for artists to create art from the created reality of television. The four summer exhibitions at the Faulconer Gallery (Grinnell College) delve into the least scripted moments of television as well as the manufactured realities received through the airwaves.  Two of the exhibitions are specifically based on TV as a medium.  The other two dig deeper into the desires that undergird American life. The 4 exhibitions were curated by Dan Strong, our curator of exhibitions and the Gallery’s associate director.

Like a bank of TV monitors, the exhibitions present a sea of familiar (and not so familiar) faces.  Viewers will challenge one another to identify this or that famous person.  Michael Van den Besselaar snags the images for his portraits from TV screens. Caught in a single frame, they lose all quality of animation and are oddly specific and anonymous at the same time. He further underscores the brutality of TV by including his Larger Than Life series—black and white images of the famous and unknown in death, or, as Dan says, their final close-up.  Backing onto these paintings is an actual bank of TV monitors showing Harry Shearer’s (yes, that Harry Shearer) The Silent Echo Chamber. We learn in these largely silent, endless minutes, that all those people we are used to seeing and hearing in animated discussion of the day’s events, first have to sit, and sit, and sit in front of the camera, waiting to be cued. How long must they wait, we wonder? What do they think about as they fidget, stare, or slump? What would we do for minutes on end, with our nothingness recorded on film for posterity?

Watching TV has a lot to do with desire. We want to know. We want to consume. We want to live vicariously. Desire in its most elemental form drives the virtuoso painting Feast by Brian Drury. Without giving too much away, Drury paints the base desires of our creature companions on this American continent, doing what they must to survive and thrive.

Mark Wagner makes desire explicit, in a sense, by literally creating his art out of money, dollar bills to be precise.  Cutting and collaging the myriad details found on the two surfaces of our most common piece of paper, he makes tour-de-force portraits and recreations of famous paintings. Familiar faces from Chuck Close to Mona Lisa, commodified by their monetary materials, underscore the connection between price and value. He pushes this connection further with titles like Employee of the Month, 2006 and Fortune’s Daughter, 2005, which depict people we are unlikely to know but who get their moment of fame (at a specific dollar value) at the hands of the artist.

The exhibition left me thinking about desire, and how it isn’t always pretty. These 4 glimpses of unlooked for longings underscore that what we want most may be more appropriate for the 10 o’clock news than for decent human conversation. As Dan Strong notes, we are witness to the “collision of hopeful ideals and unrelenting reality that is TV” and our larger American life.

A Little Background, Please

Fri, 2013-01-04 02:24 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Most days find me at my desk at the Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College. Currently I am preparing to travel to China as part of a long-standing faculty exchange between Grinnell and Nanjing University. Faculty from Nanjing come to Grinnell to conduct research and to instruct our students in Chinese language. Faculty from Grinnell travel to Nanjing to conduct research and to teach in their areas of specialty. The exchange is over 20 years old and has forged strong ties between Grinnell and one of the great universities of China.

While in China, I have two specific goals along with my daily task of acting as a sponge to absorb as much as I can of Chinese art and culture. I will be teaching a course on museum studies in which I will try, in four short weeks, to outline the basic issues and ideas behind American art museums. I originally proposed the course because of the explosion of contemporary Chinese art and a desire to better understand the museum worlds of our two countries. I've since learned through a recent article by Barbara Pollack that the Chinese are building and developing over 1000 new museums, but don't have much infrastructure for staffing and running them. I hope my course can be a tiny contribution to the future of museums in China.

I will also be scouting artists and scholars who may be able to travel to Grinnell in 2011 as part of an exhibition in development. Because Grinnell has a long-standing relationship with China, we've wanted to present a Chinese art exhibition. Our first attempt will be an exhibition curated by Deborah Rudolph of the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at  U.C. Berkeley. Her show features the beginnings of commercial printmaking in Ming period China. The artists we hope to bring will enliven the exhibition with demonstrations of traditional paper making, woodblock carving, woodblock printing and book binding. Professor Andrew Hsieh of Grinnell College has done some preliminary work on this project, and I eagerly await my chance to carry it forward.

I will be traveling with my husband, Dr. Donald Doe, a lecturer in Art at Grinnell College.  He will be teaching a course on the history of American landscape painting--a tradition, at 200 years old, just a bit younger than the Chinese landscape tradition, which is over 1000 years old. He's excited to see what kind of dialogue ensues around landscape.

I'm delighted that I will have someone with whom I can compare notes every day and who can help puzzle out all the mysteries that abound in the course of travel. Our first stop will be Hong Kong for a few days, then on to Nanjing.  On to packing!

Ecological Initiatives

Fri, 2013-01-04 02:24 | By Anonymous (not verified)

 

In a series of meetings I have had last year with the larger Grinnell family — including open office hours, lunches with faculty and administrators, and conversations with students — the single most popular question has been some variation of “What is the College doing about environmental and sustainability issues?”

There are several reasons for such a high interest: Sustainability is consistent with the College’s long history of social responsibility. Environmental responsibility saves the College money. Sustainability is increasingly a subject of our inquiry-based curriculum.

Also, the College has been emphasizing sustainability for some time now; almost all campus buildings constructed since 2003 are or will be LEED-certified as resource-efficient. We now recycle or compost more than half our campus waste. We reduced our boiler plant’s water consumption by 40 percent in 2009 by installing a water filtration system. We have worked to serve more locally grown food in our dining hall. And we have a host of courses in the sciences and social sciences that address sustainability.

There have been many people on campus doing a lot of good work on sustainability, and we have plucked most of the low-hanging fruit — the big gains in resource efficiency. Now it is time to coordinate and expand these efforts and to take on some really big initiatives.

Here is where we are headed:

I am signing the American College and University Presidents’Climate Commitment to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible and to take immediate, specific steps toward doing so. I am very comfortable signing the presidents’ commitment because there is no question in my mind that this campus is committed to the goal — because it is good citizenship, it is consistent with our values, and because many of the activities we are committed to in this area may actually save the college money in the long run.

We are establishing a Climate Steering Committee that will coordinate the efforts of everyone involved in promoting sustainability on this campus. In my mind, this committee replaces and broadens the long-standing EcoCampus Committee of faculty, staff, and student representatives who meet to address campus environmental issues.

We have launched an environment and sustainability section on the College’s Web site to keep everyone informed of new sustainability developments and to act as a clearinghouse for links to the organizations, committees, and curricular developments related to sustainability.

We are planning to construct a three-turbine, 15.6 million kilowatt-hour wind farm north of campus that will cost about $10 million, generate 80 percent of the College’s electrical consumption, and reduce our carbon impact by half. This is the culmination of a wind-energy project begun by a student in 1996, and it will likely take another two years or more to complete. The details of property easements, financial models, and the relationship with our local utility company and the national power grid are currently being worked out, and they are complicated. But we have a vision and a plan that is well along. We are very excited about making it a reality.

The above points are only the current headlines in an ongoing sustainability effort that ultimately affects every aspect of our lives as a College family. We will be offering more courses and cocurricular learning opportunities in sustainability, creating new initiatives aimed at resource efficiency, and refining and expanding those that are already in place. I encourage you to take a look at our sustainability Web site, mentioned above, to stay current with all that we are doing, and to join me in thanking the many members of our community who have led and continue to lead us toward a sustainable future.

Why a bill proposed to sell Pollock's "Mural" is a bad idea

Fri, 2013-01-04 02:24 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Posted by:  Lesley Wright

State Rep. Scott Raecker, a Grinnell alumnus, has introduced a bill in the Iowa Legislature to sell a painting, Jackson Pollock's "Mural," owned by the University of Iowa Museum of Art in order to create a fund to pay for scholarships for art students.

Here is the letter I sent to Representative Raecker explaining why I think this is a terrible idea.

Dear Representative Raecker,

I am writing in response to your bill introduced in the Iowa House seeking to sell the Jackson Pollock masterpiece owned by the University of Iowa Museum of Art.  I am the director of the Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College, and on the Advocacy Committee for the Iowa Museum Association.

While I applaud your desire to increase scholarships for the arts, I must protest your proposed method of funding. Selling off a painting that has been on view to countless generations of University of Iowa students, school children, visitors, and Iowa residents ever since it was given by Peggy Guggenheim would cut the heart out of the University of Iowa collection.  Collections are given by passionate donors—alumni and friends alike—but they are also shaped by the dedicated professional staff at the museum, who develop a strong core collection to best communicate with their audiences. The Jackson Pollock painting you seek to sell is part of the core art collection in Iowa.

Selling this painting to fund arts scholarships is akin to selling off a theatre building to support theatre students, selling playing fields to support athletic scholarships, or selling off science equipment to fund the science students.  It makes no sense and in fact sends a very mixed message:  major in the arts but expect no security for your school’s arts initiatives.

The University of Iowa  Museum of Art has a new director. From my meetings with him, I am impressed with his dedication to education, his vision, and his desire to spread art across the campus. He is also committed to working broadly with arts organizations across the state of Iowa.  Fighting to save the Pollock is a distraction and keeps him from doing the job he was hired to do.

The real value of Jackson Pollock’s Mural lies in the inspiration it provides to nourish creativity and to educate anyone who sees it. When my daughter was 4 years old, she learned to recognize Pollock’s work with this painting.  Grinnell students travel to Iowa City (and now Davenport) to see this masterpiece. A noted art historian visiting Grinnell from Morocco asked to visit the Pollock. It is that important and world-renowned, bringing distinction to our state.

 When our children live 250-300 miles from the nearest major metropolitan area, it behooves all of us at the state’s colleges and universities (as well as private museums) to expose our audiences to the very best art we can—be that from our regional artists, from national figures like Jackson Pollock, or from international artists. Iowa is integrally tied to the wide world, a fact we celebrate every day. I commend the University of Iowa for finding a way to keep the Pollock and other key works in their collection on view at the Figge Museum as a means of serving all the people of Iowa and who visit Iowa until such time as they can rebuild in Iowa City.

Finally, on a more practical note, a painting the size of Mural is difficult and expensive to transport and it endangers the work of art every time it is moved. Expecting owner to send the piece to Iowa every few years from wherever in the world it winds up is risky at best and almost impossible to enforce. It’s a well-intentioned condition of sale, but not a good one.

I am sure there are excellent ways to raise scholarship funds for students at our State universities. Selling Pollock’s Mural will have negative repercussions that far outweigh the cash benefits.  The value of art lies in the power of visual expression, the emotional response to a work, and to the stimulus to our imagination. The dollar value is paltry compared with the value of Pollock’s work to the human spirit. If we sell off the Pollock, we impoverish Iowa forever.

Sincerely,

Lesley Wright, Director

Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College  

Grasping the Explosive Growth of China

Fri, 2013-01-04 02:24 | By Anonymous (not verified)

 

 

In the U.S., we often hear about the scale of projects and economic growth in China, but from a distance and with only our own scale of reference, it's difficult to grasp.  Even here in central Nanjing, with new skyscrapers and shopping malls under construction in seemingly every block, the feeling is similar to that of redeveloping areas in Chicago, or New York, or L.A.  It's impressive, but woven into the fabric of the energy of a city at perhaps a hyper-level from what we have come to expect.

In the morning, we walk up the the magazine kiosk on Hankou Lu and purchase a copy of the English language China Daily. Though we are careful to parse the prose and assume there are facts and shadings that we are not being given, The Daily does provide an intriguing window onto the scale of China.  In yesterday's paper, we learned that 505,000 people visited the Shanghai expo on Saturday (half a million people in one place in a single day)!  Now that's an attendance figure.  We plan to attend the Expo on our last day in China, though we approach it with some trepidation.  A more interesting article for us as Iowans was a long piece about the changing face of farming.  It began with an overview of Xinfadi, the wholesale produce, meat, seafood and seed market in Beijing, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  As many as 80,000 people buy and sell pork, cabbage, rice, shrimp and the rest every day.  Supplying Xinfadi and other markets like it across China are 300 million farmers.  Think about that.  There are as many farmers in China as there are people in the U.S. (roughly). Of course, this is largely because most farms are tiny, one to ten acres, and are farmed by hand.  But the fact that they have the infrastructure to move products from all those places to markets of the scale of Xinfadi is astounding.

On Saturday, Don and I took a ride on the brand new #2 Line of the Nanjing subway. The line opened the day before and provides a much faster link between the Gulou campus of Nanjing University and the "new campus" where most of the undergraduates study and reside, out in the suburbs. Aside from a few glitches, the ride was great, we made some new friends with a quartet of preteens intrigued by the foreigners and eager to try their English, and we were knocked out by the army of people in every station to assist new riders.

The new campus is impressive, a brand new university that has sprung out of the ground with a stunning library and campus center, beautiful athletic fields, striking classroom buildings, and 8 enormous dormitory buildings. The campus map was a little confusing until we realized that the buildings to our east, under construction, were already marked on the map.  We figured we toured about a quarter of the campus, maybe, which spread north at some distance, and will soon double to the east. Faculty colleagues tell us they are building 3000 faculty apartments there to handle housing needs for faculty on both campus, housing being a major expense and problem in China these days.

The subway ride to the new campus is above ground about half the way. All along the tracks we saw enormous housing complexes under construction or newly built, linked by broad new boulevards, new parks, and new shopping centers. These apartment blocks might be 10 stories high and extend for 2 or 3 city blocks! Everything was instantly landscaped, with mature trees moved in and planted by the hundreds.  The scale of everything was huge, but was punctuated by empty lots sprouting with gardens and small farms, with plenty of people out wielding hoes and shovels as they carved out a spot to grow vegetables.

This glimpse of China beyond the Nanjing city walls really drove home the scale of the economic engine of China. Nanjing is a medium sized city in China. Population estimates range from 7 to 10 million, and now I understand how the figure can be so high.  This medium sized city is as big, or bigger than New York City, than Chicago, and it shows no signs of stopping its growth anytime soon.

 

Why Blog?

Fri, 2013-01-04 02:24 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Posted by: Raynard S. Kington

I want to do everything I can to ensure good communication on campus. My first choice is always to meet and talk with you all in person, with time for some questions on your part and some listening on my part. But I realize 1) we can’t always do that, and 2) not everyone will be able to attend such events when we do. So from time to time I’ll share information I think you need to know and ideas I believe are worth thinking about. I welcome your comments — although I can’t respond to them individually, I will review them, and may respond to them generally in this ongoing, online conversation. My first few postings will catch me up from last semester.

We have lunch with Wu

Fri, 2013-01-04 02:24 | By Anonymous (not verified)

 

After days of hearing of all the accomplishments and accolades accorded to the esteemed Professor Wu, seeing his studio and examples of his work at Nanjing University, and anticipating the moment, we were invited to a luncheon on Friday with the man himself.  He had just returned from Hong Kong, where he received an honorary degree from Hong Kong University. Professor Wu is officially Don's host at Nanjing University, but his assistants, Mr. Chen and Mr. Qian (pronounced "chon") have being taking on the day-to-day tasks of working with Don on his course.  In fact, Mr. Chen is sitting in on the course, and Mr. Qian provides Don's translations.  Both Mr. Chen and Mr. Qian hold Professor Wu in the highest regard and tell us often of his awards and honors.

We were escorted through the studio and upstairs to Prof. Wu's private office, a lavish space filled with books, historical works of Chinese art, and photos and paintings of Prof. Wu.  We greeted Professor Wu, and met several other guests, including Deputy Director Dai Zhehua, who directs the Office of International Cooperation and Exchanges at Nanjing University, a visiting artist friend of Prof Wu's named Yishing, and Cong Cong, there to greet us but unable to stay for lunch.  We were served tea and exchanged gifts with Professor Wu.  There was a round of picture taking then we were off to lunch.

We surmise that Professor Wu is in his late 40s.  He was dressed all in an elegant black suit with a black shirt.  His hair is long and swept back and he carries himself with confidence, very much an artist at the peak of his profession and a consummate careerist.  He understands English but speaks it very little.  Mr. Dai and Mr. Qian did most of the translating at lunch.  Mr. Chen made sure the meal ran smoothly.  Professor Wu is now primarily based out of Beijing where he has been elevated from a professor to the director of the Institute for Arts and also to the head of the national sculpture academy.  He still serves Nanjing University but, as Mr. Dai noted, he's paid by Beijing!  In his national roles, he has a great deal of power to determine which artists and which sculptures are placed in cities all over China. 

This was our second banquet luncheon. Held in a private dining room, the guests sit around an elegantly set round table.  The courses--at least 10--are served individually one after another.  A plate of beautifully arranged hors d'oeuvres begins the meal (sliced beef, duck, mango, a tiny hard-boiled egg, shredded radish), followed by:  a soup of greens and rice noodles, another plate of sliced meat, a salad course, another soup, a dumpling, a fish dish in a yellow creamy sauce, a cabbage roll in a spicy chili sauce with a small stick of chocolate, a steak, another soup, and a dessert of watermelon, tomato and cucumber slices.  All the portions are small, but we have learned not to eat everything.  It's bad manners and we wouldn't make it to the end! 

Aside from conversation, the other main activity at the luncheon is rounds of toasting.  We had a frothy orange drink plus small glasses of a tasty but potent white liquor made from 5 grains.  There are both general toasts and periodic individual toasts.  I've made sure to offer at least one general toast each lunch.  Don thinks the individual toasts are offered whenever anyone wants to take another sip--no sipping without toasting! 

Professor Wu had to rush off at the end to give a speech to the local military academy.  We headed home in the rain, in need of a rest after lunch with Wu!

Campus Life as we see it

Fri, 2013-01-04 02:24 | By Anonymous (not verified)

 

 

Our lodging is at the far end of Nanjing University campus.  The campus is divided into the dormitory area for the students (and we live in this part of campus) and the academic and teaching area.  Hankou Road runs through the middle of campus and divides the two sections.  Several times a day we walk through the dorms and see the students going about their daily lives.

This campus of Nanjing University is for post-graduate study, so all the students have completed their undergraduate degrees.  There are a couple of very big dormitories--10 stories or more--but most are 3 or 4 stories high.  Cici tells us that she shares a room with 6 other girls.  The dorm is neither heated or air conditioned, and has only cold water.  If the students want hot water, they go to a central area (morning and evening) and collect a large thermos of hot water to take back to their room.  During the day, the thermoses sit along various walkways and walls,  like cheerful colored sentinals.  (I need to purchase a device to upload my pictures--stay tuned for visuals.) 

Today, the sun is shining for the first time since we arrived in China.  As a result, it is wash day.  Almost every window in the dorms is festooned with laundry, and the wash lines between the dorms are lined with quilts and blankets out to air.  I doubt there is a washing machine in any of the dorms, but there are a few establishments on and near campus that do washing.  Cici says most students launder by hand to save money.

The dorms also don't have showers, but there are shower houses on campus. In the evening we watch the students head to the bath house with their buckets of toiletries.  Afterwards, some of the girls head back to the dorms in their pajamas, and the others have on fresh clothes.  There is a barber and hair cutting place just next to the bath house and they also do a lively business in the evening.  We think about all the amenities our students have in the dorms and are amazed by the difference in this post-graduate student life from a Grinnell undergrad's experience.

Our usual path through campus takes us past the back loading dock for the cafeteria.  This morning they were unloading vegetables and fresh fish.  The fish was so fresh that many of them were flopping about in their tubs, and at one point a number of eels (or what looked like eels), made a break for it and were working their way down the steps.  Since the mighty Yangtze is miles away, I fear their cause was hopeless and they are likely all lunch by now.

We've noticed that Nanjing students dress quite conservatively.  Jeans are the dominant uniform, though more shorts and skirts have been in evidence with the return of the sun.  Skirts are usually worn with hose, and many young women wear a sweater or a jacket as a kind of professional attire, no matter how warm it gets.  Bare legs and shoulders are unusual, though as the temperatures start to climb, we'll see if that holds true. 

The campus is wonderfully green and leafy and very well policed.  There is little trash and we seeing groundskeepers trimming the hedges daily.  They do not, however, have the American fetish with lawn mowing and the grass is allowed to get quite long.  All the major pathways are fully shaded by sycamore trees (as are many of the boulevards in the city), and there are lots of little parks scattered about campus. Even though the campus is densely built and the buildings often look a little decrepit on the outside, the greenery makes it very appealing.

Our final impression is that the cleaning staff here loves to wash floors.  Just about every time we go to the lobby, someone is either sweeping or mopping the floor.  Streets are cleaned regularly, paths swept, and stairs kept free of debris.  With so many feet crossing surfaces all the time, we are glad of this dedication to surface scouring!