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East Coast Reading Guidance Class Celebrates the Year of the Tiger

Whenever possible students on the East Coast experience something different in terms of what goes on when the class meets. Dr. Smith’s Reading Guidance class recently took part in celebrating the Chinese Year of the Tiger.  T. J. Chang, a graduate from our SLIS Program is originally from  Taiwan. T.J. is now the branch manager at the California Club Branch Library of the Miami-Dade Library System. His wife, Yung Tun, teaches elementary school in Taiwan. It just happened that she was here on Spring Break and the two were able to come to the face to face class. But not only did they come, they brought other guests with them. There was Mark, a quiet musician who played the Erhu, a two stringed Chinese instrument with a sound box made of python skin, and there was Casper, Mark’s teen-age son, a sophomore at Douglas High in Miami. He displayed his dexterity with the very sophisticated Chinese Diabolos. He explained  that these were an outgrowth of the early Yo-Yo!   It was mind boggling to watch him.

Mark playing the Erhu.

T.J.’s wife, Yung Tun, played another Chinese instrument, the Gu Zheng. This is an instrument with 21 strings, tuned to the pentatonic scale.  T.J., an accompmlished storyteller, treated the class to the  story of how the twelve signs of the Chinese Zodiac came to be and why the cat is not one of the signs.

Yung Tun playing the Gu Zheng.

The session was topped off with everyone participating in a Tea Ceremony, and eating Chinese dried peas, each person using her or his own personal chopsticks. Watching the synchronized movements of T.J. and Yung Tun was like watching a symphony in motion as they simultaneously set out the cups, measured and blended the tea with steaming hot water and invited all to partake.

A memorable evening, enjoyed by everyone and the FULLNESS of the visit, a total surprise!

Click here to see more photos from the event.

– HMS

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One Response

  1. While I was in college I had a fellow classmate that played the Erhu. It is an amazing instrument.

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