Day Eight

Having left NormanRockwellMuseum, we drove to visit Simon's Rock College of Bard.

Simon's RockCollege was founded by Elizabeth Blodgett Hall in 1966. In 1979 it became part of BardCollege (established in 1860), one of the country's outstanding (and most innovative) liberal arts colleges, located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

Simon's Rock College of Bard is the only four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences specifically designed to provide bright, highly motivated students with the opportunity to begin college after the tenth or eleventh grade. Here, students pursue the things that excite them and discover entirely new enthusiasms and talents – now, rather than in a few years. The college is not very big in size. According to the introduction, it has only less than 50 teachers altogether. Its students come from all over the world, but they have to pay high tuition.

We arrived at the college near lunch time, so we had lunch in the cafeteria first. The lunch was very hearty and served buffet style. After lunch, we were divided into two small groups. One group went to visit the elementary Chinese lesson, and the other one went to sit in on the Chinese conversation lesson.

The Chinese name of the Chinese conversation teacher was Wu Wensi, who was a Doctor of Chinese Language and Literature. He told us that he majored in the literature and drama of Ming and Qing Dynasties in China, and that he had interviewed Chen Baichen's daughter once (because Mr Chen was dead at that time). Doctor Wu divided his students (only 6) into several small groups and invited our students to join and talk with them. He also asked his students to give an oral report after the conversation. He encouraged them to report in Chinese, but whoever had difficulty may also use English. However, almost every one of them reported in English.

After the conversation lesson, we sat in on a lecture of Chinese drama. Mr Wu asked both his students and the visitors to read aloud the text in turn, which obtained good effects.