Ok let me do a little follow up from my last post. Quickly, hanging out with my dad for the week was awesome. I showed him all around the city, some of my favorite spots. Though it did make me miss home, overall, it was just great to see him. One of the benefits of him being here is that we got to go to all the places to eat that I am normally to cheap to pay for myself. One night, we met up with some friends here and went to the Hyatt on the Bund. Probably the best view of any city I have ever seen was just to the right of us as we sat next to ground to ceiling windows in a “living room” style restaurant 50 floors above the city…on the river front. It was pretty spectacular. Plus the food was amazing.
Another place we went to was a brazilian meet place. Little fact that I didn’t previously know, but now I do: brazilians know how to cook a steak. Literally the meet melts in your mouth, which before I didn’t think was possible. They say they don’t put anything on it either. The place is called Latina. If there is one near you, i highly recommend you try this place out. If you like meet, you will not regret it.
So yes, I also have a different chinese teacher. Still a young, female grad student but the feel of the class is totally different. Just now getting used to it. Besides wearing the same outfit for multiple days in a row, she is really nice. GuLaoshi, which is actually the same name as my high school teacher.
Since ping pong didn’t work out, I decided to start up a new sport. I gotta be doing something. Brazillian Juijutzi was obviously my next logical option, so thats what I am doing! Started last week, and so far so good. I have been telling people I am doing it for the fitness and sport of it, but really it is for or all those street fights I am constantly getting into-really it has become a problem. Chinese street fighters, watch out. I can now consistently throw you on the ground if you come up behind me with a choke hold, as long as it is not too hard.
My new philosophy on life: mental rehearsal. That is a bit of an exaggeration, but I just read this book called Evolve Your Brain, recommended to me by my Intro to Neuroscience TA, and it has gotten me psyched about the power of visualization done on a daily basis. My roommate Jacob could tell you all about this, cause we have talked all about it. Let me run this down for you, this actually is pretty cool. If you visualize yourself practicing the a piece on the piano, you will be JUST as effective in learning the piece than if you had physically practiced (your mind doesn’t know the difference!). Just by thinking, you can change your physical ability. You do this by altering the way in which your mind is wired. By mentally rehearsing, you create a new neural net for this new piano piece that involves your fingers “knowing” how to play the piece, without actually moving you fingers. THAT is cool, and it applies to so many areas of your life. It all comes down to the ability to activate the frontal lobe (the part of the brain that is responsible for attention, planning, abstract thought, and learning new behaviors). We all know the feeling of getting lost in an activity because we are paying so much attention to it. It is these times, when your attention is so great that you lose track of time and space, when your frontal lobe is running at full force. If you can replicate this state while visualizing can actually consciously change the way your mind is wired and learn a new skill or behavior. MAN this stuff is cool. If you are aware of what you want to learn, and know what you have to change, just by thinking you can do so much! haha I’m getting all worked up. Pretty cool stuff though!
Vietnam! I am leaving next week with some buddies. Scuba diving on Pu Cok and rock climbing in Ha Long Bay. 10 days. Sick. I am also interested in how they perceive Americans there, given our recent not so good history. I’ll be just to blog about that.