Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We have taught our last class and it has finally set in that we will be leaving UIC and China in a few days. As I mentioned before, this has been quite an experience. Doug has worked hard on starting a fitness program for Faculty and Staff at UIC, which currently has 136 members. Although we lost the contest with Augsburg, the UIC Faculty and Staff put up a great effort. We are excited to hear that the program will continue after we leave under the able direction of our
friend and colleague in the Physical Education Dept, Jack Pang. Without Jack, our stay at UIC would not have been nearly as rewarding as it has been. Since he is the only person on the PE
staff who speaks any English, he ended up being our "care taker" for 4 months.
My two fitness classes were great. I am not sure who learned more; me or my students. While they learned and practiced the components of fitness, I learned about their families, campus life, likes, dislikes and the list goes on. We spent the final week doing some post testing for fitness and we were all very pleased that the majority of them showed improvement....some by leaps and bounds! Hopefully this will encourage them to continue to workout and "reward their bodies with exercise."
As I write this, the first phase of UIC's fitness center is becoming a reality. Doug and I spent our first month here (we arrived a month before classes started) researching, designing and
writing a 3 year phased plan to equip a state of the art fitness center. The first phase will give UIC a good variety of cardio and weight equipment (including machines and free weights). Since fitness training and fitness centers are not at all common on college campuses in China, this should be a real draw for both faculty and students.
As we board the plane and head back to Minnesota, the warmth of our new Chinese friends along with the warmth of seeing our "old" Minnesota friends will hopefully ward off the COLD temperatures we are soon to encounter. It's been quite a ride!