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Wyatt Smith, Keegan Traveling Fellow

Wyatt Smith

2010-2011 Michael B. Keegan Traveling Fellow
Vanderbilt University

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Archive for the ‘China’ Category

Dec '10

Developing “Guanxi” with the Global China Connection

Few societal norms are as important to understanding Chinese culture as guanxi, or the potency of one’s family, academic, social, and professional relationships. Guanxi influences everything in China, from negotiating potential business deals to cutting through red tape on the way to securing a housing permit. And in a country with a bureaucracy as large [...]

Dec '10

Obedience as Virtue: The Unique Nature of Chinese Citizenship

When interviewing people in my travels, I try to always include a question that probes people’s definitions of their citizenship: “What makes x different from any other sort of nationality?”
It’s an open-ended question for a reason, as the subject’s answer usually reveals much about his or her construction of nationalistic identity. For example, an answer [...]

Dec '10

The Impressiveness and Drive of Students in China

Throughout my travels, I have sought opportunities to engage with students in different global contexts. Given my commitment to join the Teach for America movement as a high school teacher in my home state of Alabama next year, I am always eager for the chance to learn about other educational systems, pedagogical models, and methods [...]

Dec '10

Scrambling to Watch the Iron Bowl in Beijing

Few rivalries in American sport compare to the intensity of the Alabama/Auburn divide. Every Alabama native has loyalties in this rivalry matchup, even those like me who attended college out of the state. I’m a Crimson Tide fan, and for nine consecutive years, I have managed to witness the Iron Bowl matchup in person from [...]

Dec '10

24 Hours in Beijing: An Introduction to the Paradoxes of New China

After a brief respite in the United States, my traveling fellowship leads me to set out for China, the world’s rising power in the East. Growing up, I always viewed China as a country shrouded in mystery, a “communist power” on the other side of the world. It seemed like a place of immense factories, [...]