Clark Cen, a teacher from the Shanghai World Foreign Language Middle School, visited Harker from late September through early October to observe and teach classes at every campus. It was Cen’s second trip to Harker, having visited previously in 2005.
During his visit, Cen had the chance to teach some lessons in Chinese history, culture and language, at the lower and middle school campuses, which he said “was a lot of fun.” Cen told the students about how Chinese citizens now have more chances to experience foreign cultures, especially the United States, due to media exposure. “We know quite a lot,” he said. Mainstream Chinese culture, on the other hand, is not as accessible, “so some of the understanding is actually out of date.” The classes Cen taught gave him an opportunity to update the students on present-day China.
While teaching at the upper school campus, Cen and the students discussed more abstract topics such as Chinese politics and Confucianism, delving into subjects such as China’s “one child” policy and Chinese currency. Although the upper school students had fewer questions than the lower and middle school students, Cen said, the discussions gave him the opportunity to shed light on these topics from a native’s perspective.
In his free time, Cen visited San Francisco and Alcatraz, which became well-known to Chinese citizens due to its role in the popular movie “The Rock.” He also did a lot of shopping for his friends back home, and spent a Saturday seeing San Jose and visiting the farmers’ market. Cen set aside his last day off to check out the Harker Family and Alumni Picnic before heading back to China.