Monday 29 December 1—Lecture

    Monday afternoon I gave the students another lecture—this time an impromptu discussion of old and new in sentences. We went for nearly three hours, Chinese-style.

The point here is the topic of a sentence, and how writing different things in the first position changes the message of the sentence.

Ying and the others are paying careful attention.

Listening to a student's question. They raised a lot of valid points that improved our discussion.

Hui took this picture of her own notes. The reference to "high albedo" at the top is a running joke between us about the reflectivity of the top of my head.

Prof. Zhuang asks a question.

Here I am emphasizing the stage-setting effect of "Yesterday" when placed at the beginning of a sentence.

The relative roles of old and new information in a sequence of three sentences.

It was almost too much for poor Xingying. That's what three hours of volleyball the night before will do to you.

A moment of hilarity.

We ended by considering old and new information in paragraphs. Here Jinghua, the ranking student in the group, is displaying her knowledge by constructing a paragraph on the board for all to see.

Ahead to Dinner
Back to Beijing Dec 03–Jan 04