The world is small, indeed. It turns out one of my graduate students, Shihua Brazill, was born and raised in Guangdong Province. She received an excellent education at Guangdong College of Business and Technology, an impressive institution founded in 1996. The beautiful campus is home to 22,000 students, all of whom had returned home for the Spring Festival. Shihua arranged a tour of the University for me when she realized I was close. For this I am thankful.
Guangdong College of Business & Technology boasts a placement rate comparable to that of Montana Tech, the college I teach at in Butte, Montana. Among the disciplines we teach there is much overlap. I hope someday I might get a chance to teach here.
Shihua's former teacher, Dr. Wei, is an administrator at the University. He went out of his way to honor and greet me and my traveling companions on a Saturday during the Festival season--no small gesture. He was accompanied by the Vice President of the University and another professor. They greeted us at the campus gate and led us to a great room that had fresh fruits (the star fruit was new to me and particularly delicious) and green tea. To my surprise and delight, they presented me with gifts including a wonderful black Chinese tea, a cup of which I'm sipping on as I write this. I presented him a Montana Tech pin (visible in a couple of the photos).
As I was the honored guest, I could not shoot photos that did the beautiful campus justice. Suffice it to say it is an impressive place. I have been invited back, next time to stay in the ultra-modern hotel that sits on campus. I hope we can form a lasting partnership between our schools.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing of all is the speed with which Shihua was able to assess my situation, communicate with her former teacher, and arrange my visit. I am astonished at the efficiency, timeliness, and care that the Chinese people employ in every aspect of their daily lives.
Many thanks to my hosts at Guangdong College of Business & Technology, especially Dr. Wei. I hope it is the first of many exchanges between our very similar schools. And thank you to Shihua Brazill for caring enough to coordinate the visit on such short notice. For a poor kid from Butte, Montana, the treatment and respect I received from these good people was humbling and I am forever grateful.