A quick note to let you know that I am making a grand tour through China right now, and I have only very limited access to the blog. I am off the mainland for the next 24 hours or so, and access seems to be smooth from here. But for whatever reason I couldn’t get to the site while in China proper.
I can report that one of the talks I gave on the mainland two days ago was on the topic General Education in America. It was an extraordinary experience. Well over a thousand students crowded the aisles and spilled out through the doorways to hear the talk. The fervor in the room was palpable, and during the question period a number of students asked serious and heartfelt questions or else made angry and impassioned speeches. Some of the most impassioned speeches I couldn’t understand, since they drifted in and out of Chinese. But I gather that they were not acceptable, because eventually the party official monitoring the event closed it down. The moment that happened I was immediately mobbed by students asking for autographs. I can honestly say that never in my life have I been mobbed by anyone asking for my autograph. But I was shuttled out by the official before I could sign very many.
I’ll try to write more about the event if I can. But suffice it to say that it made a very big impression on me. If I can find a way I will post a draft of the speech that I spoke from. (Update: Please click here for a PDF copy.) In the meantime, thanks for the fantastic discussion on the previous thread. I can usually read the comments because they are e-mailed to me, even when I can’t get to the site. Please keep them coming. They are sustaining me here.