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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Erich's Insights on China

Before Rick Perry decided he needed a security detail to accompany him to his next hair appointment, there was an emperor who decided he needed hundreds if not thousands of life-size clay soldiers to accompany him to next life. Fortunately they decided not to follow his commands and instead stayed in this world and became what we know today as the Terracotta Warriors. I recently visited this wonder of the world and was awestruck by the awesomeness of it all. What seemed like an endless army of clay soldiers stretched out in front of me, each one unique and yet each one part of the whole. The dim lighting and positioning of the soldiers in a sort of bowl below the viewing area only served to create an even more eerie experience. There were three pits to explore as well as plenty of museum exhibits that helped teach the ways to spot the difference between a lowly archer and a commander in this clay army. Sadly, some of the warriors were severely damaged and a large portion of the pits had to remain underground as the Chinese government has yet to develop a strategy for fully preserving the warriors that they do dig up. Still, the ones that were dug up not only served as a fantastic tourist spot, but also served to bring to life power and richness of Chinese history.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Erich takes on China

Before I arrived at Tsinghua University, I had always wanted to participate in a school sport. I missed the competitiveness and team bonding that I had experienced in high school and sorely missed while attending UTD. Never would I have imagined that the sport would have been football though. It happened by complete accident as I joined a business club and got recommended to the football team by a player from last year’s team. The first practice I had no idea what to expect, as I had no idea that Chinese people knew what football was and had no idea who would show up for tryouts. The medley of students that showed up was quite surprising, as it became obvious pretty quickly that most of them had never played before. There were a couple of other foreigners, but for the most part the team was composed of Chinese players. They proved to be very quick learners, as well as an extremely enjoyable group to be around. Most of the players had not known each other before, but we soon formed many friendships as well as a rather formidable football team. I began to look forward to practice every Tuesday and we generally would play for much longer than our 2 hour practice required. They quickly became my family in China, as I would frequently spend my free time with them, whether that be going skiing, going to karaoke, or eating Thanksgiving dinner. As good as our relationships were off the field, they may have been even better on the field as we went on to have an undefeated season as we captured the Beijing citywide flag football competition. In a country full of familiar food, familiar language, it was football that ended up making me feel right at home.