Megan Shank is a wordsmith, entrepreneur and educator in New York.
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May 24th, 2012

“一个领导人不懂得农民,不懂得占全国大多数的穷人,就不懂得政治,不懂得经济。”

——据《长江日报》报道,国务院总理温家宝回到自己的母校——中国地质大学(武汉)看望师生,在该校作了长达50分钟的即兴演讲。


May 19th, 2012

I had the great honor of contributing a chapter to the forthcoming Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land, edited by Angilee Shah and Jeffrey Wasserstrom.

For me, it’s a dream come true to be able to contribute my small part to an anthology with my favorite writers on China. In fact, my chapter, Chapter 8, appears before Peter Hessler‘s chapter. Reading Hessler’s first book Rivertown during my senior year in college in 2002 in Columbia, Mo., (coincidentally his hometown) was what first inspired me to go to China, immerse myself in the culture and learn the language. Since then, I’ve also greatly enjoyed the work of his immensely talented wife, Leslie Chang (Factory Girls is a masterful book, and her article are always a great pleasure to read as well).

In addition to Hessler and Chang whose work I have so deeply admired and emulated, contributors also include: Evan Osnos, whose early work at the Chicago Tribune — most notably a piece on the effects of the cashmere trade –and later work for the New Yorker have consistently captured me; Xujun Eberlein, who tackles subjects with sophistication, grace and poetry; Michelle Dammon Loyalka, a fellow Missouri School of Journalism graduate with a fine book, Eating Bitterness, recently out; and Ian Johnson, who has consistently conquered topics that require courage bordering on temerity. There are many other talented journalist and academics who bring their expertise, insight and humor to the collection, too.

I’m so grateful to Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Angilee Shah for inviting me to participate. I encourage anyone reading this to pre-order the book on Amazon. Please share your thoughts with me, and thanks for the support!


May 18th, 2012

Yes, this is a real advertisement for a Chinese sunglass company. The Chinese says “Helen Keller Glasses.”

Here is the website.


April 12th, 2012

根据近期公布的消息,中国烟草业2011年的利润让银行难免自惭形秽。年销售额10111.4亿,利润超2000亿,日赚约5.5亿。在全世界禁烟如火如荼的大势之下,烟草在中国逆世界潮流,风景这边独好。


March 29th, 2012

So simple, yet so meaningful:

损人不利己


March 19th, 2012

民众赋予政府以权力,本质上也要保护这些基本的自由, 而不是轻易限制这种自由。
-龙树
新京报
2012-01-30


March 4th, 2012

路在脚下。


March 2nd, 2012

北京晚报/2012-02-22/ 第60版面/留学驿站

对于国内学生及家长而言,纽约州立大学水牛城分校绝对没有哈佛大学、耶鲁大学有名。但是,纽约州立大学水牛城分校是百度CEO李彦宏留学美国的母校。3月3日下午,纽约州立大学水牛城分校以及辛辛那提大学、加州大学欧文分校、昆士兰大学、阿德莱德大学等来自欧、美、亚、澳的90多所海外名校亮相北京天伦王朝酒店“2012全球名校留学联展”。

教育展大众“名校”唱主角

  

  尽管国内学生及家长的“名校情结”根深蒂固,但是哈佛大学、耶鲁大学、剑桥大学、牛津大学等世界顶级名校每年录取的中国学生人数终归凤毛麟角。相反,倒是像纽约州立大学水牛城分校等世界名校才是适合大多数计划出国留学的中国学生的申请目标。同时,由于受金融危机影响,美国公立大学从政府获得的经济投入大幅减少。越来越多的美国公立大学采取扩大招收国际学生获得经济来源。

  澳际教育集团副总裁吴珺告诉记者,尽管国际教育展提供了一个国内学生及家长与海外院校面对面的平台,但是国际教育展并不向所有的海外院校开放。对于很多主动要求来华参展的海外院校,主办方采取了婉言谢绝的态度。因为并不是所有的海外院校都适合中国学生。据了解,“2012全球名校留学联展”邀请参展院校的时候,根据国内学生的留学需求,从海外院校所处的地理位置、综合排名及相关专业排名等角度考量,选择适合中国学生的海外院校。首先,地理位置必须达到安全、教育资源优质;其次,院校综合排名适合大多数中国申请学生;第三,提供专业既适合中国学生学习,又能够满足国内未来人才需求。

  吴珺表示,随着海外教育信息渠道的全面放开,中国学生及家长面对众多的院校选择。因此,难免出现无所适从的情况。国际教育展的一个重要作用,就是帮助大多数有留学意向的国内学生“筛选”出相对适合的海外院校。同时,通过国际教育展,国内学生能够与海外院校招生官员直接沟通交流,提高留学成功率。

教育展现场“摸底”海外院校

  

  上周,美国迪克森州立大学违规向中国学生颁发文凭事件被曝光,引起国内学生及家长对于海外院校质量的关注。澳际教育集团副总裁吴珺告诉记者,国际教育展提供了一个了解海外院校、甄别海外院校的机会。其实,迪克森州立大学事件并不是海外大学录取的问题,而是中外合作办学的留学方式出现了问题。

  据了解,迪克森州立大学国际招生项目自2003年以来共为584名国际学生颁发了学位,但只有10人达到了规定的学位授予条件。而这些国际学生都是通过合作办学的形式前往迪克森州立大学学习的。吴珺表示,迪克森州立大学是一所历史非常悠久的综合性大学,审查出现的问题只限于一些国际交换项目。

  事实上,不少国内大学都有“1+3”、“2+2”等中外合作项目,即国内学生先后在国内大学及国外合作大学接受高等教育,完成学业后将获得中外两所大学颁发的文凭。但是,对于国际合作办学项目,无论国内还是国际上都没有形成一个规范的监督体系。因此,海外院校无法对合作院校的办学质量进行监督,也就无从保证前来留学的国际学生的入学水平及学习能力,但是却又不得不按照合作条款“颁发”学位。

  澳际教育集团副总裁吴珺表示,正是因为合作办学监管的缺失,导致个别院校钻了空子,并致使部分学生无法达到学习要求。所以,国内学生在选择出国留学的时候,既要了解自身的学习能力、学习兴趣、职业规划,又要提前了解目标院校的具体情况,真正实现学有所成。

四套留学方案申请多所院校

  

  目前,中国学生留学美国的人数几乎占到全部出国留学人数的二分之一。因此,每次国际教育展,美国展台总是人气最旺的所在。上周,美国使领馆执行新的签证政策,即美国签证失效四年之内,重新申请签证不用面签。这意味着中国学生留学美国攻读本科几乎都不会受到签证的影响。

  不过,随着中国留学美国人数的增加,申请美国名校的竞争也日趋激烈。澳际教育集团副总裁吴珺告诉记者,以往中国学生申请美国大学商科、金融、会计等专业比较容易,中等偏上的语言成绩、平均分就能成功申请综合排名前50乃至前30名的院校。但是,同样的成绩,现在进入综合排名前100名的院校读这些专业都非常困难。因此,留学规划显得尤为重要。

  据了解,针对国内学生留美需求,“2012全球名校留学联展”特别邀请美国留学高端专家团队现场提供服务。由留学咨询、院校选择、语言准备、文书写作、职业规划等8个环节的13位美国留学专家从各个角度为国内学生提供个性化的留学服务。

  澳际教育美国留学事业部执行经理张锐表示,绝大多数留学生申请留学的机会只有一次。留学顾问所起的作用,就是帮助申请人规避留学风险,降低留学失败率。目前,申请美国大学本科的学生越来越多。这些学生既需要准备国内学校课业,又需要准备托福、SAT考试,还需要参与课外活动,因而对美国院校的选择、对招生条件的了解必然存在欠缺。而留学顾问们对于申请美国大学的条件、流程等各方面更专业、更细致,成功率也才更高。

  据悉,国内学生通常同时申请五、六所美国大学,所以美国留学高端团队并不以申请美国院校为主,而是根据每位申请人的具体情况,设计适合、备选及保底等申请方案。国内学生可以依据方案提供的学校分类申请自己的目标院校。 本报记者 郑勇


February 29th, 2012

Today like every other day

We wake up empty and scared

Don’t open the door of your study

And begin reading.

Take down a musical instrument

let the beauty we love be what we do

There are hundreds of ways to kneel

And kiss the earth.


February 25th, 2012

Last year was a heartbreaking year because Adam and I suffered a deeply personal loss. Life was grey shadows and endless tortured time. Fortunately, in the past month, life has shown signs of improvement, and I have plans again. Among them, to write more often on my blog.

Tonight, some good news: Adam and I are officially in contract for a beautiful one-bedroom garden-level apartment in Clinton Hill, where we will move with our sweet poodle pup Ernie in May.

A little Googling revealed that one of the sellers writes this seemingly well-curated blog. She has included pictures of the apartment. I’m thrilled to know the place we’re taking on has known so many happy memories. My Spanish isn’t good enough to fully understand her posts (yet!), but the spirit of it comes through, mostly in the shape of her very joyous and beautiful children.

An update on my work, while I’m at it:
I’m now on a refreshed Managing Editor contract producing the new academic weekly, The Current Digest of the Chinese Press, which has challenged and inspired me.

In the future, in addition to random observations, cooking ideas, music, theatre and book reviews, infrequent political rants, etc., I’ll also post on the Chinese news I’m reading.

Since I returned from China three years ago, I’ve struggled with the identity of the blog section of my site. The”articles” and “about” sections for potential employers are straightforward; the blog much less so. That’s also been one of my hesitations to write. For now, I’ll just see where it takes me.