Today was my final day at Zhicheng and it was truly bittersweet. Last Friday, our coordinator took us to the Supreme Court museum near the foreign embassy district. It was amazing seeing the history of the law in China. I even sat in a moot court of the Supreme People’s Court. Today, Zhicheng held an intern talent show. Some groups sang. Some groups told jokes. My group created a Criminal Legal Aid promotional video that was hilarious (but too embarrassing to post here). However, the best part of the day was making dumplings with everyone and eating them after. I will really miss all my friends here. Although this wasn’t a typical internship opportunity, I learned a lot about the law and legal practice in China and in the States. However, I think being in China also provided many other lessons that America should take heed.
One issue that America should pay attention to is the environment. I have yet to talk about the pollution issue in Beijing. It exists and everyone knows it. One of my fellow interns described her ritual of “washing [her] lungs”, upon returning home, to get rid of the pollution. My first few days even weeks in Beijing I didn’t pay attention to the pollution. Yes, there were days when you could not see the skyline but I had lived in China before. However, there became a time when I started to have a deep cough. A cough that wasn’t like a cold but rather something like when a smoker coughs. That is when I realized the impact of the pollution. It’s not easy to see in the summer heat but your body does begin to react to it. I think it is imperative that the U.S. pay attention to Chinese polices regarding the environment not just to study how they are working out their issues but to ensure we don’t go down a similar path.
Aside from pollution issues, I think the U.S. can also learn a lot about energy conservation from China. At our hotel in Majiapu, it was our key card that turned on all the electricity in our room. Thus, when we left the room, everything completely shut off. I think this is a great method that hotels and even apartments should consider. Many times, we waste energy and have high bills because we leave things on throughout the day. If we used the keycard system, we would never have to go a day wondering if we left the oven or light on ever again.
Finally, I think the U.S. can also learn from China regarding transportation. Although the subways in Beijing closed early, the system was convenient and provided many jobs. China has made their subway system easy to navigate even with language skills. I hope that the U.S. will invest heavily in its infrastructure to compete with the transportation systems around the world. I have seen that many states, including my own in Delaware, have tried to promote programs on building infrastructure and these things take time but it would be amazing to have a speed train from Richmond to D.C. or even D.C. to California.
High of the Week: I’m coming home, coming home. Tell the world I’m coming home.
Delta of the Week: No matter our differences and how we feel about each other views. There is always a place of improvement and a lesson each one of us can teach.