Dr. Christine Royce muses about “time travel” and her recent experiences at the Sino–US Science and Education Forum in Shanghai.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Well, it’s “Back to the Future.” Just as we had all come together in singles, forming groups of two or three, so did we disperse. Due to different flights, we met in the lobby of the hotel at different times (mine being 5:45 a.m.) and were shuttled to the airport with people who were returning to the same city with us. There was no large group good bye, there was no ending group hug, but rather each of us heading back to our respective cities from whence we came. We left on Sunday morning, Shanghai time, and according to the flight itinerary we arrived an hour later Detroit time. Not quite that quick of a trip, but due to the time difference we were literally going “back to the future.” We were going “back” due to the difference in time and location of the time zones, yet we were returning to our future. More knowledgeable about our counterparts in China and with a greater understanding of the people that we met and their intricate culture which is multifaceted.
When we reached Detroit (or LA or Chicago or wherever each plane was headed) we returned to being an individual or pair headed for their own gate—to return to Wisconsin, or DC, or in my case Shippensburg. The group disbanded physically in a rather quick manner however I think that many of us will be the “sticky rice” that was referenced earlier and keep in touch. After all, each of us has a commonality that binds us together—the pursuit of excellence in science education in order to improve the education of our students whatever the level. This pursuit in itself impacts the future of not only the country in which we live—but also countries around the world as we realized by working with our friends, colleagues and counterparts from half way across the world.