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Expo Blog - May: Opening the Expo

Summary of the best Student Ambassador posts during the first month of the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

May 28, 2010

The USA's "National Treasures"                                              May 28, 2010
By AMY KAO - Concordia University of Irvine/UCLA

I was on my way to my lunch break when I had to make a detour back through to the USA Pavilion’s Act II and Act III.  I had forgotten my sunglasses and didn’t want them to go missing within the 45 minutes that I had for lunch.  However, it turned out to be one of the most memorable detours of my Expo experience so far.

As I make my way through the crowd of Chinese people walking around in the USA Pavilion’s Act III (an area for our Pavilion sponsors to showcase the innovative steps they are taking to creating a healthier future), a middle aged Chinese man waves for me to come over to him.  Thinking that he wanted to know where he could get a USA Pavilion souvenir stamp (guests can “collect” stamps from the pavilions they visit in a souvenir passport), I automatically ask him to please turn his Expo passport to page 44 and to line up near the stamping table.  Page 22 if he had the big brown book.  Instead, he surprises me by saying that he wanted to ask me more about our Pavilion and its contents. Read more of Amy's post...

Better City, Better Life                                                                May 28, 2010 
By HEATHER JOHNSON - Clemson University

What do about a million touch screens, movies, short films, miles of text and long lines translate into? Well, showing the world how we can make a “Better city, Better life” of course! And I’ve gotta admit, the pavilions I have been to have done incredible jobs of illustrating just this. Germany’s pavilion was especially impressive, with its models of whole communities that exist on solely solar power and their overwhelming urban garden culture. Germany had all the bells and whistles, the expensive technology, the radiant swinging tech ball of our future, a huge staff, snazzy uniforms. Everywhere I looked I was hit with a wave of information about how just on top of it Germany really is when it comes to all the latest power and world saving technology, they are the greenest of the green, truly reaching for that “Better City, Better Life.” Read more of Heather's post...

Meeting Sec. Locke                                                                     May 18, 2010
By BENJAMIN HAYFORD - Brigham Young University

How often in life do you get a chance to meet one of those really famous persons you always hear about? You know, the ones everybody can name upon seeing their photo. Picture yourself meeting them. Imagine what that would feel like, with years of built-up anticipation. Think of the smile that would cover your face, the happiness that would fill your heart. For me, that image in your head became reality tonight. Oh, and that was after escorting an entourage of business executives through security into the Expo and safely home to the USA Pavilion. Fun? I think so. Read more of Benjamin's post...

America's Best Dance Crew                                                       May 15, 2010
By HEATHER JOHNSON - Clemson University

Hey, how do you keep over a thousand people waiting outside in the hot sun from killing each other (maybe trying to pick up a stanchion and swing it at another person who cut in line, in the process knocking numerous people in the head and stepping on one older woman’s foot….of course a totally made up story here…..). It’s easy. Start a United States Pavilion Dance Crew! Buy a pair of speakers from Wal-Mart, make a playlist full of classics like Thriller, Baby by Justin Bieber, Soldier Boy, and Single Ladies, put together carefully constructed and choreographed dances full of booty poppin’, twist, turn, shake it girrrrl fun, and BAM! You’ve got a thousand very happy Chinese guests smiling and taking your picture, and for a few short minutes…..Read more of Heather's post...

The Magic School Bus                                                                   May 9, 2010
By DANIEL REDFORD - Michigan State University

When I was a kid, I loved the Magic School Bus books. Every one of my homeroom teachers from kindergarten to fourth grade had their libraries stacked with them. I was fascinated with the journeys that Ms. Frizzle and her fourth grade class went on in their “Magic School Bus” that would take them back in time to see the Egyptians, or on a deep sea exploration. I liked to imagine the places that I would go if I had a magic school bus that would take me wherever and whenever I wanted.

Now, at age 21, it's probably over ten years since I last picked up one of those books, I find myself with my own Magic Bus here at the World Expo. Every morning, my bus picks me up from my apartment complex, and takes me to a world that is outside of reality. Read more of Dan's post...

Ohel Rachel Opening                                                                       May 7, 2010
By MARK WLODAWSKI- University of Memphis

Yesterday, I went to the grand reopening  of the Ohel Rachel synagogue on Shaanxi Bei Lu. After numerous years of being a museum dedicated to the memory of , Shanghai mayor who issued 30,000+ passports and visas to Eastern European Jews during the Holocaust, the site was officially reopened as a synagogue. I read about it on the Chabad Jewish web site, and asked Rabbi Alevsky about it when he returned my email. Read more of Mark's post...

Making it all Work                                                                             May 1, 2010
By MARK WLODAWSKI- University of Memphis

As some of you may know, most Expo pavilions were funded directly by the governments of their respective countries. Some governments had plenty to spend; in fact one Saudi Arabian official was quoted as saying "Money is no object," thus their large "Moon Boat" pavilion, complete with the largest movie theater in the world, trees supposedly from native Saudi Arabia (some sources say they repeatedly died, so look-alikes were brought in from somewhere in southeast China). Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the U.S. government was restricted by law from contributing federal funds to pay for pavilions, so all of the money had to be raised privately. Read more of Mark's post...