Around Streetsboro | Streetsboro junior Tomlin Burgess travels to China with his father

by Karyn Hall | Correspondent Published:

High school students do not often have opportunities -- or time ­-- to travel overseas. When the opportunity came for Tomlin Burgess, he jumped at the chance to visit China.

Tomlin, a junior at Streetsboro High School, traveled to China this spring with his father, Dr. James Burgess, who is an associate professor of chemistry at Case Western Reserve University. A former student of Dr. Burgess' is now a professor in China and invited him to attend an international electrochemistry conference.

Tomlin's brother, James, and mother, Helen, decided not to go. They didn't want to endure the 15-hour plane flight and were a bit apprehensive about traveling to a communist country.

This was Tomlin's first trip overseas. When he and his father arrived, they split their time between Shanghai and Ninjing, a former capital of China and home to Ninjing University, where Burgess was invited to give a lecture. A group of Chinese college students showed them the historical sites.

Tomlin was struck by how similar Chinese students are to their American counterparts.

"They all had iPhones, Nike shoes, everything we have," he said. "One girl was even wearing an Avengers T-shirt under her lab coat."

All the university students spoke fluent English -- which they began learning in third grade.

The food was different than Tomlin expected. He said they ate a lot of fish and bamboo stalks. Most of their meals were served family style in restaurants, and he commented that table manners are not part of their culture.

Tomlin also was amazed by the seemingly endless mass of skyscrapers in Shanghai -- one of the largest cities in the world. The buildings are covered with lights, billboards and giant video screens. The streets are filled with cars, bicycles and scooters. There is an elevated highway that cuts through the city, but it has a lot of traffic.

He said the skies were gray throughout their visit, due to the smog that fills the air.

"It looked very foggy, but it was actually smog, everyday, from morning to night," Tomlin remarked.

Tomlin said the air smelled funny, and his father said he could taste the smog in the air. Although it was warm while they were there, only one day could they see a patch of blue sky.

Tomlin enjoyed the experience and said if he has the opportunity again, he would return. Tomlin said that they did not see the Great Wall of China or any panda bears … this time!

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Looking for a way to save on braces? Come to the Celebration of the Arts Dinner & Auction to bid on a certificate for a discount on Invisalign braces. Attendees will also have a chance to win a Columbus get-away with a night's stay at the Holiday Inn Dublin and four tickets to the Columbus Zoo. Other great raffle items include gift certificate for Portrait Innovations, gift cards for local businesses, tickets to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame and more.

The Celebration of the Arts Dinner, set for May 17 at Streetsboro High School from 5-7 p.m., is the conclusion of the 2014 Student Art Show, which features student art on display at Robinson Health Center. The dinner will feature art from the show, live student performances from the Defer band students, Streetsboro Middle School students and entertainment from Streetsboro Theatre and high school songwriting students. Rocket Dog will be around to greet the kids and Balloon Bender Dave will amaze the little ones with his balloon art. The Parents for Public Schools Streetsboro event is being catered by Gionino's. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children age 3-12, and senior citizens and can be purchased online at www.ppsstreetsboro.org. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door until the event sells out.

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Treat Mom to a pancake breakfast on Mother's Day, May 11, hosted by American Legion Post 685. The menu includes pancakes, sausage, ham and biscuits. The cost for adults is $7; senior citizens and children under 12 are $5; and all mothers are free. The breakfast runs 9 a.m. to noon at the American Legion Hall located at 10001 Aurora-Hudson Road in Streetsboro.

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Streetsboro students are giving flowers, sweets and homemade cards to their teachers during this week's "teacher appreciation week" sponsored by the PTA. Our district is certainly filled with wonderful teachers and support staff personnel. It may be nice for parents to also write in a note of appreciation to those who care for our children before the end of the school year.

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Have good news to share? Contact Karyn Hall at 330-995-3503 or karynhall@gmail.com

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