On February 17, 11 UPP students had the pleasure of hosting 16 visiting students from the Shanghai Normal University for a relaxing evening of painting in the Faculty Center on UNCG campus.  The visiting students came to America for three weeks on a short-term teacher training program.  While they were here, they learned about the differences between American and Chinese education systems.  



Every year, New Mind Education staff holds an activity with The Mad Platter to allow students a time to explore new hobbies and methods of stress relief.  The Mad Platter staff helps the event run smoothly every time.  They bring all the painting supplies and ceramics to the UNCG Faculty Center and help set up the work area.  After students have picked what piece they want to paint–usually a bowl, plate, or mug–the Mad Platter staff explains to the students about the shades of paint and how the colors will look different after the pieces are fired. The layout of this event allows creative juices to flow.  Even the students who don’t usually enjoy art find themselves dedicated to their ceramic piece. Designs range from cute cartoon characters to Chinese poems, from scenes on famous paintings to abstract concepts or creations.  The Mad Platter staff worked quickly to return the fired pieces to us, so that the Shanghai Normal University students will be able to take their pieces back to China with them.  These pieces are a special souvenir for the students to remember their time in America.  



Besides providing an event for the students who enjoy art, this event created a warm atmosphere where UPP staff, interns, and students could chat together while relaxing.  Often times, the best friendship bonds come from doing things together. Having our minds on this little task helps the worries of life fade away.  All the memories of the night are preserved in the paint, for in the future we will look at the art we made and remember the nice evening together.