February 10, 2016 - Dalton's Confucius Classroom invited bilingual comedian Jesse Appell to deliver a series of talks about Chinese comedy and cultural communications to high school Mandarin students and faculty.
Appell spoke to the students about how seemingly very different cultures, such as Chinese and American cultures, largely share the same or similar sense of humor, and how we can use humor as a tool to bridge different cultures. He talked about the history of Xiangsheng and its current status in Chinese society. He also shared survival tips and personal stories about living in China, as well as tips on learning Chinese. Mr. Appell provided information in his witty style that everyone in attendance enjoyed.
Jesse Appell is a Fulbright Scholar alumni whose research focuses on Chinese humor and performance. He is a Boston native and speaks fluent Chinese. He has lived, studied, and worked in China for the past four years. Appell is a disciple of Chinese Xiangsheng (improve comedy) master Ding Guangquan, and regularly performs Xiangsheng and bilingual improv live and on TV and other media such a CBS, TEDx, PBS, NPR, and PRI.
Story and pictures submitted by Mona Zhao, HS Language Teacher