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The Helmet Initiative
As all of my students know by now, I've taken it on myself to promote the use of bicycle helmets in China. Here are a few of the highlights of this campaign.
As The Word Gets Around (Originally posted April 17, 2009)
We had a wonderful barbeque dinner on the street this evening. When we returned home we got a surprise visit from William, our old friend and Chinese teacher. He'd been talking to his younger brother about my helmet campaign, and his younger brother, who is about to do some cycling around the lake here, decided he wants a helmet. Yes! (pumps fist in air). A young Chinese who voluntarily wears a bike helmet. Fantastic.
I asked William's younger brother if he would be riding with a friend, and of course he will be. So of course he will need two helmets. I really should be working in retail.
Leveraging my Efforts to Promote Helmets (Originally posted March 25, 2009)
Today Edward came to see me to pick up two helmets that he has sold to other students. He's decided to support my helmet promotion project by selling them himself.
What a thrill this is for me, to have a student take up this cause on his own initiative, with no prompting from me at all. It gives me hope for humanity.
Helmets in the News Again (Originally posted March 24, 2009)
Today one of my students, Edward Hou in my IELTS preparation class, presented me with a copy of Lihu Magazine, the all-student produced Jiangnan University news magazine. It's a slick and professional publication. More to the point, this issue devoted four whole pages to me and my helmet campaign.
Wow. Thanks guys. I really appreciate the attention and recognition. Most of all, I appreciate that Edward came over to my home to buy a helmet.
A Legend in His Own Mind Part 2 (Originally posted February 28, 2009)
On Wednesday of this week I was interviewed for an article in the Yangtze Evening Post, the most popular Chinese language evening paper in Jiangsu Province. Yesterday the article came out. It was better in the actual paper, because that included a picture. But at least it's here. Here's the picture that they didn't post with the online article.
It's really encouraging to see how the Chinese media is picking up on the bicycle helmet idea. Now I think I need to talk to the doctors in China who deal with brain injuries, and get them on board this campaign.
The Hainan Bike Rider (Originally posted February 16, 2009)
On our way
back to Wuzhishan on the mountain highway of
Hainan Island, Ruth spotted a bicycle rider coming toward us.
"Hey, somebody in China wearing a helmet," she said. "That's
I noticed a
bandage on his nose and some road rash on his face. "Where's
your helmet," I asked.
A Legend in His Own Mind - The China Daily article. Our first national publicity for the helmet initiative. This was beautiful. A tiny picture on the front page, directing readers to page 10, where we had a huge picture and almost the whole page.
A Legend in His Own Mind Part 2 - The Yangtze Evening Post Article: Getting the news out to the Chinese people in the most popular evening paper in Jiangsu Province.
Several of my students have become quite enthusiastic about the helmet initiative, and a few have offered to help sell and promote helmets on campus. Here's an email I got from Merry, slightly edited:
Just gotta love my students. They are what this is all about, after all.
Posted September 5, 2010
I dropped the ball on this
campaign last year, and did nothing for two terms. But my
energy has come back, and I'm excited again. We can make this
happen. The other day Ruth and I saw two bike riders on the
Jiangnan University campus wearing helmets, and they weren't riding
together. That's a first, and a start.
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