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Showing posts from February, 2014

27th February #chinadiary

As it turns out, Honolulu is an afternoon only, after which nearly two weeks at sea to Yokohama. Still, Carl writes beautifully about the treasures that are the Hawaiian islands and especially about the luscious fruits, like mangos, "the funniest tasting and juiciest things I ever had in my mouth."

26th February #chinadiary

This date was a Sunday back in 1922 and the church service on board ship seems to have prompted more exploration of the spiritual existence, with Dr Mott of the use-it-or-lose-it persuasion. An extended discussion on 'What is a Christian?' followed at breakfast, which seems to have been more lively than heavy, with Carl writing "We surely had a dandy confab this morning." (I'm tempted to start using some of these phrases myself - wouldn't that be dandy!).

All anticipation now for Honolulu.

25th February #chinadiary

An idyllic start to the day, reading and thinking alone on the top deck and "sky and air and sunshine all seem so fresh". Carl's leadership qualities, creativity and playfulness all come to the fore as he's chosen to be editor-in-chief for the "funny little paper for our delegation" - the name suggested by Mr Porter: THE AUGUR, warranted not to bore.

A more serious turn in the afternoon as he more fully confronts the 'point' of the delegation, which is to proselytise for Christianity. Carl asks himself bluntly "Have I a faith that is worth trying to impart to the Chinese students?" He is openly grappling with himself and with his belief system, fighting hard to work out what it is he does indeed believe. At this point, it is that "there is a God, who is a loving father. I am sure that Jesus Christ is my leader and Lord, and that I want to follow his principles of brotherhood."

You can’t shine if you don’t burn #kevinayers

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February 24th #chinadiary

A typical day on the "floating palace of the deep":
7am rise, toast and coffee if desiredWalk, read and talk on deck8.30 communal big breakfastAfter breakfast, read, typewrite, walk or quoits11.00 beef broth and crackers on deckTwo hours to include exercise1.00 Tiffin (lunch)Drowsy until...3.00 Delegation meeting4.00 tea and cookies5.00 walk the deck and talk7.00 Dinner and conversation8.30 onwards freetime and sleep Sounds like a very full day, although Carl calls it "a very lazy life" giving some insight into his driven work ethic. I feel quite uncomfortable with some of Carl's cultural attitudes - today about the "typical Japanese 'boys'" - even while understanding that they are of their time. 
Another couple of days on board until Honolulu and the weather is becoming uncomfortably warm.

February 23rd #chinadiary

An uneventful day in some ways - but Carl is going through changes and deeply enjoying his time on board and with the delegation: "I surely love this ocean life so far. I have never had a better time in my life..."

The first full delegation meeting, presided over by Mott, who Carl admires tremendously. He promises a description of a typical day on board in tomorrow's diary entry...

February 22nd #chinadiary

Carl a bit grumpy about his own writing, vowing to keep it short...

He thus reports on his time spent writing and then his plan to "capture and hold up several of the people of the party and rob them of their treasure". He comes across as very self-confident, self-assured in his encounters with people.

Some pretty dodgy comments about his meeting with "Prof. King, the negro. He surely is a white man under that coal black skin." Carl surely is from 1920s Amerika...

He also engages with Prof. Latourette ("Ken"), something of a China expert and with Miss George and Mrs Mott - and relates the Washington birthday dinner, clearly showing his excitement at being part of such a diverse group of people.

February 21st #chinadiary

Finally on board ship for the journey across the Pacific - and the first thing Carl does is write a couple of letters and send a telegram home. A real sense of excitement is evident amidst the hustle and bustle of a big ship setting out on a long journey. He meets the rest of the delegation - and describes the principle persons in turn. Very soon there is a heavy storm and the ship experiences huge swells, which seem to impact on the constitution of almost everybody except Carl, who ate his meals as per usual. Indeed "it was great sport and I wouldn't have missed it for anything".

February 20th #chinadiary

The final day in the United States before sailing. Gets his tickets and visa from Chinese consulate, taking an unexpected turn through Chinatown on his way back and clearly taking extra effort to observe and note what he experiences there. Encounters John R. Mott ('Mott') for the first time (later recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize). Carl describes Mott's address at the YMCA (the 'Y') as "quiet, but very forceful" and that Mott has a "commanding personality". A final afternoon of sightseeing is followed by a banquet at the YMCA.

February 19th #chinadiary

Still in San Francisco. Sunday, so church - and an interesting experience of a "most peculiar" kind of Christianity, setting up something of a theme in the diary, as these kinds of experiences undoubtedly broaden Carl's ideas of religious belief and practice. Has a day of sightseeing: Alcatraz Island, Goat Island, Berkeley University and Claremont (and the "fawncy homes of the ultra rich").

February18th #chinadiary

California - and snow! In San Francisco Carl makes contact with "the best looking girl on the train" who is also going to China, as it turns out. Stays at the Hotel Stewart and writes his notes up.

February 17th #chinadiary

Still travelling on the train across the United States, Carl gives a good picture of the incredible variety of landscapes and weathers across the land mass - always surprising to somebody like me from England, where long journeys are over a day at most and sleeper trains are very rare. And Carl is excited beyond words: "I have to pinch myself every now and then to believe that I am really on my trip..."

February 16th #chinadiary

Still on the (sleeper) train across the United States (Nebraska, Colorado), Carl again hungry for knowledge about his destinations, having read 150 pages of a book on Japan. He got off the train for a stroll and almost missed getting back on...

It was 92 Years ago today... February 15th Carl Rogers began his odyssey #chinadiary

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In The China Diary * Carl Rogers writes engagingly, passionately, about his six-month trip to China - these pages represent a key point in the young Rogers' development, and so the development of the person-centred approach.

February 15th 1922 is his very first entry. 20-year-old Carl says his last goodbyes to his family and, excited, but determined to be as knowledgeable as possible, as he reads 110 pages of The Changing Chinese not long after boarding the train to the West Coast of the United States.

It is notable that he expresses a vigorous yet questioning religious belief at this point (and throughout the diaries): "It isn't until one is facing a big job alone that one appreciates all that his faith in a Heavenly Father means to him."

However, I have a sense that he was also ready for change, to be changed by his experience: "I can't help but wonder how much the trip will change me, and whether the Carl Rogers that comes back will be more than a speaki…