A question of degree

wu-dissertation-figure-8From the most beautiful scene-setting in academic writing I have ever read:

The bus threaded through layers of terraced lands. The field was so lush and green that the colour seemed to have condensed into liquid drops striving to press a permanent imprint on my body. Outside in the scorching sun, newly planted rice was growing long and strong. with occasional gusts of wind, the tall, thin sprouts were blown towards the roadside, as if gracious hosts craning their necks in anxious anticipation of guests. From time to time, an unwieldy eighteen-wheel truck would honk by in anxious haste, loaded with sands and gravels, churning up dust storms to blur my vision of the summer field. It was early July of 2009. The construction of two national highways was in full force that meandered through the villages of Qiandongan towards the coastline. Patches of exposed earth were visible at a distance: they used to be farmlands and were now expropriated for the road construction. As the bus wound up and down the mountain road, it was interlaced with passing clusters of wooden abodes, brick houses and thatched huts; bent figures dotted the summer field and blended into a distance of green.

wu-phd-figure-7

(from Disenchantment and Participatory Limit: Schooling at a Crossroads in Rural Ethnic China, PhD dissertation, Jinting Wu, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012. This award-winning thesis is now published and available for purchase.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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