As I am too lazy to change my pirate theme yet from my DS106 class last semester, I felt the need to be puny to start this class off. I’m Tony, but most of you probably know me as the guy with car trouble. My reasons for taking this History of Modern Chinese Culture class is thus; I love all sorts of historical topics, and I do not know much about modern China beyond the fact that they just had the Beijing Olympics, they are a communist government with strict censorship laws (my DS106 classmates would throw fits), and that they compete with the United States with some sort of superpower rivalry. I am familiar with things like the overpopulation in the large country, and I am also familiar with the restrictions in place to slow down the birth rate. My late cousin was very fond of China, and she lived many years there. She always marveled about their culture, which sparked my curiosity. After death from cancer that took her from us way too soon, I felt some sort of disconnect with my interest in the country, probably because she was my connection with the country. All that being said, there were things that intrigued me about Chinese culture that she told me about, and as I desired to take my first 400 level history class this semester, something about the topic seemed right for me to take. I have already had one class with Professor Fernsebner, which was an Asian Civilization class my first semester after transferring from NOVA Community College, and I know her passion behind Asian studies. So those are the main reasons for taking this class. My curiosity and vague familiarity with Chinese culture has already sparked interest, and I am crossing my fingers that this interest continues throughout the semester. I hope to broaden my view of the people of China further than the vagueness of how I understand them now.