Author Profile: Julie Chang

Biography »

Julie is a 2nd-year student at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Plan II Honors with a concentration in pre-medicine. Writing has always been a passion of hers despite her future aspirations in medicine. She has also been named an Archer Fellow for the 2009-2010 school year; she will spend a semester in the nation's capital interning at an organization of her choice. Julie currently works as an undergraduate research assistant in the Blednov Lab conducting research in alcoholism. She is also an avid music listener.
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Foreign indie music faces challenges in China

[27 Jun 2009 | One Comment | ]

On American indie musician Brian Seymour’s 2006 Web site promoting his tour through China, he promised a “fostering of cultural exchange and creative collaboration.” So when he decided to perform at Shanghai’s Cotton’s, a restaurant with a predominately expat clientele on June 22, Seymour’s intentions for his most recent tour in China seemed to demonstrate otherwise.

As expected, Seymour’s audience at Cotton’s was a large expat crowd. If the listeners were not Chinese who either lived or were born abroad, they were foreigners.

The derailing of Seymour’s good intentions is not all that uncommon. Despite hopes for performing for more ordinary Chinese when touring China, foreign indie artists often find themselves playing for large expat crowds. In fact, the economics of touring make it almost unavoidable. Artists and their promoters have a hard time making a profit if they do not tap the expat demand.

Before: Challenges in China

[23 Jun 2009 | No Comment | ]

To say that I’m a little apprehensive about the impending trip to China would, to me, be the understatement of a lifetime. But with my lifetime spanning only a couple decades, I guess that’s not saying too much. Nonetheless, I still find myself wringing my hands and asking, “Am I really prepared to become a backpack journalist for five weeks in China?”
Logistically, I am scared about interviewing the people of China. Growing up in a Chinese family who valued its privacy, I do not expect the people of China to …

A Tale of two chefs: Life’s dishes going hot and cold

A Tale of two chefs: Life’s dishes going hot and cold

[21 Jun 2009 | No Comment | ]

Bai Zhuxian’s modest eatery is easily overlooked amid the many retail signs that decorate the bustling streets of central Xi’an. Just around the corner, Chef Wong’s Prosperity and Fortune Restaurant, boasting both neon lights and promises of what could only be good things, could bewitch any passerby.

Yet the vast difference between the two establishments does not lie in their physical exteriors but in the attitudes of their chefs. “When you go into the kitchen, all you deal with is smoke and grease…” Wong says.

An NGO’s mission to combat domestic violence

An NGO’s mission to combat domestic violence

[13 Jun 2009 | No Comment | ]

Thirty-five percent of married women in China have experienced domestic violence, making it one of the most serious problems facing China today. An NGO nestled in a handful of cramped offices in Beijing has made fixing domestic abuse their mission.

China’s educational dilemma: Too young to choose, too old to switch

[5 Jun 2009 | No Comment | ]

There is little debate among Beijing’s cognoscenti that Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) is one of city’s most prestigious medical schools. Yet PUMC first-year graduate student Zheng Li regrets the path that has taken her there.

“I always wanted to be a lawyer because my Chinese is very good,” said Zheng, now a biochemistry major who relinquished her law aspirations in high school. “[N]obody from my family supported me, so I had no [option to pursue law].”

“Doing research is boring,” said Zheng, yet she finds it difficult to consider another career path after investing six years of hard work into pursuing medical research.

When it comes to choosing careers, Chinese traditionally value stability over happiness. And as the stagnant Chinese economy tends to spur desperate job searches in an already highly competitive environment, college graduates in general are under pressure to find well-paying jobs.