July 22 Beijing Academy Student Posts!
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Read today's posts from our Beijing Academy students!
When I first got here, I must admit I was unconfident about my language skills and the new country I was living in. However, after honing my Chinese, getting familiar with the city, and meeting new people, I quickly began to feel more confident. I have loved all of the different trips we have taken as a program, both during the week as afternoon activities and on the weekends. Amongst my favorite was going to the Pearl Market. The Pearl Market was a great place not only to buy gifts for my friends and family at home but to practice my language skills with the salespeople while bargaining. My other favorite place was houhai. The day we went to Houhai was a lot of fun, but it was unusually hot. It's ok, the air pollution cleared my thoughts right up. Just kidding, the pollution is actually not as bad as one would think. However, the day was young, the friends were plentiful, and the stores had yet to be explored. My pengbros and me went off and found the best store yet in China. It was an amazing New York-style café. That was one of the best memories yet. However, as each day goes on, a new and unique memory is made, until finally, the end of the program. I will never forget my time in Beijing.
I can’t believe my time in China is coming to an end. I have had such an amazing month that it feels both like a lifetime and the blink of an eye. I had such a mix of feelings before I came here, and I had no idea what this experience would be like. After this month-long experience I have such an appreciation for this culture, this country, and this language. I feel like I have seen such a wide variety of the city. I have experienced the vibrant streets filled with food stands and motorbikes, ancient buildings enveloped by history, and the patient nature of native speakers trying to decode my Chinese. Although I have loved all of the trips I have taken and the food I have eaten, nothing compares to the friends that this experience and language has given me. It’s been such an amazing journey trying to tackle such a complex and intricate language with others who share the same passion for Chinese as I do. I have made some of the most amazing friends here that I will never forget. I can’t wait to see what other connections I can forge in the future using my love of Chinese. I am going to miss going out and having the freedom to explore this city and all the people I have met here. I can’t wait to come back!
Today is July 22, 2016. We are close to the end! I am ready to go home and see my family and friends in America, but I am very sad to leave all the great friends I have made here in the past few weeks. So today, 2B ban prepared for the baogao (presentation). After preparing, we all went to a market, our last outing as a class. I will miss them, He Laoshi, and Su FAM. My favourite part of the day was just having some free time to take a nap. But I am enjoying my last week here! Gotta live it up til’ the end. Yesterday, 2B ban had to take the STAMP test. It was hard because the reading section had so many characters that I did not recognise. The speaking section was not too bad, but I did not have much to say. Tomorrow, we are going to The Great Wall of China. I am very excited to see it because to me, it is the most interesting part of Chinese history. The drive is about 3 hours, but it is so worth it. I want to take aesthetic photos to bring back good memories to America.
The past four weeks have been full of new experiences, some big, some small. I’ve been able to talk to people that I otherwise would have never had the opportunity to talk to elsewhere. I have also been able to do things that I never would’ve been able to do at home. For instance, today we rode the public bus to get to the Beijing zoo, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve done that back home. Additionally, after we left the zoo, we rode on the subway. Some of my classmates are used to the subway because they live in New York. I never get to do something as simple as riding on the subway or buses, so these little small things make my day. I feel like I have learned so much here in China and I can’t wait to take everything I have learned here back to America with me. I’m a little sad to leave behind the constant CVS runs for yogurt and bao zis, eating rice and seaweed on the dorm room floor with my roommate, and just having fun with my amazing class. This experience has passed a little too quickly. However, I am eager to share all of my interesting stories with my friends back home. Tomorrow we are going to the Great Wall, so I plan to live up this last weekend with my amazing new friends. Bye bye!
This morning, I awoke 50 minutes after my first alarm and 30 minutes after my second to my roommate’s announcement of his departure for breakfast. It’s generally never a good thing to be awoken by somebody leaving for an event that you too must attend. There was a brief, intense, and violent battle with the contents of my room but I emerged ten minutes later victorious, if slightly disheveled. I arrived at my victory banquet to a selection including, but not limited to, bananas, Orion Pies, peanut butter, and Wonderbread. A feast fit for kings. The following three hours of class were quite substantive, but contained nothing out of the ordinary. Our class ended with an appreciation of the teachers, who incidentally absolutely deserve to be thanked, with no mockery involved. With the end of class came a quick lunch, a much longer nap, and then an excursion to a shopping mall full of stone jewelry and office supplies (unrelated but nonetheless present together).
I often think of myself, an American citizen and an appreciator of material goods, as a consumer. And yet to my amazement, in the city of eternal sales and endless markets I have bought but one item that is not meant to be consumed by mouth. In fact today, the final day of classes and the third from final day of the program, was the first day that I bought anything that was not food. I will admit that it cost less than 1 USD and was somewhat useless, but at least I can say that I have not gone entirely without the consumerism that is so inherent in the process of Beijing life. That being said, the culinary works of art that I have bought in lieu of fake name brands have entirely outweighed any material gains in terms of pure satisfaction.
We returned with our minds on that greatest of all Beijing productions: food. However, just as we were about to leave for dinner we were distracted by something slightly more fulfilling (at least in our minds): soccer. The international students had taken over the field and Erik and I sprinted to join in. After a good 50 minutes of floundering about in the midst of people who knew what they were doing, we returned for a 10 minute shower and attempted to grab dinner in the twenty minutes remaining before the performance of the evening: a revised edition of 北京欢迎你 with lyrics fit to the contents of our curriculum.
July 21 Beijing Academy Student Posts! Beijing Academy Student Posts from July 20!