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"YingHua in Beijing" Honors Program Journal

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by Bonnie on 2002-03-20

Welcome on board, Ryan!
I'm glad that you said Just about everyone I know knows that I'm going there. In the months to come, there may be moments when you'd wish to run back home (like a looser would do) to escape from facing the challenges at Limai. I am sure one of the ideas that will carry you through will be but everybody knows I'm in China and I can't be defeated like this ... Believe me, it will work. When I decided to run my first marathon in NYC in 1999, I told just about everyone I knew that I was going to do it. So during the training when I thought it was hard, I'd think of all the people who knew I was going into this challenge and told myself that I would never quit. In the end, I did it. I ran two marathons in two years, which was quite suprising to many people as I had never been considered to be athletic in my life!
You've probably all have heard that your life in the future will have a lot of challenges and that a happy person means to be able to enjoy the satisfactory feeling of overcoming these challenges. In other words, life would not be as interesting if there were no challenge at all. What you need to learn is to solicit all the support you can so that you would not give up when you felt like it.
This spring, there will be six students studying at Limai in 4th grade (1), 5th grade (2), 7th grade(2), and 8th grade (1). Carl(7) and Ryan(5) are boys. Rachel(7) and Shannon(5) are returning students.
I am glad that you guys are taking advantages of this Journal board to get yourself best prepared for the journey. It is possible that once you're at Limai, you'd think actually NOT everything is as bad as you had prepared (well, some will be).
That'd be about right. As you know, Limai is one of the best private schools in Beijing. The teachers are EXCELLENT, especially if you can show your enthusiasm in learning. They'd give you a LOT more knowledge and opportunities to learn. Brandon, who has just returned from Limai to his school in California, has already started to see more and more benefits of his study-abroad experience. For one thing, he's even further ahead of his class in math and science - not to mention that he passed the HSK Level 7 (mid-Intermediate) while he's at Limai so his Chinese is REALLY good now.
Once you're at Limai, you'll learn to observe your surroundings and learn what's possible to change and what's impossible to change, which means that you'd need to adapt.
For the things that you could take advantages or to ask for improvements, if you did not, you'd lose the benefits that could have come with them.
For the things that you would not likely to make a dent, it would be a waste of your time and effort trying to change them.
The challenges for you are to differentiate the two types of things. At the beginning, you'd need to listen to Wang laoshi and Rachel's advice to learn what to push and what to suck up happily.
You can always ask why intelligently to understand the deeper reasons behind everything. Then after a while, you'd have a better idea. For instance, Rachel only discovered that students were allowed to play badminton during the 9th period until very late in the semester.
At the beginning, it is the best time to ask many whys (of course, very politely). You can write about all the things, big and small, in this online journal. You'd be amazed by how much you'll learn about and understand how Chinese think and the culture behind their thinking.
At the beginning, be prepared that your eyes could be fixed on the negative things a lot more than the positive things. Just remind yourself to appreciate all the positive things, no matter how small they may be, to give you the courage to move on. You will be surprised to find out that, yeah, as with anything else, there are always the negative AND positive sides.
Keep asking questions if you have any and enjoy the days at home!
Happy New Year! Wish you were here. It's REALLY fun celebrating the New Year. Rachel, Shannon, Lionel (Shannon's brother, who's going to attend a different boarding school studying wei-qi in Beijing), Rachel's mom, and I went ice-skating on a natual lake and then we spent 4-5 hours in a miao4 hui4. Yesterday, I took Shannon and Lionel to miao hui again. The highlight was when we saw people blowing hot soft candy material to make hollow animal figures and then let them cool down - like skilled workers blowing glass figures. It's REALLY cool! Shannon ate her mouse' tail!!
Anyway, you'll be fine at Limai after you adjust your expectations. Again, you can definitely count on the support and the help of the teachers.
Take care,

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