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"YingHua in Beijing" Summer Program Announcement

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by Liao,Bonnie on 2011-07-12

Dear Parents,

We all had our final 1-mile run today at the park which was timed. Congratulations Ryan Dempsey for placing first. We also wrapped up classes at the hotel today with our finals. We also had a final exam for our leadership training. If you find the opportunity to do so, I encourage you discuss your child\'s final exam with him or her.

The Chinese Language lessons at this program only run on 12 days including today. That\'s 44 45-minute lesson equivalent. During such a short time, Most students have made noticeable progress when comparing with their own Chinese proficiency level.

Those who did not get good grades are particularly afraid of being reprimanded by YOU. Please do not \"get mad\" (as some students described your likely reaction to their grades).

As you may have realized by now, learning Chinese language is only one of the many objectives for this program. We use learning Chinese to train their ability to self-motivate and self- discipline as part of the leadership training. How much Chinese they can learn and retained are relatively less important, especially for the A class. The hope for the students attended the A class is that they would be motivated enough to learn Chinese more systematically at a weekend Chinese school or at their regular schools. Or to return in February 2012 to attend the \"YingHua in Beijing\" Honors Program (studying at a boarding school in Beijing for five months). Otherwise, they will quickly forget.

For the B class, those who listened to the Journey to the West will be able to retain some of the stories. For the C class, the students should be able to retain some of the stories from \"The Romance of Three Kingdoms.\" They will also remember the sitcoms and some Chinese wisdom and customs, etc.

Since we only had three levels, few students could actually get \"A\" for their levels. However, we have been encouraging the students to work hard and not to take the easier level just to get a good grade. So some of them thought they made the right decision for staying with the harder class instead of getting an easy A. This is exactly what we wanted to make these kids realize. Most of them cared  about their final grades at the beginning. Now they care more about what/if they have learned to their fullest potential. So please do not disappointed by their Chinese test score.

There were indeed some students who started being less motivated to learn Chinese. However, I believe by the third week of the program, every student was trying and working hard. Some of them had learned to work hard from their peers and roommates!

For the A class, since it is the most basic class, you might get upset that your child did not Ace it, especially if your child had been learning Chinese for a while. The A class is not easy by all means. Even if your child has been taking Chinese lessons, what they learned here was different. The students have a wide range of prior exposure to Chinese. So the teacher must manage a wide range of expectation and progress. Even if they did not get a good grade, they at least had witnessed how Sophia learned Chinese. Sophia has set a great example for the A class students I am sure they now understand what \"working hard\" means.

After those two exams, we left for Beijing\'s largest bookstore which has four floors. Then we went to another market where by now every student has become an experienced haggler. Again, many students bought things for their families and we had dinner at the food court on the sixth floor of the building.

We had our group reflection at 8:30 p.m. Liao Laoshi also reviewed the answers to the Leadership exam and asked every student to share their 15.a answers to the group as a way to summarize these three weeks. Attached are two documents I\'d like to share with you so that you may continue the conversation with your child at home. I will send more materials to you later. Please DO NOT share these with prospective YiB parents and students as these materials are only a very small portion of what we say and do with the kids. Kids who come to this program have gained so much deeper understanding of these materials. I would not want these documents to mislead anybody into thinking these are all the contents of our leadership program. 

Reflection Notes:

Dave – Today we had our finals and he studied for it but did not get a grade he thought he would receive. The subways in China are much cleaner than New York\'s. The market wasn\'t great because he got irritated there a lot. Forced himself to come to reflections because he just wanted to sleep.

Joanne – Was really stressed out because of the exams in the morning got 80/100 and was glad. Got two notebooks from the bookstore

Matt – Today we took exams and he got a good score. Matthew wants to apologize to MingMing for sabotaging her water.

James – Felt sorry for people who got the trays at dinner when he and his friends got hotpot. Tried to tell someone to stop smoking in front of a no smoking sign - an act of \"risk-taking\".

Ben – Surprised himself by finishing early in the final run and getting a good grade on the final exam. Thinks he had more potential than he thought he did.

Ryan – Got first at the morning run and was proud. Passed the final and thought he did pretty well since he didn\'t know any Chinese previously. Going to kind of miss the hotel.

Tia – Will try to have as much fun as she can for the last week of camp. Got a pair of shoes and 3 angry birds at the market. Has never been on a train/subway so stuffed since Line 1 at Beijing was very crowded. Thanks to Wang Laoshi for getting the new keys for everyone at the hotel when they wouldn\'t work today.

Chauncey – Learned a lot of things here such as not sleeping in class and growth and fixed mindsets and will miss the service at Yong An.

Jessica – Got a score she was somewhat happy with at the Exam and has learned a lot at camp.

Detorea – Today we went to the market and the bookstore where she got a Rubiks cube and had spicy noodles for dinner. Got two books at the bookstore. It was so crowded on the Line 1 train.

Annie – Helped Sophia find a drawing book at the bookstore today. Appreciates Sonia for helping her stand straight on the train.

MingMing – Can\'t believe that 3 weeks has already passed. Felt that she came into this program close-minded and even though she came here before she felt this time was so different and was reluctant to come but feels that it was amazing.

Tristan – Disappointed that he got 3d in the run this morning when he promised himself he would get first. Had hotpot at the market today. Didn\'t think shopping was interesting. Hopes that last week is the best week here.

Brandon – Today is last day on campus. Today we went to another bargaining market and had a great experience at this camp.

Lisa – Today we had a final exam and even though she didn\'t get the score she hoped for she still learned a lot and got a lot of things for her friends back home at the market.

LinLin – Saw a very pregnant lady at the shop and working in hot and humid environment. Feels lucky that she does not have to work under that kind of situation or worried about money.

Shannon – Loves coming back to this camp every year because the interactions that happen at camp will never happen elsewhere. This year of camp was very special because people change and so does she every year.

Sophia – The capital museum yesterday was very interesting. The pizza buffet yesterday was very unhealthy but she picked good foods. The Summer Palace was beautiful and the boat ride was beautiful. Today was really fun and was happy to hear she got an excellent grade on the exam and studied hard and her hard work paid off. Thanks all her teachers and Shannon that helped her study. Found a cartoon drawing book to practice her sketches at the bookstore.

Sonia – Yesterday was a long day because it was physically tiring. The pictures at the long-corridor were great because we had read about them before. Didn\'t enjoy the market today. Hopes to meet her camp-mates outside of camp someday.

Melissa – Didn\'t think she did so well on the exam. Really thinks she learned a lot at the camp even though it was a little hard. Didn\'t know what to get at dinner today and appreciates the pre-ordered food we usually get. Wants to thank Zong Laoshi for everything she\'s done. Three weeks at Yong An has felt like home to her but is excited to go to Guang Ai school.

Darren – Today was the final exam and got an 89. Wish we could stay here at the hotel forever.

Amy – Yesterday she lost her camera and her parent told her a saying Not to cry over spilled milk which made her feel better.

Robert - I\'m grateful that this camp is busy and varied enough to provide me with good distractions all the time. I\'m glad I\'m here. Also because of all the people. If I were at home all this time, that would be bad because I have a tendency to do a lot of negative-self-talk when I\'m left alone for a while. I will be more involved in these kinds of things all throughout my life so that I have more opportunity to think about the good of others, grow, and do some good work rather than slip into my more naturally isolated state where not much good happens. Placing myself into these situations is good for my mental and spiritual health.

Liao Laoshi – Tomorrow we are going to a new place and so far thinks that this camp has gone fairly smoothly although there have been unavoidable events. Looking forward to next week because it is a new adventure because she has never been to that school before and hopes everyone will remember what we have been learning about leadership such as having a purpose, having determination, so that next week will be a meaningful week. Happy that most kids can answer responsibly on the Leadership Test. Hopes we can apply all the things we learn next week at the Guang Ai School.

Robert & Bonnie


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