Thanks to my good friend from the William and Mary Confucius Institute (WMCI), Qiong Yang, I was able to visit the Chengdu Middle School in September 2017 and I did a presentation and Q/A session for the class. I spoke only Mandarin, which was a neat experience!
I talked about life in the US and the students shared about their lives in Chengdu. We weren’t that different. They played video games, sports, did music or dance after school.
I asked them what they wanted people in America to know about kids in China, and like most kids anywhere, they shouted, “HOMEWORK! All we do is homework!” I think they wanted their teacher to hear that, as she was standing next to me. 🙂
Some of the kids played Minecraft and we swapped userids so that we could try to play together. One of my friends, Emily, whose mom arranged the presentation, was a student in the class. You can see her here:
She is an amazing musician! She plays the Chinese zither, called the ‘guzheng’ and has been playing for many years. When she was in the US, she did some performances for large audiences. She’s my good friend and I’m really glad we met!
After the presentation and question session, the kids honored me by walking me to the school gate. We walked down stairs that had quotes from the famous Chinese poet Du Fu. The school was named for him and the Du Fu museum (which we visited afterward) was down the street.
The kids were having a great time and so was I. At the beginning they applauded practically every sentence of mine, which was very flattering! They asked so many questions and we all laughed a lot!
This was one of the best days ever, thanks to Qiong Yang and her daughter Emily and her husband, Gang. I’ll never forget it! I would love to visit more classrooms in China and make more friends. BEST. DAY. EVER!!!!
The school posted information and photos from my presentation on their WeChat blog. Its in Mandarin, and you can read it here.