As of recent, my performance at both the Flagship and Nanjing classes are decent, however, there’s always room for improvement. The only concern I have with my Nanjing classes is the fact that the professors are demanding students to be study rigorously, but they don’t offer clear instructions or advice in order to do so, other than doing self-study. In one respect, this advice makes sense since we are attending graduate courses; on the other hand, as a non-native Chinese speaker, I, myself and possibly other Flagship students also feel lost in the lectures. In my perspective, lectures are only as effective as the student’s capacity to comprehend the information and materials being bombarded at them. I will withhold myself from engaging in another rant about the effectiveness of the Flagship Capstone pedagogy and the philosophy behind designing the program as it is today since I believe it’s meaningless; what I can say with stronger confidence is that learning is largely dependent on the student.
Aside from school related endeavors, I have been searching for an internship in the Guangdong province, particularly, the city of Shenzhen. After seriously contemplating the pros and cons of staying in Nanjing or relocating to a different city for an internship, I concluded that the potential benefits, opportunities, and experiences offered of the latter persuaded me to prioritize all my search efforts to cities outside of Nanjing. I just really hope I can find one in Guangzhou or Shenzhen. God be willing. In regards to my living conditions with my roommate, I believe we are having a splendid time and I am very grateful and fortunately to have chosen him as opposed to my other roommate candidates. Our tutoring sessions are very proactive, in the sense that, we are always updating the content and pedagogy. Moreover, my roommate persuaded me to leave Nanjing and to specifically attempt to find work opportunities in Shenzhen next semester.
As for personal well-being, I am physically in China, but my mind and heart is set on the future and I have been frequently wrestling with the “what to do after college” question. I believe I have to utilize this relatively more relaxed time in Nanjing to map out my next step. Specifically, I have been contemplating on whether to study my postgraduate degree in linguistics or translation and interpretation in Hong Kong or China. Some professors told me that it is possible to finish a Phd in China in about 4 years, but I question whether a Chinese Phd would hold weight in a global context. In actuality, I gravitate towards entertaining the thought of studying in Hong Kong, this desire is much stronger than my desire to study in China, but the Hong Kong government does not provide financial support or loans to non-locals, which is terribly frustrating and discouraging, however, hopefully I will find a way to make this dream a reality. Our lives are really too short and extremely uncertain to procrastinate on realizing our ambitions and dreams. Who knows, I might meet death a second from this moment or 50 years into the future. Foolish as it may be, all I know is I have to give it a try. Regret is far more crushing and heavy than debt.
Presidential Palace of Nanjing (南京总统府)(15.04.18)
The Memorial of the Nanjing Massacre （南京大屠杀纪念馆）
Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge (长江大桥公园)
*These experiences were made possible by the Gilman Scholarship
3/23/15 – 4/28/15