Hi 6-Week China Trip Community,
I recently finished my phone call with Instructor Ben, and realized us students are also encouraged to make introductory posts. I suppose I’ll break the ice and begin.
My name is Kyle, and I’m from San Francisco California. I turned 16 at the end of last month. First and foremost on this introduction, I’d like to thank the instructors and the Dragons organization for this opportunity: I’m very excited. For me, learning the Mandarin language plays a big role in a long-time dream of mine. From a young age I’ve wanted to work in China and protect endangered species and natural resources. Many environmentalists I’ve come across have an unfair perception of China that depicts people in the nation as careless drivers of the extinction of many species, prominently elephants and sharks. However, I’ve had a different view. Through long-time involvement with snow leopard conservation, I’ve learned that the earth, and natural harmony, play large parts across Chinese cultures. I see great future potential for both China and the United States to together lead solutions to the climate crisis and find ways to balance increasing human demands with the order of nature. In order to help contribute to such a vision as best I can, I’m working to learn Mandarin and become further familiar with China and it’s people: that’s why I joined the program.
Intertwined with environmentalism, my main hobby is creating artwork. My public high school, Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, combines an arts focus with standard academic rigor, and I’ve really benefitted from that. For the past five years I’ve been painting and drawing to raise money for endangered species. I also lead an environmental club at my school where I’ve worked together with my peers to use our arts as a form of advocacy and education.
My experience with Mandarin began in middle school, when a course in the language was added to our curriculum. Unfortunately, my high school didn’t offer Mandarin or Cantonese despite the significance of Chinese in San Francisco’s history and the city’s demographic make-up today. Although I lost some of what I’d learned, I started taking tutoring lessons. I still consider myself a beginner, and I hope to become more comfortable with the language during our journey.
I attached three images, one of me with a baby goat at my school, and another two showing one of my art pieces (full shot and close up detail). I can’t wait to meet with all of you in person in a couple weeks. If you’re another student like me, I hope to have motivated you to also post an introduction, and I look forward to reading it.
All the best,