Hello everyone, Marcus here!
I will be one of your instructors this upcoming summer, alongside Zhaoling and Qianping, and I am greatly looking forward to meeting each of you and to embarking on our journey together in China! As the summer approaches, let’s all post a brief self-introduction here on the Yak Board. I’ll start with a little bit about myself:
I started studying Mandarin in fifth grade in my hometown of Brookline, Massachusetts, which later led me to China for the first time in 2007 for a high school semester abroad. Since first visiting China, I have been there and back many times, whether for studying Chinese, teaching in rural schools, working for a local Chinese NGO, or visiting friends and my Chinese host family (we are truly a family at this point 🙂
More recently, however, I have resided on the other side of the Strait in Taipei, Taiwan since 2013, during which time I have completed a Master’s degree in Chinese-English translation and interpretation and begun work in the field as a freelance literary translator and interpreter. I am also assistant to a project publishing a series of Taiwanese literary works in English translation headed by National Taiwan Normal University and the National Museum of Taiwan Literature.
On the side, I am also involved in a series of projects with a Taiwanese geologist, pertaining to sustainable agriculture, reforestation, ecological research, and preserving Taiwanese aboriginal culture, which meets my ongoing need to explore the great outdoors and connect with nature and myself. At Dragons, we hope to provide you with similar opportunities to find out who you are as a person and leader and to feel out what you are passionate about.
Returning to China this summer as a Dragons instructor, and in years past, has always been especially meaningful for me; as someone who has been in your shoes before, I look forward to sharing the experience of learning (and using) Mandarin in China with each of you and to exploring and learning from this incredible country together.
I’m looking forward to experiencing China through your eyes, and to drawing upon my own experiences as a student in China to help make this summer the best that it can be for all of us.
As you look to the summer, I imagine you may have a lot of questions: What should I pack? What will my fellow travelers be like? Where will we go and what will we do?
This Yak board is the place for you to ask these questions and to get to know your fellow travelers. In the coming weeks and throughout the trip, the Yak Board will be our main platform for communication. We, your instructor team, will be posting useful packing tips, ideas for homestay gifts and so on here on the Yak Board, so stay tuned! If you have any pre-trip questions, please feel free to ask them here. We are here for you!
Looking forward to hearing from everyone (please post a self-introduction at your next convenience 🙂