The Road Not Taken

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One of the most frequent questions I encountered regarding Spring Break is, “Why did you choose service learning while most of your friends were going either South or West to embrace the beach and sunshine?” I have contemplated this question…

Is Your Calling Worth Dying For?

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Calling is a big word. It implies a lifelong commitment to a cause, a belief. It may be a profession or a mission you feel so passionate about that you would lay down your own life in the course of…

Building a Balanced Sino-Africa Relationship

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Ever since my Peace Corps days in Cameroon, I’ve taken an interest in Sino-Africa relations. Last week, I met two journalists, one German, and another Chinese, both living in Africa, one in Addis-Ababa, and another in Ghana, respectively. We had…

To Make a Change, First Change Your Attitude

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These days, a Chinese internet term called “正能量” has been spreading around. Literally, it translates into “positive energy”. Recently, I just had a first-hand experience with this “正能量”. In the beginning of this month, I was in a sulky mood,…

Moving Out Of New York

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Ten months ago, I walked down the aisle and vowed to love and honor him for better or for worse, for rich or for poor. A few months later, I decided to move out of New York City – a…

A Curse or a Blessing

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In early June, my friends and I went traveling in Sichuan, a large and heavily populated province located in southwest China. It bore the brunt of the 2008 earthquake, but it has always been an attractive place with mighty mountains…

Winter at Qinghua Campus

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“The underlying feeling behind my Beijing photographs is the search for stillness within this churning city. The simplicity and placidity of the ice, snow and water seemed to me a piece of frozen time. I couldn’t not take the picture.”…

The Loss of A Legend Brings Our World Closer

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When Robin Williams passed away, I was in China. I was surprised but glad to see that my Chinese friends were deeply moved and mourning his passing. My WeChat was full of remembrances and quotes from his films and shows….

What I Learned From My First Paying Job

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Do you remember your first paying job? What was it? How old were you? I never thought I would start making money at age 17. But I did. I was a private tutor teaching eleven or twelve year olds English…

A Big Step for Me

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Just about two weeks ago, I founded a PR firm with my business partner in New York City. We filed the company by ourselves on New York State’s official website. On the same day, we purchased the domains for our…

The Bones Beneath The Jokes

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When you see a funny show on television or the Internet, all that the creators of the show want is for you to laugh, have a good time, and perhaps even share with a friend. The goal of the comedian…

Seize This Summer…Pause & Ponder

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Summer tourists flock to the Big Apple from all over the world. Their sheer presence presents a real and immediate circumnavigational challenge to New Yorkers who see turf turned into an obstacle course. Suddenly, their obsessive-compulsive one-directional on-the-go get-out-of-my-way walking…