When Chinese Is a Neighborhood Asset

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For a learner of Chinese, New York City is a fortuitous place to end up for a job. Especially the borough of Queens, where I currently call home. Within a quarter mile walk of my apartment, there are at least…

Mind Over Body?

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How often do you hear this mind-centric mantra “Mind Over Matter?” As this phrase implies, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. But what if  it – is your body? Can your mind control your body? Can your mind tune…

Fuling: A Glimpse of Today’s China

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A few weeks ago, I wrote down a description for my newly established Facebook photo album, “River Town, Fuling”: Around 15 years ago, Peter Hessler published his first book ‘River Town,’ talking about the people, culture and life at Fuling…

My First Job

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On the first day of class, the small classroom was crowded with fresh faces, most of which I’ve never seen before. When the professor started his lecture, I sat in the corner and looked at the students—some looked curious and…

A Million Dollar Question

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On the eve of Chinese New Year of the Goat, I found myself challenged by a million dollar question in the least expected of places. Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious…

Icy Winter Wonderland

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Every winter, I see the famous Snow and Ice Festival on my social media timeline from friends whom live in China. I am not one for crowded tourist attractions, and never quite feel the crowd is worth whatever amazing thing…

How a Mentor Matters in Transition

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Recently I’m reading a book (“The Collected Works of Shanchen Xia”) written by my friend Prof. Shanchen Xia, who is a senior Chinese professor in law. We met in January 2014 when he was speaking at an event about “Shanghai…

Special Something For Special Someone?

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Valentine’s Day was one of my most dreaded holidays for most of my single adult life. I dreaded that urgent sounding message on TV…“Have you found that special something for that special someone in your life?” I dreaded those commercialized…

Re-imagining and Re-constructing a Future

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I am a sophomore from China     studying Political Science     in America,   wandering and stuck in constant cultural and conceptual collisions. Every time I returned home, family and friends would ask me what I’m studying in college….

Are China’s Heavy Bookbags Weighing the Kids Down?

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It’s Chinese tradition to place very important values on education, so important that, usually, a child and his/her schoolwork become the center of the little universe known as family. Each member of the family does all he/she can to contribute…

Fake It Till You Make It?

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​What if I tell you that I’ve been faking it, making it and forging ahead? What would you think of me? Would you think I’m a fraud, a thief, unoriginal and unethical? Or might you say – wait, it depends. What…

(中文) Guanxi (关系) or Renqing (人情)?

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Last October I had the chance to work as an English-Chinese interpreter in Philadelphia for a group of 110 Executive MBA students from the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou. They were on a two-week study tour in the US to…