Chinese language is spoken here
BY MADISON CHAYER
Growing up in Shijiazhuang, the capital city of North China’s Hebei Province, our new Chinese language teacher, Mrs. Ji Wenhua, says that her experience in school was much different from what she is encountering at BEHS. In China, schools were much stricter and the students were forced to wear uniforms. She likes the fact that the students here are allowed to express who they are.
Mrs. Wenhua says she was interested in working in the U.S. because the students know very little about China, and she’d love to give the students more in- formation about the culture.
“I think your country has the most advanced educational system,” adds Mrs. Wenhua.
More than a year ago now, she decided to join the Teachers of Critical Language Program, which is a cross-cultural program sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The program recruits and places teachers of English as a Foreign Language from China, Egypt, and Morocco within American secondary schools where they teach their native language and culture. After completing the program, she soon was hired for the position at BEHS.
As for her personal life, Mrs. Wenhua has one sister, one brother, one son, and a mother. Unfortunately, her father has passed away. Her son is 15, who is a student here at BEHS now, likes karate and loves to paint. Her sister works as a traditional Chinese doctor, using acupuncture or tai chi to treat health problems. Her husband, who is still living in China, is a businessman. Mrs. Wenhua and her family have always been close to each other.
Mrs. Wenhua describes herself as more of an ambitious and optimistic person.
“I think I’m eager to experience something different,” she explains, add- ing that she loves learning new things, and she hopes to learn a lot more.
Mrs. Wenhua’s hobbies include exercise and yoga. She enjoys swimming, playing ping pong, hiking, and traveling. She has traveled to America in the past, but has never lived here. Most recently, Mrs. Wenhua has visited New York, Boston, and Washington D.C.
Mrs. Wenhua thinks Bonny Eagle is great. She says that the interactions between the students and teachers are much friendlier than they are back in China.
“In my old school, if I were the principal, students would try to avoid me,” she said. “Students are willing to offer help,” she added. “The people are friendly, helpful, and don’t make me feel home- sick....They really treat me like family.”
Chen is taking changes in stride
BY ZEKE STURGEON
Jiechen Xing is a new 10th grade student, who goes by the name Chen. He has been at our school since Dec. 23, reuniting with his mother, who teaches the new Chinese language class at BEHS. This is his first time away from home, but Chen enjoyed the flight, even though it was more than 20 hours long.
Chen is adjusting to life at BEHS, especially the atmosphere and how our high school operates. While most Bonny Eagle students probably don’t think they have a lot of control of their school life, apparently compared to China we do. Chen enjoys this very much, since he no longer has to stay at school until 10 p.m., six days a week.
“The school work is really easy and I have a lot of free time,” he notes.
Staying at school all day, six days a week is foreign to us, but not as baffling as the restricting of student relationships in some Chinese schools. In Chen’s school, students are not allowed to date, but Chen said he, along with many other students, didn’t take this rule very seriously.
On the positive side, his rigorous learning regimen in China has provided perks, such as making Chen a focused and hardworking student. It also has sparked his great interest for such things as history and philosophy.
Chen’s diligence may also be a product of his mother’s job as a teacher. Chen’s mother teaches the Chinese culture class here at Bonny Eagle, but this is not an unfamiliar thing for him. Back in China, Mrs. Ji Wenhua also taught at his school.
Mrs. Ji is proud of her son and his accomplishments. “He is very diligent and does not have problems with deadlines,” she says.
Chen does have some complaints about life in America, mainly having to do with his living situation.
“America’s infrastructure is very inconvenient,” he says.
This hits the hammer on the nail, for Chen is living in the middle of Hollis where civilization is sparse and wilderness is plenty. That’s a big change from where he lived in China, where the cinema was only a brisk 10-15 minute walk from his house; getting anywhere from Hollis means a drawn out 20-30-minute drive.
Chen is also having difficulty getting used to American food, but he will have to, because according to Chen, he and his mother are going to be part of our BE family for at least the rest of this year.
Chen’s final words on being at BE were, “I am very glad to join Bonny Eagle. It’s a big new family; I enjoy my life here. I’m looking forward to meeting new people.”