Feeling comfortable with the locals
Our group met around 8:30 a.m. to walk to our classroom — and to our surprise — it was a gorgeous conference room with plush purple chairs and cherry wood floors.
Later, we were joined by several of the students who gave us a tour on the previous day. During our discussion, after the lecture by Dr. (Jing) Luo, their input and opinions were greatly appreciated.
After our classes we were free to do whatever we wanted, so Sarah (Halter), Jake (MacLean), Dan (Copes) and I went to play basketball with Alex and several of his Chinese roommates.
Actually, at first I didn’t want to play basketball at all, because I had heard that the Chinese play basketball very well and knew I wouldn’t be very good at all!
So at first I was content to watch and take photographs as members of my group played HORSE with their new Chinese companions, but as their game came to an end, they urged me to join them in a real game.
With hesitation, I complied. As I played, I slowly began to remember how to play, since the last time I played was a few years ago. Unfortunately for my teammates we lost rather quickly.
They didn’t seem at all upset and we agreed to play again, just because we were all having so much fun. Our second game went much better, and we lost by just one point.
After our game we introduced ourselves, some of them couldn’t speak English at all but that didn’t stop them from being very polite.
We spoke with Alex (his Chinese name is Yan Ling Peng) about his living conditions in the dorm. I was shocked by what he told me. He lives in a dorm, the same size as an average American college dorm, with five other roommates and only one bathroom.
For air conditioning they only used a fan!
Despite their living situations, our basketball teammates never seemed cranky or annoyed with each other. In fact, they were the closest of friends. Though, as a female, I’m not allowed to see Alex’s dorm. Just hearing about
it leaves me with a deeper appreciation for what I have at home.
— Deanna Barnes, junior art history major