A Hidden Beauty

A Hidden Beauty

Shyree J. Clark

Meet ... Shyree J. Clark

China Study Abroad Major: Psychology
Location: Beijing, China
Studying: Spending four weeks immersed in the Chinese culture while visiting majestic, historical sites and studying at the prestigious Institute of Chinese as Second Language of Peking University.

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One day the group and I were trying to find the cafeteria, and we were very confused and were getting turned around a lot. We were starting to get a bit frustrated, because we thought we knew the right way but always turned out to be a dead end.

Shyree Clark While most people were just trying to find where we were going, they over looked the beauties of the campus. My friend Randi and I saw some bamboo for the first time, then we saw this eerie walk way. So we decided to check it out.

I was amazed by how something so beautiful could be hidden in the city. I feel like the moral of that day was, “Don’t get frustrated with life if the route you wanted to take is not available, but enjoy the gifts and find another way.”

Dinner Disaster

My first not so great experience occurred in a restaurant that is affiliated with the dorms we are staying in. The waitress did not speak any English and didn’t listen to our Chinese. She seemed to have assumed that, because we are Americans that we couldn’t speak Chinese so she didn’t even listen to any requests.

This dinner included three friends of mine Randi, Dan, and Sam. Randi is a vegetarian, so Dan who is not new to China explained multiple times that Randi does not eat meat. I was served my ribs that were cold, so I sent them back. Then we are served the rest our meal, and the dumplings that Sam and I ordered — which had meat in them looked exactly the same as Randi’s.

Dan asked the waitress if it had meat in it ,and the waitress just walks away. Then the waitress comes back with another waitress and manager. The manager takes Randi’s plate and gives her vegetarian dumplings, but puts Randi’s half eaten dumpling on my plate and takes one of my good dumplings and puts it on Randi’s old plate and takes it away.

I was so angry that I wish I spoke Chinese more fluently so I could give them a piece of my mind. All this happened in about 20 minutes, and I still did not get my ribs back! I was beyond ticked off. When I finally received my ribs they seemed half eaten unless they gave me a new plate with less. I was not at all happy with the service.

Learning Chinese in China!

I am very glad I decided to take classes in China. I am learning so much while I am here. Also my professors do not speak very much English, so it forces me to practice my Chinese. Also the classes are very hands-on, which are more helpful than just memorizing everything so I can ace the test and forget everything a week later.

Also being in China helps us practice what we are studying so much more. While I was climbing Mount Tai, I spoke to a local in Chinese. I would never have had the confidence to do that before. In class, some days we act out plays in Chinese like how to order food or asking someone for directions. Other days we may play games by reading sentences from our homework, and if we had a grammatically correct sentence we get a point.

Gōngfu xiù (Kung fu show)

Gōngfu xiù
For the first time I went to a Kung Fu show, and it was one word ... AMAZING! They were doing flips and fighting scenes, and showing their skills with weapons. It was really cool. They also put a few love scenes in also. They really tried to entertain everyone.

The best part of it all was it was in English, so I could easily follow the story without trying to translate and watch at the same time. The story was mostly about a young boy being afraid of being a warrior, and his teacher told him his story about he was once afraid to. I definitely give the play and its actors two thumbs up. They played on every emotion, and it was very entertaining.

Shandong Province

Shyree Clark
Last weekend I went to Shandong province. First we climbed Mount Tai. Then we went to Confucius’ temple, palace and tomb. It was a very interesting trip.

A lot of people wanted to take pictures with me, because they are not use to seeing foreigners — especially African Americans. I did not mind at first until people stopped asking and just started posing with us without permission.

My favorite part of the weekend was the climb up Mount Tai. It was something different, but I will never do it again in my life. I am deadly afraid of heights, and I either had to walk back down or take the cable car back down. So either way I was not going to be happy. I decided to take the cable car, because I was in a lot of pain. I hurt my ankle a few days before and climbing made it worst.

Luckily I had my friends Dianne, Sam, and Eric there to support me.

    — Shyree J. Clark, psychology major