【三一學員分享】陶同學:My Adventure in the Hall of Civilization



關于作者

陶同學,15歲

目前就讀于北京


OK, so I'm trying to write this in English. It might seem crazy but I'll give it a shot. I enjoyed myself very much during the summer boarding school and I would really like to share some of my experience. All those laughing, crying and even anger built up the connection between people and strengthened myself as well.


First day jitters


After our flight delayed for four hours and flying for nine hours, I finally arrived at the summer school where I would spend my next two weeks. Although it was midnight, the principal still greeted me and showed me around. I could tell that he was exhausted under the dim light in the hall, but he was still patient with my questions and was friendly and kind.


After unpacking my suitcase, it was already 2 o’clock. Surprisingly, I woke at around five. While I was picking what clothes I was going to wear, I suddenly felt a pat on the shoulder. That scared me a bit and turned around unconsciously. 


"Hi, I'm Nastia, I’m from Russia." She said in a quiet voice. "I…I'm Cindy…from China." I replied half-awake. 


That's the first conversation between my roommate and I. Brief, and a little awkward.


I chose Medicine as my elective. We talked about aneurism during our first session. There were lots of group discussions, and since our group sat in a row, I could often find my groupmate at the other side frowning when I was talking. 


I got confused and asked if anything was wrong, turned out that she couldn’t hear me from the other side, though there was only one person between us. "Be confident of your voice." she said, I remembered it with deep impression because that’s when I finally know how to solve this problem, which I had for years.


After all the classes, I went up the stairs into my room with my tired mind and body. When will two weeks end so I can go back? I thought to myself.


Hi friends!



I'm not good at social contact, and stayed "invisible" in my class back in China for three years. At first I thought things were going to be the same here and found it difficult to join in while they were chatting in a circle, so I went over to the swings and met a girl from Hong Kong named Sophia.


We talked a lot about our daily lives and hobbies. She was in the other Medicine course. We chatted during break time, and met another Italian girl named Ginevra. Soon we became close friends. After returning to my room, I wished tomorrow to come quicker so I could see them again.


The interesting roommate of mine


I woke up the other day, and found my roommate, Nastia, was watching videos on her phone. After packing my bag for the day, I turned around and saw a black dot right next to my face. The dot moved upward and vanished as I was trying to observe it. I had a guess of what it was, and moved a little to the right. 


The black dot drop down in front of my face once again and was swinging freely this time. I was terrified at that long-legged spider and couldn't even scream. After noticing that there was another person in the room, I tried my very best to stop myself from shivering and called her for help. 


"Oh," she replied after seeing the dot, looked calm, "We need a cup." she whispered. I hesitated for a moment and finally grabbed my tooth glass. I used the cup to encircle the spider, and Nastia immediately covered the cup with the lid. The spider suddenly started to scrabble around. I opened the lid outside the window and it took off quickly. I think I looked quite calm at that time, though I almost thrown away my tooth glass and lid when it came out. After the situation, Nastia told me that she was not afraid of spiders at all. Well, she’s from Russia after all, I thought to myself.


It was another night, another different tale. That night she was on her bed with her friend called Amelia, a Polish girl. While they were chatting happily, Nastia suddenly kicked the blanket. "What happened?" Amelia asked, quite shocked. "Nothing, there was a spider." Nastia replied calmly. Their conversation started again, but soon ended with a scream from Nastia. "Wait, what…" I looked to the place they were both shouting at. There, on the celling, was a big green insect, something like a grasshopper. I felt relieved, at least it wasn't a spider or something, and it was kind of cute by the way. 


"Well, just leave it alone, it's not going to hurt you, and even it fells, it's gonna land on my bed, wait, I think there's one above your head…" More screams came when Nastia looked up and saw the other grasshopper. They suddenly ran out of their bed. Amelia ran out to get help from the staffs, while I was trying to reach it with a bag, and Nastia grabbed the first spray she saw (later I looked at the spray and it said hair gel) and sprayed randomly on the ceiling. Just as I expected, the insect didn't move at all.


Soon Harrie, our staff, came into the room carrying a bag with her. She climbed up to my bed and tried to reach it as I did before. The poor green insect fell, but it wasn’t inside the bag. We looked under the bed, on the bed and I felt an itch on my leg since I was sitting on my bed and didn’t move. This time Nastia ran out of the room screaming, making people forgot that I was actually the one who had the insect on my lap. Harrie gently lifted it up and put the poor thing inside the bag. She used the same way to get the other one above Nastia’s bed. 


"Is it inside the bag?" Nastia kept asking. "Yeah, I think so, yeah…wait…uh, yeah." Harrie replied with uncertainty. I thought that would just made Nastia more anxious, so I searched for it around her bed, and saw the little one on her nightstand. "Ermmm… Harrie?" I called as I pointed at the grasshopper. As I expected, once again, more screams came beside the door. After catching the two grasshoppers, the room finally got quiet. "How come you’re afraid of these little insects but not spiders?" I asked her," I thought spiders are supposed to be creepier, bigger too." "Yeah, but they’re SOOOOO GREEEEEN!" She shivered, and replied.


How loud did they scream? The next morning, even the people from different floors heard the sound and came to ask us what happened last night. Well, it was not the bugs’ nor the girls’ fault that there was tree outside our window and the tree branch leaded to our window directly.


Culture shock



"Atishoo!" A person sneezed at the back while we were having an assembly. Just as I was about to turn around and see what was going on, the whole crowd said "bless you" all at once. Just then, I remembered that it is a western tradition to say it. However, the scene was still much bigger and louder than I thought.


Back in my room, Nastia was already inside. "Atishoo!" she sneezed, so I decided to try the phrase on her first. "Bless you." I responded quickly. She said thank you, so I asked whether people in Russia say these words in situations like this. "Oh yes, of course." she replied, "and if you don't, they may think of you as disrespectful." She felt quite shocked when I said we didn’t have them in China. After reminding myself a couple more times, it became a conditioned reflex to say the phrase. I could not even stop saying them when I returned to China.


Strive for what I like



"Time to choose your wellbeing sessions, guys!" I heard Harrie, one of our staff members saying in the hall. I was hesitating between basketball and tie-dye. On the one hand, my close friends all chose tie-dye and I’m always interested in art, on the other hand, I hadn’t played basketball for a while and I really wanted to give it a shot. "I choose…tye…um, basketball." I told Harrie.



There were 7 people who played basketball. The team of three included Amelia, Dave and Boris. Have I mentioned that Amelia is the captain of her school's basketball and volleyball team? Dave is one of our staff members, and was super flexible at sports. As for Boris, he sat next to me in Medicine and was a kind, humorous and big person. 


Our team had four players, which were Petr, Radu, Marcin and me. Petr taught the other Medicine class which Sophia took. Radu was in the Law class while Marcin was in the same class as me, big, as well. After finding out the advantages the all other players had, such as height, experience and skills, I suddenly got all flurried. Jeez why I chose basketball? I could be sitting in front of a table trying to dye a shirt randomly right now, I thought, and gave myself a wry smile. But, never mind. I like basketball, and that’s what matters.


We played three rounds in a row, and won round two. To my surprise, Marcin was excellent at scoring. I barely scored any, because I got another task, that was, to block Boris from passing and scoring. I think I did pretty well because he got his hands on the ball for less than 10 seconds in total after I started to guard him.


Our main conversation on the field goes like "Please leave me be, Cindy." "You let go of me first." "No! You're not going anywhere if you're not gonna stop chasing me around." "Well, looks like you’re gonna hang me like this for a while…" All in all, the game was amazing. In addition, somehow Dave spread how "fierce" I was on the field even Logan, my Medicine teacher heard of this, probably it’s because I don't usually act like that inside the campus.


From that experience, I learned that it’s okay for us to do things we like, rather than things we are better at, as long as we are passionate about it and with reason.



The other example of what I said above came a couple of days before the Time to Shine program. The two Medicine classes gathered and discussed what to do at that day. "Now." Logan started, "As your five thousand-year-old teacher (don't know why but he liked to introduce himself like that.), I always like to start with a performance in the crowd and, you know, terrify them a bit. My last class did heart condition, and this time we’re planning to do choking. Other performances will be on stage, after the "choking".


According to what you’ve learned these days, we're going to do "bandage", "heart condition", and "first aid". I really wanted to do the opening "choking", so I raised my hand for this part. To my surprise, I was the only one who wanted this; because I thought that it was going to be hard to get it. Logan asked whether I was sure to take it, maybe he did not think I could be life like at that. Well, neither did I. "I'll try." I replied.


My teammates were Boris and Marcin. I introduced them before. Here was our plan: I will be eating an apple, and suddenly choke in the audience. Boris will go out and find Dave for help (Dave was a nurse and we’ve told Dave to leave before we start). Marcin will be helping me by getting me up, hitting my back 5 times and squishing my stomach for another 5 times.



After rehearsing for many times, the day finally came. I started eating when the International Relations students started their performance. I knew it was rude to eat at that moment, but I didn’t have another option, so I apologized inside of my heart. After their great performance, Petr stood up and said: " Okay, thank you for your wonderful show, so…" The "so" was my cue, and I started to cough real bad.


It soon turned into choking. I heard Boris yelling and running out, but didn’t have the chance to pay attention to how did the audience reacted. I felt Marcin pulling me up and helping me. "Puff!" I released the apple piece I hid in my mouth. I heard our teacher explaining so I stood up. I coughed so badly that tears came out of my eyes. Suddenly I felt someone "squishing" my shoulders real tight.


"HEY!!! ARE YOU OKAY?" I heard a voice shouted. Wait, I thought it was over. I looked up with confusion, and saw Ivan, who was in the International Relations class. He looked intense and kept on asking me whether I was alright. It seemed that he took it seriously. The crowd laughed and told him it was planned. I smiled with the crowd, but inside I was deeply moved by his actions, because his actions reminded me of one thing:

When facing emergencies, there're always people who would like to do their best to give you a hand.


International Night  → friendship crisis



"Ok, time to prepare for the great International Night, guys." Harrie came and passed out instruction sheets. 


There were only two people in the Chinese team. Sophia looked at all the flag that were printed on the back of the sheet as decorations. "Why isn’t there a Hong Kong flag?" She said in disappointment. "Because the Chinese flag represented both mainland and Hong Kong." I told her and pointed at the red flag with five gold stars. "No it doesn't." She replied, "That’s the mainland's flag." I wanted to explain more to her but I stopped because I didn’t want it to lead to politics or arguments or what so ever.


I quickly changed the topic. "Do you think we can invite Sixtine and Victoria to join our group? The European group had simply too many people." Sixtine is a French girl who lived in Shanghai most of her life, and Victoria is half-Chinese and she lived in Norway. They agreed happily.


Later on Alice, the staff, asked us whether we would like to put the Hong Kong flag next to the China’s flag. "Yes please." Sophia agreed. "Yeah, Hong Kong is not a part of China anyway." Alice added. “Thank you!” Sophia got all excited, "Finally, someone gets me!" I tried to conceal, though I'm afraid I didn’t do it very well. I clenched my fists because I knew there wouldn't be a happy ending if I started an argument. Sophia and I prepared the shadow puppet show in silence, while Sixtine did the introduction of China.


Soon the show started, we were second. Sixtine started: "Good afternoon, so, today we're going to talk about China and Hong Kong. Jeez, I couldn't believe what she just said, so I hollered from the other side of the stage: "Hong Kong is a part of China!" "That's not true!" Sophia said right next to me. At the same time Sixtine hollered back. I almost fainted when she said: "It isn't, and that's the truth!" "Thank you!" Sophia said in a delighted voice.


The truth? Nonsense. Foreigners may not understand why I felt heartbroken when I heard this. It was like admitting California had nothing to do with the US. I tried my very best to stay calm while we were doing the shadow puppetry, and not tearing them all apart. However, the show got a little sluggish, due to the lack of practice (which was none). At last I chilled a bit. It may not be their fault, I thought to myself.



After the show ended. Sophia asked me why I was so "stubborn" about it. I told her I was taught this way since forever. "Same!" Somehow I felt relieved after she said the word. We hugged each after finding it out, and agreed that we would try not to talk about politics afterwards. Looking back at those days, I'm glad that I was mostly chilled, well, from the outside. We are not just ourselves anymore when abroad. Sometimes we represent our school, company, and even our country.


Pleasure to meet you all(ㄏ ̄▽ ̄)ㄏbye~



There were both good and bad sides of leaving in the afternoon. The good thing was that I could wonder around the building and try to memorize as much of them as possible, the bad thing was that it was suffering to see them leave. The atmosphere was completely different from last night’s graduation party.


I hugged Sophia and Ginevra real tight when they left in the morning, since I may never have the chance to see them again. In order to make myself feel better, I helped the staffs to get prepared for the fresh students who were coming in the evening. Looking at the list of the names of fresh students, I really hoped that they would gain the experience they’d cherish forever like we did.



Before I was about to leave, I hugged Boris and her elder sister Jasmine goodbye. Why would it ever end? I couldn’t help thinking.



What if, I thought,

I got down from the plane leaving for Beijing.

People stopped crying because of parting and came out of the graduation party in the afternoon, filled with excitement.


The sun came back from the west and fell right into the east. I took off the new clothes I bought and hanged it back in store with my friends. Nastia said hi to me and went to bed.


Midnight, I went out of the room with my suitcase, thinking about what would happen in two weeks and started the adventure.



家長評語


中考結束后的暑假是最輕松的,去參加個夏校,正當時!可是我們著手準備這事比較晚,總算在三一游學上找到一個時間地點年齡段課程內容都匹配的,怕打攪到娃備考,只能插空偷摸問幾句她對夏校的意見,真擔心萬一不合適啊。


娃是頭一次出國放單飛,飛機一晚點,抵達時間就從下午變成了晚上。娃爸一夜無眠,拜托到他在英國的所有朋友,一旦娃找不到夏校接機老師,他們會第一時間趕往機場。


然后的事情就在娃的游記里了。所有的小麻煩都是成長經歷,還有出乎意料的亮點。娃說這個四五十號人的營地像個大家庭。


之前也沒想到過夏?;顒尤绱擞绪攘?,讓娃信心大增收獲滿滿,學習了與世界各地的同學友好相處。

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