发布时间:2016-10-26 07:56:32责任编辑:高振中点击次数:811


    Grateful to Remember

    大连高中女校   12-1   孙嘉睿


    Let’s start off with the request from UVa, asking me to describe and give feedback of the advanced courses that I have experienced in July. How would I evaluate it, you ask me. I suddenly felt a lump sticking at my throat, mesmerizing the last four weeks of mine, wandering, fitting, loving, missing the “Grounds” of University of Virginia. A brief evaluation would not be enough.




        I slept well on my flight to America. My mom seemed to dream peacefully beside me; she wanted to keep me accompanied in America before my summer session started. I was very grateful for her decision. We visited the Big Apple these days, roaming about on the seemingly endless Fifth Sixth and God knows which other avenues, breathing in the thin air and amazed by the grand view from top above on the 86th floor of the Empire State, feeling the solemnity of the quietness in the great New York Library. I felt like I was somewhere between a “tourist” and an “American”: visiting these clichéd sites commercialized by tourism while being touched by the same details that once moved the Americans, some delicate and others grand.


        After arriving Charlottesville, reality started to kick in. As my mom kept complimenting the way these soft, clear clouds seemed to be stroked by an artist on the sky of palette blue, panic attacked me unexpectedly. I was not exactly a sociable person and I could only be likable with people that I already knew. Once I got there, I became a complete pessimist. I would be on my own for an entire month. I would be friendless, exhausting and helpless for these four weeks. This sky is meaningless to me for the whole 28 days.


        I bade farewell to my mom, walking to the bookstore, alone. I carried my textbooks which felt like a thousand pound. I walked to my dorm, inhaling the emptiness. I lay down. There was no one. The cold air was stabbing me. I wanted to cry.


        A couple of knocks woke me from misery. The girl on the other side of the door was a Chinese girl with pale skin and Peking accent. She asked me if I wanted to hang out. I followed her to the lounge, and at that instance I realized that I was not alone.


        This was our little Chinese community. There was probably no similarity amongst each individual of us but some magical solidarity magnetized us together. I felt blessed and I knew I was not alone. After we yawned to each other, dismissed ourselves from the little meeting, I lied on the bed and fell asleep within a few seconds. I slept very well that night.


        I met my roommate the next day. She was a pretty brunette with nervous smiles. Together we chatted like we already knew each other. I felt her anxiety and somehow she felt mine. During dinner I sat with her and a bunch of American girls. They all chatted naturally like they knew what they were doing; I sat there all rigid, understanding every word of their conversation while failed to blend in. My roommate shot me with a comfort smile, reassuring me that everything would be okay.


        This was how I started my journey. I fumbled, feeling a bit lonely and a bit broken, but somehow deep down, I knew I would be okay.




        The first day of school was a complete mess. The UVA Grounds was incredibly big. By sheer exploring, I would never get to my classrooms. I did a bit of a research the day before, only disappointingly discovering that it would take me roughly 15 minutes to go to any of my classes.

    我上午的那一节课是在New Cabell上,在去之前,我以为那栋楼很好找,因为上面标着“IMP”,可是到真正走的时候,我才发现大部分的楼都标着IMP。在我即将崩溃之际,多亏我在路上遇到了和我同课的同学.于是,长途跋涉之后,我终于在社会学课上找到了一个座位,悄悄地坐下来。

        I thought a building that uniquely marked with “IMP” was New Cabell, the place for my sociology class. While as I anxiously walking along the road, I discovered that almost every building has IMP on it with frustration.


        After a long walk that wore me out thoroughly, I found a seat in my sociology class and carefully sat down. My professor was a Columbian lady with a pair of starry eyes. She started the class by letting us guess her identity. I could only conclude based on my instincts, and I was scared to put my hand up, fearing that my Chinese accent and awkward answers would be sneered at. I found myself secluded once again---the rest of the class was participating actively, engaging in accurate deductions. I was awed by their observation skills. How possibly could they tell her favorite genre of music by the pattern on her bag? Or how did they accurately deduce that she didn't have a car?


        I didn't have lunch that day. My genocide class started at 2 in the afternoon and I forgot to read the materials that my professor assigned the day before. At first I thought 4 hours are plenty for 80 pages of reading, given how fast a reader I usually am. Time flied without knowing. I stopped at page 34 because otherwise I would be late at class. On my way to class, I shockingly found that I could recall literally nothing of the reading materials. Exhausting and depressed, I hit the “record” button on my phone, preparing for the class that I had dreamt to have for months. He talked really fast. He spoke in long, complicated sentences that are only used in books. His lecture was filled with fantastic facts that I wanted to shove them all in my head. He broadened by horizon. He seemed to know so much that I felt like an ignorant child.


        I started to fit in. I started to wave at people even though I hardly know them. I started to “live” in the study room, reading till 11o’clock. I started to hang out with these newly made friends. I started to see why my mom eulogized the sky, it was stunning.




        Everything started to become easy to me. I did not speak with hesitance any more. I became one of the active participants in class. I had free make-up sessions for my friends and I helped them ordering Chinese food.


        We engaged ourselves less in studying but more in loving this place. We found ourselves busy in all sorts of activities: peach-picking, “The Odd Couple” and assassination games. We were indeed a huge group of odd couples. How did we bond so quickly? And when did I stop questioning myself and started to enjoy all these experiences? Little that we knew, we would leave soon.





        I cried silently in the empty dormitory. Everyone has left; every detail is fading away from me. I missed my roommate. We used to stay up all night discussing our big and small dreams, laughing so hard that others must have heard us. I taught her Chinese and she taught me Spanish (unfortunately I only remembered “verde”, which means green) I made her little notes when she was not awake, and she thanked me through texts casually. She always magically cheered me up these nights that I felt alone. She is and will always be my bro for a life time. I missed the Chinese community. I missed the “secret meetings amongst the Chinese” that we have been having. I missed that look on my professors’ faces, knowing that I have contributed some good arguments on the table. I missed that night when cloud blocked the stars but we saw the stars anyways. I missed that sensation where I could tell other people that I came here alone without actually feeling lonely. I missed the way everyone pronounced my name.


        It’s funny how every single moment, happy or sad, is conserved in my head permanently and I get to replay these moments anytime I want, with tears and laughter that an outsider would not remember. I am grateful to remember.


        So you asked me how to evaluate my time in UVA advance.