By Jodi Yim James, Staff Writer
Derek Yang (杨德诚 yáng dé chéng, surname, kind, sincere) has been a Chinese language teacher in both China and the United States for many years. He has been a Middle School Chinese language teacher at Breck School in Golden Valley for the last 18 years.
By Bonhan Yu, Breck School Graduate
I was in Philadelphia the day before I took off for Breck School’s China Trip 2011. There is a show at the National Constitution Center right cross from the Independence Hall called Freedom Rise. After the show, I asked one of the actors in what words would he best summarize the spirit of America to a foreign visitor, and the answer I got was the famous “We the people” line from the Constitution.
In early 1972, United States President Richard Nixon made history when he became the first sitting President to visit the People's Republic of China. The relations between the two countries were finally normalized in 1979, and thus began a new partnership that would help define the path of the modern world. With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States found the new world superpower in the emerging People's Republic of China. Neither friends nor allies, these two countries are forming the most important bilateral political relation of the 21st century.
The gates opened and our bus drove through the trees down the narrow road of the Ren Da Fu Zhong campus. Some students frolicked around a rather large field playing soccer, while others dribbled around a tattered old basketball on green-cemented courts. The many buildings surrounding us were tall, large and beautiful; you could tell the school was much larger than Breck. After getting off the bus we proceeded to take a tour around the school and see the different classrooms. I was even fortunate enough to attend a class and participate in a group activity. My visit to Ren Da Fu Zhong allowed me to converse with the students to learn about the Chinese education system and more importantly about the students and their lifestyles. Based on my experiences in China, my conversations with Bohan Yu, and my research done outside class, I have learned that Chinese and American students are very different, not only academically, but also culturally.