“This was my chance,” I thought as a rushed into the program’s office and wrote my name on the list. I had just signed up for the 2015 CSI Spring Semester Speaking Contest. Oh God Fabiana. What were you thinking?
I was terrified. How was I going to stand up there that day and give a presentation in Chinese? I mean, even back at UR I try to avoid all sorts of presentations!
My second thought after leaving that office: I had single-handedly signed up for getting my butt kicked out of my comfort zone, that’s for sure.
In all honesty, it took a lot from me. I had two weeks to find a theme and prepare for the contest, apart from having the normal workload. There were a few times where I stopped working and reflected on why on earth I like to do this to myself. Haha. I mean, it was not an obligatory event, and I already had enough work to keep me really busy. But then again I thought to myself, what’s life if we’re always taking the “easy” road? Doing this would not only help my Chinese, but also my confidence level. I was given an opportunity.
The day finally arrived. As I stood up there, I could feel the typical red-tomato blush I get in circumstances like this. Undeniably stumbled with some words, but managed to go through it sorta-like one of the hundred times I practiced for it. When those 10 minutes were done, I felt like an enormous weight was lifted off my shoulders. I had done it.
For some surprising reason, I was kindly granted one of the three awards given that day: “Best Story Award.” There was literally no one who could take away my smile. No one. I had not only finished what I started, but I received recognition for it. I was beyond content!
I really ought to give a lot of credit to my incredible Chinese tutor who was there with me all the way. She not only believed in me, but also pushed me. She was patient and kind, and corrected me ever single time I mispronounced the same word over and over again. I really couldn’t have done it without her.
After the show was over, I couldn’t wait to get back home, but on my comfiest pajamas, and enjoy an episode or two of “The Mindy Project.” It had been a long week.
This week, however, had a very different pace. I had no longer the pressure from the speaking contest and the schoolwork has gotten a bit lighter. I can’t believe we only have a week left of actual school, and then a week for our final exams! After all that jazz, we will be heading out of Beijing to our 2-week end-of-semester trip. The trip’s focus is Tibetan culture and Buddhism and the cities that we will be visiting are Luoyang, Xi’an, Xi’ning, Lhasa, Chengdu and Leshan. You probably never heard these names before, but you have probably heard about the Shaolin Temple, Terra-cotta Soldiers, Leshan Giant Buddha, and the Giant Panda Center. Yes, all located –somewhere- in these cities.
While I keep on daydreaming about visiting Tibet in two weeks, I leave you with some pictures of one of my favorite places in Beijing: 798 Art District.
‘Till the next post!