(Written by CINB teacher Zhang Xiaoyu)
March 24, 2017, Friday, funny culture day, is Mandarin class students’ favorite day! Harbour View high school welcomed two special teachers, Lacey and Valerie, two students from Mandarin class of last semester, who just got back from the Spring China’s trip. They started off to China on March 6 with enthusiasm and curiosity for the ancient oriental culture; and returned with deep attachment. We’ve had planned twenty minutes for this presentation, but it turned out to last for the very whole class period because of students’ enthusiasm and endless questions!
After this one-week trip, the two girls’ impression of China, understanding of China, and interpretation of China are far beyond my expectations! They talked about Beijing, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, and the seemingly dilapidated but expensive courtyard areas; they were impressed by naive panda, magnificent Great Wall, and peaceful Qufu city; they gave a good elaboration of the popular saying "gold is precious, but jade is priceless" by telling the story of Chinese people’s gambling on stones. We marveled at the grilled scorpion on Wangfujing Street, the most interesting and special part of Chinese cuisine! They, together with everybody in presence, recalled the cultural and academic experiences in Qufu University, martial art, paper cut, calligraphy, and going into the local high school classes and so on and so on. This wonderful report was stopped from time to time by students’ questions, applauses and laughs. A boy with the Chinese name Yang Yi said: “I like this class; we are a family!” Yes, we are, destined to meet each other with the same love and yearning for the ancient oriental culture!
Two and a half years of teaching Chinese in Canada, I’ve experienced a lot and learned a lot! Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry; sometimes I feel frustrated, sometimes I get lost... sometimes I want to find the meaning of Confucius Institute.Finally, I find the answer in these students of Mandarin class! Lacey wrote in her China trip report: (After visiting Confucian Temple, Confucian Mansion, Confucian Cemetery)...... “I enjoyed learning the man the Confucius was named after”. Valerie, is an international student in Canada, from Germany. She used to be a student of Mandarin class in last semester and continues to learn it every Wednesday after school together with me, because she’s had a new ambition: applying for Chinese university and return to China someday. She told me her story: before taking Mandarin class, before taking the trip to China, all that she knew about the image of China was massive products, air pollution, poverty and nothing special, and if someone invited her to China, she would say “ No, thank you!” without any hesitation. However, now, through the door of Confucius Institute, she’s been deeply attached to and impressed by her, China! How could she be so ancient! How could she be so elegant! How could she be so fashionable! And, how could she be so mysterious! And, it is a country worth a whole life to explore! And, that's what I've been looking for, the meaning of Confucius Institute.
2017年3月24号，是孩子们向往的周五文化日，Harbour View 高中迎来了两位特殊的老师，瓦莱莉，蕾西！ 两人刚刚结束3月6号－3月13号的春季中国行活动，怀揣对古老东方文化的向往和好奇出发，带着满满的不舍和期待回归，说好的二十分钟的展示，因为汉语班孩子们的热情互动，汇报持续了整整一节课，结束时依然意犹未尽！
短短一个周的行程，两位“小老师”对中国的印象，对中国的认识，对中国的解读远远超越我的预想！她们讲到北京的故宫，颐和园，看似破败不堪实则价格不菲的四合院；憨态可掬的熊猫，壮丽雄伟的长城，古香古色的曲阜古城；她们惊叹中国人“赌玉”的传奇，深谙“黄金有价，玉无价”的深意！我们一起调侃王府井大街的猎奇——烤蝎子，于是对中国美食的眷恋又多了一份趣味！ 我们一起回忆曲园的文化体验课，以及校园的点点滴滴！…… 精彩的汇报时不时被汉语班孩子们的提问和欢笑声打断，借用阳光大男孩杨艺（中文名）的话：我们是一家人！（因为对古老东方文化的喜爱和向往遇见彼此！）
两年半的对外汉语教学，我迷茫过，失落过，哭过，笑过，怀疑过…… 然而告诉我答案的还是这些孩子们！蕾西在她的游记报告里这样写：（游览过孔府，孔庙，孔林后，）…… I enjoyed learning about the man that the Confucius Institute was named after. 我很开心可以了解孔子学院用以命名的这个伟大的人物——－孔子…… 瓦莱莉，一个在加国留学的德国的孩子，结束上学期汉语课后，依然坚持每周三放学后来教室跟我学汉语，因为她有了新的志向：报考中国的大学，重回中国！她这样对我说，在没有接触汉语课之前，在没有中国行之前，如果有人邀请她去中国，她会毫不犹豫地说：谢谢，还是不要了吧！而现在，通过孔子学院这扇大门，她了解了，原来中国可以这么古老，这么摩登，这么神秘，这么值得用一生去探索！ 我找寻了很久的孔子学院的意义大概就在于此了！