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Chinese New year

When I initially put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keys), I had the grand idea to write about the recent Chinese New Year. However, I am no Chinese expert. Until recently, I wasn’t remotely interested in Chinese culture and didn’t know a single word in Mandarin. So why the sudden change of heart?

Admittedly, I didn’t come to this change on my own. When a friend finally convinced me to accompany him to Chinese class during my free period, I was skeptical of how a teacher would react to the disruption of her class. Her actual reaction took me by surprise. I was immediately welcomed with enthusiasm and treated to tea and cookies. I learned how to say “thank you” and “yes, teacher” while Chinese IV students took a challenging quiz, and was even allowed to make up my own sentences for them to translate. I now go to this classroom with confidence to learn more words, do crafts, drink lots of tea, and enjoy a positive and hilarious environment that is unique to Chinese class. So although my initial idea of expertly writing on Chinese New Year may have been slightly ambitious, I hope including a little information on the event will interest some of the other Chinese novices of the world.

Zodiac signs have been present in Chinese culture for more than 2,000 years, and were likely influenced by the worship of animals. There are twelve zodiac signs that each represent a year. Similar to American zodiac signs, your zodiac animal reveals different traits about your personality and can be used to determine your fortune for the year. If you’re interested in learning more about this tradition, check out this link. As cheesy as it sounds, meeting interesting people and discovering new interests is something especially accessible at Springs, and I encourage every student to take advantage of this. When it comes to icons like Ms. Chang, you won’t regret trying something new.

- Abigail Shepherd '19