Chinese students

One thing I have been struck by in my visit to Dalian Nationalities University is the amount of time the students here actually spend in school or studying. I was very fortunate to have the company of three young ladies for the past three day, named Echo, Lilly, and Lisa, who acted as interpreters for me in my many experiences at the university. They told me their semester starts in January, ends in June, and they attend school from 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. until 4: 30 p.m. Then in the summer, they study for annual exams. Of course, these students tend to come from well-to-do families and most do not have jobs. Their job is to study.

At lunch yesterday, Echo remarked that Americans seem to have a lot of hobbies. I said yes, we do, but she specifically meant young Americans (she said her parents, who are about my age, also had a lot of hobbies). I asked Echo and
Lilly what were their hobbies, and in unison they replied, “studying”! They said they had no time for the beach, boyfriends, or anything, only studying. I kind of felt sorry for them at that point, but then I reflected on what the face of the competition of our students will look like in a very short period of time.

As an aside, I want to add that meeting Echo, Lilly, and Lisa has probably been the highlight of the trip for me. They were delightful, funny, generous with their time, and helped both myself and Joaquin Montero understand Chinese language and culture. We, in turn, challenged their command of American culture and language, especially Joaquin, who always had to add a healthy spicing of Spanish life to the cultural gumbo.

Peter Seely

Sent from my iPad


4 Responses to “Chinese students”

  1. May 24, 2013 at 3:32 am

    My relatives in Taiwan have a longer school day than US students, and they also go to school on Saturday. Maybe just a half-day on Saturday, but still.

  2. 2 Peter Seely
    May 25, 2013 at 11:43 pm


    Interesting. These ladies didn’t seem to think it was a big deal.


  3. 3 Martin Tracey
    May 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    From your description, Pete, my impression is that these students and others like them may be studying too much for their own good. For what it is worth, I think that, very generally speaking, many of our students study too little for their own good, and that one of the major reasons that they do is that they work too many hours (paying for school and other things too).

  4. 4 butterflydoc
    May 29, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Pete, remind me at some point to tell you about the experiment I was shown. If what I was able to get from the students was accurate, I would not be so concerned…

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