Thank You, My Interview

This winter break, I am not relaxed. Earlier than that, I had declined my classmates’ several invitations of a trip to Japan. From the start of the break (January 12), I was just preparing for the upcoming InitialView interview in six days, and struggled for a while to think about my own words: What I could say about myself? Is it really good to say this? Will the admission office of my dream school value my speech? Sometimes I even thought whether my TOEFL Speaking score – the unchangeable label – would put stereotype threat to my interview performance.

Obviously, I took a lot of time to draft my interview according to my past events. I picked my most dedicated extracurricular activity – mangrove forest protection – as the main topic around the interview. “Whatever the interviewer’s trick is, I am going to swerve his or her interest to this activity.” Additionally, NOVA Monthly magazine club, my violin playing, as well as my campus life, are all encompassed in the big bundle of my mind. Gradually, I also got many insights beyond these activities, making me surprised about the power of introspection.

The preparation was intense, but it worth. Everyday I stared at the mirror and warned myself to be expressive. I sat in front of my father, who was, not definitely great at English, acted as my interviewer. As he questioned me about various aspects of my life, I really had to take time to process what he intended to say despite answering his “curiosities”. Nevertheless, I found myself really fluent in speaking, and whatever question my dear papa asked about, I would provide satisfactory response that was already packed in my mind full of the materials. Of course, my seniors also cordially offer their experiences last year during the InitialView and encourage me to catch this chance and make a hit; my foreign teachers in my school, though not available for preparation, also provide tips for me to get rid of this interview.

Still, the day will come. I got into the CBD of Shenzhen and was elevated to the fourteenth floor of the Time Finance Centre. There I saw teacher who instructed me to take a writing. “How to love a person?” Well, this topic was easy, and I harnessed what I learned from psychology course. After the writing, I was sent to have an interview.

At first, the interview asked me about my plan, and I told her the truth, that I would play violin on stage. (Actually, I just finished my performance yesterday!) However, as the interview progressed, I thought the topic about violin was talked about too much, and I took a strategic turn to swerve her attention to mangrove forest protection. Fortunately, I finished the entire interview process.

Today, I received my report, and I was quite satisfied with my results. My parents took a look at my chubby face and my seniors, as well, appreciated how great my interview was. I am confident to send my interview video to my dream school’s admission office. Now, as I send my InitialView video to the admission office of my dream school, I also send a seed of hope to it.

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Review of my 2016

A new refreshing year is awaiting. With just thousands of seconds to count down, here I would like to casually reflect back my life in 2016.

First, I want to share my personal developments. Through this year, I achieved a lot of skills, like winning a national prize, being able to play electric piano, etc.. These new things I learned were memorable, because they came from my commitment. Moreover, I also made plenty of new friends that had distinct backgrounds. Together, we could share ideas and talk about things we were interested in. I also got to know more deeply about Chinese culture. I visited a lot of great natural sceneries and their corresponding civilization. Those things make me more prepared for introducing my culture to people from other countries.

Second, I would like to discuss about school life. During this year, I gained a lot of declarative knowledge that is practical. And I got to pursue my career interests with more opportunities to broaden my vision. I did a lot of researches about chemistry and biology, which really enhanced scientific skills. What’s more, my environmental protection organization goes well, and successfully survived “the Great War of hundreds of clubs”. I honorably became a peer tutor this November, when I was already stepped into college application period. Certainly, the senior 2 (grade 11) life was so busy that I experienced great GPA downfall this year. No wonder flaws of grading and evaluation rumored around my class, I was more optimistic because I really learned a lot of things. The final exam for this semester is coming, and I am sure to fight back the downfall and save my GPA and make my dream more approachable in this senior 3 (grade 12) moment.

Third, testing. At the beginning of this year, my standardized test score was so low that I even considered quitting the international curriculum, but after months of endeavors, I am very glad to achieve such great scores in TOEFL and ACT. Moreover, I accomplished a great miracle: No mean to brag, I was the first person in Shenzhen Middle School who got a full mark in SAT Biology test. Many special occasions did happen, though. During the AP exam period, one of my dearest relatives passed away, while my parents held this as secret until I completed the last test; all the June ACT tests in Hong Kong were cancelled, compelling me to take another one in October.

Is 2016 a perfect year for me? Seriously not. Chaotic situations frequented around the society, shuffling my view of the world many times. Sadness, joy, leaving and reuniting… too many things to be listed. However, I mentally grew up much more than I expected. Instead of escaping from aversive occasions, I would like to take relatively wise actions to dispel those troubles. Looking back, I saw many twists about certain aspects, but those things generally came out to be good in the end. Of course, I will not easily give up in 2017, because I am going to boost up and catch the goals of getting into my dream university, to get involved into the competitive but enlightening education system. Still, the future is full of uncertainty, but I would live my best in the present.

Oh, there is only about half an hour left. So, with the last sincere wish for everyone, I would like to conclude with the most commonly used sentence: “Happy New Year!”

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My Little-Mindedness

If person is said to be “little-minded”, they have a very narrow perception of things and are often not willing to be steered into looking at something from a different perspective. It is the same as saying they are narrow-minded. They are not interested in, or capable of, looking at the “big picture”. The same meaning applies to me in a way that implies my temporary inability to wholly understand what my ultimate task is, and what I should do in order to optimize specific situations. Rather, all these aspects could be attributed to my ideological system which is not one-hundred-percent-explored during high school time. There are surely a lot of courses that could be pragmatic in the rest of my life, but cultivation of the understanding to macroscopic scale is more important, which a college, containing thousands of students from different nations, is able to provide me with.

A Letter to My English Teacher

(Envisioning weakness of studying and practicing English, I genuinely wrote a letter to my teacher who taught me Honors English. This letter, though seemingly naïve to my present respect, really gave Elliot a deep impression.)

Dear Elliot,

I am very grateful for you that your lessons make my English better and better, and the courses are pretty interesting. I like them very much. However, I am a bit depressed because my English is not so good. Although most of students in our class got A+ in Senior-High School Entrance Examination including me, I seldom speak English with others. And the language I usually communicate with my parents is Chinese. Also, I graduated from an experimental school and I even had no opportunity to talk in English. But a large number of my classmates are all graduated from foreign language School, and they can nearly speak English every time.

At the beginning of the Honor English, I felt extremely anxious that I sometimes burst out some Chinese words unconsciously when I was speaking English. And when I heard that my classmates spoke fluently, I even wanted to punish myself because of my poor English, and I had a willing to recoil. The mark I got in TOEFL Junior is less than 800, and I understood that my English is in bottom of all the students in International System. But one of my classmates, is taught by Colin at present, has gained 117 in TOEFL. “What a intelligent genius!” I sighed after I knew that. While I am preparing for TOEFL, others are preparing for SAT. So I tried my best to improve my English, and I already have a plan to operate my time between these two exams.

What’s more, I dream to learn in one of the American universities in order to improve my academic abilities, and I can open my eyes to concern about global problems. During the courses, I found that the dream is nearer and nearer to me, and it is more likely to come true. I have been more confident after one month’s study. And I can also communicate with my classmates in English normally. I felt so happy that I made progress, and the progress is too extraordinary to imagine.

In Shenzhen Middle School, I have taken part in some organizations such as SUPER NOVA, We-Club, Model United Nations. Because these clubs are not only interesting, but also can help with my English.

And now it is 7-day-long-holiday. And I requested that I should talk with my parents in English for at least three hours per day. They agreed with me because it is a really nice idea, and my parents are well educated in English. I believe that it will be a big step of my English study, and I am looking forward to increase my abilities, too.

All in all, I really appreciate for you during this month. You are very helpful, and not strict with us. Thanks very much.

Best regards

Fan