Hello! My name is Shirley. I will be leaving for China on June 6th! My plan is to stay for some years to reach my immediate goal of attaining fluency in Mandarin and developing cultural knowledge of Greater China. First, I will be going to Suzhou for the summer. Afterward, I will be going to Harbin! ALL for intensive Chinese language study and immersion. I have planned so much for this opportunity so I am excited to see the results of my dedication and focus to reach my goals falling into place!
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, my blog is called “The Next Black China Hand”. A China Hand is someone who has expert knowledge about the language, people, and culture of China. Currently, there is an extreme lack of African Americans speaking Chinese…not only that but attaining fluency in Chinese. Often, I am the “only black person” most people I interact with know who is learning Chinese. Not only will this experience of living in China shape me into a competitive candidate for my future endeavors, but it is also an opportunity to diversify the face of Americans speaking Chinese.
I seek to develop expertise on China and I understand that I need to FIRST have proficiency in Mandarin and advanced cultural knowledge of China through firsthand experiences to be credible in my future career. After studying Mandarin for two years in the U.S., I found out in Taiwan last summer that there is absolutely NOTHING like the education that complete immersion can bring to your personal maturity, cultural, and language skills. Two years in China will be an opportunity for self-discovery in many ways that will challenge me…but I will be the better for it. I look forward to being exposed to the different world views, lifestyles, and exploring the regional diversity of China. I look forward to expanding my awareness beyond my current appreciations for different cultures. Most of all, I look forward to other ways that I am going to personally grow from this experience…in ways that I am sure that I have no idea I will be facing in my time abroad. Growth is a beautiful thing! …sometimes it certainly doesn’t look beautiful, but I am stubborn in my determination and I will be sure to remember that when the heat and humidity combo in China starts to bring me to my knees! haha!
I hope that the experiences that I share on this blog will reflect my continued growth for all of you to read! I feel like I have so many great things ahead of me and so many great things to DO. I’m as ready as I’m gonna be! 加油！ 🙂
LET ME BE CLEAR… this blog will take a balanced approach of MY experiences. Nothing is always perfect. Nothing. Nowhere. No one. Readers should be mindful of that fact as I post my perceptions, viewpoints — all in a quest to rediscover myself and to figure out where I fit within this new adventure that I will be undertaking.