June 11th, 2010
11.06.2010 - 11.06.2010 35 °C
Fridays have always been a popular choice as the favorite day of the week. For me, it was mixed feelings. Today meant that it was the last day I had to attend school. It was the last time to make formal goodbyes. It was the day I was breaking my cycle.
My classmate and best friend out of my Chinese class, Alex, was going to throw me and my American classmates a going-away party. I was not too surprised because his heart opened to foreigners, especially to me. At 1:10, I showed up for class and they threw me a party. First, Zach, Nancy, and I sat in the back as Alex began introducing himself as Mr. Chichi. He was going to sing two songs. At first, he was extremely nervous and he forgot the lyrics to “New Divide” by Linkin Park. Zach got up there with Alex to sing when there were lyrics. To have Zach take a risk and sing when he didn’t know how to sing—that shows courage.
Next, we were going to sing “You and Me”, which was a Chinese-English song. Alex had us all get up and link our hands. After we finished singing the song, Alex said some words that we needed to preserve the friendship between foreigners and China, making the connection stronger than speaking the same language. A few of my classmates said some goodbye-words to Zach, Nancy, and me. They also wanted to hear my last words.
I thanked them for letting me be one of their classmates and showing me China through their eyes. I thanked them for letting me a share a part of the American culture. I knew that we would always be friends and never forget this year’s time. I could not have had a better class to accept me warmly. My classmates and I can always cross the gap between America and China because we have built a bridge. There were no barriers because we were linked as the music around us sang “You and Me.”
The going-away party concluded with us taking a class picture.
The other going-away party was held at 3:30 at a hotel near Harbin Institute of Technology. There, almost all our parents showed up as all of us foreigners gave our PowerPoint presentations. The most amazing part wasn’t presented by foreigners, but rather by my host mom. She gave a brief speech expressing her feelings towards hosting me and the impact that I have made on her daughter and her family. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for her words and I wish I could express my gratitude in Chinese as well as she does.
The party concluded with a few cookies and fruits. The whole car ride home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the highlights of this year in China and the impact I have made on my host family, school, and community. I have earned a second family and a second hometown.