Huizhen (Something From Last Semester I didn't Finish...)

Well,

There's a few things I have learned from my experience of trying to set up meetings with Huizhen.

One: All people have busy schedules, culture aside. It was hard to finally decide on a time to meet with Huizhen, and when we finally did find a time, we had things come up at night like exams, meetings, etc. It was frustrating some weeks to try and meet, but we are both students and both have schedules and tests that come up.

Two: People can really enjoy a person just by learning about their culture. I found that talking with Huizhen about Chinese culture and everything she understood about China to be really interesting. For example, I never knew that there was a distinction between the east and west sides of China. According to Huizhen, the eastern Chinese and western Chinese are very different. There is a difference mostly because of agriculture and development in technologies. What was most interesting, as I alluded to before, was how Huizhen understood her country. When it came time for me to talk about America, I listened to myself talk about my own country in light of my own perception. A constiuitive perspective of a persons own country is much like framing. Each person has their own view of their own culture. Whenever Huizhen shared her culture with me, she was framing her culture from her own viewpoint. She was not trying to sway my opinion, that's just the way our explination came out.

Three: Huizhen is married. This helped a lot in light of our meetings. It was kind of akward to be meeting with her at first, because I had no clue what she expected from our meetings (she being a woman, I being a man). I had no idea what kind of traditions or conversational idioms existed in China about relationships. When she told me that she spent the whole Spring Break down south with her Husband, I was excited and a bit relieved. I am not married, and began dating right around the time that Huizhen and I started meeting this semester.

All in all, I feel the cultural meeting aspect of the class helped me in my understanding of different cultures and communication. Through the 'cultural buddy' meetings, I got to study communication in language, learn about Chinese culture, and understand more about the class concepts we talked about in class each time we met. Despite scheduling miscommunications, I think this was a great experience.

DC

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