What Is New in My Vanderbilt Life
Happy Fall 2019 everyone! My summer break was rejuvenating. I watched TV dramas and movies in a wide range of topics from all over the world. I believe doing so is relaxing and beneficial to my writing. Besides, I read books relevant to Asian Studies, spent wonderful time with family and friends, and visited multiple museums in my hometown Nanjing, a city well-known for rich history and vibrant culture. Let’s call it a break striking a balance between work and leisure (劳逸结合 in Chinese). Approaching mid-August, I felt happy when I thought of being able to meet my friends in the incoming semester. As we enter mid-September, I hope to discuss what is unprecedented to me in Fall 2019.
History of Art
History is not new to me, and my previous and current history courses did touch on arts. This semester, I unlock a discipline new to me—History of Art. I will explain my love for the discipline and its course by analogy: the historical events I have been studying constitute a cord, and the artworks serve as pearl beads. The former is the framework, and the latter is concrete examples. They complement each other to form a sparkling pearl necklace which enthralls me and enriches my knowledge. In class, we went over some artistic works related to ancient Nanjing and/or housed in Nanjing Museum I visited many times this summer.
With respect to academic writing, most of my Fall 2019 courses are writing intensive. Specifically, I am taking a writing course of Sociology, which has been new and enjoyable experience to me so far. This course shares connections with the 1000-level writing course of English I took in Spring 2019 as both examine U.S. social issues and feature videos in analyses.
Regarding foreign language writing, I start blogging in Japanese weekly. Expressing my thoughts and responding to my classmates’ posts in the Japanese language settings is fun (たのしい means fun in Japanese). You may find more of my Japanese blog posts in the following link. https://my.vanderbilt.edu/nihongoblog/author/chenx32/
As I began writing formal papers in French and composed my first French poem in Spring 2019, this semester, I will focus on writing diary and poetry in French. I am interested in involving more Chinese, Japanese, and French elements in my Inside ‘Dores posts.
For Inside ‘Dores blogging, I want to experiment with various writing methods and cover a variety of topics. To follow the “They Say I Say” motto, I will use questions that applicants may be concerned with to interview multiple current students at Vanderbilt. Besides, I am interested in bringing recent alumni into our conversations. Later in the academic year, I plan to compile Vanderbilt jargons, and I will blog about writing at Vanderbilt based on my experience as a non-native speaker of English. 一言既出，驷马难追。(A Chinese proverb—equivalent to “A promise is a promise”—whose literal meaning is that once uttered, words cannot be taken back, even by riding a four-horse chariot.)
I recently joined Alzheimer’s Buddies, for which I will attend a training session and weekly visit a senior Buddy. Writing will be part of the experience as I will have journals for each visit. Interested in communicating with different groups, I am excited to partner with a senior citizen and hope to make his or her life more colorful.
For personal life, I will practice meditation (hopefully every day) and try more Taste of Nashville restaurants.
Every year, my mother tells me that the current year is a lucky year. A K-pop song has a similar lyrical line, of which the loose translation is that “Make changes in your life and every day is a wonderful day.” A joint takeaway message is that if I stay positive, have innovations, make efforts, and cherish what I gain, every year means a charmed year to me.
Last but not least, happy Mid-Autumn Festival! 共赏一轮明月(Let’s view the bright moon together).