Category Archives: International

Spending my spring break in New York City!

Spring break came at the right time. I seriously needed a break after all the mid-terms, papers and rehearsals.

First of all, congratulations, class of 2019!! I am very excited to meet you! And I can’t believe I will be a sophomore in a few months…I still remember last year, I was still deciding where I should go, and I guess I made the right decision! :)

I can’t really use words to describe how I got refreshed this spring break. I spent most of my time meeting up with my high school friends and Colby friends in Manhattan. I got Asian food almost every meal, and I got back the feeling of being a ‘city girl’.

Perhaps growing up in a small business city has had a big influence on me. I am very used to a busy and efficient schedule, a hectic life, and having public transportation that literally brings you wherever you want to go. Going to Colby College really offers me another way of living. Take it slow. Chill.

But something that I miss the most is the convenient transportation and the variety of  food and activities. When I am stressed out or I need a break, I usually meet my old friends up and have a great meal. Here at Colby, I need to develop a new way to give myself a break! Haha, I don’t play basketball that often in Hong Kong but since I can’t go off campus all the time, playing basketball has become my new habit.

Here are some photos of NYC, the more I look at the photos, the more I miss home-Hong Kong.

About Stephanie

I am a freshman at Colby College, originally from Hong Kong. For the last two years of high school, I studied at Li Po Chun United World College (LPCUWC). I am very interested in economics and economic policy. Presumably, it will be my major. Living in a business hub since I was born, I am always very curious about how international and local businesses find opportunities in a tiny city. Music is very important in my life, too. I have been playing piano since I was four and I also play the clarinet. I wish to learn Jazz piano at Colby and the professors here are amazing.
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Spending my first Lunar New Year in Colby!

 

 

Rice Cake, Dumplings, Spring Rolls, Sweet Rice Balls…etc. These are all the foods that we will eat in Hong Kong to celebrate Chinese New Year. Kids will receive red pockets from parents and parents’ friends, and the money inside the red pockets varies from $3 to $100 usually. Haha, yea, so it was really fun and we got to visit friends’ homes too.

In Colby College where asians are a minority, there weren’t big events celebrating the Chinese New Year. I was glad that the Asian Students Association organized a Lunar New Year Celebration in the Pugh Center. Unexpectedly, there were a lot of participants, ranging from professors’ daughters and sons to Colby students who are interested in Asian cultures.

 

As you can see from the photos, we played Mahjong, a traditional game commonly played by 4 players. It requires a lot of thinking and skills. We will play Mahjong not only during Chinese New Year, but also during other festival celebration, such as Mid-Autumn festival.

Haha, we also wrote calligraphy. We used to learn it in elementary school, but it isn’t a
popular activity in Hong Kong. Not until I came to Colby did I realize how important it is to learn one’s culture. I wish I could play an Asian instrument and write calligraphy. Anyways, it’s March already, can’t imagine time passes quickly…

About Stephanie

I am a freshman at Colby College, originally from Hong Kong. For the last two years of high school, I studied at Li Po Chun United World College (LPCUWC). I am very interested in economics and economic policy. Presumably, it will be my major. Living in a business hub since I was born, I am always very curious about how international and local businesses find opportunities in a tiny city. Music is very important in my life, too. I have been playing piano since I was four and I also play the clarinet. I wish to learn Jazz piano at Colby and the professors here are amazing.
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Thanksgiving break

While most of students here went back home for Thanksgiving break, some of my friends and I just stayed on campus. I was planning to go to New York City or Boston to meet up my friends, but it just…didn’t happen.

It is pretty convenient to go to Boston or NYC. Colby Students usually take Concord Coach line to Portland Airport, Boston, or any places in Maine. It is around $40 to get to Boston.

Staying on campus for Thanksgiving wasn’t a really bad idea. On the thanksgiving day, my friend, Sohee and I went to our host family’s home for thanksgiving. There were two other families joining us. In total, there were around 14 people. We played card games and had tons of games. Haha, we had two types of turkey: Roasted Turkey, and Fried Turkey. The food was amazing! 

 

I am extremely thankful for the Host family that Colby College arranged. I feel loved and cared. My host family really treats me as part of their family, which makes my Colby experience more meaningful and blessed. On that thanksgiving day, I shout out for my host family, for always supporting me in every way. 

 

 

About Stephanie

I am a freshman at Colby College, originally from Hong Kong. For the last two years of high school, I studied at Li Po Chun United World College (LPCUWC). I am very interested in economics and economic policy. Presumably, it will be my major. Living in a business hub since I was born, I am always very curious about how international and local businesses find opportunities in a tiny city. Music is very important in my life, too. I have been playing piano since I was four and I also play the clarinet. I wish to learn Jazz piano at Colby and the professors here are amazing.
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23 days to go~~~Hong Kong!!!

The closing of spring selection course and Jan Plan course indicates that this semester is going to end very soon. Even though I feel like I have come to Colby for more than half a year, I still can’t believe I’m done with one semester!! And there are 7 more to go~~~

Not that I don’t like Colby, but I really do miss home. I miss my friends, I miss asian food, I miss the busy streets and shopping malls in Hong Kong. I literally have a list of food and places that I want to eat and go when I go back to Hong Kong. As many of you might not know, there was a huge protest in Hong Kong since August. People are fighting for a real universal suffrage, in which the candidates should not be filtered by the Beijing Government. The tension between Government and citizens in Hong Kong is unprecedentedly high.

I wonder how Hong Kong looks like now, I wonder how Hong Kong has changed in these 3 months. I wonder if I still keep the same feeling towards my hometown when I go back.

Here are some photos of my beautiful city: HONG KONG.

Some information:

The size of Hong Kong is 426 square miles while the size of Maine is 35385 square miles. However, the population is 7.188 million in Hong Kong while the population in Maine is 1.3258 million. Such a contrast!! Maine is around 8 times bigger than Hong Kong, but the population size is 5 times smaller than Hong Kong. Ohh, my city~~ so populated.

But I still miss Hong Kong.

About Stephanie

I am a freshman at Colby College, originally from Hong Kong. For the last two years of high school, I studied at Li Po Chun United World College (LPCUWC). I am very interested in economics and economic policy. Presumably, it will be my major. Living in a business hub since I was born, I am always very curious about how international and local businesses find opportunities in a tiny city. Music is very important in my life, too. I have been playing piano since I was four and I also play the clarinet. I wish to learn Jazz piano at Colby and the professors here are amazing.
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Countless blessing:)

I love receiving emails from the post office, because I know I am going to receive a gift (I treat the package as a gift :) )

There are 2 post offices in Colby College. One is Cotter Union and another one is Eustis. Large package or packages that require signatures will go to Eustis while your books or your clothes you ordered online will probably go to Cotter Union. Last week, I received 2 emails simultaneously, both are from Eustis Post Office.  I am extremely happy, because I knew it would be a big one. I know one of them is my Iphone, and I was guessing the other one would be my package from my family. However, not until I tried to open the package did I realize it wasn’t from my family but my friends.

It is a huge surprise to me, because I really didn’t expect my friends in Hong Kong will send package. They will always say “I’m gonna send you a lot of stuff.” But actually no one really did it, because it’s annoying to send packages overseas. Therefore, I never have any expectations. As you can see from the photos, they spent me tons of snacks from Hong Kong, a scarf, and even a small doll!!! It is my birthday present from them <3 So impressed and unexpected!! Also, on the same day, I checked my mail box and I saw the birthday card that my family sent me.

While I’m away from home 12,489 km (7760 miles), I still feel the love from home. What can I ask for more?

35 days to go~ I’m coming back!!

About Stephanie

I am a freshman at Colby College, originally from Hong Kong. For the last two years of high school, I studied at Li Po Chun United World College (LPCUWC). I am very interested in economics and economic policy. Presumably, it will be my major. Living in a business hub since I was born, I am always very curious about how international and local businesses find opportunities in a tiny city. Music is very important in my life, too. I have been playing piano since I was four and I also play the clarinet. I wish to learn Jazz piano at Colby and the professors here are amazing.
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International Food Festival

Isn’t it great to have a taste of different food from different countries? Yesterday, which is a Sunday, we had International Food Festival presented by the International Club in Foss Dining Hall from 12pm to 2pm.

Curry Fish balls

Everyone was very busy with cooking since Friday. For my Hong Kong group, we bought ingredients in Portland, and we started cooking on Saturday afternoon. We reheated the food and prepared the fishball and Hong Kong style egg waffles on Sunday morning. You wouldn’t believe it! The Pugh kitchen was populated by 4 different cultural groups on Sunday morning. Anyways, we still manage to present pork (chasiu), hong kong style waffles, and fishball to the students and faculty members.

Chinese Hotpot!International Food Festival

As you can see from the photo, Foss Dining Hall was super crowded. Great food were gone in a second. The Hong Kong style pork were gone in 30 minutes and our fishballs were very popular as well. The outlet near our table was not working, so we can’t make any waffles in the beginning. We started serving people at around 1:30pm.

 

Onigiri (おにぎり)

Since I was serving the students and faculty members for the whole time, I didn’t have chance to try other groups’ food. I only tried the Japanese’s Onigiri. They are right next to us so I can grab one haha!!! It is extremely delicious and I wish I could have one more!

When I was making the egg waffles in Pugh Kitchen, Dalia, a student from Jordan, was baking. I was watching her for the entire process but I didn’t even have a chance to try her food :(

The International Food Festival was so successful, and it really makes me proud of my identity as a Hongkonger/Hongkongese. I am definitely gonna join next year! <3

About Stephanie

I am a freshman at Colby College, originally from Hong Kong. For the last two years of high school, I studied at Li Po Chun United World College (LPCUWC). I am very interested in economics and economic policy. Presumably, it will be my major. Living in a business hub since I was born, I am always very curious about how international and local businesses find opportunities in a tiny city. Music is very important in my life, too. I have been playing piano since I was four and I also play the clarinet. I wish to learn Jazz piano at Colby and the professors here are amazing.
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Nice break: Millet House

Weekends are never boring. Weekends are nice breaks. Weekends motivate me to work more during the school days.

This week, I joined the Asian Students Association Retreat. We went to Millet House, which is around 10 minutes walk away from the main campus. As you can see from the picture, it is not a huge one, but definitely it is a place where we can hangout, chill, and meet new people.

 

Though the school said that the international student:domestic student ratio is high here, as a current international student here in Colby, I can tell you that there isn’t a big population of international students. However, also because of that, we are very close to each other, and we are also very proud of being an international student here. We discussed the history of Asian Student Association, Racism, stereotypes, community building, etc. Coming from a UWC, I find these topics very familiar. However, what makes me more involved in this discussion is the stronger sense of identity as an Asian in Colby. When I was in Li Po Chun UWC, I wasn’t the minority. There were around 40% of students from HK, and for international students (those who are not from HK), we have a nearly equal population of students coming from different continents. When I came to Colby, I became part of the minority. Facing more Caucasian, I feel like my identity as an Asian, as a HongKonger is so much stronger, especially when I see the cultural differences. Not only did I meet new friends in this retreat, but I also feel ‘home’ when I met people who share similar views and values. Amazing trip!

About Stephanie

I am a freshman at Colby College, originally from Hong Kong. For the last two years of high school, I studied at Li Po Chun United World College (LPCUWC). I am very interested in economics and economic policy. Presumably, it will be my major. Living in a business hub since I was born, I am always very curious about how international and local businesses find opportunities in a tiny city. Music is very important in my life, too. I have been playing piano since I was four and I also play the clarinet. I wish to learn Jazz piano at Colby and the professors here are amazing.
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An Oak Fellow Lecture

There are many cliché phrases about college and this is one of them: “I wish I had attended more lectures when I was still in school.” And like many cliché conversations about clichés, it happens to be true. While I heard this phrase from someone who’s son went somewhere long before I came to school, I unfortunately forgot it until the other night. My girlfriend’s professor had said it to her in class, and as I was not planning on going to a lecture, but instead to pub night, my girlfriend used the phrase convincingly enough that I realized she was right.

While I may have gone a bit begrudgingly, like many things in life, once I heard the talk, I was glad I went. The speaker was a lady from Uganda named Clare Byarugaba. Her speech, which follows from her line of work was Combating Homophobia: The Struggle Against Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law. During her talk, she discussed what it is like to be LGBT in Uganda and how homophobia has become an institutionalized aspect of Uganda itself. Her story was pretty incredible. Besides facing discrimination for being homosexual, she has faced scrutiny, violence and outright rejection.

However, she is now at Colby as the 2014 Oak Fellow for Human Rights, so the attendees of her talk were able to hear her story. Each year, Colby has one person who is doing unbelievable good in the world for human rights and this year, Clare was named the fellow. The Oak Fellow teaches, gives talks and does research during his or her time at Colby. And luckily, I got to see Clare talk about her story and the work she is doing. I’m happy I didn’t pass up the chance to see her speak.

About Jeb Waters

I'm a philosophy major and administrative science minor from Hancock, Maine. I play on the varsity lacrosse team, am the director of operations of the student-run investment fund Mayflower Hill Capital, and I run the school's satire paper. This summer, I worked in business development for my family's artisan jam company, Blueberet.
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I didn’t choose the co-op life, the co-op life chose me

I live in the Marylow co-op, a happy little island in the ocean of, well,  other happy islands (?). This analogy is really falling apart.

Marylow is a Colby dorm that is a little removed from the buzz of the academic buildings, but still close to important places such as Dana (f00d), Foss (food), the Marylow coffee house(food and chill and performances), Runnals (performances), and Cotter Union (food and chill; occasional entertainment). In the big happy family of Marylow, there is a small wing where students like me live the to-op lifestyle.

Co-op is the option that we do not want to meal plans offered by Colby (3 meals a day in the dinning halls), and instead opt to take the 2000 cash and cook for ourselves. Of course, if you are paying tuition that is more than 2000 dollars, then the school just deduct the total tuition that you need to pay. I am in co-op mostly because I never go for the three meals in the dining halls, and it is just a lot cheaper to cook for myself. Some people do it due to dietary restrictions. As a foodie who grew up in Hong Kong, I will eat anything delicious. Once I had turtle soup, and I eat snakes every winter back at home. So, the dietary thing  is clearly not applicable to me.

I really enjoy the co-op, mostly because of the community. The kitchen can be a social hub, and you definitely know everyone who lives around you; you will be bumping into each other constantly. There are many international students living there, so it is pretty cool to know what people in different cultures eat. Food is the glue to relationships, and there is nothing more beautiful than sharing a meal with friends, or making friends by sharing meals. There is just something about making food together that bonds people; it has the same effect of going to a battle together and less death and blood and gore. I mean, the last part probably depends on what you are cooking.

Of course there are also downsides. The kitchen is not the cleanest place you will find on Earth, and much of the appliances are fairly dated (wink wink, Colby, wink wink). The students in the co-op do a very good job in cleaning up the place, but there are instances where a pot with congealed mystery goo is left sitting in the counter for weeks before someone has the courage to clean it. There is also this beautiful tradition of passing utensils and appliances from generation of Colby students to the next. Whenever you visit co-op and pick up a fork, remember that it embodies many good times of ghosts of Colby past; it puts a smile to my face.

Here are some pictures of my friends Jasmine and me cooking. We had a jolly good time.

Skillfully cutting up kale.

Jasmine taking a picture with kale.

Attempting to take a selfie with Jasmine and kale. If you haven’t noticed, we really like kale.

Steamed egg with shrimp and chousum (it’s a vegetable that Chinese eat more often than Americans), and rice.

 

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A Sad Post with a Happy Ending.

This post starts out sad (angry? angsty?) but it ends happy. Bear with me.

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It had been a difficult few months. I felt so exhausted at times, that I would like to just curl up like a cat, or ride into the sunset on a horse. In the second scenario, I would prefer to have a stalk of wheat in my mouth, and a pair of old blue jeans.

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It is very easy to pretend that life is going all right. You just have to put on a smile and talk to people, in a kinda sorta witty way. I like to think that even though I can blend in quite well with normal people when times call for it. Much like the Docotr, but in a way less intelligent, interesting way. I mean, not everyone’s lives can be filled with time travel and aliens and awesomely fun yet deep plot lines.

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If addicted to Doctor Who is wrong, I do not want to be right.

P.S.: Sorry for a really bad attempt of drawing Matt Smith.

Sometimes I get so scared to make new friends. New friendships are delicate, and nurturing one is much like that exercise where you need to carry around an egg for a week. It is delicate and weak, so easily broken by words and glances and shyness, and the cruelest of all, other people. At times when you are already down and weary, it seem impossible for me to keep up. So I keep things light and fluffy, talking about cat gifs and food.

Sometimes I miss my family, my old friends.

I have been on the road a lot, and it is something that makes me fairly proud. I like to think of myself as independent, strong, able to face the world, able to face myself, able to make right choices and hopefully, able to help others. “Not all those who wander are lost.” I know there are relatives that think that I am lost. Gone. I like to think that I am making mistakes and learning. You know, like when you are a kid, and you know that you should not ride the bike down a slope, but you did it anyway because you think you have a off change of flying into the moon, and hurt your ankle, but you are kind of glad you did it. Or in my case, how I ventured into anime and fantasy novels and Doctor Who; I know I would probably study more but these imaged worlds are too beautiful. I like to think of myself as having side adventures rather than lost.

But sometimes I get caught off guard, life snarls and slither in the corner and attack you when you are hiking. you get bitten, and you feel dizzy and have to sit for a while.

A friend of mine from middle school decided to walk off a platform, into a train. It happened in late March, but I still feel the heaviness in my heart. It is haunting to look through the photos, and see her smiling back at me, so happy, so innocent. We were friends back then, and frankly we hardly talked after we were 16, because life happened. I remembered that she had that perfect Christian school British accent, and that she was the one making decisions. She was a perfect, a much better student than I ever was.

My mind keep on playing her last moments like a silent movie, every moment magnified. How she walked up to the station, and the breeze made her hair dance. The people around her walked fast, but she was slow in pace, patting the last will tucked in her pocket. A step and another, she stood on the yellow line that painted near the gap. She might have muttered apologies, under her breath, to her parents. Her tears running down her cheeks, like pearls running loose, but no one could see because she was looking at her feet. How the light from the approaching train grew brighter, and she took that leap. How softly she fell.

I stayed up nights, when my mind rimmed these down my throat, like that scene from Clockwork Orange. I feel so stupid, that I know I have people who love me and care for me and there is work and finals and I should probably call my parents.

But that scene expand like a ballon, a hot air ballon, a zeppelin. Slowly it explodes and the smell of burnt past feel the air, until there is nothing but tongue of flame, sea of smoke. I know it is silly, and there are so many big problems out there that is bigger than my little problem, but that did not make it less scary, or less painful.

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Maybe I was just lonely.

Then one day, I sat up during the night, and I took a walk. In Copenhagen at night. Nyhavn,  where all the postcard photos were taken, is a magically place. There is something in the wind, maybe, or in the glittering water, or the swaying boats. The streetlights, the colorful houses. I started smiling, a small but quite genuine smile. Not the dime-a-dozen kind. I could felt my eye corners winkle (which might cause problems, namely crow’s feet, in my 40s), and I giggled. Then I teared up a little. I sat on the edge of the canal, cried and laughed. Much like a crazy person (sorry, good people of Copenhagen for being weird). I could feel the stone in my heart fidgeting uncomfortably. I walked back home and ate pasta. I slept.

Things gotten better. I talked to my professors who were simply the best. This month,  I started working for a really great professor who is beyond awesome. Also, the turbulence around that revealed the best in people. When the silent movie play in my head, I am there, and I tell her that she could see the greatness in people. I tell her that I miss her. I tell her that things are going to be fine.

The heroic mom who talked down the Woolwich, so calm and strong even when it was so dangerous. She taught me courage is to think logically and selflessly in bad times.

The people in Boston who stand strong even after such a traumatic event. They taught me to face difficult times with a smile, that a tiny pinch of humor can make a world of difference.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/30-inspiring-portraits-of-the-people-of-boston

The students who fought for the first ever integrated prom in Wilcox, and won. They taught me that if something’s worth fighting for, I need to take charge, despite traditions, barriers. What is old is not always true.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/maxblau/the-fight-for-wilcox-countys-first-integrated-prom

All these bits and pieces washes over me like the warm bubbles of a hot tub, and my heart feels like it is illuminated by fireflies. Yes, I still feel down at times, and there are tears and laughters, but I know that I will be okay.

You know what, we are fantastic. I can definitely go through my little, tiny problems, we can all go through our problems because we are great.

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Thank you for your greatness, (insert your name).

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