Archive | April 2014

Planning a Trip

20120811_203657-1I have lived in the United States for 17 years, and not once, in that time, have I ever been back to China. When I was 12, I received a letter in the mail inviting me to got back to China with a group of girls from my providence through LifeLink, the adoption agency my mother went through to adopt me. It was not meant to be. The next opportunity would not present itself until I reached college age. In the school of business, a trip to China is incorporated into an upper level class only offered to juniors and seniors. The class focuses on foreign business and policies. This was the opportunity I was waiting for.

My knowledge of Chinese culture and history is very limited, and the fact that I cannot speak the language just makes it that much harder to plan a trip. I was and still am apprehensive about going back, but I want to go. Part of me wonders if the Chinese citizens will accept me or see me as a disappointment. I chose to go on the trip partly because of safety. Safety is a big issue for me, and I did not want to go alone not knowing what to do. With this class trip, I will be closer to my birth place than I have ever been. Even though, I will not get to see my providence, but I am super excited to be apart of this trip. What makes this trip extra special is the fact that my friend Catherine, another Chinese adoptee, will be attending this trip with me. The set day for the departure is May 11 , a week after my exams. This trip is sure to be an educational and personal experience for me.

Classes

Chinese classRight now, I am a senior in college getting my bachelor’s degree. My major requires me to take up a minor to fill my graduation requirements, so I have chosen to take up a speech communication curriculum. No matter what field I pursue, the speech minor would benefit me no matter what. It turns out that my speech minor has been more helpful that I had originally anticipated. Not only have I gained a better sense of communication with others, but personally, I have learned more about myself.

In my intercultural communication class, I have been given another reason to do some introspection. Throughout the course, my perception of what communication means is constantly challenged by culture. What I understood about communication for one group did not necessarily apply to another group.  My ideas of myself was also challenged in a five page assignment dealing with culture identity. The assignment in itself should have been simple, talking about myself, but the fact that it had to do with identity required some thought. How does the world view me and how do I view myself?

Culturally, I am American; there is no denying that fact. I was raised in the American traditions and have assimilated myself into the American life style. As a member of an individualistic country, I have learned to be skeptical of others until I get to know them. I view myself as being part of the white community. The world, however, has classified me as being Asian. To them, I am an outsider and another foreign entity that will skew balance of culture to the minorities. Their expectations of me consist of eating rice, being smart, failing at driving, and other stereotypes.

My family sees me as another kid in the flock, I see myself as being part of the melting pot, and the world sees me as another Asian girl. I fit in all of these brackets, but first and foremost, I am myself. I am an ordinary person. I am no different from any other individual living in America or any other country. On the ground level, we are all people who have our own struggles and history to write.

There are many different ways to explores self. All of us, the adoptees, will discover ourselves in different ways; time will guide us down that path. For me, time has led me to college on my path of self discovery.