Before the New Semester

Tomorrow is a new start. I need to spend a couple of hours tonight to get balance.

This winter break is one of the best. Actually, I have always learned a lot during my breaks and vacations. There is no difference between inside and outside of classroom.

This time, it is my first new year in US and the first big trip on this continent. It has been very rewarding and entertaining, including the concussion on the last day.

I have to say this: OPRA rocks! Without Hampshire's Outdoor Program, my life here would be much less exciting. Sometimes I think I have learned more with OPRA than in real classroom. OPRA strengthened my love of nature and team spirit, and it revived a lot of dreams of mine. The OPRA instructors are the treasure of Hampshire.

On our OPRA Winter Extravaganzawinter trip, we are lucky enough to have a very nice and interesting group. I've learned a lot from them, and I missed them a lot these days. Now I don't have to think about who is the cook crew tonight, but I also missed the fun of cooking or watching others cook for me. For 14 days, we drive together, play Pictionary together, cook and wash dishes together, climbed Mt. Washington together, played ice-hockey and witnessed a real Canadian hockey fist fight, ate smoked meat, Korean food and Oreo from three different countries...

On the last day I had a concussion, and for the first time in my life I was sent into a hospital by an ambulance. It was very fun indeed, and they even put a oxygen mask on my face in the ambulance as I enjoyed the siren. It smells a bit weird though.

The French nurse asked me to "make pee-pee" as I was lying on my back. That was unforgettable. The bill is $1500 in the end, no discount for students. But I think I'm lucky to have the accident on the last night of the trip, not the very beginning.

That 14 days of winter sports was really intense, and it makes me so sad when it is all over. And it makes me think: when did I became so sentimental?

Travels never ends. I'm preparing for the next one.

I finished reading the first half of "Lun Yu". Confucius is such a great master. It is a great pity that these days, the ancient classics are no more included in Chinese schools, but I believe it will come back soon.

When I look ahead, the new semester will be very exciting. I'm taking around five courses, and I have several projects to work on. The main theme is still politics and economics, especially international economics. I hope that I could find my entrance to the real world. Tomorrow I'm going to Smith College to take two courses, and it feels great to be able to speak German again. I will pick up German and go even further. I want to speak German as fluently as English. I will definitely go back to Germany in the coming years, before it's too late =)

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