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  • Aaaaaand… we’re in quarantine.
    Good morning, dear reader, where ever you are! I’ve spent the past two weeks or so building the foundation of Little Darlings Academy. I am currently writing to you from the top bunk of a one of two bunk beds in a 100 ft2 glorified tent called a […]
  • One week living on the rubble
    Hello from Dundas Town, Abaco, Bahamas! I’m writing to you from the same position as last week, accompanied by some tea I brought from home (matcha grapefruit), an incredibly overpriced apple ($3), and an extremely loud Christian service going on next door. A few of my “bubblemates” are […]
  • The beginnings: dead trees, visible goods, and conch shells.
    This might be the most tiring weekend I’ve ever experienced. Saturday morning started at 6 AM in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. By 7, I was on a tiny charter plane a few thousand feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Then we arrived on the island of Great Abaco, Bahamas. I […]
  • Just a tad uncomfy
    Good morning, dear reader! I’m writing to you from a pink Airbnb in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I managed to survive a spot of motion sickness on the flight and arrived here yesterday afternoon. I’ll be staging here for about a week in preparation for a two-month volunteer trip […]
  • Fears and reflections for the new year
    Happy 2021, dear reader! I wanted to get an update out before I lost the courage to write. I think I’ve faced more fear and monotony in 2020 than in any year before. My fear originating the realization and re-realization of my lack of control, monotony from the […]
  • Letters from last October
    From my journal and notes on my phone. 10/19/19: Strange how for me, for a long time, China represented freedom. 10/21/19: “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life. As our interactions become bigger, broader. and fashionable, our actions and reactions become just as big. bold, and […]
  • Why, hello there stranger.
    It’s been a while, dear diary. A few updates: I’m taking a gap year from 2020-2021 COVID-19 is still happening I’ve been in my house for four months I have worn a mask in public for about 7 months now. And counting. I promise I’ve been intending to […]
  • The sixth attempt
    I’ve tried to write this blog post five times. The first time was the first week after 2020 New Years Day. At that time, I was packing up my things in the girl’s dorm of Beijing 80, excited for a month of interrupted time with my host family, […]
  • Day of Remembrance
    February 19 marks the Day of Remembrance, commemorating Executive Order 9066 that led to the forced removal of Americans with Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast to internment camps during World War II. My parental grandfather (now deceased), Michael Minoru Yuzuki, a “No-No Boy,” was interned at […]
  • Change
    Hello from the United States! Big update: Due to the elevated Level 3 Travel Advisory from both the Department of State and the CDC from the coronavirus outbreak, the Department of State has decided that all NSLI-Y students must depart China at this time. Change is happening faster […]
  • Happy new year, from the baby chick
    Happy January 1st, 2020 dear reader! I’m on my bed in my dorm, flipping between my UChicago supplemental essays draft Google Doc and a bunch of hilarious Medium articles on the worst (and best) moments of the 2010s. Pa just messaged me on Wechat, ordering me to post […]
  • Families
    The weather is bitingly cold now. I’m sitting in the main courtyard of Beijing 80, looking past the circular topiary hedge as the sun beings to set. It’s only 5 pm, but the days are shorter now, sunlight rarer. I can see it now, though, soft hues of […]
  • Finding balance in a world of “chaotic good”
    I’m not doing great. I’m not doing bad, either. I think I’m somewhere in this weird mix of teenage angnst/hormones/homesickness—that, mixed in with dipping in and out of the classic “study-abroad-honeymoon-phase”, has led to me, the discombobulated mess, attempting to memorize Chinese flashcards one minute and write college application supplements the next.
  • On leadership, 4×100 relays, and Beijing Opera
    he morning of Saturday, October 12, 2019, my dear classmates and I stood in a bloc formation decked out in full Beijing opera dress, marching onto the center stage of the track to the beat of Chinese military marches.
  • Nouns for America, Nouns for China
    Hello from—you guessed it—computer class again! Just a quick update on my NSLI-Y life in Beijing: this past Saturday, I spent my first afternoon with my Beijing host family, the 叶 family. They were lovely—as the parents were preparing lunch for us, I sat with their freshman daughter […]
  • Musings from computer class
    Currently sitting in computer class. Here at Beijing 80, we’ve been “learning” Scratch (yes, Kai, the same computer language you learned as an 8-year-old), but it’s mostly consisted of most of the class making hilarious memes (Leila and Alec often have the best ones) and a handful of […]
  • Two weeks in
    Hi everyone! Wanted to quickly update while my VPN was still working (they’re going down quickly as we approach the 70th anniversary of the PRoC).  I’m hailing from the courtyard here at Beijing 80 where I’m currently eating matcha cookies and drinking mango juice, watching these two Chinese […]
  • Walking the lonely wooden bridge
    “你走你的阳光道,我走我的独木桥。” You can walk your sun-lit path, I’m going to walk my lonely wooden bridge. Or so says my mother. She taught me this phrase, like many other Chinese idiomatic phrases, in the middle of a lecture. Now, more than ever, this phrase is being applied to my […]
  • Thoughts on 1 week at Beijing 80
    Hello from Beijing! To be honest, it still hasn’t hit me completely that I’m here, at the political center of this vastly influential and enormous country, with 15 government-issued friends, sitting through 7-9 hours of Chinese class and 2 hours of designated self-study time afterward—who knew there were […]
  • Last day at home
    So. We’re finally here. The little countdown timer is at 0, I have a hot pink palm tree suitcase full of sweaters, shoes, and gifts, another (much prettier) carry on full of summer clothes, sheet music, and camera equipment, we’ve taken family portraits at the 6 AM Lincoln […]
  • The best nine days of my life
    For a whirlwind of nine days this past July, I traveled around Japan with four other nikkei from all over America. As a yonsei Japanese-Chinese-American girl, born and raised in both the West and East coasts of America, Japan has always been an alluringly beautiful yet distant and almost impossibly inscrutable country.
  • Give me my damn Philz
    Musings on Philz coffee, naps, and growing up.
  • NSLI-Y Application tips
    Applying to NSLI-Y took over my life for the first months of fall. I spent hours from September to October agonizing over my application, specifically the essays. Along the way, I learned a lot of lessons. Here are my words of advice to any aspiring study-abroad high schooler.
  • Miyazaki and my gloriously human animated role models
    Hayao Miyazaki, in all his glorious wisdom, has been raising an elegantly poised middle finger at stereotypes of women in cinema since he first starting making movies.
  • The beginning
    Last night, Friday, April 5th, at 4:26 PM, I was standing in my kitchen at home getting ready to teach a piano lesson. Out of habit, I refreshed my email (damn Apple Mail for their inconsistent email notifications) and saw that I had received an email from NSLI-Y.