Tea With the Master | College Life & The Dialect of Hometown
A few days before the Mid-Autumn Festival, twelve students from Diligentia College sat together and talked joyfully with Pro. Gu Yang, the dean of Diligentia College. Outside the window, the sun went down and the moon was rising to deluge the campus with its silver light. In Chinese culture, the full moon represents deep thoughts of the homeland. With the moon shining outside, the theme of dialects this time reminded everyone of their hometown.
The Charm of Dialects
In the beginning of the talk, Prof. Gu Yang started with a Cantonese sentence, leading everyone to speak, discuss, feel, and think about their dialects. Although all of the students belonged to the big family of Diligentia College, they were from all corners of the country. What they missed the most were their hometowns. Students spoke Northeast dialect, Qingdao dialect, Shanghai dialect, Sichuan dialect, Cantonese dialect, Southern Fujian dialect, and Southwestern Mandarin, etc. Different water and soil raised different people. Pro. Gu Yang also said earnestly, “Language is a bridge to communicate with others, but dialect is not just a language because it contains the wisdom of history and life, it belongs to you and your hometown.” Everyone was speaking different local dialects. Students could talk with each other in mandarin with their own characteristics respectively. They were expected to release the charm of dialects, look ahead the future of dialects, and show the personalities of their hometowns. Pro. Gu Yang especially hoped that everyone would adapt to the climate here and live happily in their second home, Diligentia College.
The Potential of Students
Then Pro. Gu Yang expressed her expectations to the students that she hoped every student could enjoy the all-round education of the College and reflect on the college life and their life plans. How to become a well-rounded person? How to balance the time of studying and fun? She encouraged the students to share their experiences and discuss their academic and life plans. It was clear that she was optimistic about the future of the students. She said that each student was like a piece of jade with a spotless heart to be polished.
The Warmth of College Life
College is the reason we gathered here. Pro. Gu Yang reviewed the history of the Diligentia College and thanked every person contributing to it. “Mr. Deng Xueqin, the founder of Diligentia College, is very concerned about the development of the College. He hopes that this College will bring everyone more comfort and joy.” She then naturally shifted the topic to the culture of the Diligentia College. Everyone expressed their gratitude to Mr. Deng Xueqin, and actively made suggestions for the College, thinking about how the events could be held and how the College could be designed. Together with the dean, the students were looking forward to a more beautiful and exciting future of Diligentia College. Finally, the students enjoyed the tea break. The teaching assistants of the College prepared lemon tea, durian cakes, layered cakes, and orange juice for everyone. While they were having snacks, they also had warm conversations with the dean. Even in the end, the students were reluctant to leave. The Moon was still shining outside, clean and clear. It was far away from the sky but close to the heart. The moon and the stars were just like the dean and students. On the 12th day of August of the lunar calendar, which was three days before the Mid-Autumn Festival, the students’ dreams were lit up.
Pro. Gu Yang began with the hometown dialects of the students from all corners of the country and brought out the characteristics of each individual. She told us that everyone was originally a piece of jade that should be removed of impurities and left clear. We should treasure the precious time of the four years at the university and find our own interests and directions while completing our studies. Finally, she listened carefully to the questions raised by the students and answered them one by one. She also adopted some pertinent suggestions, which made us feel the care from College.
Zhang Yingping, SME, Diligentia College
Pro. Gu Yang adopted languages as a starting point to communicate with us. She was approachable and cared about our study and life. She patiently listened to our suggestions and questions. In particular, when answering questions about the internal and external systems of our education, she said “we do what we believe in,” which was so strong and resolute that got me touched.
Wu Hanhan, SME, Diligentia College
Tea with the College Master is a very interesting activity that allows us to communicate face-to-face with Pro. Gu Yang. What impressed me a lot was that she was very familiar with the dialects in various places. She also told us that even though we study in English, we shouldn’t forget Chinese culture. I think we will gradually grow into capable and responsible people thanks to the cultural experience at Diligentia College.
Zheng Weiying, SSE, Diligentia College