Class of 2014 - Double major in Chinese & Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Double majoring in Chinese has been an eye opening experience for me. The Chinese program coordinator is very helpful and the professors are all very open and friendly. I have often seen students in the halls chatting with professors and there are many instances where graduated students come back to visit. The Chinese major coordinator is very friendly and willing to help. Sproul is a fun place to relax that provides students with help such as tutoring and professor office hours. Classes are fun and informative that covers a vast array of topics ranging from the basic language to literature and poetry.
During my time as a Chinese Major I learned a great deal about the different aspect of the country from where I was born. The Chinese language classes taught me the fundamental skills to improve my Chinese reading and writing ability that would allow me go to graduate school in a familiar but at the same time foreign land. Although the language classes are essential, the most fascinating part about being a Chinese Major is not the language alone, but learning about the culture that has developed for over five thousand years. In the culture and literature classes I was able to delve into China’s vast cultural heritage and learn about what has occurred and how it has developed into the nation it is today. One of the best parts about Chinese literature classes, is that has both “Chinese” and “English” options available as classes for Chinese 107: Traditional Chinese Fiction (taught in English) and Chinese 130: Chinese Reading Tradition Fiction (text is in Chinese), which is flexible for students of any background. Chinese 104: 20th Century Fiction, in particular helped me understand and appreciate Chinese cultural development. It revealed to me the difficulties Chinese contemporary writers faced during that time period. The class delves into a vast history of 20th century writers such as Lu Xun, Yu Hua, Mo Yan, and other famous authors analyzing their respective views during one of China’s most turbulent time periods. Although Chinese 104 is a Chinese literature class, it requires a mastery of the English language and develops the reader’s ability to for critical analysis of translated Chinese text. Proficiency of written English is a must due to the analytical essay requirement assigned in the middle of the quarter (it is definitely not an easy class). Other classes that also helped me learn about Chinese cultural history is Chinese 101: Chinese Film which goes through the very early films such as “The Goddess” (1934) to later films such as “City of Glass” (1998). In this class, ideology and thought process of film makers are explored including the “the leftist movement” and what happened to film makers during the Japanese occupation (World War II). This has helped me understand the importance that film played in Chinese cultural development.
The Chinese Major Program has brought about a curiosity and inspired me to pursue educational goals outside the US. I hope that others will find Chinese as an inspiration as well. It is definitely worth pursuing.