Out-of-Door Welcomes Out-of-Country


Jason (top left), Eva (top right), Jane (bottom left), and Jacky (bottom right).

Kelli Bagwell, Staff Writer

EVA: Eva is a fourteen-year-old girl from Beijing, China. She’s taken English since the second grade and loves reading, dancing, and playing the piano. This is her first trip to America and she is very excited to be here. She loves the “blue skies, trees, and grass” and describes ODA as “big, beautiful, and very relaxed.” Her favorite classes are World Literature II, World History II, and Ceramics. Socially, she does confess to American teenage life being very different from its Chinese counterpart, “many of you [Americans] prefer sports to classes which is very weird,” she says. Additionally, she questions the validity of Chinese take-out, calling it “good” but not very “Chinese.” Eva looks forward to her next two weeks here and in the meantime hopes to learn to play lacrosse and enjoy other “American” activities.

JASON: Hailing from Beijing, China, Jason is a sixteen-year-old boy who loves playing the trumpet, surfing YouTube, and riding his bike. He has taken English since kindergarten and describes America as a “modern country with nice people, high moral standards, and advanced developments.” He is somewhat of a science-buff and considers Chemistry to be his favorite subject. “I love doing experiments,” he says and compliments ODA’s science program which allows for freer experimentation and less homework. Additionally, he enjoys band class which gives him time to brush up on his trumpet skills. Regarding teen life, he comments on young Americans’ love of “sports, sunshine, and texting.” While here, he hopes to visit Universal and Disneyworld and make many friends.

JANE: fifteen-year-old Jane is a native of Beijing, China and has taken English for ten years. She’s an avid basketball player, as well as a talented singer and pianist. Some of her favorite experiences, so far, have been learning to drive, doing a zipline obstacle course with her host family, and attending a varsity girls’ basketball game. This is her first time visiting the United States, but, already, she’s considering attending college here. “I like that it’s so relaxed here,” she says, “but I do miss Chinese food.”

JACKY: Sixteen-year-old Jacky is the “serious, history lover” of the group and has taken English for ten years at his prestigious Beijing high school. Unlike the others, this is not his first time in America; Two years ago, he visited the bustling city of Boston. “I liked it,” he says of the experience, but, unfortunately, found himself unable to attend school while there. Jacky’s favorite hobbies include soccer, reading, biking, and badminton and his favorite class is World History II with Mr. Sommers. “Mr. Sommers is a good teacher,” Jacky says of the class, “I like all of the stories he tells.” While here, Jacky hopes to “learn a lot of things” and, he says with a smile on his face, meet all of the “beautiful ladies.”