陳荃荃文 培德女中 十年級
蔡幸臻中譯 培德女中 十一年級
By Tracy Chen DVGS 10th Grade
Experiences are the building blocks to our character; we react, learn, and change from what we undergo and encounter. Nonetheless, in order to change or strengthen ourselves, we often have to step out of our comfort zone and engage in the unimaginable. Last Sunday, a group of five girls from our school, including me, competed in ANCCS’s annual Chinese Culture Competition. Considering my Chinese’s mediocrity as an ABC and my limited knowledge of Chinese Culture, participating in this type of competition was inconceivable and appeared far beyond my competence. However, due to persistent encouragement from friends and teachers, I eventually decided to join the competition and challenge my abilities and limits.
Our team of five: Dian, Jasmine, Julie, Tiffany, and me, started preparing for the competition in March. From then on, we had to study relentlessly in order to absorb all the necessary information for the competition. Group morale shifted up and down as we tried to adjust to changes, such as our original teacher having to leave and thus we fell behind schedule for two weeks. Fortunately, another teacher took over and reinforce the training every day with good advice. Multiple times, I considered giving up; I would lose my inner-faith and feel that I was dedicating all those study hours to a lost cause. However, the fact my teachers and friends were always there to support me and endow help and encouragement gave me reasons to continue and work hard. After about a month of studying and a few mock competitions among ourselves and with the Boys’ School, it was time for us to compete and make all the preparation worthwhile.
The morning of April 29, some parents, teachers, and our team drove down toSan Josefor the Chinese Culture Competition. The teachers kept reassuring us that winning is not the most important thing, it is the process that counts. Even if we did not win, she would take us to feast at a restaurant for dinner in return for our hard work and sacrifice as well as celebrating our reaching of a milestone in our learning. To be honest, I was extremely nervous, for I was scared of letting down my team and the people who had unremittingly supported me throughout. The first round of the competition was a writing exam, where, due to my anxiety, I did not do as well as I knew I could have. My team, however, was undeterred by the test results and we passed the second round of the competition, entering the final round.
The final round of the competition was intense. Even from the crowd, I could feel the tension between the different teams and their lust to win. Near the end of the final round, the addition of one extra question to the final round was what boosted our team to third place. Even though we pressed the buzzer too early to hear the correct answer choice, my team mate made a lucky guess and we ended up tied with another school for second place. Additional question was added to determine who wins the second and third. The judges quickly read off another question, but the other team answered first, so we secured third place.
The day of the competition was one of the happiest days of my life. Not only did we, as a team, succeed in placing third, it felt as if all our hard work finally paid off. Personally, I finally felt satisfied, as if I had finally accomplished something difficult but good out of my abilities. This type of hard-earned success seemed so foreign and unfamiliar to me. In the past, I only need to apply some effort to get a good test results. Hard-earned success is an experience my core teacher wants me to have in life and this is why she strongly encouraged me to persist my efforts so that I can truly understand “If there is a will, there is a way.” This competition also made me finally realize how long it had been since the last time I put in all my efforts towards achieving a goal. I am especially proud of my team members, how we have sustained and supported each other throughout the events of the past month.
However, our success has a lot to do with teachers, parents, and students who have supported us throughout the entire process of preparing for and entering the competition. To the many, many students who have put their faith in us, helped us study, and gave us the boost we needed, thank you so much. Thank you teachers for spending countless hours giving us this opportunity, teaching us the competition information, helping us prepare to compete, giving us immeasurable encouragement throughout, and accompanying us to the competition. Also, thanks to the parents who have responded to our every need: helping us learn, giving us rides, and most of all, supporting us. Last, but not least, I want to thank my teammates, who forced me not to give up and gave me the feeling of hard-earned success. If it was not for the relentless efforts of so many people, we would not have made it this far. Thank you all for giving me this opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and challenge the unimaginable.