By Benjamin Phua
Developing Virtue Boys School 8th Grade
A home plays a very important role in our lives. We are very lucky if we can have a place to call our home. Even though it is just a simple room, our home will always be the most comfortable place on earth. For me, the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is my second home.
CTTB is a very fascinating place to me, so I live everyday happily in CTTB. CTTB is like a small community, and everyone lives a peaceful life here. There are many tall trees growing in CTTB, therefore, the air that everyone breaths is very fresh and unpolluted, which makes an ideal place for cultivating. Springtime is the most beautiful time of the year in CTTB because there are many different kinds of flowers sprouting everywhere. There are also many adorable animals living in CTTB, such as the shy squirrels, the proud peacocks, the wise deer, and many more. The scenery is also very beautiful especially when the sun is setting, which makes the whole sky light up at the horizon. There is very little pollution in CTTB, which makes the moon and the star shine very brightly every night. I think living in CTTB is the same like living in heaven to me!
The Venerable Master once said: "Education is the nation's next defense" and that is why he founded the Instilling Goodness Elementary School and the Developing Virtue High School. When I was little, my mother would take me and my sister to Buddhism class every Sunday and I often listened to the lectures that the Dharma Masters gave after class. Therefore, I learned from the lectures about the Venerable Master and the school that he founded. When my mother found out about the school, she decided to send both me and my sister to study here. During the first year that my sister came to study in CTTB, I also came to visit for two short weeks, and that was the first time I came to CTTB. I still remembered during the last day of my visit that I begged my mother to promise me that she would send me to the school when I grew older.
During the fall of 2009, I was finally accepted to the dorm in Developing Virtue Boys School. After the embassy of America approved my American visa, I flew half way around the world and arrived at CTTB to start my new school. I was very excited during the flight as I had the chance of coming to CTTB again. I made many new friends in the school as I got used to the environment of CTTB very quickly. The facilities of the school and the dorm are fully equipped, so it is as very good place to study in. I think the school is very unique as the students here are very obedient and are also very respectful of their teachers, which is a quality only few students show in public schools. The teachers also teach the students about the qualities of being a good person, as the students staying in the dorm are required to memorize the Standards for Students. As this is a Buddhist school, all students are encouraged to be vegetarians and to refrain from killing any living beings.
The number of students in the school is fewer than eighty, so it is considered a smaller school compared to other public schools. However, every student comes from different countries, background, race, and religion, yet everyone can live in harmony and even work together as a team to achieve the same goal. I learned many new things in the dorm, especially communicating with others and solving problems. Living in the dorm is very helpful for the growth of my physical and mental strength, as it prepares me for the real world when I graduate from the school. In my opinion, living in the dorm is a very big challenge for me because I need to learn how to be independent. If I can overcome this challenge, I can survive wherever I go when I grow up.
Living in the dorm was a great experience for me, and I couldn't help but notice that everyone will help and care for each other just as if we were all one big family. I hope I will be able to make some contributions to CTTB when I grow up so that I can make CTTB a better place to live in!