Sunday has become my favorite day of the week. Sundays used to stress me out because they meant it was time to go back to the grind of work/school and daunting to-do lists. Sundays no longer stress me out. Maybe it’s because I have learned to better manage my time? Or maybe I am just more balanced and relaxed than I used to be? Who knows? I do know, however, that Sundays have become a day to look forward to - filled with meditating long runs through breathable air and blue skies, blog writing while sipping pot after pot of chrysanthemum tea, exciting Chinese excursions, great company and leisurely meals that last several hours. Furthermore, I actually look forward to going to class at 8:30am on Monday morning with great enthusiasm (nerd, I know).
This may wear off, but right now, I am still overwhelmed with excitement about learning new material that I have no previous exposure to. While I always enjoyed school, graduate school is different. High school classes were “required” or I would be thrown in detention. Even though I always enjoyed learning, I had to attend class whether I wanted to or not and regardless of whether or not the material captured my interest. Business school in China was 100% MY choice. It was not a requirement or duty, but instead my own personal commitment to learn as much as possible about an entirely new career path in an entirely new place. I think this “choice” has had quite a significant impact on my mindset. I am here because I WANT to learn. I am here because I WANT to be a nerd and soak in as much information as humanly possible. While in the past I may have taken office hours or TA hours for granted, I now find myself using every resource available and reading every single page and caption of every single text (both required and optional). “Choice” goes a long way. In order to be successful in whatever you undertake, you have to want it for YOU. Otherwise, your undertakings become a burden or a chore.
I am working very hard, yet I am still more excited than stressed. I have devoted at least 6 hours to studying math each day so that I can catch up with my peers. Well, it has certainly paid off. I ACED (100% to be exact) my first math quiz! My math teacher doesn’t teach us concepts that we are expected to know – he just builds off those concepts…Therefore, it is easy for someone like me with very little math background to fall very very very behind. Well, THANK GOODNESS FOR YOUTUBE. YouTube has saved my life. Every time I come across a concept I don’t understand, I simply watch it on YouTube and download practice problems off the internet. I must confess, I am actually kind of enjoying math right now…That first quiz was a nice confidence boost, which I certainly needed!
Operations Management is still an exciting new world as well. My group met this week to choose our company that we will investigate for our group project. We chose to select the international chain called Metro (it is very similar to Costco and Sam’s Club). We will ultimately be responsible for delivering a report and presentation that includes the following:
- general information including company size, main product lines, major competitors, customers, and suppliers.
- primary processes
- planning and control systems
- strengths and weaknesses of their operations
- recommendations for improvement
Well, that’s my school update for you! Now for Shenzhen life…
According to my blog post last week, Shenzhen is one big party with nothing but nightclubs, theme parks and palm tress. Well, I was wrong. Yes, the nightlife and commercial tourist attractions here are intense, but there is more to Shenzhen than I realized. It is true that Shenzhen’s ancient Chinese history and culture cannot be compared to cities like Xian, Guilin, Beijing and Shanghai. Do not come here for the old walking streets, temples and shrines; you will be utterly disappointed. However, Shenzhen does have its own character. I think I am going to love it here more than I anticipated. Living in Beijing and Shanghai, I certainly did not see mountains, hiking and camping trails, bird watching tours, fishing, etc. As you can see from the pictures below, Shenzhen is very green and clean (well, clean for China standards). Shenzhen is full of incredibly beautiful and serene parks and gardens. Furthermore, they are actually pleasant and peaceful – NOT filled beyond capacity with sardines (as are most parks in Beijing and Shanghai). There are more mountain and hiking trails here than you could imagine. There are beautiful sandy beaches both in Shenzhen and a ferry ride away in Hong Kong. So even though Shenzhen’s temples might be underwhelming, Shenzhen has a unique natural beauty and wildlife that isn’t found in every Chinese city. It is now my mission to fully experience the Shenzhen outdoors and appreciate all of Shenzhen’s greenery and landforms. As someone who strives to live a “Zen” life, Shenzhen is way more Zen than my previous homes in China.
The start of my “Shenzhen Bucket List” (which is already 62 items long and saved on my Google Docs) began this morning in Lotus Park – a 45-minute subway ride from campus. Six of my girlfriends and I went straight from our Sunday morning dim sum to Lotus Park for an afternoon stroll. It was beautiful! It was so quiet I could hear the birds chirping (this would have never happened in Shanghai!) The sky was filled with fluffy clouds and everywhere was so incredibly lush and green. This was far from the China that I am familiar with! We walked around for a few hours, listened to some older folks singing in the park, saw some fisherman and then headed back to campus for an afternoon nap and dinner in the school cafeteria.
It is 8:42pm here, so back to YouTube math for me…
I hope you enjoy all my recent pictures below. I added names and home countries to my photos so you can put names to faces!
Have a lovely week everyone. You have all been slacking on your WeChat texts, so please keep them coming! Remember, I live across the world and need to remember I am loved back in America hehe.
Hugs and Kisses,