I opened my mailbox today to find these:
These thoughtful touches really made my day. I’ve known Eric for a little over a year now although we have only truly met for a day when I interviewed him over dinner and late night tea in 2009 in Chengdu (I contacted him via Couchsurfing). My impression of him was, how mature this boy was. In spite of his family background (his father’s a doctor), Eric struck me as an incredibly humble young man who truly cared about finding meaning in life; it’s not about material pursuit, but about learning, understanding and appreciating the diversity and wonders of our earthly existence in this curious and perplexing world. Honestly, I saw myself in him.
It’s wonderful to see him doing so well now, being the only student selected from his university for an internship in Hong Kong after spending half a year last year in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Soon he will be off to an Ivy League school in the US for post-grad studies.
This is exactly what the “Thank You” card is for. I had helped him edit his Statement of Intent for the universities he was applying to last October. Although I was more amazed by his list of achievements, he insisted that the help I had rendered helped him score a place at the University of Pennsylvania (he got the acceptance reply within days of application when the normal process would take weeks).
He has since thanked me profusely, and now with this card. I’m only too happy with his success whether I played a part in it or not, and for the thoughtfulness of this young man. He’s proving that the post-80s generation of China are not a bunch of hopeless case, but quite on the contrary, a generation of hopeful and enterprising young men and women with lofty dreams that they know how to realize in due time.
Xiaonan is another Chinese national who spent much of her teenage years through university in Singapore. We used to be colleagues until she decided to leave for Chicago’s IIT in pursuit of a post-grad degree in design management. We have always been rather tight since both of us were into all things kawaii, and hopefully we get to do some travelling together in the US or China in the near future 🙂 She was in NYC over the Christmas period and picked this card for me. Sent on December 27, it curiously only arrived in my mailbox between Jan 30 (when I left Shanghai for Singapore) and today. Wonder what held it up, perhaps blizzards across America had crippled the US postal service. In spite of the delay, I’m thankful to the mailmen for braving harsh weather conditions to deliver it to me. I’m truly delighted with the pop-up cheerful purple morning glories, they’ll put a huge, huge smile on my face at the start of every day (^___^)