It seems super cliche, but I really am in disbelief about the end of this school year. I still remember arriving on campus for the Bonner Pre-Orientation clearly like it was yesterday. Macalester and the Twin Cities is nothing like Atlanta but I honestly love it here. I found my group of friends and supporters as well as faculty and staff members whom I'm close with.
This semester was an interesting one, three of my four classes overlapped in topics and reinforced different concepts and events. The international law I learned in my Codes of Conduct class gets mentioned in my Intro to Asian Studies class. The China unit in my Intro to Asian Studies class became supplementary to my Rise of Modern China class. Because of this, I was able to look at topics like the South China Sea disputes through a historical and international law perspective. Each of my professors elaborate on a different angle and I get to piece all of the information together to form a bigger picture.
Since none of my classes this semester was math or science-based, all of my final exams were actually papers instead of sit-down exams. In all three of the classes that I mentioned above, I had the ability to choose any topic (ANY topic!) that relates to the course content.
Honestly, I considered a minor in Asian Studies but since it has an Asian language requirement I decided not to pursue it, especially since I'm already set on a Hispanic Studies minor (which requires additional Spanish classes). I originally wanted to take Rise of Modern China due to my lack of knowledge on Chinese history. Now, I feel that I gained more knowledge on nineteenth and twentieth century China. For my paper, I chose to write about Deng Xiaoping's personality and its effects on modernizing China from the 1970s through 1990s. I decided on Deng Xiaoping because I always hear his name in Chinese history but I never understood his significance - I tend to only hear about Mao Zedong and his wrongdoings in twentieth century China. Through writing this paper, I am learning to understand China through a scholarship perspective and not from a perspective of a biased person. As a Hong Kong person, I was raised to feel slightly superior to people from Mainland China (whether this was intended or not, it was implied throughout my childhood). Sitting in class this semester, taught me to realize my own prejudices and forced me to be actively aware of my thoughts. Not everything (or everyone) is black and white and I should never take a statement at face value because every situation is usually more complex than it appears to be.
Anyway, here's a copy of my Deng Xiaoping paper. I probably have some typos and such in my paper, so please do not mind them!
I also attached my Intro to Int'l Studies: Codes of Conduct paper below. I originally wanted to write a more traditional academic paper, but my professor knew of my interest in Hong Kong so he pushed for me to write a more unconventional (but academic) paper on the status of Hong Kong and its relation to international law and the rest of the world.
I hope the professors see my effort and passion in writing these two papers!
D-4 until Saturday,
college student. junior. international studies major. over-the-top foodie. travel and lifestyle student blogger?
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