From Student Blogger, Maggie: Conversation Without Language

From Student Blogger, Maggie: Conversation Without Language

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A few weeks ago, our college’s international director went to Shenzhen, China. Before my director went to Shenzhen, she asked me if my mother had free time so that they could have a dinner together. I was very happy about it because the main reason she went to China was to do recruiting for the college. Even though she was busy, she still took time to meet my mother and talk with her.

The funny thing is that my mother cannot speak English very well, and the international director cannot speak Chinese. Thus, before they met each other, I was showing them how to use WeChat (a Chinese social app) to have conversations. The app has a translation option; when they type in their language, another person can translate it into their language and see the meaning.

When our international director arrived at Shenzhen, they finally met each other. Both of them were very excited. I heard from my mother that they went for dinner and then joined an orientation with other Chinese parents to introduce our school. Furthermore, my mother also talked with other people about how am I doing so far at college. When I heard my mom tell me that she was having fun with the director, I felt very warm and like the situation was a little unbelievable. Since, generally speaking, their lives wouldn’t intersect except with me as an intermediary.

The following day, my international director also told me that she was very happy to meet my mother and talk about me. Even though they speak a different language, they still found a way to have conversations with each other. For my mom and my international director, it must be a unique meeting. For me, it is a little amazing and incredible because I never imagined they would be having dinner in my city. I also did not expect a college staff person would give a moment to meet her student’s parent. After the two met, I liked my school even more. Although Centralia is not a big fancy area, here they have the milk of human kindness. Because of that, I feel the school and people here are irreplaceable!


Maggie Long is from China and is majoring in media at Centralia College in Centralia, Washington.