The newly established Chinese Resource Center (CRC) held a grand opening ceremony for the Loomis Chaffee community on Sunday, January 18 to showcase the center’s offerings to anyone interested in learning about Chinese language and Asian culture.
The CRC is available in the Katharine Brush Library on Sunday afternoons from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The center is open to all and will be staffed by student volunteers. Visitors to the CRC may participate in a variety of fun and interactive learning activities, modeled after the highly successful Quantitative Resource Center (QRC) on campus. Stations might include a game center, a calligraphy station, a “text in Chinese” workshop, and karaoke, as well as homework help and language tutoring. The committee is also planning a Chinese New Year celebration in February.
“CRC, for both advanced speakers and students who are learning the language, is a platform for cultural exchange,” explains freshman Louisa Gao, CRC Committee member. “For students currently taking Chinese courses, CRC can help them with Chinese study through study sessions, and can also provide access to the culture that might not appear in the textbook. For native speakers like me, [the] opportunity to spread our culture and connect our country to Loomis, as well as to the world, is extremely attractive and precious.”
The center’s mission is to create a relaxed space where students in all levels of Chinese language can advance their comprehension and learn more about Asian culture through interaction with native speakers and advanced language students. In turn, students from Asian cultures are able to share their cultural experiences and interact with others from different social and cultural backgrounds.
A committee of about 20 advanced students and native Chinese speakers, advised by Chinese language teacher Naogan Ma, have been developing an idea for the Chinese Resource Center for some time. Naogan humorously compared the CRC to “traveling pants” as the committee sought to identify a suitable location for their weekly sessions.
At the grand opening, Naogan expressed her appreciation for the support and encouragement she and the committee have received school-wide in bringing the center to fruition, and she welcomed all to join in the activities on Sunday afternoons. Student committee members introduced themselves and read the mission statement aloud. Senior Penelope Shao, sophomore Jason Liu, and Louisa shared their perspectives.
“We learn from each other, no matter committee members or students who get involved in the activities,” Louisa says. “Through the sharing of ideas and discussions, we are often surprised by the amazing thoughts that others have. And I think that's what everyone enjoys most in this process.”