Climbing Over the Wall
One morning, I had to pick up my boss Nancy Carroll, an old lady with tough style at 7:00 a.m. sharp at the teachers' apartment because the TA was somehow occupied that day. The gate which was open all the time between the apartment and cafeteria was somehow closed that day. I turned around and was ready to make a detour to the cafeteria.
“Where are you going, Ming (That's what they called me at the summer camp)?” Nancy asked in surprise.
“Don't tell me we are going to climb over the wall.” I was a little scared.
“Yes. That's exactly what we are going to do.” she replied.
“That's not gonna happen. You know, I have a phobia. I fell from a wall when I was a kid and hurt myself badly. It's some sort of psychological shadow.”
“Hey! Ming, I must teach you to overcome. And you have to trust me and yourself.”
Then she climbed onto the wall and demonstrated how to switch feet and make turns.
Although the demo is detailed enough, I still did not have the courage to take a climb. I climbed onto the wall and stayed there for 4 minutes with my mind going blank.
“Ming, you can do it! Just try!” Nancy yelled to me, “Don't worry. I'll hold you down here if you fall off.”
A warm stream just flew over my heart. My parents would have complained “How can you be so timid!” under the same circumstance. With the help of Nancy, I finally made it.
Come to think of it, the core of my story is cultural difference. American ways of handling matters are sort of straight without taking any detour, which are relatively simple and effective. Chinese, however, tend to avoid the obstacles in real life experiences and invariably try to figure out roundabout solutions. This comparison reflects different thinking patterns of Chinese and American. The cause of this phenomenon can be hardly traced and it would not be sagacious to assess which thinking pattern outshines the other. But one thing is for sure, that it is, diversity makes the world more beautiful. And I sincerely hope that every culture on the planet will climb over the walls around it and join in hands together.
Cultural difference is what the summer camp is really all about. This experience would definitely be something I will never ever forget in my whole life.