而当太阳落下便是我们这群小伙伴最惬意的时光，每每下午放学就会相约一起走上大桥，趴在桥栏上，静静等待小精灵——海狮的到来，看着它们在桥下开心雀跃的跟我们打招呼。遇到晴好的周末，我访问的学校（Mt. Edgecumbe High School）会组织皮划艇活动。跟随着老师的步伐，我已经探索了锡特卡的绝大部分小岛。作为一名登山爱好者，周末闲暇的大部分时间，我都选择和朋友们去攀登那些大大小小的山峰，站在山顶，以另一种心境，或许是游客、或许是占领者、亦或许是探索者，去感受大自然给予的馈赠。
Postcards from Sitka
- My Awesome School Year at Edgecumbe High School
On the Baronoff Island in the USA, there is a place called “Sitka”. During summer time, when every corner in the world gets into darkness, Sitka is still bright outside. As the exchange student from Yunnan University Secondary School for the school year of 2015-2016, I have been so lucky to live in this gorgeous town for nine months.
Rain is the most special thing in Sitka. In the nine months living in Sitka, I lived with rain almost all the time. Just walk in the street, you can find almost everyone is wearing a rain-jacket and a pair of rain boots. At the beginning of September you can even wear your boots to join the “Rain boots Run”.
When the sunlight was disappearing, it was the best time for me and my friends. We would always go across the bridge, hang out in Downtown Sitka. And you can easily notice there are some sea lions under the bridge trying to catch your attention! I loved going Kayaking with my friends in this kind of weather. With them, I have discovered many islands in Sitka. I am a hiker. It seemed like I would go out with my friends every weekend. Looking down from the top, as a visitor, as a leader or may be as a discover, I will bask what nature has to give to me.
This year, our school is the host of “Alaska southeast Basketball Tournament”, we hosted about 8,000 people from all over Alaska. They made Sitka become busier and livelier. I watched the ballet play named “The Nutcracker” which is on every other year. And I got the invitation from my host family to be a volunteer in the “Wearable Art Show”. This event showed to people how creative people coul be. And after school, I joined the DDF team and follow them to travel around Alaska. During the Music festival I even got the “Outstanding Musician Award”!
If you have known this before, it is not easy to attend school in U.S. compared with in China. In the second semester, I joined the school band and Choir, choose Advanced English 2 class, Yearbook and Environment Science as my classes. In the Advanced English 2 class, I finished reading some American Classic books like “To kill a Mockingbird”, “The Kite Runner”, “The Great Gatsby” and more. We always sat in a circle during our class time; we talked about the details in the book; we analyzed the rhetorical devise in the book; we watched the movies together and talked about the plots what are different from the books. through Ms. Anderson’s recommendation, I joined the “National Horner Society”, it let me have a better idea of the school, the inner part. In the Environment Science class, we decided to study “Sea stars wasting disease”. After hard researching, we eventually found some sea stars near an island which is far away from Downtown Sitka. We did snorkeling. You had no idea how pretty the underwater world was. Sea grasses were swinging in the water, and shells filled the rocks. If it is quiet enough, you can hear the shells open and close up, as if they are kissing. We followed the edge of the island, recognized different Sea star spices, and we measured them with rulers. After a series of research, we wrote a report to the University Of California, in which we told them we did not find any “Sea star wasting disease”. At the end of the report, with pride we wrote, “You can’t image how clean Sitka’s water is!”.
During the winter break, I lived with a local family, I cooked for them, and made them feel Chinese people’s friendliness. They loved the Chinese food I cooked! As an exchange student, my major job was to help them learn Chinese culture. In the Chinese New Year, I played Hulusi. I also taught my schoolmates in the Choir a Chinese song named “Chong Er Fei”, and I accompanied them on the piano. With many people’s help, we had a little “Chinese New Year Gala Show” in our town. In the school, I taught the Chinese class how to play Ma Jiang. I was surprised how fast they learned this game when they told me what each of the tile’s name was! When we were taking a ferry to other places, I taught them the game “Staring at you”. By the end of the day, almost everyone on the ferry knew there was a fun card game in China named “Staring at you”.
Just a short time I spent in Sika, but I feel I want to give my whole heart to Sitka. Living in Sitka, you can always take your time and enjoy yourself. When you walk around anywhere in Sitka, everyone you see will say Hi to you. In Sitka, it is rare to see somebody rushing to do something. This is a town that is full of joyful atmosphere. Sitka has everything for a person to live comfortably already, so it doesn’t need to change or to expand. It teaches you to know who you are.
I read “Remembrance of things past” by Marcel Proust before. I was amazed how he could describe the time as so slow. After living in Sitka, I realized he was writing about how Sitka people spend their time! With this unique and imponderable experience, looking back, I know that my view of the world will be changed forever, so will I.