Alexander Auyeung

23 May 2020

Mai Laoshi, I fondly remember taking Chinese 349 (Social Commentary) with you in Spring 2016. You demanded the best from your students, and you reminded me that learning Chinese would require dedication. At the same time, you brought the class to life with your stories, examples, and discussions. You re-ignited my interest in Chinese language and culture, and reminded me how much they meant to me. After a couple years of me not focusing on my Chinese, your class got me so excited that I would get to spend the following year in China, as an English teacher in Fenyang.

What I remember most about you is how you inspired me. On this path of learning Chinese, I’ve often felt discouraged, like I’d never really get it. But you like me, began learning Chinese purely as a second language. I believe you began learning Chinese even later than I did, in your senior year of college as a graduation requirement (I remember marveling at your story of how things we never expect can end up changing the course of our lives).

Yet, you have shown me that it is possible for someone in our shoes to truly master Chinese and flourish (as a literate member of society). Even with your level of expertise, you continued to study Chinese at Carleton, and even studied Japanese. I look up to you sincerely and will always remember what a joy it was to be in your class.

Thank you for immeasurable gifts you have given to me, the Carleton Chinese department, and countless generations of Carleton students. Congratulations on your retirement–I promise you will be very dearly missed.

Alex (欧阳展图)