February 16th marked the Lunar New Year in 2018, the Year of the Dog. New Year celebrations at Middlesex started at the end of January for students in Mrs. Ku’s Chinese classes. In the three to four weeks leading up to the New Year, each class studied various aspects of traditional customs practiced in welcoming the New Year. Advanced Chinese students studied the Chinese daffodil and its significance symbolizing the abundant blessings for the upcoming year. Students read Chinese articles written for native readers regarding the care of Chinese daffodils and took assessments similar to those administered in an AP level course, and they also did speaking presentation in class to introduce this important culture practice. In addition, they learned about the entire raising cycle – from preparing the bulbs for rooting to nurturing the flower’s signature elegant and fragrant blossoms. As an interdisciplinary component to the cultural lesson, they also learned how to make flower vessels in Ms. Meg Morrison’s pottery classroom.
Other students in the Chinese Department took calligraphy lessons. Adding to the festivities, Mrs. Ku challenged students with a Chinese Character Penmanship Competition for the Gold Brush Award. Entries were rated on accuracy of strokes and proper proportions of each character. This year’s winners of the Gold Brush Award are Isabella Espenilla for the advanced level, and Samuel Barton for the introduction level. Congratulations!
On February 6th, Flik prepared an abundant Lunar New Year banquet. That day, Ware Hall bustled with noise and excitement when a local cultural foundation, New England Chinese Cultural Studio Inc., joined us with music, crafts, and a popup traditional Chinese market. We were very blessed to celebrate this most important Chinese holiday with the entire Middlesex community. Additionally, the Asian Society student club organized a hot-pot outing on February 19th to Q Restaurant in Boston’s famed Chinatown. The club members were very impressed with the gourmet food, the unique ways of hot-pot cooking, as well as the joyful and festive atmosphere around us. All in all, the Chinese Department is grateful to experience a meaningful and exceptionally memorable start to the New Year. Please enjoy the attached video for some happy moments in the progression of the projects. We wish all Middlesex families “恭喜发财 Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái” – Happiness and Prosperity – in the Year of the Dog!
Chair, Chinese Department