In 2004, I had the great honor of joining “Rediscovering China.” It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, as it was the perfect way to synthesize many of my divergent interests that had but one thing in common: China.
In my final year of high school, my interest in China was irreversibly sparked – but it was almost a total accident. I had always enjoyed studying foreign languages, and when I had completed all the Spanish courses my school offered, I knew I wanted to find a new challenge to take up. For scheduling reasons, the decision came down to Chinese or Yoruba, most of whose speakers are in Nigeria. On nothing more than an eenie-meenie-miney-mo whim, I went with Chinese, and nearly from the first day of class, I knew I had found a new passion.
My college days enabled me to pursue many aspects of my interest, and I felt fortunate to be at Rice University, where the Asian Studies professors and lecturers were equal parts knowledgeable, engaging, challenging, and kind. Under their direction, I researched, among other topics, the globalization of the Yijing (“Classic of Changes”); I tried to put to rest questions over whether or not Li Shangyin’s Tang poetry was, in fact, simply the romantic expression it appeared to be; I even played the role of the indomitable Qiu Jin, modern Chinese heroine, in a mini-drama written by my Chinese class.
Less than two weeks after finishing college, I moved to China to try to see firsthand all of the things I’d been reading and hearing about. All along, I had also been deeply interested in the law, and was most intrigued by matters where China and law overlapped. (Fortunately, these matters can be found almost everywhere!) I was thrilled when I found a job working in a Chinese law firm, as it afforded me the opportunity to observe many different kinds of law in practice.
It has been my position at CCTV, however, which has offered me the greatest depth of firsthand experience as I use what I have learned in the past and work hard to learn more quickly. With each new episode, I am humbled by the amount of background knowledge that is necessary to ask good questions, make thoughtful comments, and distill some cohesive portion for the viewer to enjoy. I am always eager for feedback – from my friends, colleagues, supervisors, and, of course, viewers. “Rediscovering China” is made by an incredibly hard-working team, and as one of the faces that represents their hard work to the rest of the world, I want to make sure I am putting forth the best possible face. Please email me with your comments and suggestions, and in the meantime, thanks for watching!