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We are Buckeyes fans now!

Before I came to America, I hardly know anything about football because I lived in a country where football means soccer! However, now I’m a real buckeye fan and I know many things about Ohio State football! How did it happen?

Last Saturday, Ohio State played against UCF (University of Central Florida). We international students were all invited by David Smith, who works for international students services in Fisher, to have a football 101 lesson and watch the game. David definitely is a big Ohio State fan. As we all know, a characteristic about sports fans is that they always want everybody know and love the team they support, and so was David. However, instead of introducing football to us directly, he asked us to have an Ohio State treasure hunt game!

We were divided into several groups and each group got a list of objectives. I was with 3 other Chinese guys, but we were forbidden to speak Chinese during the game. After we took a quick look at the list, we rushed out to the stadium. At first, we were shocked by the number of people going to watch OSU’s game. It’s such a great scene when more than 100,000 people in red shirts or jerseys moving, talking, cheering and screaming. Lost in that atmosphere, we almost forgot our task(s)!

O-H-I-O!

O-H-I-O!

There were around 15 photo-taking tasks on our list. We did easy things at first like taking photo in front of stadium, asking OSU fans to do O-H-I-O, taking photo of someone wearing Ohio State jersey. Then, we started to deal with some special demands on that list. We took photo of Ohio State faculty member, Ohio fan and UCF fan together, band member, superfan, food vendor and fans who were wearing jerseys of number 27, 45 and 10. Finally, we came to challenging tasks. Photos of Buckeye Grove, two specific tailgates, and Woody Hayes were on the list, so we turned to some OSU fans and asked them for locations and details. I was deeply impressed by them, the fans. They were so passinate and proud of Ohio State. Everytime I asked them about Woody Hayes or tailgates, they couldn’t wait to tell me everything they know about Ohio State, almost like they were talking about their own kids. :-)  And, I would high-five with them and say “Go Buckeyes” after every chat. Gradually, I felt more and more involved in that thing. I’m an OSU student and I’m really proud to be part of it.

Ohio state fan, me, UCF fan!

After one and a half hour of searching, we finally finished all the tasks except one – go find and take photo of someone wearing Michigan jersey. Well, all of us seriously doubted whether David put that goal in the list just for fun. Because in that atmosphere, a guy in Michigan jersey would might be punched by OSU fans in the face! So, we just came back to Gerlach and turned in our work. Surprisingly, only two teams, including us, finished the most goals on that list. And the other team didn’t get a Michigan fan, either! In the end, we two teams tied and both got the first prize.

With someone wearing #10!

Then we watched the game. There is no wonder that Ohio State would win. We enjoyed the game, pizzas and David’s 101 lessons about football rules. It was an amazing day and all of our international students can say: WE ARE BUCKEYES FANS NOW!


Confidence!

There is a huge difference between my undergrad and grad life. During my undergrad experience, we looked for jobs nearer graduation. Now, we are already preparing for job seeking right after our grad program just started. Sometimes the game just kick-off before you’re ready. And it’s harder when you even don’t know the rules.

On September 5th, Fisher hosted a big job fair at the Ohio Union. A large number of companies came to Ohio State and try to find their future employees there. The weather was pretty warm that day. I got up very early, suited up in a semi-ill-fitting suit, and reached the Union to attend my first professional job fair. Personally, I’m not nervous but confused, confused about everything, especially on how to network with employers. Though I spoke to many employers and they were kind and patient, I still felt not good because of my poor(er) listening and speaking abilities. This is a huge gap between me and employers. It not only let you miss important information, but can also challenge your confidence.

So, later that day, I made a phone call to Ran, a second-year MLHR student who is always willing to help. She told me that it doesn’t matter if there are problems with your communication. Everyone would feel frustrated at the very beginning because you don’t know how it works. You need to experience it to get experienced. Don’t always focus on the short term results and just keep trying and learning. Well, after that call, I felt much better.

Over the next few days, we are having classes. I tried hard to talk to my American classmates, chat with them and find out what they’re interested in. Every time I understood a joke from them, or even what I was saying made them surprised, I would feel like it was a positive achievement – and, as a result, gained a little confidence for myself. An offhand conversation or a simple body language from them can help me a lot because they want to talk to me even though I’m still working on my English. Thanks to Nick, Gabe, Dave, Jon, Sarah and so many of them, I start to feel confident again and ready for the challenge. :-)

Yesterday, September 10, the job fair for Fisher’s graduate students was held on campus. This time I think I did a better job. I spoke to many employers for more than 5 minutes at a time. I could do more than just asking for e-mail addresses. I could deal with “language embarrassment” skillfully this time. In conclusion, I’m proud of every progress I’ve made now. Although there are still many problems and difficulties, I want my confidence with me all the time and believe I can overcome all of them in future. Being a Fisher student, the most important thing is to be confident. Then, go get better and better.


My first two weeks at Ohio State

This is the very first time I’ve left my country and to begin an entirely new adventure in a totally different place as a new graduate student in the Fisher MLHR program. I’ve been here for more than two weeks and I enjoy everything here in Ohio State. Personally, I couldn’t figure out a better way to present my new life in Columbus than using pictures. I’ll show you several photos and tell you my Ohio State “newcomer” story.
The Oval   If you let me pick a place to be my favourite in Ohio State, I would definitely choose the Oval. Several days ago, I took my first campus walk from Fisher to the Ohio Union on a sunny afternoon and took this photo. When I walked on the Oval, I was immediately attracted to the beautiful green grassland and the pure blue sky. Many new OSU students with red t-shirts played teamwork games on the Oval. Laughter could be heard everywhere. Green, blue and smiling faces, how peaceful is this picture. Suddenly I realized why almost all the people who lived in Columbus or Ohio love OSU THIS much, not only for football, but also for this campus, this amazing campus.

UV   The next thing I want to talk about is my new apartment in UV. UV stands for University Village, which is a student community near campus. An interesting fact is that many of the Chinese students in Fisher master programs live in UV. During my first two weeks in UV, I was busy handling my furnitures and appliances. Everytime we saw our American neighbour move those things from home to their apartment with family’s help, we really admire that while what we can only do is to go to Walmart by bus and carry things as much as we can do. Prices of goods are also relatively high here when compared to China, and we still multiply the price by six subconsciously. However, we need to get used to it and make every effort to start a brand new life here. I look at the blue sky in Columbus, and I know everything will be fine in future.

Food   Food here is totally different. My host family took me to have some traditional American food and Mexican food. I could still remember my first meal was breakfast at McDonald’s, then lunch at Skyline Chili, and a dinner of homemade hotdogs. Then the second day were Chipotle and BBQ. Almost all of these are meat-and-bread-based, unlike vegetable-based in China. So I’m so amazed at most Americans are still in good shape though foods here are high in calories. If it was me, I may already be thousands of pounds! :) Anyway, I prepare to cook for myself in consideration of both cost and calories. I bought rice and some vegetables at Kroger (local grocery store) and got some Chinese style ingredient in Walmart. This picture is my first Chinese meal I cooked for myself: rice and fried chicken with potatoes. They are really delicious!

 

 

IFI Welcom Party   America is famous for its culture of party and social gatherings. Fortunately, I have a great chance to be part of it. IFI, International Friendship Inc, is a really nice organization who provided airport pick-up and temporary housing services for us international students. By IFI, I meet John and Cyndi, who picked me up at the airport and let me stay with them before I move in UV. They treated me like family and we shared a really unforgettable happy memory. So, on Saturday we had an Thank-you party in Union. I met John and Cyndi again, together with other 5 international students they were hosting. We danced together and chatted a lot. This party is so enjoyable to me that I may have missed another welcome activity at Fisher! (oops) This is my first American party, with my favourite American people. I’ll never forget it!



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