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Marshalltown Community College
(YFU News – February, 2011)

Celebrating the Chinese/Korean New Year.
Heu Weon, Jun Sik and Yiwen hosted a Chinese/Korea New Year's Dinner Party at Heu Weon/Kathie Readout's home on February 4. Heu Weon and Jun Sik spent the day preparing an array of Korean food for us, donggrangddaeng (beef meatballs), dduk guk (rice cake soup), kimchi pancakes, and Korean dumplings, which were very tasty and enjoyed by all.

Left photo - Guests at Korean New Year’s Party.
Right photo - Host mom, Kathie demonstrates her use of chopsticks.

Following dinner we played the card game "Spoons," a high spirited card game that gets very competitive and somewhat dangerous as everyone grabs for the final spoons. Many thanks to our host and hostesses for a wonderful evening together.

Left photo- Our Korean New Year’s Dinner.
Right photo- Setting up for the Spoons card game.

Skiing, Snowboarding, Tubing at Seven Oaks.
On February 13, we headed for the slopes at Seven Oaks Ski Resort in Boone to snowboard, ski and inner tube down the slopes. It was a beautiful and warm sunny day, and as we drove to the resort we feared the snow would be too melted to ski, but Seven Oaks makes snow, and the slopes had several feet thick of it. Some of the students were down on their back ends more than up while others swooshed down the highest hill with ease. Iowa doesn't have big mountains, but the snowy hills of Seven Oaks provided enough challenge to make it an exciting day on the slopes for everyone. The students enjoyed it so much, in fact, that many of them wanted to go back the very next weekend!

Left photo- Our group ready to hit the slopes at Seven Oaks Ski Resort .
Right photo- Taking a lesson before hitting the slopes.

Stas and Yiwen Give Presentations on Russia and China .
This month we continued our potluck/presentations with Yiwen presenting on her country of China and Stas presenting on Russia on February 27. Both students did an outstanding job of sharing their country and culture with us. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn about all our students' countries while they are also learning about the U.S. while attending MCC.

Student Star of the Month
This month’s student star is Yiwen (a.k.a. Even) Sun who shares her experience as a YFU student at MCC.

I still remember the moment I went though Chinese customs and the moment of my first step here in America. When we came back from Florida in spring break, I walked out of Des Moines International airport, and I felt like it was still the first time I came here and was the first time I saw Barb smile and wave to me and say “welcome, Yiwen.” Five months I have been here and will still be here until next winter. Thousands of people have asked me if I love America, if I love Iowa, if I love Marshalltown, if I love American food, if I miss my hometown, and so on. There is no doubt there are many differences between America and China, and I do love America so much, but I still miss my sweet hometown.
All the teachers in Marshalltown Community College are really nice. Maybe this college is so small that instructor can know all the students in his or her class. As the result, my instructor even would ask me why I didn’t complete my physics homework, which would never happen in a big university that has two thousand students in one class. And fortunately all my teachers are really kind to me and would never tire of my endless questions, so I got 3.9 GPA last semester and also received an outstanding student award last week.
My English has improved a lot because there is only one Chinese student here, so I have to speak English all day long. I am really not good at any language at all and even didn’t pass the TOEFL (test of English as foreign language) test at the first time. But all the classes I am taking here are helping a lot, especially composition class.
In the states, I started to learn piano. This is not my first time to learn instruction, but I believe it would be the hardest one I have ever learned. I practiced a lot last semester and finally got an outstanding music student award.
I have a new host family this month, the Bob and Connie Beard family. We will hug every morning before I go to school and every night before I go to bed. We have family dinner together every single day, and I have my own bedroom, bathroom and sitting room. Everything makes me feel warm and more independent.
In this month we have had many activities, but what I still remember is that we went skiing. Actually I haven’t skied since elementary school, but I still believed I could make it, so I went to one of the highest hills. However, the truth was I couldn’t even stop if I was moving. But my YFU buddies still waited for me when I couldn’t even move at all, and finally I walked down the hill and started from the beginning. At last, I made it down all the high hills successfully. I learned a lot from it even though it was just skiing for fun. “Friend in need is a friend indeed.” We YFU students are teammates and will be friends forever.
Maybe twenty years later I would still keep in touch with them and would go to their country visiting. At the same time, if they came to China one day, I would definitely be willing to host them, because we used to be teammates and they used to wait for me and help me when I was suck in snow. Even though we fought or argued with each other in the past time, I still believe that we will miss each other after graduation.
It may not be my first time studying away from home, and may not be my first time I went abroad, and may not be my first time I faced everything alone, but it would be one of the best treasures in my life. I spent my 18-year-old birthday party here, and I drove my first car here, and I got my first salary here. Maybe this is not the place I grew up, but it is the place I became an adult. I still miss my family, my hometown, my friends back in China, but by all means I have family and friends here in Marshalltown, and Marshalltown would be my second hometown my whole life, and I will love it here forever and treasure all the memories.

~ Yiwen


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