Majors and Year of Graduation: Chinese and possibly economics; winter 2013 or spring 2014
I feel passionate about: Swimming, family friends and Chinese
Language I have taken at UW-Madison: Mandarin Chinese
Why that language? Mandarin was offered in high school so I took it then. I continued it here at UW and enjoyed. Plus, I believe it is one of the languages of the future with all the high-paced development in China.
Did you begin language study at the kindergarten-high school level? How did K-12 language study impact your later decision to take a language? I never took a language before 10th grade. My sophomore year was when I began taking Chinese and studied it through the rest of high school. China has an interesting culture that I enjoyed learning about and decided to continue my study here in Madison.
What has studying that language meant to you? How has it enriched your life, whether personally, academically or professionally? Studying Chinese has meant a lot to me. It is an extremely difficult language. The class meets 8 times a week and offers much work. So I think it gave me a sense of discipline and to stay on top my work so I will not get behind.
Outside of classroom learning, in what other situations have you been able to apply your language skills or international interests? There are not a ton of Chinese speakers in Madison, but when I run across somebody I try my best to talk to them in Chinese to help improve my verbal skills. I have not studied abroad yet, as I am also on the UW swim team and have obligations to train in Madison and represent the University in competitions. However, I do plan on going to China the summer of 2013 as a part of the Tianjin Program and will spend 11 weeks in intensive language courses.
My favorite word(s) in a language I know: ni Hao (hello), you yong (swim), & gong gong qi che (public bus/bus)
A good book I just read: Stones in the Sea written by Fu Lin and translated by Patrick Hanan
My favorite UW moment: Putting the “Motion W” cap on my head and representing the University of Wisconsin in swimming completion and especially the Big Ten Championships
A memorable high school (or pre-high school) language learning experience: The very first day of Chinese in high school in September of 2006, when my teacher Mr. Fray made us introduce ourselves in Chinese. That was my first taste of Chinese and I will never forget it.
A memorable UW language class experience: My second semester Chinese lecture, where I managed to forge many good friendships
My plans for after graduation include: Studying in China for about a year and seeking a job in business somewhere in New England, where I am from
My favorite living or historical figure: My father, David Wiederecht
My favorite literary figure: Rocky