Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Day in the Life of a Hopkins-Nanjing Center Student: Cady Deck

Certificate Student Cady Deck ’19 shares what her typical day is like at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.

Below is a brief overview of an average weekday for me at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. As a Certificate student, this semester I am taking three classes taught in Chinese and one class taught in English.

8:00 AM
In the mornings I usually go for a run around 玄武湖 (Xuanwu Lake) or along 秦淮河 (Qinhuai River). I find that running is a great way to explore the city and briefly leave the Hopkins-Nanjing Center bubble. 

9:30 AM
I’m someone who has to eat breakfast every day. I rarely make it to the cafeteria before it closes, so I usually eat in my room. I stock up on breakfast foods at 百家, the grocery store around the corner from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. My go-to breakfast is granola with yogurt and fruit.

9:50 AM
Every Monday I have a class called Ethnic Minorities in Chinese Society. Recently we’ve been reading and discussing articles about different ethnic minority groups in detail based on many different aspects, including cultural, political, and economic perspectives. This is one of my favorite classes because it is very discussion-based. Every class, one or two students gives a presentation and then we discuss them in detail, followed by that day’s planned lecture.

11:20 AM
To save time and money, I almost always eat lunch in the cafeteria. Sometimes I will go to the “secret dumpling place” on the 南大 campus, but only once or twice a month. Going to the cafeteria is a good way to catch up with friends, continue conversations with professors after class, or sit down with random people and converse in both Chinese and English.

12:00 – 2:30 PM
After lunch, I usually go to the lounge to do some homework. If I have a big paper to do or need a quieter atmosphere, I go to the 5th floor reading room. If it is a nice day outside, I’ll sit out on the terrace and read or hang out on the “quad” with people while doing my readings.

2:30 – 4:00 PM
Once a week, or twice if my homework load is light, I play basketball or soccer with Hopkins-Nanjing Center students and international students studying at Nanjing University. Now that spring has arrived, it’s impossible to not want to go outside and soak in the sun.

4:30 PM
My China on the Border class is composed of half Chinese students and half international students. Every day we cover a different aspect of border regions’ relationships with China at the local and national level. A significant part of the class is planning and participating in a spring break research trip to a border area. This trip is completely organized by the students, including choosing groups, booking flights and hotels, deciding what to study, and much more. After spring break, we will present our research to the community and write our final papers on similar topics. My group is going to Ruili, a town in Yunnan Province that borders Myanmar.

6:30 PM
I always try to eat dinner somewhere other than the cafeteria to explore the surrounding areas. Often, I eat dinner on or near the Nanjing University campus, but if I have time I’ll go to 新街口 station and eat something I can’t find near campus. On campus there are 4-5 restaurants I frequently go to, including a 汤包 (soup dumpling) restaurant, a Korean-style 拌饭 (bibimbap) place, and a Sichuan noodle restaurant.

8:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Back to the lounge or the 5th floor reading room to finish up my readings and put the finishing touches on any papers due soon. This time is also when I usually switch papers with a Chinese classmate so that we can look over each other’s papers and edit any glaring grammatical mistakes.

10:30 – 11:30 PM

I try to finish my work by around 10 or 10:30 so that I can relax for an hour or so before going to bed. One of my favorite nighttime activities is to play board games in the lounge with other students. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center has a wide variety of Chinese and English board games, such as Settlers of Catan, 围棋 (Go), Bananagrams, and 麻将 (Mahjong).

11:45 PM


Written by Cady Deck, Certificate ‘19