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A rough time to open a Mandarin immersion school

June 6, 2020

Mary Field is a Mandarin speaker and long-time Mandarin language supporter who just helped launch a French and Mandarin immersion school in San Antonio, Texas with a pre-school and Kindergarten, with plans to expand to first grade next year. All currently in limbo. Here she describes what the winter felt like for their school.

Looking to China for a Glimpse of Our Future

Mary Fieldby Mary FieldMay 23, 2020

The Rivard Report

On January 15, there was an email in my inbox from the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China. This was not unusual. I never unsubscribed from their emails for U.S. citizens in China, even though I moved back to the U.S. in 2014. Most of their notices were about changes to local visa regulations and worldwide travel alerts. This time, the email was about an outbreak of pneumonia in the city of Wuhan. I did not have time to think too much about this email. The following day was a big one. It was our initial state inspection for the first Chinese immersion preschool in San Antonio

Modern China is a noisy place. People lean on their car horns when changing lanes, firecrackers announce the opening of a new store, and workers constantly tear down and put up buildings. During the days around Chinese New Year, however, it gets very quiet. The streets empty out and people return to their family homes. The days leading up the Chinese New Year, I watched YouTube videos filmed on the streets of Beijing. Things were very quiet, but it was not clear whether it was because of the holiday or the fear of the coronavirus. People were wearing masks, but seeing folks wearing masks in China has never been unusual.

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