My Yale Interview
This is my first American college interview, and Yale is my priority “match”, so I got really excited about it (I'；m Yale EASC, hit it at my very first try J)。 I didn't do much preparation, actually less than my parents did~ my interviewer, Chiansan Ma (it's his first interview, too~) had also told me to relax and enjoy beforehand. He said that he would be there to see me more as a person than as an “achiever”. We made an appointment to meet at his apartment at 11:00 a.m. on DiDa campus. I found the place 30 minutes earlier but waited until eleven to knock his door. Then he directed me to a nicer restaurant of two restaurants on the campus and we started the interview.
I wrote it down one or two days after the interview. Unfortunately, some details are still lost, but hope it helps!
GOODLUCKEVERYONE!!! YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY APPLY TO YALE!
C: Tell me about your high school.
L: Oh, I enjoyed it. Most of my friends are there, and I've loved almost all my classes, except the one with political sciences.
C: What's with the political sciences？
L: It's because all those big concepts are really hard to remember. Every time we cram for the exams we recite those things like crazy.C: (amused) What about the other classes？
L: Like Chinese, Maths, Physics, Chemistry…I like them all. They are fun. My favorite class is Chinese and I took some elective courses.
L: Yeah, we read a lot, mostly about ancient Chinese philosophy.
C: What books you read？
L: For example, Analects of Confucius, Dream of the Red Chamber, Records of the Grand History…We studied about this famous scholar from Qing Dynasty, Mr. Wang Guo-wei (now leave out some description about him)， he chose to die because he couldn't bear that the Qing Dynasty and the old culture he loved so much was dying.
C: What elective courses you take now？
L: I don't take elective courses now because they're not offered to seniors.
L: It's sad that while the school policy states that students can drop one or two classes in the senior year, they actually make us drop music and art and elective courses. They just gave us the schedule and we have to study only those subjects on which we'll take exams to colleges.
C: So elective classes are offered only the first two years of high school？
L: Right. There're a lot of them. But some students will still go to the Olympic Maths class or Olympic physics. I took a math class the first year, physics class the second year, and a reading class for two years.
C: But now you do not take any elective classes.
L: I wish I could, but I don't have any time now. Last week I just took the mid-term exam on seven subjects. You know GaoKao is very competitive and one has to work really hard on it. Even in the first two years of high school, we took classes from 8 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon, and we only had about one hour for electives.Reading
C: What does your father do？
L: He is an editor.
C: So can you actually get a lot of books from your father？
L: Oh yeah, and they're all free stuff. It's cool.
C: Hehe, free things are always good.
L: They just published a series of books on Architect Lin Huiyin. I love it very much. Do you know her？
C: No, I don't. A series？
L: An biography and another book someone else wrote about her. The author is her husband's late wife.
C: That's weird…
L: It's true.
C: So what does Lin Huiyin do？ What buildings did she design？
L: She's a great architect, one of the first architects of China. Her husband was also a great architect, Liang Sicheng. Actually her priority was to protect China's ancient architecture. She designed People's Memorial on Tian'anmen Square. She also designed a few school buildings and some stores on Qianmen street.
C: Stores on Qianmen street？
L: Yes, that used to be a commercial street.
C: So her most important design was People's Memorial？
L: I think so. She's also a great writer, a poet like poet Xu Zhimo. You heard about him？
C: A little. So you study Xu Zhimo in school, right？
L: We do.
C: What poems did Lin Huiyin write？
L: Eh…let me see how to translate it…A Day in April？
C: OK. Do you learn western poems？
L: Very few. We learned Keats, and Byron etc., and all in Chinese translations.
C: What books you read in English？
L: Right now I'm reading “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austin. Classical English, tough at times.