About 張盈/Leslie

This blog was originally intended for documenting my travels in China for two weeks and my year-long study abroad endeavor in Japan. However, in the time before I depart from the United States, this blog has become my venting station for arising issues of today’s day and age.

If you haven’t already noticed, I am a very opinionated person. I am very passionate about my values and beliefs, but I am still open to other opinions. What I choose to say and what comments I approve are up to me because this is my blog.

Let the following be a brief biography of me.

I was born in San Francisco, CA to immigrant parents on Oct. 10, 1986. My father is a Chinese-born Vietnam war refugee and came to the United States around 1975. My mother was born during the Cultural Revolution in mainland China and immigrated to the United States to pursue a college degree in 1981. Both of my parents came to the United States in very humble situations and have built a home and life for my American-born brother and me. They taught us to appreciate what we have and what they have given to us in life.

How I was raised directly affects to the way I view all aspects of life. My parents sent me to a Chinese Catholic school for K-8 for the convenience of location from their jobs and for the fear of my safety in our district public schools. However, this school proved to be no different in quality education of run-down public schools because the corruption of the administration and blatant favoritism of students at the Catholic school was very apparent. From the time I graduated 8th grade, we have been hesitant to trust any private educational institutions.

I am an alumnus of Lowell High School in San Francisco. The education I received there was rigorous and competitive, but prepared me well for what I was to face in higher education. Coming from a private secular grade school, I was exposed to a much more independent and free-thinking educational environment in a public high school. Our generally liberal atmosphere helped mold me into the person that I am today, and I am grateful for that.

I have completed 4 years of my undergraduate studies at San Diego State University and will be studying Japanese language at Yokohama National University starting Oct. 3, 2008 in order to receive my degree in International Business. After my year-long studying stint, I hope to start a career in Japan or any Chinese-speaking parts of Asia so that I can gain international work experience before pursuing an MBA degree in the United States.

The main love of my life has always been basketball. I have played competitively for 10 years of my life, starting when I was 8 until I graduated high school. This sport has taught me not only fundamental basketball skills but also what it takes to perservere mentally and emotionally through any challenges I may encounter. I have all my coaches, teammates, the Stanford women basketball organization and WNBA players to thank for that. To this day, I am an avid supporter of the WNBA and of basketball organizations overall.

Other things I enjoy are attempting to be healthy through working out and dance. I was involved in the Chinese Folk Dance Association in San Francisco from a young age. The initial reason for joining was because my mother forced me into it, however after several years, I learned to love dance and appreciate the education and experiences I received from the CFDA. It is because of the CFDA that I have been exposed to different aspects of Chinese culture and have been able to delve very much into my Chinese heritage.

Some fun facts

– My first career goal was to be an Olympic figure skater like Kristi Yamaguchi. Sadly, I was never able to learn how to skate backwards.

– My next career goal was to be a professional basketball player, but that dream died when I grew to be only 5’4″ and have predominantly only played the forward/post position on short all Asian teams.

– After my basketball dreams were crushed due to height disadvantages, I had all the intention to pursue a career in broadcast journalism and be like Barbara Walters.

– It wasn’t until right shortly after I graduated high school when I returned from a trip to China that I realized that I want to work internationally. I then changed my major from Communications to International Business. I hope that I will be able to help bring more cultural awareness to the youth of the United States.

– My college-jobs include: waitressing at Tea Station (boba cafe), SDSU bookstore, telemarketing for Fisher Investments, data entry for mandate consultants, doing taxes (sort of) for a soft-spoken tax attorney, repetitive bitch-work for pension consultants, membership services at the YMCA, Community Relations at The San Diego Union-Tribune, and public relations for a San Diego art gallery.

– My first language was actually Chinese (Mandarin) because my parents only spoke to me in Chinese. I supposedly learned English through Sesame Street and school.

– I celebrated my first birthday in China when my mother brought me back to visit her family. My grandparents offered to raise me in China so my mother could have time for herself, but my mother claims that she didn’t leave me in China because my grandparents would spoil me fat. But I know that deep down she would’ve missed me =)

– I learned Chinese dances at dance academies in Beijing and Guangzhou on two separate trips. I also toured to 3 cities in the Guangdong province with the CFDA on another trip before college.

– In my most recent trip to China during summer 2007 I participated in the Summer Service Learning Program by Tsinghua University. I taught English to middle school English teachers and middle school students in a small town of Wangqing, Jilin. The city has only 3 main streets that run parallel to each other and is about 20 km from North Korea. Therefore, about half of my students were also ethnically Korean but Chinese citizens.

– It was during that 2007 trip that I had my purse stolen in Beijing because of drunken misjudgements. I lost my parents’ camera, iPod of over 3,000 songs, all my money I had with me, my wallet, plane ticket, cell phone that didn’t work in China, and most importantly…my passport. It was one of the greatest adventures I have ever had, and if any of you lose your passports in a foreign country, I know what needs to be done =)

– I am still afraid of the dark and would prefer sleeping with a night light in a pitch-black room.

– No matter how many animal rights or animal torture videos I watch, I will still eat meat. No offense to vegetarians and vegans, but props to those of you who are able to resist meat.

– I have tried silk worm, snake, and dog. Taste like chicken, fish, and beef, respectively. Oh yeah, and I have eaten a slab ostrich meat, but that was like a weird rubbery steak.

– One of my heroes is Peter Pan (the Disney one) and has been since I was 4.

– I am an alumnus of Sigma Phi Omega Sorority, Inc. and Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity.

– Statistics have stated that young adults and college students tend to be more liberal, but once they reach their middle ages, they become conservative. If I ever become conservative, someone please kill me. My family and I will not press charges.

– I enjoy reading books that do not bore me. Books that bore me are romance and non-fictional uninspirational books. Some of my favorite reading material include 100 Secret Senses, The Tempest, Tuesdays with Morrie, To Kill a Mockingbird, and the Harry Potter series.

– I listened to mostly gangster rap in the 7th grade. Thankfully, I have grown out of that phase and now listen to anything that sounds good to me, but I mostly enjoy R&B artists like Musiq Soulchild, Jill Scott, and Goapele. However, I despise country and polka.

– My favorite movies to watch at leisure are Disney movies and classic comedies and teen movies of my middle school time no matter how cheesy they may be. 101 Dalmatians, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Beauty & the Beast, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, 10 Things I Hate About You, Never Been Kissed, Ferris Bueller.

My favorite places in the world are Hong Kong, Niagara Falls, San Francisco, New York City, and Yosemite.

– I would love to visit Llasa, the Terracotta warriors in Xi’an, southeast Asia, Europe. One day I would hope to take a safari in Africa.

I am not religious because I do not need anyone or anything to tell me what I should or should not be thinking.

I frown upon arrogance, ignorance and ignorant people. There can never be world peace if ignorance exists in the world.

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