Seven students won awards for National Chinese Essay Contest

Nathan Wang

Seven students won awards for their essay submissions to the 2022 National Chinese Essay Contest, sponsored by the Chinese Language Association of Secondary Elementary Schools (CLASS) at the end of January.

Students enrolled in Chinese language classes were eligible to participate in three different categories based on their language background. Categories included Regular, Immersion and Heritage. Each category included a beginner, intermediate and advanced division. All participants were required to select one of two essay prompts to handwrite in Chinese and submit online.

Sarah Parmet ’25, who received the Gold Award in the Immersion advanced category, said she put a lot of effort into her essay and winning Gold was a rewarding experience.

“It made my day,” Parmet said. “I worked hard on the essay, I researched my topic, thentyped it up. The essay was handwritten, and as you can imagine, that takes a while. I remember staying up until 1 a.m. writing it. I knew winning gold would be difficult, being one of the youngest in my age category, but it’s great to see your hard work yield good results.”

Nilufer Mistry-Sheasby ’24, who was rewarded an honorable mention in the regular advanced category, chose to write about China’s anti-poverty campaign.

“The most important thing I learned was how two-dimensional a nation can be,” Minstry-Sheasby said. “In total, China has lifted 800 million people out of poverty over 40 years. That’s fantastic, but at the same time, the nation obviously suffers from worker abuse and corruption issues. It’s really interesting to explore that nuance and how a country can be capable of both really great and really horrible things, so how can we learn from each other what best practices are.”

Chinese teacher Bin He said he is proud that his students enrolled in the competition despite their busy workloads.

“I feel very proud of them because everything comes from themselves,” He said. “Basically, what [teachers] do is just to remind them to submit everything on time. All the students just spend their extra time, often based on their busy schedule, [to] try to just run the extra mile and practice their writing comprehension. So, I feel so glad they got these kinds of rewards for their hard work.”

Sunny Lu ’25 won an honorable mention in the heritage intermediate category. Maya Leibzon ’25 won a participation award in the regular intermediate category. Clarissa Brown ’24 won a silver award in the regular advanced category. Ava Seib ’24 won an honorable mention in the regular advanced category. Peijin Wu ’24 won a gold award in the heritage advanced category.