When I first heard about YYGS, I was immediately attracted by the name, as “YYGS” looks like “YYDS”, which is the abbreviation in Chinese for the compliment “forever the best”. I marveled over this cross-cultural coincidence as I explored the website.
In YYGS, I saw that three of my core areas of interest—literature, philosophy, and culture—were combined into one course, like three scoops of my favorite ice cream flavors piled on one cone.
Answering the questions inside the application was like walking into a house filled with mirrors reflecting different sides of me, for I had the chance to examine myself carefully as I presented myself
After working on the other short responses, I came back to a page left unviewed, and saw the question: “What do you intend to learn from YYGS?”
I suddenly came to a realization—this application is not just for the program, but also for me. It is a chance to learn about myself from myself, with YYGS as my guide. I am already learning from YYGS, and I am already taking away more than I intended to learn. This thought became the beginning of my excitement for the program.
Now, in retrospection, YYGS was like the ice cream which tasted just as great as I imagined. I can’t call it “forever the best”, not because it is not great enough, but because I have explored the subjectivity of moral codes, and the way education is conventionally expected to be like.
I never expected that, in YYGS, I learned to not share my ideas beautifully. I learned to sometimes just raise my virtual hand before writing a script, and to let my thoughts flow, because somebody in the discussion is going to understand my idea. When we are connected by passion, that mystical energy which forces words and ideas out of our mouths and leaves us breathless and with a burning face, we do not have to worry about imperfection. When discussing the beauty of Emily Dickinson’s poems and how, sometimes, not splitting apart every word like splitting a lark for the music is doing all of us a benefit, I felt that our group embodied one of one of the poems we studied—”Wild Nights.” We are completely “Done with the Compass—Done with the chart!”, for our minds are intertwined like a safe rope that harnesses our hearts to the coast.
Ada Ruoxi Li
Literature, Philosophy & Culture