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Jing Liu came to Northfield Mount Hermon in 2007 as a Chinese teacher. She lived in Cottage
IV, where she served as a dorm head before moving to Hayden Hall. She has supervised the
Chinese-Speaking Students Association for 10 years, served on the Judicial Board, and created
the Chinese Immersion Program, a study-abroad trip that students participate in every other
year. In 2009, she was awarded the Byung Ku Huh Faculty Fellowship for excellence in
teaching.

Those are the official words that were given to me to describe Jing. Something along the
similar lines can also probably be found in the pamphlet. Today I am honored, however, to be
able to offer something beyond that — a personal account of a faculty member to whom I feel a
very particular sense of sentiment and attachment. As one of my first teachers at NMH, Jing
has been a part of my entire journey here — she has been like a mother to me in this school for
the past four years. For instance, she didn’t hesitate to scold me for being a total slacker my
freshman year. The class was C block, and I always did the homework 10, or sometimes five,
minutes before class, right after B block. I still can’t understand why 14-year-old me thought
living on the edge was a good idea, but the anecdote demonstrates what the beginning of my
relationship with Jing was like. I did not exactly leave the best impression.

About a year and a half later, I had a chance to redeem myself. I went on the Chinese
Immersion Program over the summer. The trip left me with a lot of memories, but there is one
that I will never forget. For two weeks, we stayed at a university called SIAS to participate in
their programs. We met some local students during our stay, and through the conversations
with them, we discovered the existence of a menu item called “barbecue fried rice.” It was
barbecued duck and lettuce on top of some fried rice. Sounds really good, right? It tasted really
good too. And I also went to the bathroom that day until toilet paper ran out and went to the
hospital the day after for food poisoning. I won’t go into more detail, but it was easily one of the
worst experiences I had ever had. Even worse, because of the food poisoning, I couldn’t
participate in the daily activities of the trip. It was a big day for the group as they went to see
Shaolinsi, the most famous kungfu temple in China, and I had to miss that. In that moment,
even if it meant that she would be missing the trip too, Jing stayed behind to take care of me.
She treated me like her son. She took me to the hospital and constantly checked up on me. We
had a lot of conversations that day, and perhaps because of our similar cultural background,
Jing and I were able to connect on many different levels, ranging from Korean dramas to
adapting to life in the United States as a foreigner. I admire the care and support Jing provided
me with that day. I was not only very touched but also felt a strong sense of connection with
her afterward.

Aside from her character, another quality of Jing that makes me respect her is her continued
devotion to languages. Jing completed her bachelor’s degree in Japanese in 1990 from Henan
University and received her MA in classical Chinese literature in 2000. Then she went on to
pursue a master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and an
educational doctorate at Regent University, where she received the Pauline Award in
recognition of her achievements and positive outlook. In short, she received academic degrees
in three languages: Japanese, Chinese, and English. Despite all these impressive achievements,
her passion for learning still hasn’t ended, for now she is embarking on a new project of
learning her fourth language: Korean. I am often caught off-guard when she greets me in
Korean or suddenly says a Korean phrase fluently in our conversations. Her continued passion
and love for languages is something that constantly inspires me.

Being able to speak a foreign language really is a beautiful thing, because through the
combination of just a few words, we can immediately share a connection with the culture and
the people of the country. Through the trip, or inviting me for dinner at her house, or inviting
me to participate in events of the Chinese-Speaking Student Association, Jing has given me
much more than Chinese vocabulary and grammar rules. She has given me the ability to
connect to 1.3 billion people in the world. And in an environment like NMH where I can speak
Chinese to my roommate and to my Chinese friends every day in the dorm, Alumni Hall, and
the classrooms, I feel every day the power of the education she has provided me with. So please
join me in congratulating Jing, who has gifted to me, and to many other students, such an

unique and invaluable experience that will no doubt be a lifelong asset.

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