On a day that Mr. Murray's wife left to visit their son in Shanghai, Mr. Murray welcomed Patrick Henry's second foreign exchange student from the same city in China. Xianheng is pronounced "See ya huh.," but he also allows people to call him Robin if that pronunciation is a problem.
How do you like America so far?
I like America because the countries of America and China are so different. Shanghai is warmer this time of year and it is by the Pacific Ocean. Minnesota has the Mall of America. In China most of the buildings are very high because there are so many people and land is scarce. Minnesota is more spread out.
Who has better food?
I like both. In China we eat rice everyday. My favorite American food is sausage pizza.
How is school different at Patrick Henry from your high school in China?
In China there is no dating between boys and girls during school. I went to a boarding school in China where I lived in my school. I stayed overnight and only saw my family on weekends. We worked hard from morning until we went to bed on our school work. At suppertime we had about an hour to relax and do something fun like play a sport. To me, China schools are a little boring.
I like Patrick Henry because the classes are interesting. My classmates are very nice to me. My teachers are good and they are fun. I like Mr. Buzza because he is a caring teacher. We had a lot of fun with the singing star (Andy Grammar). In China a big star like that would never visit a school. I also like Henry because it has a lot of activities. I plan to go out for Tennis in the Spring and will begin conditioning exercises soon for that sport.
What is something that you would change about Patrick Henry?
I have to get up too early to catch a Metro Transit bus to come to school. I wish that school could start later in the morning so I could sleep.
Why did you choose Henry?
My sister told me that I could choose from two or three schools and Patrick Henry was one of them. Patrick Henry was one of the closest schools to my house, even though I live in Brooklyn Center, so we came to Henry.
What is your favorite TV show?
Anything about the NBA. Basketball is very popular in China. My favorite basketball player is Kobe Bryant. When we had free time in China we always played basketball or video games about basketball. Very popular.
What is your favorite subject?
Math is my favorite. It is easy for me, because I learned a lot of what I am studying now two years abgo in China, but that's okay because I've forgotten some of it. I also like my Chinese class. It's nice to know so much about my Chinese language and be able to help students and tell them what China is really like.
What will you do when you graduate from high school?
I want to go to college in California becaue I have a lot of friends there. I plan to study business. I would like to live in America because it has many good things, but so does China. I like Chinese food a little better than American. It is very hard to find a job in China. If you are rich in China you are very rich. If you are poor, you are very poor.
Tell us about yourself in Chinese.