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A school photo of a student looking at the camera and smiling.

In this, our second installment in the “One of 360” series, we learn about Beijing native Tina M. ’23. While she was growing up, Tina’s parents both had the privilege to work with various organizations across the United States. Tina had the opportunity to experience summer programs in the U.S. and developed a desire to come here for school. When she was seven years old, Tina transferred from a public Chinese school to an international school, where she attended before coming to Emma Willard School. In Tina’s own words...

On Emma Willard School…

When my agency introduced me to Emma Willard School, I looked through the school website and was fascinated by the many classes that Emma offers, especially art classes. During my campus tour I fell in love with the architecture and the environment. Somehow the atmosphere of Emma just felt so natural and “right.”

My favorite class right now is digital photography. I love to see and learn about works of famous artists and explore techniques and camera settings to create interesting compositions. I also enjoy editing photos in the lab. 
The friends I’ve made as a boarder are the closest friends I’ve ever had. I spend a lot of time with them after school and on weekends, so we are able to have more direct and deep conversations. Sometimes it can be exhausting to be with people all the time, so I always make sure that I have enough alone time to just relax and recharge. 

On Tennis…

I began playing tennis in 2nd grade when my dad (who has been playing tennis for a long time) took me to a lesson with two other girls. We played together every Sunday for a long time until I switched to group lessons with a different coach. Sports like tennis are not very popular in China, especially among girls, so a lot of the times I had to play against boys. I really began to love tennis when I joined the school team in middle school and played and competed with my peers. 

Tennis can be physically and mentally challenging because you are by yourself on a big court and a match could last for a very long time. The best thing that tennis has brought to me is friendship. The two girls that I first played with became my best friends. Every Sunday we would play tennis together and hang out for the rest of the day. It was the thing I looked forward to the most every week.

On Art…

I love art because of how versatile and expressive it can be. There are simply so many different mediums—so many possibilities for creation. It fascinates me how simple colors and brushes can create so many compositions, and even simple pencil lines and dots can be combined to create interesting patterns. I love to just look at artwork and admire the artist’s imagination and skill. I think this is the same for all art forms. 

Through my classes on photography, film and video, I have realized how expressive a camera can be. Another interesting aspect of photography and film is how they can not only capture reality, they can also manipulate or ‘create’ reality. 

I’m really curious about all kinds of crafts, like weaving, ceramics, embroidery. I think it would be fun to make 3-d objects and I would really like to try them sometime! 

On Emma Willard Traditions…

My favorite Emma tradition so far is peanuts and shells. It’s exciting to receive a small gift each day from a random person (your shell) and prepare a gift for your peanut and try not to let them find out who you are. On the last day of the week you get a bigger gift and you get to find out who your gift person is!

Thanks, Tina, for sharing your passions and contributing to the Emma Willard School community in unique and significant ways. We look forward to seeing the impact you will have as you serve and shape our world!

Study of Light from Tina's Digital Photography Class, showing swirls of yellow light on a dark background.
The EWS Tennis Team lined up with coaches for a team photo in 2020.

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