A new school year means new beginnings and it’s no different here at beijingkids. Over the summer, we said goodbye to former Managing Editor Kara Chin and Deputy Managing Editor Ellis Friedman (whom many of you also knew as the old School Editor). As we kick off the 2013-2014 academic year with a new team, we figure we should properly introduce ourselves. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting a different beijingkids staff member each week.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A soldier, scientist, cartoonist, school teacher, musician, lady who sells ice cream … My mum said I came up with different answers almost every time she asked me.
Do you have any siblings? If so, tell us their name(s) and a fun fact about them.
My sister Wenjuan Jiang is seven years older than me. When I was a kid, she liked to grab me to sit for football games and Hollywood movies with her. She thought I liked them, but I was only interested in the cookies.
Who was your childhood hero?
For a very long time, I would say Michael Owen, then the youngest football player in England. Maybe my sister made me read too many football magazines.
What was your favorite childhood food? Has it changed as an adult?
Coca-Cola. Yes, because it gave me bad teeth.
List up to three of your favorite childhood books.
- San Zi Jing 三字经
- Doraemon 机器猫
- A Million Whys 十万个问什么
My grandpa, a school principal, taught me how to read at a very young age. I think the first book we read through together was San Zi Jing, a classic written in the Song Dynasty; it was part of many children’s earliest formal education at home until the latter part of the 19th century.
The text is written in triplets of characters for easy and fun memorization. It was amazing how the 1,145-word book managed to cover so many aspects, from history to geology, literature, science and morality. Besides that, it was just fun to read with Grandpa. My second and third choices were fun to read again and again and I kept them for a long time.
Tell us an embarrassing or little-known childhood anecdote about yourself.
When I started kindergarten, I refused to attend class by myself and most of my family members had the embarrassing experience of sitting next to me throughout entire classes. I cried to my mum that I did not want to sit in the classroom by myself until I turned 4. A few days later, my mum threw a party for me and told me it was my birthday. I kept my promise but later learned that the day wasn’t my birthday.
Tell us about your parents’ quirks and how they’ve shaped you.
When my dad was younger, he loved looking for any opportunity to open up things to study and repair, from cameras, radio, electric fans, and watches. Most of the times he got things fixed up, including many of my childhood toys. I have learned to take good care of things since I moved away from home.
How many kids do you want?
I would like to have two kids, one dog, and two turtles in my family.
Clemence Jiang joined True Run Media in August 2013 as a staff and special projects writer. She splits her time writing for beijingkids, Agenda, the Beijinger, and TRM’s special guides. She has studied and lived in Beijing for eight years and used to be a lifestyle writer for The Global Times. Clemence is also a foodie who is busy cooking, baking and checking out Beijing’s great eats. When she is not busy, she likes to call up her pharmacist sister on the phone to discuss therapeutic food recipes.
Photo courtesy of Clemence Jiang