Farewell to Peddie!

Daniel is set to leave Peddie with our 5th Peddie-EFZ student trip to China next week after a two-month stay here.  He's the first long-term exchange student we have hosted from EFZ and his Peddie counterpart, Elliot will attend EFZ in the spring, leaving next week also.


How time flies! It has been two months since I entered the gates of Peddie School. I have experienced high school life in the states, which is sharply divergent from life in China. I was warmly welcomed by the incredibly friendly Peddie faculty and students as soon as I arrived. In the following passage, I am more than willing to share the differences I have observed between EFZ and Peddie.
            First of all, the sports in Peddie are what astonished me most. Back in China, we have an entirely different schedule for sports: instead of practicing after school every day, we have periods just for sports. In EFZ, there are three blocks of sports every week, each lasts for forty minutes. In addition to the different schedules, the attitude towards sports in Peddie School is way more serious than that in EFZ. In EFZ we don’t even have a track team, and the basketball team in EFZ only trains twice a week. Nobody sees sports as an important part of school life. In EFZ there is no gym, no training room, no locker and no indoor track, not to mention the wrestling room and turf. There is only one indoor basketball court for more than a thousand EFZ kids. Unfortunately my ankle got twisted during the visit in Peddie School. However, I would never have known the existence of the training room without my injury! Thanks to the training room it only took me three weeks to recover. The professional help from the training room is what you will never see in EFZ.
            After-school activities are another significant difference between EFZ and Peddie. At Peddie, sports seems to be the only option; while in EFZ there are varieties of ways for students to spend the afternoon. Every Tuesday afternoon there are 40 minutes of club time, which is more intense and official than the occasional club meetings in Peddie; we also have celebrities and scholars coming to EFZ giving speeches on a regular basis, usually on Wednesdays, including a professor from Cal Tech, a professor from Fudan University and Yao Ming. Similar to Peddie, EFZ also organizes field trips regularly (usually twice a term). As for art, although EFZ has 2 rock bands, we do not have an orchestra. Meanwhile, there are fewer art classes offered at EFZ.
            The schedule is another interesting part of distinction. In EFZ we have the idea of “class.” which usually consists of 40 people and is consistent for three years (high school in China only has three years). Usually the class is gathered together at 8 a.m., and stays in the same classroom for all 8 periods of the day. It is the teacher who moves from one classroom to another, not the students. Each period of class last for forty minutes, and between two blocks there is a 10-minute break. Students in EFZ cannot choose their classes; they have to follow whatever school requires them to take.
            There are so many differences between the two schools. However, both of them share the most professional faculties and the best students who are not only smart but also hardworking. I feel fortunate to have been able to study in both amazing schools!