The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Students experience Chinese culture through calligraphy

Marissa JImenez
Yan Service, admission coordinator and club adviser for the Chinese Scholars and Student Association, holds up a calligraphy piece made by student Cheng Chen, Thursday, Feb. 19, in the International Student Services Building on City College’s East Campus.

In preparation for the Chinese New Year, Campus Center room 216 was filled with students painting the characters for “Happy New Year” onto big sheets of rice paper using large paintbrushes and black ink.

The Chinese Calligraphy club took a short hiatus towards the end of last semester when most of the club’s international members flew back home for break. The club has been welcoming new members since its return to campus this semester.

“We’ve had a lot more interest in the club this semester which we’re really happy about,” said Yan Service, faculty club adviser. Service has worked in the International Students Office since 2011 and has been the adviser of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association at City College since 2012.

Last summer, Service partnered with CSSA secretary Sidian Chen to create the now popular club.

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Chen was inspired to start the club last semester because of her time spent as a young girl studying Chinese calligraphy with her grandfather.

“He was a university professor of Chinese painting and calligraphy,” said Chen. She lived with him and practiced calligraphy everyday for seven years.

“I have a great deal of passion in calligraphy and I feel joyous when I do calligraphy. I also won the National Youth Chinese Calligraphy competition many times in China,” said Chen.

Although the club focuses on Chinese culture, the club members themselves vary in culture and ethnicity. “[The club] is also a cultural exchange,” said Service as she witnessed club members bonding over a shared love for the video game League of Legends.

Miranda Mead, one of the club’s newest members, wants to design video games and finds that the skills she is learning will be helpful later in her career. “Its like art,” said Mead. “It’s a great skill to have and I am learning a lot.”

Several students who participate in club meetings are taking some form of cultural Chinese education on campus. Isel Petatan is currently enrolled in Chinese 101 and began calligraphy as a way to earn extra credit in her class and found the club to be helpful in her studies, “It’s really hard to learn Chinese,” said Petatan. “This helps.”

The club meets every week and the subject of their calligraphy is always different. If a student comes in wanting to learn a specific word, Service and Chen will teach them the meaning and how to write it.

The Chinese Calligraphy club meets at noon on Tuesdays in Campus Center Room 216.


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