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Who I Am

Picture of Q
Picture of Q

Qing Qing Wu, nicknamed Q, was born in Wenzhou, China. The process of turning from Qing Qing to Q was a very long one. She is the older of two siblings, her brother being younger by sixteen months. She is currently a freshman at the City College of New York, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. However, she is in the process of switching to become a Mathematics major with a concentration in finance.

She moved to the United States in November of 1998, without knowing any English. Her family lived in Spanish Harlem, around 100th Street on the East Side of Manhattan. Her brother and she were put into a school where there were no Chinese-speaking teachers or students. After a couple of years of being around only English and Spanish speaking students, her brother and she picked up English and began to speak it almost fluently. Surprisingly, they could not pick up Spanish. Q especially had a difficult time learning Spanish in Middle School. So when it came time to pick a High School, she picked the one that had another language option other than Spanish. She chose to come to the High School for Math, Science, and Engineering at the City College of New York, or HSMSE@CCNY, where they offered German. In her opinion German was easier to learn than Spanish, and she truly enjoyed it. She would like to continue her German studies if her schedule ever permits her to take a German course.

Where I'm From

Q's Town: Wenzhou, China
Q's Town: Wenzhou, China

The origin of my family is around the southeast coastline of China. I came from a town situated at the bottom of numerous mountains in the city of Wenzhou. My family was one of the first to move to the United States out of all my relatives.

My father was the first one to move to New York. I was only two at the time, and my brother had just been born for a few months. Five years later, my mother left without my brother and I. We were split up among our relatives. It was decided that he would stay with our grandparents from my mother’s side while I stay with our grandparents from my father’s side. After two years my parents decided that it was time for my brother and I to join them. They didn’t want to delay our education in the United States. So they brought my brother and I together and asked us if we wanted to move to New York now or wait a few years. We decided that now would be a good time to leave.

When my brother and I came over, it was difficult for us because we had to start school without knowing any English. We went to school in Spanish Harlem, where we were the only Chinese students. I guess it was a good thing that no one spoke Chinese in the school, because in a way it forced us to learn English in order to survive.

My family has been in New York ever since. However, this past December and January break we went back to visit for the first time. My brother and I felt like strangers there, because we feel more American now since we’ve been in the United States for more than half our lives.

NY and I

Strawberry smoothie with tapioca pearls
Strawberry smoothie with tapioca pearls

New York City has several meanings to me. It represents opportunities, livelihood, having fun with friends, and new experiences and discoveries, but most importantly it is home. New York City has been my home for over ten years, and although I was born in China, I can no longer call that land which is now so foreign to me home. It is ironic since I am considered a foreigner in New York City. No matters, because in my mind, I have every right to call the city my home.

Currently I live in College Point, which is on the outer edges of Queens. Although I’ve been living here for over three years, I’ve not build the same connection I have with the city. In my mind, the city is the best part of New York, and it is my dream to live in it. To me, the city is always alive and there is always more to see and discover. One of my goals is to eat in as many restaurants as I can. I didn’t say all the restaurants in New York because there are simply too many. One area that I've begun this goal in is Chinatown. Every time I visit Chinatown, I try to find a new place to eat. I still haven't covered all of Chinatown yet, but there is one place that I like to revisit. It is a small shop called Teariffic, which serves all sorts of drinks, mostly tea-based, and little snacks. I love their strawberry smoothie with tapioca pearls!