Dear Mrs. Johnson,

First of all, please allow me to express my sincere thanks to you. Remember at the end of last school year, Brentwood Christian School offered an extra summer tutoring which required every student who had a significant grade drop to attend which lasted two weeks. I sent you an email, explaining my situation and my desire to have a restful summer. You responded to my email kindly and told me that I have your permission to exempt the tutoring. With that two weeks of resting, I was able to adjust myself and made a lot of progress during summer. I couldn’t have had such a productive summer without that two weeks for me to adjust physically and emotionally.

Even though I couldn’t go back to China, this summer turned out to be a really productive one for me, both academically and spiritually. For school, I learned biology and part of geometry on my own. I practiced Mandarin so that I wouldn’t forget my first language. I carefully read through the 9th grade summer reading: the old man and the sea, and Robinson Crusoe and wrote down my thoughts and what I learned. Finally I started discovering more about computer science. I did that all by myself with the help of my parents. I’m most proud that I finally have an idea of what I want to do in the future. I’m planning on majoring in either biology or computer science in college. Finally having a goal to work toward is really exciting to me.

As a pianist who dedicatedly practiced almost every day since second grade, it’s a waste to keep the music I played only between me and my family. This summer, I started playing the piano and the handbell for church. Although we had to switch to online church due to COVID-19, I learned how to cooperate with other musicians a lot better. I will keep doing this as long as the church needs me to.

Furthermore, I took part in a charity online show started by my agency (Premier Education Partners, or PREP) and my host sister (violin) and I (piano) played a duet called La Folia. We had limited time to practice, but we were able to ace the piece in a week, and our performance was a huge success. Later in the summer, all of Brentwood students from PREP returned to the campus and we donated 230 face shields made by us. It was the first time since March I saw our campus and I can’t wait to start school in person again after the labor day.

Summer is for fun after all despite the pandemic and travelling was a significant part of experience for me this summer. I went to South Padre Island with my host family and Galveston with other Chinese students from PREP. During the trip to Galveston, I learned how to fish from Mr. Wu. He rented a huge house next to the ocean that is a perfect place to fish. Sitting on the pier calmly for hours, concentrating on the movement of the rod, without any worries of the world, really made me more patient than before.


I learned and grew a lot in this very summer, the summer that many people hated, the summer when everyone freaked out because of a global pandemic. For the upcoming school year, I want to continue to explore my goals and work my hardest toward it. Thank you Mrs. Johnson for all the love, support and understanding that you’ve given me in my life at Brentwood!

*The author, Roy is a freshman student at Brentwood Christian School, Austin Texas