Luke Wander: Moving Across the World to Join Peak Community
- Posted on May 26, 2016
This summer while Peak students are enjoying the rivers and mountains that make up our Colorado backyard, new Chinese teacher, Luke Wander will be making his way to Summit County from Hangzhou, China. Luke is a young American, reared in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, and graduated summa cum laude from University of North Carolina with majors in History and Asian Studies (Mandarin). After studying Chinese for 4 years at UNC, Luke has been living in China these past 3 years, teaching for 2 years and continuing his language studies. His experience also includes coaching soccer and directing Youth Theater and choral singing. Nothing could please Luke more than participating in the outdoor activities so abundant here in Summit County.
Here is Luke’s message:
Not too long ago, a stranger on a train turned to me and asked, “What exactly do you do here in China?” This is a fairly common question and so I gave my standard small-talk reply: that I study Chinese. Not satisfied, he asked, “Why?” For years, there have been many answers to this question. I’ve explained it using my curiosity, my admiration of the culture, my inexplicable desire to be able to communicate with people so different from myself, and a thousand other reasons. But I had a different answer for this man. I told him about The Peak School. I told him how excited I am to take everything I’ve learned while working and studying and living here and to pass it on to a group of students who, like myself, share that inexplicable curiosity for China and the Chinese language. I told him how much I miss living in the mountains (I did not, however, explain the difference between the Rockies and the Appalachians) and how thrilled I am to get back in touch with nature. I told him how lucky I was to be joining a small, close-knit community of people who share a hunger for knowledge and a willingness to find their own way. I could have gone on, but at this point I sensed that the stranger had gotten far more than he had bargained for, so I stopped. Odd anecdote aside, I truly am humbled by the opportunity to get to know you all, to speak and to listen, to work and to play, to teach and be taught, and to coach and be coached.