Three of us from Putney had a wonderful admissions and reunion trip to China this fall. After several years “stuck” outside, looking in from behind our Covid masks, Danny O’Brien, Kalya Yannatos, and I had the happy opportunity to spend several days in Beijing, several more in Shanghai, and a final closing visit in Hong Kong. In addition to our participation in four school fairs, where we met many wonderful young people and their families, we also spent time getting to know new professionals in the educational consulting field.
Most of all, though, we loved our reunions with alumni, current parents, and past parents, many of whom had laid the groundwork for us in the months leading to our trip, giving generous hours of logistical planning: we are so grateful! We shared gorgeous meals with beloved graduates, some I hadn’t seen in years and years. We met some parents in person for the first time, and reunited with many who had visited Putney in years past and continue to stay connected. We met children of graduates: a new Putney generation? We heard stories about post-Putney college life, academic majors, graduate degrees, and successfully launched careers. We were hosted, toured, treated, and educated. We took a bullet train, smoothly and comfortably covering the distance from New York to Chicago in 4.5 hours. And we rode city bikes at night through the streets of Shanghai and survived!
It was a pleasure to be traveling again, a joy to reunite with members of my global Putney “family,” and gratifying to introduce Putney to newcomers and see how delighted they were to learn about our school. Above all, it was an important opportunity for me, Putney’s International Student Advisor, to be on the other side of the experience: living (however briefly) and navigating a different culture and language than my own.