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Reflections on 2018 NPU QMUL Summer School(4)

Marathon – An Initiative to Develop Teamwork and Independence

The expected marathon officially ended. As for all members of the 2018 NPU-QMES Summer Camp, it must be an unforgettable and precious experience as we have really felt the endless charm of London in pursuit and competition. We have also developed deep mutual trust and understanding in the predicament and confusion. In this vigorous competition, we pay sweat and effort and harvest more than the happiness of success. After so meaningful a group activity, everyone must have mixed feelings. I, as the team leader, have interviewed my team members and asked them to talk about what they had seen and thought during the competition.


Raymond: Hello everyone, can you talk about your ideas before the game?

Dora: I was very exciting! I wonder after the marathon whether I will be on the top of the "step count list" within my friends!

Rebecca: When hearing that tomorrow we will have a city marathon, first, I was not very willing to do this because I thought it will be like the common marathon in which I should keeping running all the time and would be very tired. But after hearing the rule, I found it really interesting as we can take the subway.

Henry: London Marathon? It sounds like a tiring competition. I'm a little worried about the physical strength of girls in our group, but I believed they can do it.

Qi: After I looked at the map, I found that the most interesting thing is we should go to 13 famous places and take a photo at each place.

Raymond: I have similar concerns with Henry; however, the girl's physical strength and perseverance perfectly refute this worry. And do you have some similarity experience, what is the difference between each other?

Dora: No, not yet.

Henry: I have taken part in the City Orienteering of Xi’an, which required us to go to several places of Xi’an only by undergrounds, buses or on foot. In this London Marathon, I thought we used the same way to explore London.

Raymond: In the course of the competition, a mysterious guest played with us and helped us a lot.

Dora: She is Faith!

Rebecca: Faith comes with us. Thanks to Faith that we can get to the right places and finish the mission quickly. And she bought us some sausage rolls; they are really tasty.

Qi: At noon, Faith bought us sausage rolls which are much more delicious than we expected. She gave us great confidence. If we don't have Faith, I don’t know whether we can complete the marathon.

Raymond: She is such a good guide and companion, and she played a key role for us in successfully completing the competition. And how about the difficulties you have met?

Henry: On the map, London seemed so big because there were dozens of streets. In my experience, the distance between two adjacent streets should be far, but this experience is not for London. One street may be a very short walk from another street in London. That means London is much smaller than we have imagined in fact. But the internet was not so fluent that we might easily miss the right crossing when we could only depend on GPS.

Dora: We swung between different routes, as not all the members were familiar with the whole route in advance. So we could not discuss efficiently and we also spent a large amount of time searching for the map and calculate the time to decide which road to go, which wastes a lot of precious time. This shows our poor preparation and unqualified teamwork.

Qi: We had our city hunt in a really burning day. On the one hand it might be fine for us to finish our game, but on the other hand, the strong sunlight and high temperatures can lead to rapid fatigue and increase the risk of heatstroke.

Raymond: But we managed to overcome the difficulties and finally succeed, right? That is why we could feel proud. Finally, shall we talk about the thoughts in this activity?

Qi: For us, winning or not is not that important, but feeling the real London and have a good day with our teacher and group members does. We stood the sunshine, looked carefully around the street, seeing people from different countries with different cultures live together in this city. That was the most precious things we had.

Dora: At the beginning, we just stated "peace and love" to be our general belief, and just walked in an idle way. Only when we saw other group ran at full speed passing by us did we realize it was a competition. And others are competing to be the winners. We began to speed up to walk as British do. At last, we were the second to finish the task, I wonder if we have a strong will to win in the very beginning, we definitely would have a far ideal result.

Henry: In this Marathon, we were the second group to finish. But in my opinion, the more important thing was, we explored London during this activity. We met the attractions, we deepened our friendship, and we were integrated into this unfamiliar city.

Rebecca: From this activity, I knew the importance of the preparation. If we didn’t do the preparation before the marathon, we would finish that slower. Teamwork is also a very important factor. Two heads are better than one. Good cooperation can lead to success.

Raymond: That is right, everyone should take his/her own responsibility to be well prepared for the teamwork, as well as we should have the same firm belief and stick to it. Although we missed the first place, we have harvested something more valuable than that. In my eyes, we are not the best, but we are the better. Growth has been regarded as the best gift that held before us.

We have too much to appreciate: teachers, team members,and even passers-by that greeted and smiled friendly. Thanks for providing us with such a platform to have such a free and open environment that we can grow up in such wonderful activities. Though the activity is far away from us, the memories would last forever.

By Fu Chunjiang, Xiao Zihan, Sun Haonan, Wang Tingyi and Ma Yiqi