Despite being the youngest competitor, Warner Hartnett ’24 placed third in the Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition held at the Confucius Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas, on April 7, 2018. Warner was the only Middle School student to place in the competition.
To earn his spot, Warner had to give a speech in Chinese, perform a talent, rooted in Chinese culture, and complete a multiple-choice test on Chinese language, history, and culture. For his speech, Warner discussed his first trip to China during spring break this year, and for his talent, Warner demonstrated Tai Chi (太极).
“Being able to communicate your thoughts in a new foreign language takes a lot of patience and perseverance. You can’t be afraid to take risks in speaking and make mistakes,” said Warner. “I owe a great deal of gratitude to Dr. Chiang, my Chinese teacher, who kept pushing me in class to practice speaking. She told me the journey of learning was as important as winning and that I've made the first step of many in this long road to learning Chinese.”
While Warner is only in his second year of Chinese studies at St. Mark’s, he has embraced the language and culture with a passion. Over spring break 2018, he traveled with his family to China to learn more about the country’s history and language and plans to continue competing in the Chinese Bridge Competition.
“St. Mark’s, provides boys an ideal environment that greatly fosters them to use the target language,” said CJ Chiang, Warner’s advisor and Chinese teacher. “Through this competition, Warner got to learn how to manage his time and energy well and made new friends at the competition with the same passion for Chinese. He truly represented St. Mark’s well to the contestants and judges.”
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.