Tan is a freshman at Spanish Springs High School and is in the first year of his tenure in America. Tan spent the first 13 years of his life in China where he said there are some significant differences in schooling compared to his time spent in northern Nevada.
“It’s kind of different,” Tan said. “In China, middle school and high school is like elementary school here. You stay in the same classes and the teachers come to your class, not students coming to teachers classes. We also don’t have lockers like they do here, we just carry all of our stuff with us during the day.”
Tan is currently working through common freshman classes and Spanish Springs’ C3 Media Academy, which provides several classes where Tan feels very comfortable. He said his love of computers fits perfectly with the curriculum of the Media Academy where his most recent project was a video of his arrival in America.
Tan said his skills in Photoshop have translated well from using the program in China, but he said learning to use the application in English poses a tremendous challenge. Tan, who is an English as a Second Language student, has been using his time in two English classes to learn the basics of the language and its ninth grade function.
“I think what is most different is the language,” Tan said adding that he has grown accustomed to text messaging for communication with his friends. “It’s hard to learn a whole new language. Both (English) classes are my most difficult classes, and Photoshop is pretty hard to get used to in English.”
Tan said he would like to work with computers when the time comes to choose a college major, citing software design as a dream job. When asked where he would like to attend school he said he has heard good things about Harvard.
“Everybody in China has told me it is a good school to go to,” he said.
Outside of his homework Tan said he enjoys playing basketball and tampering with computers, continuing to practice the English language through Adobe software. He said his continual video projects for the C3 Media Academy keep him plenty busy and he is about a week away from unveiling his newest project to the class.