The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Lunar New Year community dinner brings a piece of “home” to Webb students

Doris Yuan (‘20) and Ashley Fu (‘20) come up with a delicious Lunar Year menu. Graphic courtesy of Cathy Wang

With the coronavirus raging in China, students from China are worried about the well-being and safety of their family and friends. Having a Lunar New Year dinner at Webb brought them a small piece of home during a stressful time. 

“For Chinese students, especially at this time, we are away from home,” said Ashley Fu (‘20), the president of the Chinese club. “I haven’t celebrated Chinese New Year with my family for four years, and I feel like having some sense of community and family around you is really important.” 

The menu featured Three-Cup Chicken, Vegetarian Mapo tofu, fried rice, vegetable dumplings, scallion pancakes, Chinese broccoli, and Tang Yuan ( (filled sesame rice balls in sweet soup)) as the desert. A fan-favorite seemed to be the Mapo Tofu, receiving praise from Ken Rosenfeld, Dean of Student Life, and various students around campus. 

“[The community dinner] was honestly really good,” said Aidan Helgeson (‘23). “It was one of the better community dinners we’ve had all year. I’ve never really experienced [Lunar New Year] before so I thought it was really interesting.”

The Lunar New Year dinner is a long-standing tradition at Webb. This year represents the 8th time that Webb has hosted this celebration, and each year, Webb students along with the dining hall staff work to bring the community together in celebration of the new year. 

Webb also hosted four WLSA students from Shanghai, China. They arrived during their winter break, which fell during the Lunar New Year celebration. Having this dinner allowed them to have a celebration that they would normally have at home in China.

“The food was good. I’m impressed that an American high school is capable of organizing such a large-scale event to celebrate Lunar New Year,” said Iris Dong, an exchange student from World Leading Schools Association Fudan Academy. 

“I think the food is quite delicious, and it was very similar to what I ate in China,” said Fitz Chen, another exchange student. “[The Lunar New Year community dinner] was a really special experience because it was my first time experiencing this kind of environment.”

Students at Webb are always welcome to work with the dining hall in planning special menus for various events and celebrations. 

“We definitely have a very open approach where if a student says ‘Hey, we really want to celebrate…can we do that with a community dinner?’ I always say ‘Come talk to me about what you have in mind…’ The problem is a lot of the time, the student has a great idea but doesn’t do the follow-through,” said Mr. Rosenfeld. 

Ashley shared her experience working with the dining hall staff.

“The dining hall is working really hard to take advice from everyone,” said Ashley. “They would go to 99 Ranch to get genuine ingredients for you. Don’t be scared of the dining hall staff, they are really nice people. Just work with them and Mr. Rosenfeld.”

The Lunar New Year Community Dinner, a long-standing tradition at Webb, is only made possible with the combined efforts of students and staff. Community dinners are a valuable opportunity for the Webb community to gather, learn, and experience a different culture. 

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About the Contributors
Cathy Wang, Editor-in-Chief
Cathy Wang (‘22), an international boarding student from Shanghai, returns to Webb this year not only as the Editor-in-Chief for the WCC- but also as a dorm prefect and admissions fellow. She is excited to be back on campus, taking new classes and reconnecting with the Webb community. So far, Cathy’s favorite course that she has taken at Webb has been Advanced Studies Fascism with Ms. Fisher, which she enjoyed because of how the course related to current issues that she cares about, such as education and gender inequality. These are just a few of the topics that Cathy hopes to shed some more light on, both via the WCC and in person. Outside of classes, Cathy enjoys playing badminton and tennis, reading Latin literature or magical realism, and taking occasional trips to the Claremont Village. Additionally, you might also find her sipping her daily coffee or eating any kind of Japanese food. As the world slowly comes back from the pandemic and Webb shifts to in-person learning, Cathy hopes for the WCC to serve as a facilitator for the Webb community in fostering much-needed connections between people. Favorite song: "I Lost A Friend" by Finneas
Sharon Xu, Editor of News
Unlike her favorite animal, the panda, Sharon Xu (‘22) is a go-getter and always tries her best. An amicable, assiduous South Hutch prefect that dances, Sharon is truly one of a kind. She is also the Editor of News for the Webb Canyon Chronicle and strives for informative, intellectual, and imaginative news articles for all of Webb to read. Sharon can often be found hanging out at the Appleby Lawn or studying in the library. Her favorite book is “One Last Stop,” in which Jane, the main character, finds herself on an unescapable train and makes a home for herself there. Just like Jane, Sharon is encapsulated by the “Webb web” and makes the most out of every situation she finds herself in. For example, when faced with the terrifying prospect of “math,” Sharon, despite many setbacks, works tirelessly and overcomes this hurdle. This work ethic translates to every aspect of her life. Whether it is authoring compelling articles for journalism or taking care of her two cats, Sushi and Doctor Spencer Reed, Sharon will always put her all into it. Favorite song: "How You Get the Girl" by Taylor Swift

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    Taylor Stockdale | Feb 20, 2020 at 4:23 PM

    It was a beautiful and meaningful occasion. Thank you to Ashley, The Chinese Club, and the Dining Hall Staff for making it so special. As the article notes, the Coronavirus has had such a deep impact on the world. Of course, we are doing everything we can medically to ensure a safe campus home, but I also worry about our Chinese students and families and their emotional well-being during this time. I just want our Chinese parents to know their kids are safe and sound here and that we have them and will take care of them like a good family does until this terrible virus is brought under control. The dinner was way more than just good food. It was a brief but important moment in time for us to come together and celebrate our bond that transcends oceans and borders.