暑期班剛開始 -- 其實我不覺得很難 -- 我學了一些英文字，像投球、傳球啊。因為我一天到晚打球，交了很多朋友，他們幫我度過這個過渡期。第一年很困難，要學英文，還得適應環境。還有，我每天都得去做晚課。因為我是基督徒，剛開始每次拜佛時，就說，「主耶穌基」，然後再拜下去。這樣經過大約有一年左右，也不知道自己為什麼這樣做。
BOYS SCHOOL ALUMNUS FRANKLYN WU:
Amitabha! My name is Franklyn Wu and I graduated from the Boys' School in 1995. When I first came here in 1991, I didn't know how to speak English, yet I learned a lot in school. The life experiences I gained in the City were really valuable and I will never forget them. I'd like to share a short story that I believe many people have heard before. If that's the case, please be patient and listen to my story.
I was a Christian before I came to the United States. If I was still a Christian after I came here, I would go to a Christian school. Why did I come to study at a Buddhist school? It was because I wanted to come to the United States. My parents made a deal with me, "If you want to study in the United States, you have to attend a boarding school since we cannot go with you." I said, "Alright! Although it's a Buddhist school, at least I can go to the United States." So I came.
I remember being really nervous when I first came here. Mr. Hu interviewed me for one and a half hours in the office. He explained the school rules three times, going over them one by one and asking me if I understood and could follow them. The rules include: no music, no bicycles, be a vegetarian, wear a uniform, no girlfriends, etc. After one and a half hours, I was scared. He said, "If we feel your conduct is not satisfactory after five weeks of summer school, we will ask you to go back to Taiwan." Then I said, "Okay! I just have to behave myself!" I had brought four big suitcases with me, and I didn't want to carry them back to Taiwan.
It wasn't that hard. Summer school was really fun. The first day, I played basketball all day. The first English words I learned were 'shoot' and 'pass'. People fouled me all the time. I made a lot of friends. It was natural for me to go into the Buddha Hall and bow even though I didn't feel like bowing, and I didn't feel like reciting, because I was a Christian. I'll tell you this really funny story. You're going to laugh at me. Every time I bowed I'd say "Jesus Christ" and then get up. I did that almost for a year. It was really difficult for me in my first year English class. My friends and the teachers here were really understanding and very tolerant. They helped me grow very easily.
During the first four years I was here, when I was growing up, my parents always quoted the Confucian classics or just old Chinese sayings. People say, "If you work really hard, you can reap the results later. You'll get what you plant." In the four years I was here, my classmates and my experience is a perfect illustration of that. There were a few of us who never knew how to speak English, or had some other problem (family pressures and so forth). We worked really hard together, and we learned how to live in a group. By the end of four years, I think I can say for them as well as for myself, we accomplished what we came here for, for the four years. Life is a never-ending learning process. Our group all went on to colleges, mostly of our choice. In those four years, we won numerous sports championships in the valley as well as in San Francisco. When we started we were really bad; we always were beaten pretty badly. But by the end of our career as basketball players in CTTB, we were really good...very famous, actually, because they called us the Buddhist Boys.
Most importantly we gained aspects of character that the Venerable Master as well as our teachers wanted us to learn. I'll go through a couple of them later. For myself, I had a huge temper, a very quick, very hot temper. And, of course, in four years, I saw that temper go away slowly, because I had so many people here as a huge community (to help). You bow to the Buddha everyday and with a lot of grinding and polishing, that temper sort of goes away slowly. I never really saw the result of it until recently, when I was in Sacramento at a Dharma Realm Buddhist Youth (DRBY) conference. Dr. Marty Verhoeven, who had been my teacher in high school, and I, were hosting a workshop on the topic of Science and Buddhism. It was about ten minutes past the scheduled time to start. A lot of people were saying, "You have to start on time. What's going on?" and things like that. People started getting nervous, and I just said to myself, "Oh, well." I didn't even see myself doing it. I just told the people that were getting nervous, "Well, it's 8 o'clock in the morning; it's Saturday...a long weekend. Why don't we give them a five-minute leeway, and people can come here a little later." Just as I was saying that, Dr. Verhoeven, who has known me for ten years, said, "That temper is a lot less now. I guess age has caught up with you." I said, "Yes, I guess so." I saw that right there. Even though it's a long, slow process, after ten years (I have been here for a decade now, since 1991), slowly bad habits are going away and good habits are developing.
To be continued