Zebra Tales

Yuen Ning '21

Hometown: Hong Kong (living in Shanghai)

Groton activities: Photography, Film Club, boys varsity crew, squash, visual arts, theater prefect, stagecraft

Most surprising when you first arrived at Groton: How advanced Groton’s stagecraft program is. I was in awe of the shop hiding behind the theater’s main stage. Every single play set looks very professional, and the students work closely with faculty to create the sets.

Favorite classes: Art Without Boundaries because I got to explore different mediums of art. English because I enjoy writing and listening to the thoughts of my peers during class discussions after reading a book.

Most memorable Groton moment: Getting thrown into the Nashua River by my rowers after winning our final home race

Favorite Dining Hall food: Lemon poppyseed muffins

Favorite place to study: The McCormick Library study rooms with the full whiteboard walls

List of 8 news stories.

  • Happy Mother’s Day to the best!

    Post-Isolation Mother’s Day

    My Fifth Form spring is perhaps one of the strangest and most memorable terms I’ll ever have at Groton. On one day, I was on the Circle, knee deep in end-of-term assignments; a couple days later, I was in New York, scrambling to buy a plane ticket to fly back to Shanghai.
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  • View of the Old Town

    A Weekend of Pastéis De Nata

    The Saturday of this past Winter Long Weekend was my 18th birthday, so my dad decided to bring me somewhere both of us have never visited before – Portugal. From a young age, I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunities to travel abroad every year. My parents have always believed in the education which traveling provides, which one will never find in a textbook or classroom.
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  • D3 Team Squash National Champion!!!

    Squash National Championships!

    “What even is squash?” I asked my dad during the summer before I came to Groton. I had never heard of the sport before, only having a vague memory of my dad telling me that he picked it up for a while when he was in college.
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  • Sitting at the doorsteps of the set door!

    Behind the Scenes of a Theatrical Production

    This fall, our theater department decided to do something we’ve never done before: we put on a show where the students not only were actors, but also playwrights, set designers, and dance choreographers. Based on Sophocles’ Greek classic, Antigone, we created our own version of the play: We Can’t Call It Antigone.
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  • Passengers: Touching the Hearts of an Audience

    “Theater is a varsity sport,” Groton’s theater director Laurie Sales once said, and I couldn’t agree more. The involvement of physical movement and concentration of the mind are more than crucial to a successful production, both onstage and backstage.
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  • Film Club table!

    A Festive Fall

    After the bell had rung, signaling my last class on Saturday, I rushed towards the art center and started searching for materials to make a poster for the Film Club’s table at Fall Jam. I had a clear image in mind of an eye-catching, oversized clapboard as the poster; I cut, measured, and painted as I glanced up at the ticking clock every couple of minutes. The Fall Jam tables were already neatly aligned in two rows along the paths outside the Dining Hall, waiting to be covered by vibrant decorations the club heads were so eagerly preparing. The sun glistened with warmth, complementing the tree leaves that had begun to fade into shades of crimson and amber — it was the perfect afternoon to be out on the Circle after a morning of classes and afternoon activities.
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  •  View from the peak of Haizi Mountain

    A Documentary: Tibetan Medicine!

    My friend and I teamed up with a cameraman and an audio engineer and drove for twelve hours from Chengdu up to the Tibetan highlands of Zamtang. The four of us spent two weeks in Zamtang, filming the process of Tibetan medicine-making. I was excited to learn from the crew, but frankly, I was rather nervous about directing a crew with two professionals. As soon as we arrived in Zamtang, we were joined by a Tibetan interpreter, and we arranged a meeting with the professors of the Tibetan medicine institution to discuss the filming process. It was quite a challenge—the making of medicine from herb picking to the finished product takes months, but we had to find a way to film all of the steps in two weeks.
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  •  The extended family

    A Tribal Gathering

    Tribal and familial spirit play crucial roles in Tibetan culture and lifestyle. Shuabazi, an annual gathering, is held during the summer where members of a clan gather on an empty field, spending time together under the roof of a yak wool tent. While I have been traveling to the Tibetan highlands of Zamtang in Sichuan province every summer for the past eight years, I had never experienced Shuabazi, but merely heard of the gathering and seen photos of the celebration from local friends. This summer, my documentary crew and I were fortunate enough to be invited to join the gathering of a close friend’s family, held during the two weeks of our visit.
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