Teresa Liang ’23 is one of George School’s journalistic leaders who uses her talent as a writer and editor to publish the student-led newspaper, Curious George.
“I joined the Curious George staff my freshman year. I have been involved in newspaper work since middle school, and knew I wanted to continue to pursue journalism when I came to George School,” said Teresa. “Journalism is an extension of my interests and I thought joining the Curious George staff would be a great opportunity to make new friends.”
“I became an editor my sophomore year, and at that time we did not have a website, so I worked as a copy editor,” continued Teresa. “It was great practice for my English skills and I really enjoyed reading everyone’s work and helping them as a copy editor; having a hand in every piece that we published.”
Last year, Teresa was the editor for the US & World section. “That was the first year we had separate sections, and I got to see the US & World section be born and grow into being the second biggest section behind the George School section,” explained Teresa.
Teresa will be serving as Managing Editor in her senior year. In this leadership role, she will be working closely with the Editor-in-Chief to manage the website and will ensure the quality of the overall newspaper. “I am really excited to push the publish button and have the opportunity to read and review every single article,” said Teresa. “However, what I am most excited for, is to lead the direction of the newspaper. For example, I am looking to emphasize more international and on-campus news next year.”
Teresa has spent the last few years honing her journalistic talent. Having first been exposed to journalism in middle school, she said, “When I was in middle school, my teacher elected me to the student newspaper because I am good at literature and write well. I have been an intense reader since primary school. My first obsession with reading was in first grade, where I read Peter Pan more than ten times. I have always loved imaginative literature, especially Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I recently finished Lord of the Rings and am really excited to start Dune next.”
“Reading is what led me into writing,” continued Teresa. “Over time, I found it fun to interview people, make friends through the process, have interesting conversations, and talk to teachers that I did not previously know or have a reason to talk to. Once I got into journalism, it felt like a natural part of my life to read, write, interview, and explore.”
Writing in one’s native language is a challenge to begin with, but for Teresa, English is her second language. Her writing skills are masterful, and her articles read as if written by a native English speaker. “Although I am Chinese, I have been studying English since primary school, where I attended a bilingual school. I need to thank my parents, who provided the opportunity to learn and study English since I was young. Writing in English is not hard, but there are some cultural aspects of being in the United States that I do not understand, especially certain jokes. The challenge, for me, is cultural and I am always worried that my articles are not as funny or that my jokes do not match the culture of the United States,” she said.
As a leader of Curious George, Teresa has exciting plans for the student newspaper. When thinking about where she wants to take the newspaper, she said, “Ever since I started writing as a journalist at George School, I have become really interested in international affairs and conflicts. I am an international student from China, and since I came to George School, there has been quite a lot of conflict between the US and China. I felt like I needed to have my voice be heard and let the minority populations have equal voices in communication on campus.”
Teresa is also interested in allowing future staff writers to explore their culture and talk about global affairs more broadly. “Some people would say such things are far away from George School, but I do not agree because we are a global community, and events around the world could somehow be related to all of us,” said Teresa. “I like focusing on conflicts, but always try to make sure both sides are heard and write without leaning to one side. Being unbiased and objective is very important to me. My most recent article is titled Truths and Myths: A Closer Peek at The Lockdown of Shanghai. I wanted to write this article because of some misconceptions that I have heard on campus about the shutdown of Shanghai. I decided to write an article to inform the community about the actual nature of the shutdown. I happen to be Shanghainese and my family is from Shanghai, so I interviewed my family and friends and wrote the article to be objective in telling the truth about the lockdown.”
Writing has become an important aspect of Teresa’s life and she hopes to continue writing after George School. “After George School, I would love to participate in the college newspaper wherever I end up. I want to pursue some creative writing as well. I want to write realistic literature that is somewhat related to journalism. I think that fiction can be an extension of journalism, where you can take an interviewee who may not be comfortable telling their story but may be comfortable with being written out as a fictional character with some of their own personality and experience mixed in. It is a storytelling mode that is somewhat biographic but with obscure elements. Many of my friends tell me I would be a great writer, but I have not started yet, so we will have to see how it goes.”