Friday, September 20, 2013
Faith to Win
No difference from all the phenomena in the universe, the essence of human life is trivial, random, and complicated. Even worse, as sentient creatures, human beings are not only unable to completely get ride of pessimistic emotions, but overwhelmed by them at times. We lament that happy time is always short but sorrow is lasting, frustration is pervasive and desperation is profound. Despite the unfavorable fact, only a very few surrender voluntarily, the majority choose to fight for a satisfying life. Since desires and satisfying goals are varying, human faith to win develops unevenly weak or strong. A life goal of seeking randomly secular joy would be unlikely to enhance faith, but determinedly to achieve extraordinary accomplishment must strengthen one’s faith. In turn, a growing faith will adjust people’s desires and assist them to find out their real interest and ultimate life satisfaction.
I sensed this gloomy nature of human life when I was very young. I also conceived my faith to achieve great in the early age of life. Having a good job or a good family was not an option; they were too ordinary. I told myself, I would rather to die if I didn’t have any achievement to prove that I was worthy to live. I would never reach the state of happiness and peace if I didn’t accomplish a unique success. During my youth, I constantly suffered by the question how I should transcend ordinary.
When I thoughtfully examined myself, I found, sadly but unsurprisingly, I had no superior character and ability that were in favor of achieving great. I am not richer than my neighbors, not more beautiful than my friends, nor smarter than my cousins. Even though I was willing to bear hardship and loneness and exhausted my imagination to try anything, I achieved nothing unusual. I discovered that I would never able to go beyond average.
I don’t know whether others have the same aspiration or how they work on it. I found nobody to ask or discuss or to share my agony. I could not fall into sleep during midnight, but drowned myself into the ocean of bitterness. Despite the chilly reality, I did not give up because giving up was not a way to go. Fortunately, my faith did not cease but remained strong. Until now, I still do not have a clear idea why I never question about my faith. Perhaps, I understood if I lost faith, I would forever drop out of a promising life. If I had nothing, at least I have faith.
I strove for a solution. I was fully aware of my ability and limitation. If life is a sprint, I don’t have the speed and excellence to win. However, since life in fact is more like a marathon, I felt I was granted a right to try. Faith provides me amazing power of endurance and perseverance; it makes ordinary people extraordinary.
I was not born from an elite background, but my family did influence me intellectively. I have cultivated the hobbies of reading and writing. Perhaps, excessively attached by great figures’ stories rather than melting into the people around became a critical factor shaping my faith to dream big. While I seemed to encounter an unresolvable conflict between what I wanted to do and what I could do, I gradually believed striving to be a great writer would be my only chance of success.
I started to work as a true writer. I wrote down everything I encountered, experienced, felt, imaged, and dreamed. I wrote stories about my family, friends, classmates, and anyone if I got to know by chance. I wrote about historical figures as well as social events in the present. I wrote on computer and on notebooks, in noon and in midnight. I felt a super joy when I was occupied by writing. I appreciate the moments when struggling to compose; life was no longer a puzzle but full of meaning.
I produced a large amount of essays within a short period. I am glad about this but clearly understood quantity meant nothing. If I expected to be great, my work must be great. However, writing much was a relatively easy task while you work hard enough, but writing well was not achievable by everyone. Many times when I showed my writings to others, they smiled and complimented. However, the true message beneath the polite reactions was not difficult to be detected. I, again, got caught up in a predicament. Otherwise, I was still young at that time and refused to confess that I was just short of the gift to be a great writer. I tried to find out somebody to ask what my fate would be, but eventually realized there was nobody to consult. If there was really somebody, the person must be myself.
Seem as the last chance to satisfy my life goal was in doubt. I did not know what I could harvest if I go on, but knew definitely that if I gave up I would harvest nothing. I choice was to continue in writing. I put all my passion on the only life-long project but ignored many things that have been treasured by others. I did not strive to get rich, nor pay attention to maintain young and pretty. I did not build up a family, nor indulged myself by material comfort. With many years, I published a few articles on local newspapers and got a self-paid book published. Articles were constantly forgotten. Books were still stored in a garage except a few copies had been gifted to relatives and friends. Regardless how I was longing for, reality had no mercy and I would forever be an ordinary writer.
Human life is indeed random; no one can determine what you would achieve regardless how great your aspiration is. However, we can at least decide whether we would fight for it or not. By doing that, defeat is still uncontrollable, but the chance to live in a tragedy life would remarkably reduce. One may lament that young age aspiration is so great but the achievement for many years struggle is so little. However, if you witness somebody who never try and receive nothing in his or her entire life, you will appreciate the little---it is not only not easy to obtain, but also very special to possess. Distinctions do exist between have or do not have the little. An ordinary person is unable to create a great desert, but if he or she even makes a sand, the sand contains all the substances of a desert and reflects all the colors of the world.
Now, I have already passed my prime. Time washed away my ambition, but never faith. Only the faith to win now is not the same as it in many years ago. I still write, for joy rather than for accomplishment. I show my writings to others less often and gradually lose the interest to get them to be published. I like to write in a sunny afternoon in a tranquil room with a peaceful mind. Those moments provide me a great joy in silence. Holding on that, I am satisfied, pleasured, and longing for nothing more.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
In an early winter morning in a Northern Chinese city, a young couple drove to their small grocery to start their business. They parked the car in front of their store. The husband went into the store to start a stove. The wife remained in the car with their 2 month old baby because there was air conditioner in the car, but the grocery room needed a certain time to be warmed up. They are not rich enough to hire a babysitter since their baby has to travel with his parents everywhere despite his young age and the severe weather. Meanwhile, somebody walked into the grocery to buy something, the wife left the baby in the car and went into the store to take care of the customer. The car was unlocked, the engine remained starting for keeping AC working. After the wife got the transaction done for more than ten minutes, she found the car was missing, along with the baby.
Most likely, the suspect stole the car by accident, but what he would act when he discover a baby in the car?
Friday, February 15, 2013
I only remember a handful of things with Li Zhen. We had same Chinese classes in Queens College. We played tennis in Queens College Campus where now became the college dormitory, we went gym to swimming, we ate in nearby Chinese restaurant at night. Li Zhen introduced me to teach in Chinese school, in which I worked with her as well as her mother. After we graduated from Queens College, Li Zhen became a graduate student in the teacher’s school in Columbia University. While I didn’t hang out with Li Zhen anymore after she moved to Manhattan, I became her mother’s friend. We lived in a same street, when we cooked some nice food, we shared with each other. Li Zhen’s father offered ride to me every Saturday to go and back from Chinese School. When I was pregnant, her mother hoped Li Zhen finding a boyfriend, marry, and have a baby too. When I had my baby, her mother gave me baby clothes and red envelop.
Li Zhen and me had an age gap and gradually developed unlike way of lives. The recent years, I heard her news indirectly from different friends. She earned a MA in Columbia University, she obtained a bilingual teacher license, she found teaching job in a school in Manhattan. While seem as a preposterous future was already on her hands, we suddenly heard she retreated to Flushing because of stomach cancer. Weeks and months, she, accompanying with mom and dad, struggled and was still survival. We all admired her courage and persistence, as same as we admired her persistence in her study. I and my husband paid her a visit during last Chinese New Year. She appeared calm and very normal. Yesterday, the first day of this Chinese new year, a friend called to say hello and mentioned her death weeks ago. I went to her facebook page, the date was January 17th, the funeral was at January 20th. I missed the dates.
I am not very sad. Her success or failure was basically no effect on my life now. But, I thought about her death all the night yesterday and I still could not get her out of my mind this morning. Yes, I did share some life time with her, the memories are here.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
I study the religion---Zen Buddhism, but don’t believe in it. I know the reasons I don’t believe, but I am not clear about why I possess a constant passion in studying it.
The fundamental theory of a religion is to offer spiritual remedy. First, it points out some universal symptoms and claims your illness. Next, it stimulates you desire to prevent the unwanted outcome. Finally, one becomes a follower of this religion, a being without an independent soul.
For me, I ask nothing from religion, I don’t need religion to rescue me from this life or this world. I accept the secular world and everything I encounter here. I neither want to train my thoughts or emotion, nor expect a happier next life. If I have the fear of death, I let it be, same as I have the longing of youth. I don’t want artificial peace, a man-made outcome. If I cannot see suffering equal to happiness, I let the bitter feeling natural grow, mature and die. But I indeed gained the understanding that sweet experience is not necessary superior than suffering experience.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
I am teaching Chinese in a few years. Recently I have a brilliant student. He has merely studied with me in a few weeks, but he has already had an incredible progress. I cannot image that I can learn a foreign language such quickly. I have instructed him to listen and practice speaking Chinese whenever and wherever. Last week, he told me he watched a show on CCTV I. he asked me whether he could understand the show based on his current level of Chinese vocabulary. I wrote a response to his email. However, when I had a second look, I decided I would not send it to him. It’s apparent a kind of empty philosophy. Otherwise, I’ll keep it in my blog for this piece cost me more than an hour.
You are asking a tough question. First, I’d like to express an idea based people’s general understanding of learning Chinese. On your currently level, you may understand some words and sentences, but you still need time to fully comprehend the language. Language is not simply a language; it’s related to many other social phenomena. To learning a language, you have to learn that particular society and the live who are speaking the language. Moreover, as an eastern language, Chinese is well-known very difficult because it shares little similarity with western languages. In short, it requests time to be acquired.
However, we can think this issue from another angle. I, your tutor, really cannot give a right answer of your question. The factors determining the answer are all on you. How effective your way to study, how much efforts you put in, how you actively seek possible assistance, etc. You have already show me an incredible progress in a very short period; thus, I feel I cannot use my previous experience to tell when you can master Chinese. You’ll tell me in the future.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Rossabi gave me an A, I enjoy that. However, the female professor gave me a B+, and I was greatly disappointed by this grade. It is not because B+ was a bad grade, but I felt that it did not suit to the so much hard work I had done for this course. For the whole semester, I put a little time and energy on Rossabi’s class, but spend so much time to work on this course of American women’s history. I attended every class and pushed myself to do class participation as much as I could. When I found I didn’t get A on a short paper, I immediately went to see the professor, discussing the weak parts of my writing and paid more attention on those parts in my rest paper assignments. I composed my papers slowly and carefully, revised them again and again. I went to visit my writing tutor regularly in college writing center, and I sought help from private tutors too. However, I can do nothing with the grade but accept it. I don’t feel unhappy or unfair; since I have met so many nice and understanding professors, I deserve to meet a few who don’t appreciate me or my style. That is pretty fair.
Friday, December 09, 2011
2011 fall is over
My last class of the fall 2011 semester was over in two days ago. I did not feel much release because the pressure was not big during this semester. After classes, I am continuing my normal work. Only the books I am reading during the work time changed from history books to English grammar books. I have no idea what grades I will be given. I feel the female professor of the American history course is not easy. If it is good, I may get an A-, if it is bad, I may get a B or B+. I also wish Professor Rossabi gives me an A. Who knows.
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Listen to WNYC
During lunch break I like to have a walk around school track field. It usually takes half hour or forty minutes. Sometimes I listen to radio, solely at channel WNYC. I gradually can understand more clearly of those news reports and talking programs. Yesterday I heard a piece of news about international market rice that was interesting. The president of an Asian country in a radio speech urged the people to believe in the resources and the price of rice. Immediately after his speech, the price of rice increased dramatically in this country. Japan had stored a large amount of rice, but the U.S. forbidden it to export it to international market. Later, after negotiation, the U.S. allowed Japan to export. Only this agreement was enough, the price of rice in international market dropped quickly. After a few days, the price decreased to a half, while Japan has not exported any rice yet.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Barry's Wang poem
Now the Mountains see no people,
but echoes of human voices are heard.
Bright light returns and enters the deep forest,
to set again the dark green moss.
Friday, September 23, 2011
the first speeding ticket
I got a speeding ticket last Sunday when I drove at the town Highland Falls for visiting West Point Military Academy. Henry discussed this case with me, and we finally decided that we don’t plea guilt, so we have to go to court a few weeks late. I have never been to a court for traffic ticket although it is very common in America. We conduct as many people as we can, the most "valuable" tips they gave us is don’t admit the over speeding. I doubt it is not moral, but nobody concerns about this, and they definitely will laugh at me if I openly question this. This is life.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
When I returned to my hometown this summer, I found a thing that the Americans could never imagine and could definitely think it is too cruel. In this town, walking dogs in public space is restricted in anytime. Isn’t it too cruel? Even though I was a resident here twenty years ago, it is hard for me to accept it now. However, since the indigenous people have no real experience of the dog rights on another side of the earth, they could never understand how disgusting the Americans would feel. For someone who has dogs as pets, they of course dislike this official regulation, but the common reaction of the masses is that even though it might be unfair, but since there are so many unfair things happened in this society, they would not be specially enraged by how dogs’ life are.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I came to Barry’s Chinese New Year party today. Barry composed a set of spring couplets that express his close feeling and good wishes to new immigrants. I admire his progress in Chinese study. I did one too and read out it in the party. In my spring couplets, I express all students’ gratitude to teacher Barry for his dedication in English teaching and our joy to celebrate Chinese New Year together.
Friday, December 31, 2010
The Last Day of 2010
This is the evening of the last day of 2010. A week ago, a severe snowstorm struck this city. Until today, there is still a lot of snow on the road, bad traffic, and no place to go. I did not do anything special because I cannot. Ordinary life is not unpleasant, it is told that this is just life should be. A three or four year old child may be excited by a New Year, but there are already many new years coming and going in my life. The young age passion or anxiety towards new year is fading. Life becomes more and more wordless.
I see friends standing on the other side of the Internet. In the theory, communication is so easy that requests merely a light click. However, in our real life, it is much complex. The barriers, things you may not see, describe, but definitely feel, between our hearts are too huge to break down. I love my friends thus I never doubt their love to me. I am willing to spend some time with them, but seem as they don’t show me a welcome sign, maybe either is I. Many married women feel unnecessary to have friends and gradually narrow their social circle until zero. When we talk about it, we laugh at the stupidity of those people, but how do you know you may one of them one day.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I received an A from Prof. Sen for the seminar course. It is not a surprise. However, the grade from Prof. Rossabi has not yet appeared in my online account. It is bothered me because this course was not a class but only myself, it is possible that my grade would be ignored. I emailed Prof Rossabi for remaining, although on other hand I don’t really believe he would forget it. Prof Rossabi is such a careful and responsible person. Indeed, he wrote that he did submit my grade but since a new student online system is adapted in the semester in our school, some problems occur. It is reasonable. He said he would check it in history department next week.
Form my point of view, since this problem is due to the school rather than students, I think I may request him to email me my grade. But Prof. Rossabi refused, claiming that is against college regulations. I have to wait to next week to know my grade, but that is not so bad, as long as me and my grade has not been totally forgotten.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
I’m waiting for two As.
Prof. Sen’s class was well down yesterday. I prepared class discussion for a classmate’s paper and also talked two more times for other small issues. I said good-bye and thanks to Prof Sen. He wishes to see me at next fall semester. If he offers interesting classes, I definitely will take his classes again.
I came to Rossabi’s class this morning and talked with him in his office. He only asked me to double check grammar, and all other things are fine. He even does not require me to resubmit this paper for a grade for this course. Ok, I’ll send the first chapter to Prof. Sen some day next week, and all of my job is done.
I’m waiting for two As.
Monday, December 06, 2010
Last study week
The paper has been completed at two weeks ago. Only a few little things need to be worried. Tonight we’ll have the last class of prof. Sen. In tonight’s class, we are required to do peer critiques of classmates’ papers. Thus, this afternoon I have to spend some time to read some classmates’ papers. The topics are varying, especially some are very unfamiliar to me, which makes me hard to grasp their main ideas. Styles are various too. Some students want to show a high academic writing standard by using large and abstract words, but in fact make their papers extremely difficult to understand. I like one classmate’s writing; the main idea and support details are strong and the writing is clear. He is a high school teacher, and I believe his writing skill is excellent. My paper has already been discussed in last week. Only one person made some comments. I knew my topic must be alien for the most American students, so I am not disappointed by lacking of responses.
Tomorrow I’ll come in to see Prof. Rossabi. It is most likely that he’ll not suggest me to do any major change. If in this case, my job will be basically down. I am planning to do one more time proofreading, fix some careless grammatical mistakes, and formally submit it to him. That’s all.
I have already started to read Chinese fictions since last week. It’s very hard to find out excellent ones despite there are myriad writers and published books. I enjoy seeing profound thoughts within interesting stories and real lives. However, many writers are unable to achieve this level. In their books, there are full of boring ideas and words as moral teaching. I don’t know if any one accept this kind of writing, but I definitely reject it. I also watch TV series from the Internet and practice calligraphy when I don’t read fictions. The winter is coming. So as a short period of relax life of mine.