Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Saying good luck to myself

I have an interview of the U.S. Citizenship tomorrow. I am not worry it too much though it is certainly a big issue in my life. The reason is that I believe my English level is enough to cope with it. However, I am still excited. After all, I am expecting the day for a long long time. Tonight, while I was eating dinner with my aunt, she didn’t mention it even one word. I felt bad about that. When I talked my situation with my friends, they all showed their concern to me. I always felt warm from my friends.

I just don’t know why my aunt always treats my good if she doesn’t like me. She complains everybody including her coworkers, her neighbors, and her friends. Since I live with her everyday, although I have not heard she blamed me, I doubt there were many chances that she could dislike me. She said all people were too selfish, and she felt extremely tired to deal with them. On this point, I disagree with her. She just doesn’t know how to make friends, and how to find out the merit from other people living around us.

Her personality is a little bit strange. Although she seems like nobody, when anybody comes to ask a favor, she rarely refuses to offer help. Probably, this is her way to survive in the society. Also, maybe this is the reason she treats me good. Since she is tired to deal with others, she only does something that she has to do. Cooking is necessary, but showing emotion is excessive. I understood.

Since in the family, nobody said good luck to me, I am going to say the words to myself. Have a good luck, Cha. I love u.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mid-term exams are approaching

The prof. of the Japanese history course is looks friendly in the beginning. But she became specking very fast in the classes lately, and yesterday she announced that she would not give us the review list of neither the mid-term nor final exams. She said we had to read the textbook, and every term on the book was possible on these exams. The mid-term exam will take place at March 12th, three weeks later, and it turns tough to us now.

I am going to write the paper of this course tomorrow. I wish I can finish the three-page long paper within one day. Before March 20th, I still have to another paper of the Oriental Studies course needs to finish. After I finish them, I will concentrate on preparing for those mid-term exams. I have been concerning about my grammar mistakes for long time. But because there are too many other serious problems emerged lately, I guess I have to put the grammar issue as a minor concern and see the content as the most important part, which I need pay a special attention on.

The Anthropology courses are not easy at all. The Anthropology 102 is about biology, human evolution. There are throughout difficult and very long new vocabularies, which requires much time involving. The format of this course is multiple choice questions. I have to memorize those similar words very clearly; otherwise, it’s easy to make mistakes.

We don’t have textbook for the Anthropology 101. At first, I was happy about that; the reason is obviously, saving money. However, later, I realized that without a textbook, it’s difficult to do review. The professor doesn’t make his note available for us, and I don’t trust my class note at all. I still cannot take a good note. I copy everything perfessors write down on the blackboard, but I am unable to write down all the points that he speaks.

When I thought about those troubles of my study yesterday night, I woke up at 4 am and just could sleep. Probably, the only thing I need to do now is stopping writing blog, but study for the mid-term exams. The many As I earned before making extreme stress to me.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Keep writing

I have a same course, the Japanese history, with my friend Joseph. In this course, there are two in class exams and two outside papers assignment. Each of them weight twenty-five points of the finally grades. It’s fair, I think.

The minimum length of each paper is three pages. It’s fair, again. Both Joseph and I planed to write the first paper this weekend. When I met him on MSN on the Saturday, he said he finished his paper. I asked how many hours it cost, he said one and forty minutes. Can you image how many hours I need to finish a three-page paper? I need ten or fifteen hours to do it.

However, I am not disappointed by the cost of time although I have been worrying about lacking of time in a regular semester. One year ago, probably, even I spend several whole days, I still couldn’t write a three-page paper. I am seeing my improvement. The reason I have to spend too much time working on a short paper is because I must do very carefully grammar check. I wish trying my best to eliminate any possible mistakes.

Writing a class paper is totally different from writing the personal journal. I believe I can finish the same length blog within two or three hours. I dream one day I am no longer worry about my English grammar, but when is the day?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The lunar new year of the pig

This weekend is a regular weekend for America, but it is the lunar New Year, the most important holiday for Chinese. This year is the year of the pig. I love all the Chinese traditional holidays because I feel that they are the best forms representing the unique culture and custom of our nation. However, since I am living with my aunt and she thinks that holiday is nothing except eating more meat, I couldn’t celebrate them in a more serious and spiritual way as I want.

At the lunar new year eve, my aunt and I worked together and finally made eight dishes including a fish, a chicken, a duck, a dish of shrimp, a dish of salted meat and a dish of sausage, and two dishes of vegetable, despite there are only three people in the family. I have suggested my aunt that four dishes was fine and six was more than enough; however, she didn’t even want to listen to me at all; moreover, she insisted on cooking an extra large pot of rice for leaving tomorrow. She explained that shows we would have enough food the whole coming year. Probably, that was her way to celebrate the holiday and showed her respect to our tradition. I was pleasure to discover that.

Despite the understanding, I disagree with her manner partially. People’s ideas should change with the social and economic evolution. When people are constantly living in poverty, it is reasonable to understand that enough food was their essential pursuit. However, in the current time, at least, for most people living New York, there is no the case at all. Excess food makes people become fat; in fact, overweight is a serious illness that could threat people life. We can constantly hear this topic from our family members, friends, colleagues, who worry about how to lose weight and control the diet rather than encourage eating more.

In my opinion, during the holiday, we should not focus on food only but try other entertainment.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The first paper of this semester

I have spent around ten hours to finish the draft of the first paper of the Oriental Studies course. The length is three and half pages. Although I still cannot avoid making grammatical mistakes, I noticed a remarkable improvement of my English writing. I have never forgotten the extremely painful experience when I wrote my first seven-page history paper a year ago. While I sat before the computer, I just didn’t know how to go on. I spent two whole weekends to do that, but what I wrote was nobody could understand. My cousin spent another two whole days to help me revise it from context, words, and style.

I appreciate his help although he no longer helps me now. After I became a foreign student, I realized that academic success was so difficult to achieve. Without necessary supports, some people dropped out on the half way. It’s a real tragedy that people losing the chance to expand their knowledge and perspective. It is different from people studying in their homeland, where they have a much larger chance to find supports either for financial or tutorial. I wish I can have the good luck and go as far as possible in the way of study.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A good question

I mentioned before I enjoyed professor Sukhu’s class. When he talks about Asian culture, whatever they are about philosophy, history, or literature, professor Sukhu’s shows his passion on them. Today we studied about the concepts of Yin Yang, five elements, and the Classic of Odes. He read those earliest poems to us, which remained me my grandpa, who recited those poems to me when I was a kid.

At end of the class, I asked him a question about whether there are some relationship between Yin Yang, Five Elements and Confucianism. He called it was a good question. Perhaps it’s really nothing special, but it is special for me because this is the first time I have asked a “good question”. I usually couldn’t well understand in class and unable to ask a critical question. For another reason, I am usually too worry about my pronunciation to speak out in class. This was one of handful times I asked question in front of class.

Ask a good question means you are thinking and you are reaching the essential part of the topic. In addition, I have talked with Professor Sukhu after class several times; thus, this time I assumed that he could understand my English in the class as well.

Professor Sukhu is not a Chinese, probably it is a shame that a non-Chinese teaches Chinese classic texts to us. However, I feel that I can understand such a situation.

I have heard that many Egyptians have no idea about their ancient civilization, but only value the pyramids, for example, as a rich resource of the tourism. Chinese ignore their civilization also. Young generations are completely attracted by the modern civilization. They seeing the classical literature and philosophy have nothing to do with their current lives.

Rare people are as lucky as me accepted well training of Chinese literature and philosophy during the childhood. Since I aware how great and fascinating Chinese civilization is, I deeply feel pity to people who losing the chance to come into the paradise and to taste one of the most sweat fruit of spiritual. Another important point of it is this enjoyment, unlike the joy to have an expensive material life, you need pay no money to access.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Library is my paradise

Since I registered a tutor in the Writing Center before I changed my classes, today when I came to check my schedule of the writing tutor, I found there was a time conflict between my tutor appointment and one of my classes. I reported it immediately to the faculty who in charge of the Writing Center. He responded as he would put my name into the waiting list, if there were tutors available, they would notify to me. However, I felt it was little chance that they would rearrange a tutor to me.

I met my friend Joseph on the way and told him the bad news. His opinion was disappointed me, “They won’t assign a tutor to you again, realistically.” But I believed he was right. It’s really unlucky that I have a W course but losing a writing tutor. Even though most of these tutors couldn’t better help me, I cann’t stand to feel terrible that I cannot meet a tutor and access any limited help.

I have been staying library five hours this afternoon working with the paper of my Japanese history course. I have chosen a topic as Shinto. Through five hours work, I got the introduction and a half of the first body paragraph; I’d like regardless the grammatical mistake here. I had little knowledge about Shinto before, but after spending several hours working on it, I have had some idea about it. In spite of the busy schedule and intensive pressure, I really enjoy the live of academic studying.

The time is 9 pm now. Most students left, and the library became empty and quiet. I like this moment. My mother is not here, nobody is looking forward me coming back home at night. I wish I could stay in the campus in my entire life; there is no more joy than that, which I could achieve.

Library is my paradise.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Two nice professors

I have changed many times for the courses this semester. Until today, the final decision are Anthropology 101, 102, Oriental study 140W, History 142, LCD 101. I wish those courses can go smoothly during this semester.

The professor Bevington of LCD 101, introduction to language, is very nice. She smiles all the time in the class, and her attitude is very friendly. Every Friday, she puts the summary of this week on E-Blackboard, which is very usefully for students who cannot take a good note or absent. Also, she lists important concepts for each chapter. She makes this course easy to be followed. I feel very comfortable both in class and outside studying for this course.

In comparison with Professor Bevington, the professor Sukhu of the Oriental study course is not an easy person. As a rule, he rarely gives students high grades. However, he is very knowledgeable. Since this course studies about Asian religions such as Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, and I am interested by all of those subjects, I enjoy professor Sukhu’s lectures a lot.

I have been studying with my grandfather about Chinese classical literature many years. After he passed away ten years ago, I have studied alone and never want to give up. Sometimes I dream having a lifetime long master to teach me, that should be the most joyful thing of mine rather that having money, house, or cars.