Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Went to moive with Emma

Last Friday I met my former supervisor, Emma, and some of my co-workers from the college library; we had a movie in the Whitestone Theatre in Bronx together. Emma is the sweetest and smartest woman I have met in the world. When she worked in the library, everybody liked her. She always knows what is your most concern and shows her warmly care. When I wrote emails to her, she corrected my grammar mistakes in my early years in the college. She had the confidence that I could understand and appreciate at her action rather than mad at her. I don’t believe that many people in the world understand this and can run things life this way. I remember once when I met her in the circulation desk, she stretched her face to me, saying, “Give me a kiss.” After I followed her instruction, I realized I have not kissed anybody for a long time. Her active and joyful attitude woke up the softest and deepest part of my emotion. Because Emma’s sociable and popular, she has a lot of friends and seems as always busy on talking. Despite this fact, she still let me feel that I am an important friend for her. After she left, I have not written email to her frequently. Nevertheless, through a few email and postcard contacts, her unique personality is represented lively. She asks me when my husband would come. This is the crucial thing I am concerning lately, and Emma is smart enough to see that. I told her that he might come within a few months. She answered me a very short email, but I love it so much. She wrote, “We’ll all help Cha’s husband find a job, and we’ll have a wonderful welcome party for him.” How does she know we are worrying about the job? How could she always hit the essential point? Among all the people I know, nobody mentions that except Emma. I told my husband about Emma’s email, he said he was touched by it too.

I always demand the best on my study. When I met Emma, I reported my grades to her. I told her that although I had one A+ and three As, I was not completely satisfied by the fact that I also had an A-. I concluded that the grades for last semester were not bad but was not perfect. When she said my grades were fantastic, I told her I had a friend who had three A+ and one A. Emma seemed didn’t get it, asking, “Did all your friends get three A+ and one A?” I answered, “No, only one.” She replied, “So,…”. When I told my husband this story, he couldn’t stop laughing. He admired, “How smart Emma is! I am glad that there is a person in the world who could defeat you.” Since I often complain how difficult my study is but usually can get decent results, my husband has already disturbed by this manner of mine. He feels that my anxiety bases on no reason. Thus, he considers Emma’s questions as a successful attack to me but a proud victory for him.

We watched a movie that called “Orphanage”. I didn’t really like this movie. It narrates a story that a girl raised up in an orphanage. When she grew up she left and many years ago she came back, living in the orphanage and discovering a series of strange things in the place. It is a horror movie but I feel the horror moments and plots don’t real make sense; I think they are not horror but funny. Also, neither the topic nor plot is attractive. After the movie, Emma offered us a ride back to Queens. During the ride, she asked our opinions about the movie even though Candy was my friend and this was the first time Emma met her, she talked with her too. We discussed some points in the movie that confused. Emma explained them one by one to us.

I met Taoran yesterday and we had lunch together in a very nice Chinese restaurant. Last week she emailed me and invited me to have a meal together with her boyfriend and her before the beginning of the new semester. To my surprise, a few later, she left me a text message, saying she broke up with her boyfriend and she wanted to conceal the date. I called her back and said that we could go by ourselves. She was cheered up by my suggestion. In my opinion, men may come and go in our lives; women should always be close friends and support each other. Taoran is a twenty year old nice girl. I still remember the first time I met her when she was working in a Chinese supermarket one year ago. I believe that should be her very beginning American life. One of my friends who worked here asked me to give her a hand because she thought her was a very kind and nice girl. I didn’t do too much for her but only brought her one or two times to the admission center of Queens College to inquire some information. Her English improving quickly and she gradually can handle her situation independently. Since one year ESL study, while she applied Hunter College this January, she passed the writing test of CAT. It is an amazing success that means she is indeed studying very hard.
We ordered three dishes as a chicken, a Tofu, and a shrimp fried rice. Taoran comes from Mianyang, a middle city in Sichuan in which very close to my hometown. For this reason, we have many interests and characteristics in common. For example, we both like to cook. She told me that she has eaten in this restaurant and especially loves Tofu here. The Tofu is lightly fried on the surface but it is as soft and white as the egg inside. She said she tried to cook Tofu in this style in her home but failed. Perhaps there is some secret recipe in it that common people are not easy to figure out.

After meal, Taoran went a store to buy a pair of pants for her mother and I went the Flushing public library. It is a modern equipped three floor building and also the largest library among all the Queens public libraries. In the third floor, there is an International Resource Center. Books and media materials in variety of languages are placed here. Since Flushing is community that predominated by Chinese population, a large amount of Chinese books, magazines, newspapers, and DVDs occupied this center should not be a surprise.

Every time when I pass by the library, I cannot help but just want to go in to take a look. I have already had many books in my home lately that I don’t have enough time to read all of them. Based on such a situation, I come here only for checking the titles of the new books. By doing so, at least, I can get a brief idea that what the hot topics are presently. Also, it is a real joy for me that may be compared to the wonderful feeling a modern woman possessing when she walks along new clothes. In fact, although I have neither intention nor time to read too many books, I do check out a few books every time, pretending I don’t really understand my situation. There are always some books new and attractive that I feel if I miss them that it must a great regret. Thus, my reading list becomes unlimitedly expend and the books I borrowed are impossible to be completely read.

I know what my problem is. There are too many things are fascinating and worthy to study in the world. Despite the fact that I clear understand that I couldn’t study all of the books in the world that I am interested in, I don’t know how properly to select and narrow them down. For English study, I trust the school system and professors’ instructions; thus, the difficult part of it is not on the topic choice but how to perfectly complete the selected topics. In contrast, in my Chinese reading, I have to make all the decisions by myself. For many books, if you don’t read them, how do you know their taste? How much can you trust the criticism in such a commercial world? I have few friends who have interest in Chinese literature in common with me, which means not only I have no people to discuss after reading, but also lack of information sharing among peers. I am blind walking along on the route. What I am doing now is to fulfill the quantity but ignore the quality. I think I have probably read more than twenty books during this winter. But what I really want is to read a few good books and really get valuable ideas from them.

Despite those problems, I am really enjoying in two literature critical books of Hongloumeng lately. One is about Xuebaochai and one is about Lindaiyun, the two main characters of Hongloumeng. I have read the former one a few days ago. When I found the one about Lindaiyun yesterday, I borrowed it without any hesitate. I finished the 370 page book within six hours in the very day, from five thirty until the middle night. Consequently, my English learning plan of the night had to be put off; or in other more accurate words, it was concealed. After reading, I yearned to talk with somebody because some ideas make in this book are brand new and so dramatic and exciting. If I couldn’t pour my ideas out, I felt I might not get sleep at all. Since I have no friends sharing the same interest with me on this topic, although my husband is not a fan of Hongloumeng either, I think that is his obligation to listen to me when I need a listener if he cannot to be a participator. I spent half length of our phone call to talk with him about my reaction of this book. Oh, how poor my husband it! He has to endure such a crazy wife.

Lin and Xue are both extremely intelligent and beautiful girls but they possess two completely opposite personalities. Xue is realistic, rational, sociable, complex, and easy to get along. In contrast, Lin is romantic, poetic, isolated, pure, and difficult to be understood. The author deliberately makes the two figures in contrary manner but put them in an equal important weight. For this reason, who is better between Lin and Xue become a constant question since this book was composed since two hundred years ago and seem as it could not be solved forever.
Nevertheless, for me, it should not be a question at all. I truly understand Lin’s spirit and feel great sympathy for her suffering and struggle. Even though from the common opinion, some of her characteristics may be considered as a kind of weakness, I feel I can understand how the environment shaped them rather than the particular person’s own fault.

Since I strongly support Lin, it is no surprise to know that how deeply I oppose Xue. I totally don’t understand why people admire with her. I denied her on the whole. One critique says, without the spirit of Xue, the society cannot agreeable exist; without the spirit of Lin, the society will lose the energy to innovate and gradually decay. I think that is a reasonable analysis.


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