Saturday, November 29, 2008

Visted the Exhibit of Climate Change

Today I went to American Museum of Natural History. To gain the extra credits in the EnSci 111 course, I paid eighteen dollars and visited the exhibit, “Climate Change”. The exhibit is good, although I don’t think it is especially excellent. The most things in the exhibit I have already learned from my class. Perhaps, the museum deliberately made the exhibit simple and easy for educating common visitors who lack the background of environment science.

In the evening, we had a Thanksgiving party in my aunt’s house. My aunt is so traditional. She prepared many foods for her several friends. Before the guests came, she kept asking me many times if the foods were enough to serve. After those friends arrived to the house, she told them, “Sorry, I am cooking only a little bit food for you.” I just don’t understand how she could say that words when she was in front of the foods full of the table. My husband explains my confusion. He says I should not take my aunt’s words literally; that is merely a Chinese customs.

Yesterday I finished the second paper for history 103. Today I didn’t study, but tomorrow I will write the article review of Anthr 260 and read textbooks. We have only two more weeks for class and one week for examination, and then this semester is over. I expect all As on all my courses but I am not sure about that.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

First time got the highest score in a class

I got 85 out of 90 on the second exam of Anthr 260. Especially, it is the highest score in my class. I am overjoyed by the result. I am often so quiet in the class for two reasons. One, class discuss is not required nor reflects on the final grade; in other words, I don’t have to force myself talking in class. Second, I still don’t have full confidence on my English speaking. I avoid talking in front of a lot of people.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I will go to shopping with Yujun in Queens Center mall. After shopping, we will cook a big Thanksgiving dinner in my home. there are only three chairs in my small kitchen plus dining room; so the maximum people my home can contain is three. However, I have plenty of dishes and we are planning to cook shrimps, beef, chicken, vegetable, and buy a fruit cake as after meal dessert. Even though thinking about that, I feel happy immediately. The only thing I am worrying is how we three people can eat all of the food.

During the big holiday I am missing my friends whom we cannot celebrate together. Emi told me she was going to find a part-time job in her last email. I don’t know how the things going on around her. I really wish a wonderful thanksgiving to her. She is not only so thoughtful and kind, but also very talent and has a good taste of art. She deserves to have happiness.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This time, we reached Willow Lake

This Sunday, we had the second try to explore Willow Lake in our neighborhood. Carefully conducting the map, we successfully reached the lake after half hour walking. We spent one and half hours walking along the path around the lake. Seem as there was thin ice on the surface of the lake. I wanted to throw a stone into the lake to test how thick the ice was, but there were even no stones on the bank of the lake. That day was so cold; I believed it was below 30 F. we didn’t get warm even though we continuously walked a couple hours. At the end of our march, the only thing I wanted was to drink a hot milk tea at home.

Yesterday I took the second exam of Anthr 260. I didn’t do very well and was bothered by this class. It is unreasonable that I couldn’t do well on it. Professor Stinson of this class is extremely nice and excellent. The material was not too heavy. Moreover, since last week I was not too busy, I indeed put much time to study on it. I just don’t understand why the result is not what I have expected. Didn’t I still study hard enough? I have to think about that, and then I can better deal with the last exam of this class.

The most part of EnSci 111 is done. I estimated my expected score around 88-90. Under such a situation, doing the extra credit paper becomes very important to me. If I receive the extra credits, my grade may rise to A; if I don’t do that, my grade may drop to B+. There is a big difference between A and B+, and there is an opportunity that I can do something to improve it.

The assignment of the extra credits is to visit an exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History. Our professor told us the admission was free, but when I came here two weeks ago, I found an 18-dollar admission was required. I didn’t want to pay that because the professor said that would be free. I paid one dollar to visit the museum and then went back home. For gaining the extra credit, students not only have to write a paper, but must attach the receipt with the paper to prove your visit. I have been hesitating that I might attach the general museum with my paper since the day I visited the museum. How to write the paper is no a problem that I can write it based on the information from the museum website. I assumed that they may not check very carefully. However, I really do know if it is a good that would benefit me, or a completely foolish idea that would hurt my grade.

I rarely cheat in my life. The reason is not because I am an honest person, but merely because I am indeed a coward. I finally made my decision yesterday that I would go to the museum again and visit the exhibition. I will attach a real ticket on my paper to gain the extra credits. Before that, I went the department this noon to see if there was any solution for this problem. To my surprise, the professor told me that if students visited the exhibition and handed in their tickets, the department would pay money back to us. Woo, I have never expected that. Thus, all my concerns are gone. I will go to the museum again during Thanksgiving, enjoying the life.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Met Barry on Wednesday

This Wednesday Brian and I went to Flushing to meet our tutor Barry. Brian said he wanted to treat Barry a cup of coffee in Starbucks rather than in a Chinese bakery. To my understanding, Chinese often choose to treat a friend in an expensive place instead of a cheap one to show respect. However, when I told this to Barry, Barry interpreted it in another way. He said it was understandable that a new coming person who prefers An American style place than a Chinese one.

We had a really wonderful time together. Barry is such a nice and understanding person. Whatever problems I have had in my live, I like to ask advice from him; seem as conduct my father or an old uncle. My feeling towards him is so nature and so close, despite I don’t see him frequently. I am glad that Barry is my friend. Sometimes I feel good to leave my hometown and live in a foreign country merely because that I have had a bigger opportunity to meet those wonderful people.

I become more and more enjoy English writing. Except sometimes I am short of time to do that, there is no any negative about it. I told Barry that I have published an article on a Chinese newspaper in the beginning of this year. He was interested about that and asked me sending it to him. He said he would ask his Chinese students to explain my article to him. I wish his students have enough English ability to do that. Later, I think I can translate the article in English for practice, and also it is fun. If I really do that, I will show it off to Barry.

I give up the study of the fifth section of the EnSci 111, and this morning I even did not go to the class. I really dislike the Chinese professor. In some aspects, she is in common with my cousin. They both are ambitious, brilliant, and very capable, but they both are unfriendly, don’t want to tolerate and understand others. I wonder how their personalities have been developed due to their similar background.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My history paper

This is a paper that i have received an A.
An Argument about Independence between Leonard and Paine
For people who live in the present, the independence of the U.S. probably is like a natural phenomenon and beyond being questioned. However, throughout the history of America, the belief in independence was developing gradually with a lot of struggles. The two documents, the letter, To the Inhabitants of the Province of Massachusetts-Bay, 1774-1775, by Daniel Leonard, and the pamphlet, Common Sense, by Thomas Paine, represent two opposite opinions of independence during the American Revolutionary era. Due to their different political and philosophical backgrounds and economic interests, Leonard strongly attacked the idea of independence, while Paine strongly supported it.
Leonard was one of the wealthiest lawyers in Massachusetts[1]. As a beneficiary of the current social and political system, he valued the assistance from Britain and emphasized monarchy and the dependence on the British king. From Leonard’ point of view, there was nothing wrong with monarchy. He judged monarchy worked efficiently in Britain; Britain not only created North American colonies, but also enormously supported North American colonies in their development. He described Britain as a “nursing mother”, and reminded everybody to think about how Britain purchased the land for the colonies and protected the colonies from European military attacks.[2] Leonard valued what Britain had done to such a high degree; specifically, he believed that it was impossible to have the development of the colony without the dependence on Britain.
Besides thinking of the benefits from the dependence on Britain, Leonard believed that independence was harmful and could never achieve success. Leonard had a pretty negative view of American colonists who were in favor of independence. He not only described them by using words like “the foulest, subtlest and most venomous,” but also claimed that the revolutionaries “[were] not known in law” and did not share of power[3]. Could independence be a good thing or bring benefits if people who operate it were so evil? Moreover, Leonard pointed out that whenever war is proclaimed, trade, supply, and coast cities would be cut off; thus, colonists would have to face serious economic loss. In addition, although it seemed that many people supported independence, since their property was attached to British government, they would fight under the banners of loyalty if war broke.[4]
In contrast, Paine completely denied the concept of monarchy; he advocated equality among human beings and the independence of the North American colonies on an ideological level. Paine claimed that mankind is originally equal[5]. Based on this concept, there is no essential difference between the king and the subjects. Monarchy is not natural, but artificial. Because men are equal, it is not necessary that people depend on a king above. Consequently, the independence in the North American colonies should be regarded as a natural development. Most importantly, Paine asserted that in America the law is king. This idea contrasts to the concept that the king is law in absolute governments[6].
Paine also analyzed the advantages of American independence from a practical perspective. Unlike Leonard, Paine considered that Britain providing assistance and protection to the colonies was for its own sake rather than the colonies’. Also, Paine thought it was ridiculous to consider Britain to be a kind mother since the primary motivation for most of the British who immigrated to the new continent was that they were dissatisfied with the religious and financial situations in their mother country. In fact, Paine believed that “America would have flourished as much more had no European power had any thing to do with her.”[7] In addition, Paine warned about some of the disadvantages of dependence on Britain. For example, if the North American colonies depended on Britain, they would tend to be involved in European wars and would have a narrower trade market in Europe.[8]
The two documents make completely opposite points. Leonard stressed the benefits of dependence on Britain and attacked the idea of independence. In contrast, Paine advocated equality and independence. Today, independence has been proved by history and has become an obvious fact. While almost all the people in our generation agree with Paine’s argument, Leonard’s argument is still convincing because we can understand his political and economic contexts and how they are related to his argument. His documents reveal a realistic situation: during the American Revolution, independence was not supported by all the people; some people attacked it when it could not meet their immediately or long-term interests.
[1] Leonard, Daniel. Reading the American Past. Ed Michael P. Johnson. (Boston: Bedfor/St. Martin’s, 2007), 110.
[2] Leonard, P113.
[3] Leonard, P113.
[4] Leonard, P113.
[5] Paine, Thomas. Reading the American Past. Ed Michael P. Johnson. (Boston: Bedfor/St. Martin’s, 2007), 123.
[6] Paine, P126.
[7] Paine, P124.
[8] Paine, P124.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We have not reached Willow Lake

I was busy a few weeks ago during the mid-term season, but after that, my schedule becomes less intensive. This weekend, I only have to prepare for the second exam of anthropology that will take place two week late.

For Environment Science 111, the last professor is not kind and smart. Perhaps she is intelligent because she is young but has received a doctor degree. However, I judge she is not smart because she is either not nice to her students or lack the experience to deal with people.

In the beginning of her first class, she said that she encouraged students who sat in the back moved to the front seats. Some students did, but some remained on their seats. The professor went on to say that she would not start unless all seats in the front were full. The situation turned to be discord. Unexpectedly, she even ran to the back to force students to move. I though what she did made no sense. Even though her suggestion was originally acceptable, but if other did not like it, why she thought she had the authority to force the students to do anything that they did not want.

I assume that her exam would be difficult because of the difficulty of the professor herself. How can I expect anything nice from her? She gave us a pop-quiz on the most unexpected time. Other professors give pop-quizzes too, but many of them give them on a reasonable time. Fortunately, I have finished four exams with good grades and don’t have to take the last one. The final grade is count four out of five exams. I may go to the class to listen to the lectures, but I really don’t need to spend six extra hours for each class as she suggested. It is just cool that I can go to class, watch her, but pay no attention to her.

Thus, in the rest of the semester, I only need to study for two classes, American history and biological anthropology. I do well on the two classes so far. I wish I can have good final grades. For the Chinese class, leaving several hours before final exam is enough to get an A.

Studying can be a bitter experience despite my affection on it. When I study at home, sometimes I just expect the time for cook. Cook is much more relax and enjoyable than study. I rarely practice calligraphy recently. I wish I can have regular time to practice it after I graduate and get a real job.

Brian and I planed to walk to the Willow Lake today, a small lake nearby my home. I checked googlemap to get the direction. I didn’t print out the map because I believed that it was easy to reach it. However, after walking several blocks, we got lost. We gave up our plan, but just wondering randomly hours and then went back home.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Worry about the happiness

Yesterday I got two birthday cards and two gifts. Today I received an email from an old friend in China. She rarely sends email to me and never contacts with me from the Internet; thus I value this email very much. She indeed is one of my best friends since my young age. In this email she said she dreamed about me sometimes even recently. I am touched by that.

I also made a deal with Yunju. We will go out to eat noodles and a cake this Friday. I don’t want to have a very big meal as birthday dinner. If I do that, I will feel my birthday is nothing but only a meal. I want to eat lightly but enjoy the foods, the people, and the time.

I gradually have more and more friends in my life. I appreciate that and always feel the happiness around me. Sometimes I am afraid that any bad things would happen to my life since I feel so happy now. To get ride of this concern, I examined the weakness of myself and my life. To my surprise, after I did that, I found my life is actually in a very poor situation; it really cannot to be considered a happy life. I have no job, no profession, little saving, bad English, no longer young and separated with my parents. It is true that I have an understanding and sweet husband, but he has an even more difficulty life need to deal with immediately. When I realized that I am suddenly released. My life is not as perfect as I considered before. I am merely a commoner with small joy and small sadness. For this reason, I don’t have to worry that the heaven may envy my life and then do something bad to me.

Monday, November 03, 2008

My birthday is coming

My birthday is coming. Although I am not planning to celebrate it, I sense it by many signs.

Tree leaves turn to brilliant yellow and red color during the deep autumn. Yes, my birthday is in the midst of the colorful autumn. One friend told me that she would celebrate my birthday regardless if I have time or not. Another said she would buy a cake for me. I suggested her to give me a birthday card if she really wanted to do something on my birthday, but she answered that a birthday card was not enough.

I like birthday card and think it is good enough. Today I received a card from my friend Ting. Today is her sister’s birthday; she remembers my birthday is three days later than her sister’s. In the afternoon, she stepped by the Media Center and gave a nice birthday card to me. She is too shy to tell me when her birthday is. There is no way I give her a birthday card back.

At night, my husband brought back home the birthday gifts and card from Emi. Emi is so thoughtful that she sent my birthday gift a little bit early. She concerned that I might need time to pick up my package from my aunt’s house. She sent the gifts early to make sure that I could receive them on time. There are a pairs of sock in yellow color and a dark green cotton bag in Emi’s package. Emi always has a good insight of color. I like the gifts so much. I wish I can also send Emi something that made by myself rather than commercial goods on her birthday.

Emi said my birthday this year would be special because I have my dear husband accompanying me. It is true that my husband is very important for me. (He is the one who will pay the family expense in the future.) But I have to say that I am often strongly touched by my friends that makes me to believe that friends are essential in my life as well.

The only thing is that I will be occupied by exams in the very day of my birthday. I change my mind and am thinking that I may celebrate my birthday in this weekend. There are so many friends who care of me in the world. Even only for this reason, I should treat myself nicely and always appreciate everything I have had.