Saturday, January 31, 2009

Barry's Chinese New Year party

Today is the day that Barry held his famous Chinese New party at his home this year. I asked Brian taking a day off in order to join it, but Brian didn’t think that reason was not big enough to make he stop working. It is pity that he couldn’t attend this party because that was a really wonderful party.

Barry is an absolutely special person. It is make sense that his wife Renoka is nice too. Consequently, all his friends, the people who came today were nice and friendly. We smiled to each other, patiently listened to each other. There were a lot of foods, most of them were home-made. They were all delicious. I shared the cook experience with the women. In fact, I learned how to make red been rice cake today. I’ll try to do it by myself tomorrow.

One old lady in this party practices calligraphy. She showed us the samples of her calligraphy. I wanted to be her friend for studying with her. However, she is too old to communicate with me normally. Also, I concerned that I probably didn’t have time to meet her. Thus, I gave up the plan.

I am a calligrapher too; at least, I don’t think my calligraphy is worse than this old lady’s. However, because her age, all people admitted her excellent but nobody appreciated mine. I was a little bit depressed. But it is ok, I understood.

I get busy and worry about my courses even in the beginning of the semester. I am studying now. See you later Pink Tear.

I am really hesitating

The new semester is starting. I have three big courses, history 144, South Asian history, history392 W, history about politics, culture and memory, and Anthropology 201, cultural anthropology. All of them require actively discuss in every class. Class participate weights twenty or twenty five percent of the final grade. Although I really cannot speak well, I am trying. In addition, I believe that if I must speak in every class every time, my speaking will improve during the process. Consequently, class discuss will become less difficult for me.

After a few classes, I gradually found class discuss is not such a bad thing. Unlike exams, in which you must answer all the questions, during the class discuss, if you don’t know, you can just listen to other’s talking and wait the point that you are familiar with. Since the class time is limited, you certainly don’t have talk too much. Probably, speaking two or three times on each class is fine. In fact, if one person speaks too much in the class, it is not fair to his or her classmates. Leaving some time to the classmates, but say something to hit the point, that is my method.

These courses require a lot of essays but few exams. It is difficult but not too bad. Although there are always problems on my English writing, I’d like to spend time to do it and enjoy doing it. Nothing is easy in the world. If you are doing easy things in you whole life, the life must be boring.

I am still hesitating to go to the graduate school or not. It is so difficult to make the decision. If I give up school, probably I am losing the last change to get the academic achievement in my life, but if I do, the difficulties are so huge that I really doubt if I can conquer them. I asked my father, he said that up to me. I presented the disadvantages and advantages of the both sides, he thought I might don’t have to go on any more. My father prefers an easy live; however on this point, I don’t completely agree with his view. I still cannot make the final decision, and I understand nobody can help me but I have to decide my life by myself.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Urban Study

I have been thinking enrolling the graduate program or not since last year. There are advantages and disadvantages on both sides.

My true passion on academic study is Asian Study. However, in the lower tuition CUNY colleges, there is not graduate program in Asian Study. Obviously, it is unaffordable for me to go to NYC or Columbia University in New York City. Thus, if I go to a CUNY college, for example, Queens College, the program must not the most interesting one for me. The second option is Anthropology, which is my favorite subject too. However, Anthropology always deals with too much difficult vocabulary than I doubt I can overcome it. Last semester, I just could not open my mouth in the class. The only exception was when we discussed a Chinese site, Zhoukoudian, our professor asked me the proper pronunciation.

Right now, I am interested in Urban Study because I believe it will help me to apply a civil job in the future. Also, in my opinion, Urban Study maybe easier than Anthropology due to its common use. An event in last year also added me confidence to study this subject; I met a Chinese girl who got her MA in Urban Study but I found her England was really limited. If she could make it, I would.

Also, if I decide to go to graduate school, I can apply financial aid that provides me the benefit of tuition waive and job opportunity. The amount of money will be enough to my daily expense.
Last, if I go on college study, my English must improve more than I self-study at home. The situation that I am studying at home this winter is a good example to prove the so-call self-study is extremely inefficient.

On the other hand, if I end my college career after I gain my BA this spring, there are some advantages too.

First, I will no longer suffer from the difficult experience of former study. I love study but I have never denied it is a severe task. Without worrying about school assignments and tests, I can read and write anything for enjoyment only. I can have more hours to practice calligraphy. As a result, my dream of being a calligrapher will be closer.

Second, I can go to find a full time job and contribute more to my family finance. My father mentioned several times that he expected the improvement of our financial situation and then he could get support from us.

I asked adverse from my husband this evening. He urged me going on study. Oh, I still have a few days to make the final decision.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Enzo corrected my writing!

Although I have been in America more than seven years, I don’t have many American friends. I know it must a weakness but I really feel easier to contact with people who speak the same language with me. Nevertheless, I have never give up to overcome my weakness. I have been trying to make more American friends and to understand different cultures as more as possible.

In fact, the few of my American friends treat me very nice. My tutor Barry is the one whom I contact with more often than others. Barry’s kindness and understanding encourage me to be more open to the new world. When we talk, he corrects us and shows us a better expression. Last Wednesday, when we went a bakery, Barry insisted to buy coffee for Brian and me. We accepted. I told him I wanted a milk tea without sugar. Barry said he wanted a coffee with more sugar. Later when we sat down, Barry told Brian that the correct expression should be a cup of coffee with a lot of sugar but not more sugar. We appreciated his explanation because if Barry was not such a kind person, he would not say anything when he heard our mistake.

Julia was my ex-coworker in Media Centre. She is modern and claimed her as a party girl. We don’t contact with each other very often but our friendship is sweet. Last month, she invited us coming to her house at the Christmas Eve. Thus, we got the opportunity to attend an interesting Spanish style Christmas.

Brian and I hang out with Enzo during this winter too. Last Saturday we attended an event in the public library that is about culture behavior around the world. The real concern of it the struggle of new immigrants in America. Although we didn’t have more time to talk after the event, we shared emails to discuss our opinions about the topic. I like to write emails; it is a very useful way to practice English writing. Especially, emails from my American friends provide me a sample of good writing. I always read them carefully, and I often can find out something helpful for my own writing.

This time Enzo made some corrections to my email. He was so nice. I don’t inquire but it is just what I need the most. There are my writing and his corrections below.

Thank you very much for explaining your opinion to me. I think, at least, if we understand people who from different culture more, we will have enthusiasm and more friendly attitude rather than indifference toward each other; thus, we are creating a more comfortable environment to all of us.

I’d like to attend to the piano concert this Saturday. Do you know if it is still in the same location? I doubt Brian may not come. He got a new job and he is going to work since this Thursday. He doesn’t know his schedule yet. If he can get off on Saturday, I’ll ask him to come to join us. But I guess Serena probably have free time this Saturday afternoon. I’ll ask her, and then let you know.

Thank you very much for explaining your opinion to me. I think, at least, if we understand people who from different cultures more, we will have enthusiasm and a more friendly attitude rather than indifference toward each other; thus, we are creating a more comfortable environment for all of us.

I’d like to attend to the piano concert this Saturday. Do you know if it is still in the same location? I doubt Brian will come. He got a new job and he is going to work starting this Thursday. He doesn’t know his schedule yet. If he can get off on Saturday, I’ll ask him to join us. I guess Serena probably has free time this Saturday afternoon. I’ll ask her, and then let you know.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

a plenty of time to meet friends!

Although I was dissatisfied by the A- on Anthr 260, I am surprised and overjoyed by being given an A+ on EnSic 111. In the previous time, I always get one or more A+ each semester, but until the time I found the grade of EnSic 111, I had already completely lost hope to keep this record. I think the professors of EnSic 111 must curve our grade because based points I counted by myself, even plus my extra paper, my grade would be between A and A-. Another reason also makes me believe the curve. Although I did not contact with too many people in this class, I knew many of them didn’t do well on exams. For three of the five exams, the average score is barely above 60. The biggest portion is the scores between 50 to 60.

I received an A on Sukhu’s class again. Always A, no A+. I don’t want to complain and understand that the every professor has his or her own standard of A and A+. In Sukhu’s class, we are students and we are imperfect, but A+ probably means perfection to him.

This morning, it was heavy rain, but I had to get up early to do jury duty in a Queen court on Queens Boulevard. We waited in the lobby more than two hours. while a representative talked with me, I told her I wondered I might not have enough English. She let me go and said I would be called three years late.

This afternoon, Brian and I went to the Flushing library to meet Barry. We had tea in a Chinese bakery. Barry insisted to pay for us and we accepted. He introduced an Indian movie to us called “Slumdog Millionaire”. Because it is a new revealed movie, we cannot for it for the Internet. If we want to watch it free, we have to wait a while. Barry asked me to tell him my response of this movie. I promised that I would write an article about it. I asked Brian to write something as response too.

Enzo told me there would be an even this Saturday in the Flushing library. The topic is about cultural behavior around the world. This topic sounds very interesting. Thus, I told him I’d like to go with him to join the even. Enzo also said he would host a party named fireside socials at his home soon. My friends, Emma, Yujun, and Antony, all will come. I am looking forward to the party.

Lately, I have hanged out with my American friends more often than before. Brian and I take advantage of the opportunity to improve our English. When I share emails with them, I can always learn new words and usages from them. Unlike some young people, Enzo’s English in his email is careful and beautiful. There is a sample in below.

Hi Cha (Re: my Queens College experience)
I enjoyed our recent gatherings very much (i.e.: Emma’s place, lunches at restaurants, etc) and thought I should contribute something to our friendship circle: fireside socials to promote enjoyment of friendship, diversity of food and culture, and an enhanced knowledge of humanity that our unique group of people can offer each other.
The Role of Fire
Fireplaces and barbeque fires have practical uses and especially a certain magic that can help people feel a unique type of comfort, camaraderie, and reassurance. The role of fire and food have always had important roles in the development of humanity; and if combined with a progressive group of people with a desire for knowledge and mutual understanding; could enhance the quality of life so much that I feel compelled to invite you all to share this joy.
I would like to host some frequent fireside socials to expand the cultural/ social awareness and happiness that we have shared.
Sincerely in friendship;

Monday, January 05, 2009

Bought a coat for my mother

I got an A on the course of American history. It is a good grade although I had expected an A+ on it after I took the final exam and did the extra paper. Because of it, my good feeling on the rest of my courses is fading. In the pass semesters, I always got one or more A+ every semester. It is pity that the record will be broken this time.

I am preparing the courses of next semester today. I have had an Anthropology course about South Asian people a year ago. Yesterday, I delightedly found a book that left from that course which is exactly what I need for the South Asian history I am going to study next semester. Thus, I will save more than thirty dollars. My husband is especially happy about this news.

I planed to work a month during the winter break; however, one third time passed and I am still idle. I tend to believe that there is little chance that I can find a job in this winter. Everybody is talking about the difficult economy. A lot of my friends and relatives from China also ask how about the economy in the US. Now, I may tell them I indeed experienced the difficulty of the economy personally.

I went Woodbury with Ting last Friday. We pay thirty-five dollars per person for the transportation fee. This transportation cost becomes a motivation to stimulate everyone to buy more in order to minimize the extra cost. I bought everything I planed to buy. Particularly, I bought a Benetton coat for my mother. Ting likes the clothes of this company very much, and I have been influenced by her.

My mother had mentioned her plan to buy a coat this winter when we talked on phone. Because even a normal coat will cost more 2000 RMB in China, I believe that even though combining the cost of the coat itself and the shipping fee, buying a coat in the US is still a better deal. I didn’t tell her my plan before I did it for the concern that she might refuse to take it. But I called her after I shipped it.