Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bond, as in James Bond

and my student Bond, who selected his name to reflect his respect for the well known globe trotting spy, had this to say in his obituary.

Bond Sun, President of the People's Republic of China, Dies


April 11, 2100

Also, Mr. Sun showed great hatred toward the old-fashioned Chinese education system, which deprived students of their interest in pursuing study and coerced them to value test most. He thought education should be pleasant and provocative- pleasant in students' obtaining knowledge while at the same time keeping their fun; provocative in students' treating education as their obligation and continuing to pursue their personal development. He was the first president in China to abolish the unreasonable test system used to judge a student by evaluating the student's achievement in answering several test papers. He wanted students to feel their own mission to help establish a powerful country in the world. He wanted young people to put their well-being of their home country in the first place and obtained knowledge to help contribute to its further development.

"Young people are supposed to have some huge dreams which become impulses to drive them to build their own achievements in their lives." Sun used his sincere words and earnest wishes to inspire young people to show courage in dreaming and realizing dreams.

Home Sick With Student Obituaries

I am home sick today reading my students' obituaries. That sounds strange perhaps, but part of their assignment for the short story The Lottery was to write their own obituary because they were the lucky winners. If you haven't read The Lottery, the winner was stoned to death by his or her fellow community members. I also thought it was a nice companion assignment to the college application essay process- as they examine their future aspirations in these college essays, reflect upon a life well lived in their obituaries.

Here are some experts from their work. All are unedited.


Christina Hu-- An Inspiration, A Legacy, A Hero, A Legend-- Deprives Us

By CNN, Sep 4, 2086

Christina Hu, the great socialist and environmentalist, died for natural eldering in Africa at 2.00 a.m. yesterday (Sep 3, 2086) at an age of 93. She devoted over half of her life to the World Bank and then a NGO (None Government Organization) called Lovelife. With her active participation and caring heartboth organizations entered into an new era to be highly valued in the world, spreading the idea that society is responsible for all people’s well being.

After graduating from Changzhou Senior High School in China, Christina Hu began her college life in Cornell University in 2012. There she won Bachelor Degree of both mathematics and economics. Despite her majors, Hu continued showing her interest in environmental protection and community services. She kept in touch with the Green-life Organization in China, an organization that has been working on planting trees in desert for twenty years. Later she prolonged her study in environmental research in Yale University, where she focused mainly in global warming and got Ph.D of environmental science.

Although she spent most time living in the United States, Hu constantly thought about her motherland China. She saved her own money and in 2040 set up a large school also called Lovelife in Changzhou, her hometown. Teachers fostered students’ habits of caring about environments and respecting others from the beginning of Grade One throughout the next twelve years in school. She often contacted with school leaders and student representatives by Skype and visited the school once or twice a year until she retired and found another person to continue the mission. Hu said during an interview that, “Those students are like my children. I love them and want them to transmit the love to others. They should be grateful for the creatures on earth, and feel strongly responsible for China’s future, and the world’s future.”

Hu died during her sleep last morning with a smile on her face. According to her testament, all her money left will be donated to Lovelife School in Changzhou and some public benefit organizations, and her bone ash will be scattered into the Yangzi River. What she left for her children and all human beings is her sipirit of fighting for the earth’s well-being.

“Thank life; love life.”

Christina Hu, Aug 6, 1993 - Sep 3, 2086

August 21, 2044


Alyson Shen, the City Hunter, Passes Away

Special to Time

Ten days ago on August 11th, world-famous cardiologist and ex-member of City Hunter Agency (CHA), Alyson Shen passed away on her 50th birthday in a village of Amazon rainforests. This message was not sent out until yesterday—apparently Alyson did not want her dying of heart attack to smirch her professionalism.

The whole world did not get acquainted with Alyson until the day she smashed the base of terrorists in Mideast, and simultaneously succeeded in operating on the hostage who was suffering from aortic aneurysm in 2040. When everyone started calling Alyson the name of her favorite Japanese animation character, city hunter, few knew where her incredible courage and superlative skills as a city hunter originated from. Before the infamous, disastrous terrorism on 2036, she was actually “Alyson in the wonderland”, as described in her manuscript.

After graduating from the medical school of Johns Hopkins University, Alyson worked as an assiduous surgeon. Screen play was her favorite pastime. Her enthusiastic part contrary to her composure beside the operation table was fully displayed. “Drama Queen” was what her classmates in high school and friends later called her. Alyson’s adventure in her wonderland has just begun when she was selected into the first generation of CHA, a global organization aiming for the disbandment of all terrorisms through either violent, secret or peaceful ways. There she met her Mr. Right—Legolas Wu. Also a cardiologist, he was five years older than her. Alyson and Legolas cooperated in the medical squadron of the agency. Although they were very busy, Alyson and Legolas often imagined their leisure life after they retired. During the mission in 2036, Alyson was kidnapped by terrorists. Legolas exchanged himself with her to make sure she was safe outside, while he himself was abused and killed in a week. Alyson was very grieved. Then she realized this shock had given her trouble with heart disease. She turned to be another woman in a night and committed the terminal mission in 2040. She then quitted, disappeared from the public’s sight.

Alyson's life-long friend Janet Qu when paid the last visit to her in 2044. As designated before her death, the hundred-page unfinished manuscript written in her native language Chinese was delivered over to Janet, who edited and published the manuscript, the world-known bestseller “Alyson in Her Wonderland”. Alyson’s diary of her surgeon life was donated to Johns Hopkins University medical school. Although her parents always wanted her to have a few children, she had no chance to have any. As the godmother of her friend Janet’s son and daughter

“Alyson is always the epitome of an ideal person. Her energy, her industry, and her wisdom superior to her age startle me sometimes. How I wish she would exist longer in my life.” Janet Qu told the press in Alyson’s funeral.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I miss summer's heat!

In Act V, scene i of The Tempest, Ariel, who will soon be given his freedom by Prospero, sings this song:

Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

Gothic: Perfect for Halloween

The Nightmare, John Fuseli
A incubus oppressing the human spirit rides on the back of a mare.

I have a million things churning about in my mind, as usual, and choose to fuel the multi-tasking grey-matter machine with an Indie radio channel on Grooveshark- my new music web link. You Don't Own the Road by the Kills is kicking it with some serious boom-boom in the background of my thought processes. I am going stream of consciousness in this blog post and somewhat Gothic reflecting Toni Cade Bambara and Edgar Allan Poe's influences on the AP literature selections we have been reading in my senior 3 class.

Gothic is comedic to me.

An atmosphere of gloom, terror or mystery;

the protagonist on the edge of sanity, teetering into a supernatural dream;

a decaying castle or other dark drafty place of ill repute establish the mood,

and I can't forget the mysterious, sometimes fainting damsels in distress dying of unexplained illnesses that encourage their family physicians to dig them up for postmortem explorations.

Perfect for Halloween: I agree.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

iPad2 Shanghai

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower of Shanghai

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Globalization Zebra

Friday, October 7, 2011

Are we all material girls and boys in a material world? That's a barcode on her shoulder. If I titled this painting, its title would be: Globalization Zebra.

I took this photo at the Shanghai Art Museum on Friday, October 7 with my iPad2. I took all the photos in Shanghai with my iPad2. because I wanted to see what it was capable of visually. Here are several of the results.

The movement of these two water buffalo in the painting/calligraphy scroll was fluid and in synch with the flow of my life.

We discussed this painting in my AP English class today. The discussion centered around how the social, cultural and historical context is critical for understanding art and literature. This was my favorite painting at the Shanghai Art Museum, even though I know nothing about it because the information card under the painting was written in Chinese. I have no context, so I used my imagination to appreciate the work.

iPad2 shot at the Shanghai Art Museum

Thursday, October 06, 2011

First iPad2 Post From Shanghai Update

Fairly excited about this premiere posting from my iPad2 while sitting in a Starbucks in Shanghai! Dare I try to upload a short movie? Nope.

Update Thursday Night Shanghai Dispatch

I am at a Korean restaurant tonight near the Pudong Metro stop eating kimchee and blaring Ray's "New York City Is Killing Me" although I am in Shanghai. It's the first time I have used metal chopsticks even though I predict that they will last much longer than their wooden cousins.

I have been a full-fledged tourist during my first trip to China's Oriental Pearl, which architecturally competes for the skyline with the Big Apple, and my feet are tired. Tomorrow, on day three and final, I plan to finish the trip with visits to the Shanghai Museum, the Shanghai Art Museum and the Grand Theatre on People's Square. Renmin Park might be a green oasis from the concrete, an ideal place to rest my feet in the sun! But that's tomorrow.

Today, I met an adorable couple on the street corner outside the Yuyuan Garden. They were coming from the garden and I was going. Later in the day, after I had accepted their invitation to a tea ceremony in the old part of the city, I discovered that both Kayla and her traveling companion study and teach ancient Chinese language and culture in Xian. Their friend Jimmy, and my translator during the ceremony, was charmingly gifted in explaining the complexities of the ceremony including a short bio on the father of tea and the proper etiquette needed for social harmony and enjoyment while tasting each variety of leaf, fruit and flower with my heart.

Jimmy works in China's commodities sector, as did Ken- a graduate of Changzhou Senior High School- whom I met on the train to Shanghai Wednesday. Ken writes software for investment banks on Wallstreet.

I realize that when I am not traveling with my guy pals, I meet more men. It must be easier for men to approach ladies when we are solo. Ken's opening line and hello was quite original given that we were on a train platform in Changzhou, China.

"What are you doing here in the middle of nowhere?"

We talked on the train, and I was sad to hear that Ken is only in China for two more weeks. Note: Those meetings were an upside to this trip.

Returning to my guy pals- I helped Joe, my downstairs neighbor, pack for his holiday on Monday and thought to myself at one point during the preparation:

"What am I doing rolling his boxer shorts and trousers into efficient space-saving balls for him? He's not a helpless boy."

Yet, I am an expert packer, and he was under tight time constraints. We are quite close friends, but I must admit that I relished my time away from my male neighbors. I am a big believer that when people respect the need for space and freedom, their intimate bonds with friends, family, and romantic companions are strengthened passionately.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Lingshan Grand Buddha October 2

The Grand Buddha and
Nine Dragons Bathing the Baby Buddha Fountain

The Wuxi Bean
(A cousin of the Wuxi Bean is located in Chicago.)

Changzhou's train station was hopping.
Saturday, October 1, 2011

About Me

My photo

What do I do? That’s a question with more depth than the deceiving three-word construction would lead us to believe.

I live on planet earth with other folks, and I’m involved in the field of education and learning. I’m a life-long learner with a passion for knowledge and the process of bending bits of ideas into new constructions of beauty.