May 09, 2008

Taking a walk

Haven’t come to my blog for so long, as I was doing the final assignment and revision. Maybe the following days until the final exams, I cannot write many entries, but I would like to tell everyone what happened to me recently.

THis week was really really busy for me. It was almost the last week that we had lectures, everyone felt a bit sad, as the whole class may seperate worldwidely as soon as we finish the final exams . Luckily for me, I have already taken the offer of ELSM from Centre for Applied Linguistics, so I will definitely have chance to meet all my tutors next year.

This week I also did something meaningful, I took part in Youth China Now event. I spent the whole afternoon of Wednesday teaching non-Chinese people to do traditional Chinese painting. That was really fun. I enjoyed doing that so much, as I would always like to be a mediator to pass Chinese culture to other cultures.

It has been too far away from my entry title, however, I just took a walk with my boyfriend on campus. I felt so relaxed and happy, when I get in touch with the nature. I suggest everyone that if you have time, do not just sit in front of the TV or computer, come out to the nature. Looking at those ducks and birds, they are so happy and enjoying. Even the trees, when you look at them, they are communicating with you. That is the harmony of all lives, which can help you forget everything that make you unhappy.


March 14, 2008

Becoming Jane(in Haiku)

Passionate she lives,
Irony she favorites,
Novelist she is.

Refusing richness,
Giving up she falls in love,
She, is Jane Austen.

Unpredicted gift,
Sense and Sensibility,
Pride and Prejudice.


March 11, 2008

What the song contest makes us to think

These days I have been stressed by the revision of two tests this week. Anyway, now I finished them, I come back. But one of the test makes me to think about the Eurovision,as the test question is about the criticism of this song contest.

As for people in Europe, I think everyone knows well about it. But I also would like to explain a bit of it for those who don’t know well. It is an annual competition held among active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television and then casts votes for the other countries’ songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. Each country participates via one of their national EBU-member television stations, whose task it is to select a singer and a song to represent their country in the international competition.

However, such kind of contest may have some invisible inequalities. The Contest has long been perceived as a political institution, where judges??and now televoters??allocate points based on their nation’s political relationship to the other countries, rather than on their opinions of the songs. An analysis of voting patterns does indeed show that certain countries tend to favour certain other countries with which they are politically aligned. Defenders of the Contest argue that the reason certain countries allocate disproportionately high points to others is because the people of those countries share similar musical tastes and cultures and speak similar languages, and are therefore more likely to appreciate each other’s music.

This reminds me about such kind of song contest which is called “super-girls”(direct translation from Chinese) in mainland China. It is a contest that open to all the youth girls in China, who are good at singing. They are selected from several interviews, and many rounds of competitions, finally they are rated by the first 50s, 20s, 10s, 8s, 6s, 3s, 2s,1. First of all, I have to admit that most of the young girls are really good, even professional at singing; they are also good looking. Even before the first 50s, the competition is quite equal, as all of them are judged by the famous singers or music writers. But since the first 20s, the competitions will be judged by the votes by text messages of the audience. Finally, it becomes kind of competition of who has the most fans, and whose family is the richest, so they can afford the expensive fees of the text messages. As a result, if someone is less beautiful, or less wealthy than the others, they have to be ‘kicked out’. That is fairly unfair.

This kind of truth of the competition is told by the press, maybe it is too extreme sometimes, but the form of voting is true. So of course, we can judge whether such kind of inequality is true or not. In my opinion, I think, to some extent, the inequal situation is true. Then I would like to question why people are still keen on watching such kind of contests for almost half a year every week. And who benefits the most out of such kind of voting system, or who is the really best singer out of thousands and thousands good looking girls.

Who knows, I don’t know.


March 07, 2008

My 'little brother', Qiuqiu

The title of today’s entry may confuse some of you. Yes, I am the only child in my family, whcih had been mentioned in my former entries. Here, the one that is regarded as my little brother is my dog, Qiuqiu, who is now already 8-year old.
qiuqiu

I was born with a heart keen on keeping animals. To the best of my recollections, I used to keep two cats in my early childhood for about 7 years, and two chicken in my primary school, two turtles in the middle school, then finally came to my dog. I remember it was the winter vacation in the third year of my middle school, I was a bit bored with all kinds of revision and homework. Because both of my parents had to go to work every day, I had to stay at home on my own.( as I was a shy and obedient girl who did not go out at all when I was young) In order to make me happy, my Mum’s friend decided to give me a baby dog. The night before Qiuqiu came, I could not fall asleep at all, as I was so excited to think out a unique name for my dog.

When finally I saw the little creature trembly standing in front of me, I decided to name him Qiuqiu. (Because it looked like a ball, and in Chinese, “qiu” means a ball; the repetition is in order to make the name more pretty) The first day when qiuqiu was in my home, it must have been his big day, or maybe terrible day, as I kept to feed him with all kinds of food; for instance, I firstly gave him one boiled egg yolk, he seemed to be still hungry; then I fed him with another two egg yolks and one bowl of milk; later, I still thought that was not enough, so I fed him with more yolks, and I couldn’t remember how many yolks I fed him. Also because I was afraid that he would feel cold if I left him on the floor, I put him on my bed. But unfortunately, he had taken too much milk, he finally “drew a map”(had a pee) on my sheet. He was so pretty, so I didn’t want to blame him for the mistake he had done.

From then on, every day Qiuqiu just followed me here and there. He has then learnt to go to the toliet, to drink and eat with his own bowls. He’s also learnt to go to toliet to wait for a shower after a walk outside. Most of all, he’s learnt to watch my bedroom door for me, especially when I don’t want my parents come in to disturb. I remember when I was in the high school, I kept telling him to stop my Mum coming into my room many times, then he finally got it. Every time my Mum attempted to go into my room, he would bark and stand in front of the door, as if he was saying: you cannot get into unless you can successfully pass me. He is so sweet.

Because we had never seperated from each other before my university, when I left him, he refused to eat and drink. My Mum told me that he just sitting in front of the gate, watching carefully people passing by, he was waiting for my back. When I heard about that, I was crying, so I decided to ‘talk’ to him. It was the first time I talked to him through phone. I told him I was attending school, I would go back home during holidays. I persuaded him to eat and follow my Mum’s order, and also I missed him a lot. I don’t know at that moment how much he could understand me. But guess what, he shed tears, my mum told me he cried. No matter how much he got, at least he started to eat, but still kept waiting at the gate every day.

Now every time I give a call to home, I will talk to him. He sometimes does reply by giving me some sound, such as barking, or breathing. Sometimes when my parents are talking about me, he will still shedding tears. Also since he saw me once through the web-camera, he always jumps onto the lap-top and sleeps on it, in order waiting for me. I don’t know how clever a 8-year dog can be, but he knows he could see his ‘sister’ (me) in the screen of a lap-top. My Mum also tells me that, even till now, he is still watching everyone who enters my room, as once he sees someone moving my things, he would bark and chase them as a thief.
Pets just like human beings who have mind and thinking, and who have clear mind what they love or don’t like; most of all, pets are creatures who know the best meaning of thanksgiving.

qiuqiu

Oh, my dearest Qiuqiu, my little brother.


March 06, 2008

Let's write "Haiku" together!

Recently, with Gerard and Shirley, we have discussed a lot of interesting topics.

Today, maybe it is time for us to have a little break, to relax our mind by writing a kind of poetry- Haiku.

“Haiku” is a kind of Japanese poetry, which only includes three lines and 17 syllables in total. The first line and the third both consist of 5 syllables, while the middle line includes 7 syllables. Before we start, jsut think about one theme to be the main topic.
Here is the explanation of “Haiku” in its own form:

Haiku
Haiku, with seven
Syllables in between two
Shorter lines of five.
(This is from the handout of WSC module- creative writing)

Here are my own “Haiku” poems:

1.Qiuqiu(my dog)

Playing day and night
Sleeping and eating anytime
Dogs live a free life.

2. Birth

Screaming the mother
Followed by a loud crying
It is sound of birth.

3.Home

Our paradise
Mother, father, me, the dog
We are family.

Don’t be shy, just try.
Only need to remember
‘Seven’ between ‘fives’.
(1st line- 5 syllables; 2nd line- 7 syllables; 3rd line- 5 syllables again)


March 04, 2008

FREE HUGS

What do you think about hugging people?
Have you ever thought your hugs will make any differences to people?
Have you ever received any free hugs that you will never forget?

I had never thought about that hugging people was so simple a process before I came to UK. That is because in China we do not hug people so frequently even in the family. But now I do like the free hugs here, especially those out of people’s hearts.

I still remember the first free hug I received in Britain; it was given by the trolley-collector in Tesco, jsut because I said he was a hard working man. His name is Ron, although I had remembered it as George by mistake for more than one year, I know he is the one who gave me the hug. Maybe some of you have met him before, he is about 70 years old, probably; and he is really really hard working, as every time I go to tesco he is collecting the trolleys no matter day and night, rainy or windy.

Later on, from our chatting, I get to know he is working most of the time, and he spends Christmas all by himselves. I feel sorry for him, as I cannot imagine how local people can bear lonely Christmas. In my opinion, Christmas is the most important festival here, so people should at least celebrate it with someone close to them. For this reason, every time we meet each other, I would like to give him a hug, not only in order to give him some warmness from me, at the meantime, I could always feel warm and moved inside.

The second one who gives me a free hug is one of my former flatmates- Richard. I remembered at that moment, I was too homesick, as it was my first year here. So after talking with him, he gave me a strong hug which made me want to shed tears.

The third time I hugged local people was in my host family. I remembered it was the very time we had to say bye to each other. But after the whole Christmas staying together as a family with them, all of us felt quite sad to leave each other. When the train finally came, my UK Dad Brian hugged me tightly; I could find tears in his eyes. Neither of us spoke, we could feel everything in the hug.

There are so many ways to express ourselves, writing letters, speak out, giving gifts, as well as messages; however, most of all, I think hugging people is the most influencial way to show our love and wishes. Because both sides of the receivers have to get involved, when they hug each other; and hugs can also pass the message that we cannot express by using language.

There is a video in Youtube about asking for free hugs, every time I watch it, I will be moved.
linktext

Do not feel shy any more, if you feel like hugging, just tell your love and wishes by hugging people. No matter where you come from, what language you are speaking, hugs have no bundary at all.


March 02, 2008

If there is another chance, do you want to be a girl or a boy?

This afternoon, when I was taking No. 12 back to campus from Coventry, I was thinking that being a woman was so hard. The reason why I tought so was because women were always expected to be pretty looking by taking care their skin very carefully. That is, being a woman, I have to learn to do make-up; I have to remember those brands for skin care; I have to compare which clothes brand is more good quality. I talk about this does not mean that men do not need to do so, but at least they do not need to care about their make up too much.

A bit long beginning is not what I exactly want to talk about. I have to admit there are a lot of differences between men and women, at least phsical differences. Out of the outside, the inside differences in others’ hearts should be taken into consideration, such as the invisible discrimination. As for the inequality in UK, I do not know very well; but last year, from the Culutral Studies, I did learn about the inequality between men and women on job- seeking, education, as well as families and households. Similarly in China, such discrimination is even more serious, especially in families since the beginning of life.

Anyway, I do not know what exactly has happened to others, but I know exactly what has happened to me. Since I was born, I have to be treated as what a girl should be treated in the big family, which is, less important than the boys at home. Even worse, in my family, because of the one-child policy in China, I am the only child, while my uncle has a son who is 5-year older than me. He is, namely, my cousin, they only male child within the whole family. As a result, he is of course to be attached more importance than any one else. Because we were both looked after by our grandma when we were school age, so as far as I am concerned, I was always bullied by him. He took away my toys; he could eat those valuble food, while I had to watch silently.(even I cried, no one cared)

It is too sad that I am a girl who is sensitive, so I started to remember things when I was only four; in that year, one of the most important men in my life left me alone. As I’ve said that my grandma took care of us when the parents had to go to work, we also stayed together with our great grandpa during daytime. I could always remember that every time my cousin treated me badly, my great grandpa would stand out to help me. However, he was too old, about 90 I remember, he did not have enough power to argue with my grandma or anyone else. But that was not the point, I didn’t need the toy back, or the delicious food, I only needed someone who did care about me. My great grandpa was definitely my hero at that moment.

However, he only accompanied with me for 4 years. Till now, I still remember clearly his funeral. When I finally saw his dead body lying on the cold stone, I screaming out, I could not bear any more. I tried to hold the stone to stay with him, I shouted to him:”great grandpa, great grandpa.” I was too weak at that age, yes, I was. Later on, time flies, things have changed, but not such inequality inside my reletives’ hearts.

I had been grown up under the pressure of being a girl until 18. It was the end of school life. I still remember the interview for my uni in China, I told the old lady that I would like to make efforts to change people’s mind, which was men were more important. Guess what she had said, she said, no matter how well I would be, I would never change the situation, especially what had been deeply growing in my grandparents’ hearts.

I was rather angry at that moment, I tried to show my disagreement and my confidence. In order to prove my statement, I worked really really hard in Renmin Uni of China, I got very good results and one scholarship (although not that much compare with UK). I also took part in all kinds of activities, while I tried to use my own knowledge to earn some money. Even then, I was still day dreaming to wash people’s minds. Not until one night, when my grandma, my cousin, and I were walking in the street one night after raining, my grandma took off her coat to cover to my cousin who was wearing a shirt, rather than me who was only wearing a tiny top without sleeves. Just at that moment, I decided to give up, as I knew I would never change the tranditional man-important mind of the senior.

The story seems to be so sad, but I am really happy now, because I have really really good parents who gave my life to me, also treasure and love me forever. Even now I could write my blog, also because they supported me when I decided to come to UK. Now the past story of the little silly girl could only be a story, as it won’t make me feel sad any more, as I have learnt from it that we only need to care about opinions from those who care us.

Maybe before I thought through, when people asked me whether I preferred to be a boy if I had another chance, I would say I wanted to be a man. But now, I am very sure that, I will also choose to be a girl even though I have a chance to choose, and I will definitely to be a happy girl who is rich in love.


February 29, 2008

"Why are you going to further your education?

Since the beginning of the final year, this question has been always around my friends and I. “Why are you going to do PG?”This kind of question will especially comes from our tutors, as the UK tradition is that people should go and find jobs after graduation; then several years later, when they have found what they are exactly interested in, they may choose to come back to Uni to learn something they really like.

Unfortunately, I am an International student who is “sufferring” the pressure to use parents’ wages to live and study here. Of course, I could try to find a job after graduation, I may find somewhere would like to hire me, as my performance in uni is not bad, I could keep to get 2-1, or try my best to achieve 1 for the final year. But I am not sure what kind of job I could really find, because I have learnt from some previous students’ experiences, who are being working class after graduating from such a good university in UK.

Although I have to admit their spoken English or communication skills are not good enough, but they did spend a lot of money on learning in Britain; they did spend time and efforts on writing essays. And now, they could stay here for one of two years to get working experience, according to a new law came out last year, but they have to tell their parents and friends at home who have extremely high expectation for them that they are living very well and earning money in such a “paradise”.

Maybe the examples above are not too bad, as they do not have to continue studying if they find it hard. As for some of my classmates, who are struggling about whether they should continue PG or not, life is rather tough. For me, I have to say, I am really really lucky, as I know what I exactly want to do for life. I have a clear mind of my interest; I do not need to hesitate to wait, as I know I do enjoying learning language; also luckily, I do not need to worry about my level for UG, which has built up my confidence as well. However, as for those who have both pressure from parents and problems with inferior levels, they are still struggling.

Several of my friends have asked me what I think would happen if they told their parents they did not want to do a PG degree. The only answer I could tell is I don’t know. But actually, I do know; I know exactly. Our parents, our friends, our reletives, and those who know we are learning abroad, will all disapprove with such a decision. They will say they are disappointed with us; they may say that is a great shame; they may also question what is the point that we spend so much money on UG…People are talking as they know what the life is like in UK; people are talking as they are those who are writing thousand-word essays.

The other day, I chatted with one of my best friends that our situation could be only understood by ourselves. That is, British people do not know what the situation we have to fact when we go back to China; while people in China will never know First is not easy to get in UK. Even finally I do quite well for study here, when I go back home to find jobs, problems will also come to me. For example, I may not get a job because I lack working experience even though my degree is good. Or small companies may not want to hire me, because they think my ability is too good for their company, in terms of salary and benefits issues. Then finally I may find somewhere to stay, I may feel burdened because of people’s extremely high expectation.

Life is tough, I always like to say.


February 27, 2008

What were you doing when the earthquake came last night?

What were you doing when the earthquake came last night? It was about 1am something, I was standing on the floor, because I was going to take a shower. Suddenly the whole building shaked for about 10 seconds, it was not like someone jumping upstairs. Then some of my flatmates came to the corridor asked each other what had happened. We all felt that was wired, also a bit exciting.

But later I got to know all my friends, living in Westwood, Whitefield, Tocil, etc. all experienced such a shaking. Later, when I casually talked about this with one of my friends, he was a bit unhappy, as he said that it was real earthquake, but I just took it so casually.

And the only thing I did when it came was standing there, with a bit of excitement.


February 26, 2008

It is real life: learning from James Son of James

Seems it has been ages since last time I wrote a blog, anyway, today I just watched the play of “James Son of James”. Although laughing throughout the whole play, but what made me think about the most was that it did reflect real life.

I quite agree with the saying of “James son of James is about how an outsider infiltrates and stirs the settled hypocrisy in a small community.” of the Irish Theatre Magazine. As I have just found that the close relationship apprently between people is so easily to be broken.

There is a popular saying among young people in China that “they will not be forgived by God, if people do not do things for their own benefits”. Young people always tend to use such kind of saying as a joke when they gain benefit for themselves. However, when the uni students do join in the society, when they get involved in all kinds of social activities, what I have seen in the play may finally happen.

Everyone in the play tends to do someting really really selfish, even what they do will do harm on others. If the young man tries to make James into troubles with the robbery is forgivable, because of his lack of mutural thinking, what his mother has done could never be understood. Even so, the police, Mr Nauthy, is also so rediculous that he’d rather believes in what others say, but he does not want to think calmly and believe his own wife. That makes me wanna cry, if the closest person we cannot believe, who else we could depend on?
Life is tough, I always know. But James makes me think about how weak the harmony relationship between people living in reality, whenever the relationship has to be compared with the benefit of him or herself.

This reminds me about one Chinese series I have ever seen which is about how people deals with the love in front of reality, which are money, fame, responsibility, etc. The main actress is betrayed her lover, who is the only one she could depend on after her mother’s leave and her father’s death. Her best friend finally decides to stay with the man she loves enen if they suffer the lack of money; however, she finally could only see her lover’s death in a car accident just about a handred metres away from her. Life is playing tricks with everyone, I think the main actress seems to be the happiest one, while at the end she chooses to be a teacher in a poor countryside primary school, but she enjoys her life.

The other day, I questions that why I have gradually lost some real friends, at least I think they were. I could always do self-reflection, I could always think about what I have done wrongly; but later I would also question whether I have done something really serious to break our friendship? I can’t find anything I did or they did wrong, but just reality.


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