Friday, August 1, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

NYC: With whom you can’t help falling in love

Far from Columbus and just way north of Knoxville Tennessee, we finally made it here in NYC with Mike rejoining us today.

To be honest, it didn’t turned out as I imagined to be. I mean, the Statue of Liberty is not as tall and grand as I thought, the streets are so dirty that seem a little “China”, and I see much of the New York that was and will never be in the fancy movies. I had expected NYC to be the city which in the movie ‘I am Legend’ still glows as a metropolis after complete devastation.

But I must confess that New York is a city that you cannot turn your back on. From the moment I saw the bright ‘I Love NY’ T-shirt under the Statue of Liberty, to the moment that night fell on the brilliant Times Square, I must say, I LOVE NEW YORK! New York is such a city that you can list a thousand reasons that you don’t like it, but you just can’t help falling in love with it.

Next time when I get a chance to visit New York again, I wish I wouldn’t be in such a hurry to enjoy the love of this fascinating city.

Below is just a hint of the pictures we’ve taken:

I came up with this idea to do the O-H-I-O thing under the Statue of Liberty. Seems like we’ve made it unique and good-looking. Seems like we've been labeled as Ohio State already.

This is the ruins that the tragedy of September 11 left in Manhattan. With great grief and respect for the citizens of New York, I admire the courage and resolve to move on and start reconstruction.

This is THE most famous Times Square. It's most fascinating with the background of night. I've never seen more shining and impressive lights. The scene also reminded me of Spiderman fighting Green Goblin at the very place I was at.

Wise men say

Only fools rush in

But I can't help falling in love with you...

The Big Apple:NYC

Why is NYC been called "the big apple"?

Today with Shrine's help, I figure it out.It came from a old song in 1920s, which is popular in 1970s. It's ture meaning is that NYC is very complicated, contained all kinds of people and all kinds of things, just like a Mexico food which is been called "big apple".

Actually, it is complicated.

We only spend one and a half hours to walk in the street of New York city, and during that short time, I saw all kinds of people. Rich man, poor man, black/white/yellow skin, I saw someone selling bags and clothes in fake brand in the street, I saw a policeman ride on a horse, I saw a man wearing woman's suits stalking down the 8th Ave, I saw three people offering "free hug" and "free kiss" to whoever passed by, I saw some kind of stars are making MTV in the Time's Square and the fans just kept screaming.....

It's really wonderful.

Some day I'll come back here, at that time, I'll know more about NYC.

How big is the "big apple"? Next time, I'll figure it out.


Since my computer always have some problems with the wireless connection, I can't post the blog for a few days. Actually, I have many stories that I want share with you, but one's time and energy is limited, so I just put some pictures on the blog, and let the pictures tell the story...

(1) TV station! Beautiful news reporter Andrula told us many things about how to made a news

(2) How is the weather like in Columbus today? I'm Miss Weather!

(3)Moving pictures of the Plizer Price in history museum.


(5)We have an wonderful speech in Tennersee
(6)Smoky Mountain! It's really great, we've arrived the top of the mountain

(7)Frank, who help us in many ways in Tennessee.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the trip to the School of Public Affairs at OSU

John Glenn’s School of Public Affairs

As it is known to all of us, the U.S. is the most developed nation in the whole world so that stepping on the land of America has always been one of my dreams. Fortunately, the WHU and OSU’ collaboration on this summer program helped me realize this dream. I am not willing to pretend myself to be tranquil, as even until now I am feeling a little bit surreal – surreal but nice.

During the ten days trip there are quite a lot of wonderful experiences that I have never had in my life, such as the tour in the Air Force museum and the visit to City Hall and State House, which helped me better understanding the American political system. Furthermore, I found out the serious reason that should mainly announce for some conflicts between Western world and Chinese government: the fundamental opposition between power-centralization and decentralization. Absolutely there are advantages and disadvantages in those two styles, thus it seems like a waste of time to discuss the controversy or about which type is superior to the other.

However, one point of commonality that I should have to mention and highlight is the special recent experience – the excellent lesson in the John Glenn’s School of Public Affairs at OSU.

Some history:
As a national heroic character, John Glenn is well-known for being the first American astronaut that traveled to the outer space in 1962. He was born in the early 20th century and now lives at the age of ninety. In retrospect, his whole legendary career seems like an introductive movie about how to become an American idol. During the WWII, John Glenn attended the U.S Air Force Army and was trained to pilot fighters. Then he was awarded for many times because of his supreme fighting ability that might originate from his desire of flying in his childhood. In the 1960s, he was selected to participate in NASA’s program of sending humans to space. As it is known to us, the program achieved success in 1962 and cheered up the citizens so much that they lauded John Glenn as national hero. Several years later, like many other idols, John was elected a Senator and started to focus on public affairs until now.

Although public affairs include manifold aspects such as economy, policy and welfare, its main subject is to distribute limited resources to maximize the utility of community as a whole. To achieve this goal, the department of public affairs should concentrate on working out some strategies and encourage people to get involved with the country “actually”, which means not only a member of the society but a host as well.

In my point of view, the core spirit of the public affairs investigation is that “everyone should contribute to achieve harmony”. Though the fundamental duty of John Glenn’s school is to do research to offer some efficient suggestions to the government, it seems more important and necessary to guide civilians to actively care about social issues. In modern society, while accompanied with the improvement of technology, we are facing more challenges and more new problems than before. For instance, wars happen every day in different areas on earth; new sorts of dangerous diseases appear; the exponentially increasing demand of fuel constructs an ironic comparison with the tremendous amount of wastrel (something that has not been properly used). On the other hand, drugs, violence, divorce and some other social problems jeopardize the origin of human virtues.

Thus no matter whether we view this from a material or spiritual perspective, our homeland is in serious crisis of which a solution can only be provided by all people’s effort. The country of origen is irrelevant. To protect our beautiful blue Earth and our bright, high-level and promising civilization, we will really need everybody’s effort.

One drop may not be powerful, but billions of drops together may become oceans; an individual’s effort may seem useless, but a whole community’s effort can create a giant wave of positive change.

Yisiwei Zhu
Francis 31/07/2008
posted from the hotel in Piscataway, New Jersey

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pictures sent tonight from Stucco Jones

Conversation through Poetry

Jirayna Singleton
English 367
Professor Lohre

The group of Chinese students that Nadira and I had for the discussion was wonderful. The group discussion went smoothly, and I learned a lot from the students. I was amazed to see how each of them knew the Chinese poems by heart and could recite it without making a mistake. The person that I got to know best was Jerry because he was the one that explained what the poems actually meant, and he was very patient with me and Nadira when we were trying to read the poem out loud in Chinese. The only difficult part about reading the Chinese poems was when we had to say them in Chinese because it was hard to pronounce some of the words. The real challenge came when we had to read the American poems, because reading them was easy, explaining them was another situation in itself. The poem that we read was The Blessing, and when the students asked me to explain certain lines, Nadira and I had a hard time explaining and breaking it down because we weren’t exactly sure as to what the poem was about. Despite that everything went well and we had a wonderful time, and I believe that the students had an excellent time.
I learned a lot from these students. I learned that we (Americans) are ignorant about people from China, and that we need to learn more before we pass judgment. I found these students to be excellent examples of China, as they were polite, intelligent, and just absolutely amazing. I wish that I had more time to speak to them because there is so much that I could learn about them and their culture.

Social Mixer for US/China

Mike's note: in the picture you can see Amy and Esther, who are mentioned in Sarah's post. This post is one sent to me tonight for the blog by Nadira. Enjoy!

from Nadira:

Meeting the Chinese students was a funny and a very nice experience. My group did a good job working with the Chinese students. We both did a good job helping each other.

Hearing them speak their language was nice although I have Chinese friend who sometimes used to teach me one or two Chinese words, but it was nicer to hear them speak it, especially when they are reading the poems. They were reading with their hearts. I never saw anyone other then poetry teachers read poems like that.

I was amazed when Sue said her mother taught her one of the poems and that she knew from the heart since she was a child, like all Chinese children. Challenges we face while talking about the poems was that for the Chinese students it was so easy for them to translate the poems to us, while we had problems translating the American poems to them. They explained to us every word in the poems and how to say to what it means and it was kind of sad that we weren’t able to do the same for them.
Maybe the next time we will try hard. They were just amazing!

One thing that I learn from these students was that they have a hunger for the English language. They want to know everything in the poems. They were very serious about it and they try to repeat what they learn. Chinese students are serious about education! It was an amazing experience. I always thought the Chinese language was very hard to learn but after listening to them it seemed nice and easy (I may try it sometime). I love how they write, too.

Thank you all for the amazing experience and have fun here!!!

Nadira Ibrahim

The Social Mixer with Chinese guests at OSU-Delaware

The Social Mixer

My group work with the Chinese students went great. There was a student named Sean that I really connected with. I first met him during the trivia game when he asked me who Jim Thorpe was. During the answers I joked with him that I should receive an assist for helping him with the question since he got it right. I felt that was a good way to ease the nervousness of us both. It turned out that he was in my group. The group work went very well. They had good insight on the poem we did about the moon and how the man missed his family. They said the poem lost some of its beauty during the translation. The students really didn’t get the 7-11 poem (the poem is called Capitalism, by Campbell McGrath), and I honestly didn’t expect them to.

I was very surprised about their love for poetry, and when the recited a poem as a whole group I thought that was incredible. There were no real challenges in the discussion about the poems. I had a little trouble explaining the meaning of the 7-11 poem, but other than that we had good communication.

I learned a great deal from these students, and especially Sean. He told me about his life back in China. He also told me about how most people in China never use cars to get around until they get older, as opposed to Americans who use their car for everything. We talked about his experience here in the United States, and what he thought of the American people. We talked about sports and the Chinese athletes here in the United States, such as Yao and Yi Jianlian. He was a very smart individual and was one of the nicest individuals I have ever met. We exchanged e-mails and I hope to talk to him when he gets back to China.

I came away with the perception that people all around the world are the same in many aspects. I think we are all inherently good people, and we all like to have fun. Even with the language barrier we could communicate and express our genuine like for each other. I think if societies had more interaction we would see that we all have more in common than we think. This was certainly the case with Sean and me.

Matt Dixon
Student in Mike Lohre's Ohio State English 367 class

See you, Ohio

Life in Ohio left me with excitement, curiosity and a little pity. We experienced the fast pace and independence of academic life in America. We felt the passion and meticulosity of Americans. Though we all felt tired after we went back to hotel, we are very thankful for what we saw, heard and felt in the day. Thank you, Best Western for your great room and breakfast. Thank you, RPAC for your modern facility. Thank you, Columbus Historical Society for the moving pictures of the Pulitzer winners. Thank you, Macy’s for your diverse commodities. And thank you, other places for widening our sights. And thank you Mike for your sincerity. See you soon!
Written on 27th, July

Monday, July 28, 2008

KFC in Kentucky

Great lunch in Kentucky. Original KFC. Nice and funny hats they gave us. I'm not sure whether it's a cook's or a pirate's.

American Ways

Early this afternoon, we had a somewhat trivial, tedious yet endless lecture. So I was planning to doze-off when a pastoral poet-looking old man came into the auditorium.

Once he began, I was refreshed.

He gave us an emotional and inspiring presention on American Ways by connect the present and the past. Starting from the idea that today is the extention of history, he read a few sentences from some critical documents in the US history which could represent the root of US spirit. Concepts like "We the people","under the God","government by the people for the people of the people" illustrated the culture and conventions of America.

Govenment services the people, hence Americans seem arrogant;
Personal inner circle is well protected, hence Americans say "Excuse me" tons of times.;
Creator keeps watching, hence Amerians work hard for the "holly rewards";
... ...

I always believe that both expressing oneself and understanding others are great arts which call for specific intelligences. But without knowing and respecting the ways of people behave, none of the talents could work.
I feel lucky to be sober during Professor Accawi's lecture. I love it !

ps: Even though it is crucial to distinguish "friendly" and "friend" in the US, I will always remember Mike's saying"we our group will be family after this three weeks" and never ever stop to contribute to our great familyship !

learning the poem of Flash Cards

Finally we can get access to free Internet. Since Mike mentioned we still had no entries about teaching the Chinese poems to American students, I'd like to talk about it a little bit because since now I haven't found anything exciting here, except for a passionate cowboy teacher.

That lesson on exchanging views on poems really impressed me, maybe because our group worked with two brilliant students, Amy and Esther, who are good teachers at explaining things and also eager to learn about foreign languages and culture. First they chose the Chinese poem An Autumn Night, which is about Chinese Valentines' Day, and we told them about the ancient myth of the heart-broken stars that they really love. Then we transfered to English poem Flash Cards by Rita Dove. The first time I read it, I was totally lost. But they explained it word by word with great patience, and of course with help from Mike, I finally got to know the feeling Rita wanted to express in this little poem, that is a mixed and complicated emotion. On one hand, she wanted to satisfy her father and make him proud of her, not disappoined of her. On the other hand, as a ten-year-old child, she wondered why she had so huge burdens on her and so many stuffs to learn. I have to say many Asian kids have the same experiences and feelings because the environment is full of competition. Actually I did have this strong feeling when I was a kid. So when I read the poem again and again, I kept thinking that there are some familiar things in each culture.

A lot of thanks to Amy and Esther, and also to Mike, to let me know more about America. Here I put this poem, to let all people appreciate it.

Flash Cards

In math I was the whiz kid, keeper

of oranges and apples. What you don’t understand,

master, my father said; the faster

I answered, the faster they came.

I could see one bud on the teacher’s geranium,

one clear bee sputtering at the wet pane.

The tulip tree always dragged after heavy rain

so I tucked my head as my boots slapped home.

My father put up his feet after work

and relaxed with a highball and The Life of Lincoln.

After supper we drilled and I climbed the dark

before sleep, before a thin voice hissed

numbers as I spun on a wheel. I had to guess.

Ten, I kept saying, I’m only ten.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Minding the Home Fort, and delicious Victor-recipe Cabbage

Hi students and friends! Well, I'm mainly posting tonight to say hello to the students as I have to work a couple days here at OSU before I can rejoin the group on Wednesday in New Jersey. But I'll be offering Road Scholar tidbits, history and music through the gmail and can't wait to catch up with everyone on Wednesday. Students, I missed you today and hope you had a great, safe trip today on the bus. I'm sure it was a long day and hope you were able to catch up on your rest on the bus.

I went to church this morning and so many people asked how the group was and said they were delighted to meet some new friends from China. I'm proud of the terrific impression you made on ALL the people here in Ohio! Then I cleaned house like a madman today, did laundry and made lists for all the things to do tomorrow. I will try to meet all the requests you made for business here in Columbus before I rejoin the group and I will start first thing tomorrow morning.

For fun tonight, Bob's mom Claudine called and of course she wanted to hear all about our week. So if you have a feeling about something you wish to write about, make sure you catch up on your blogging in Tennessee when and if you can! Thank you! We still have no entries about teaching the Chinese poems to American students, the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, the Olympic Quiz event and mixer, the shopping trip, Tech Columbus, and the Ohio Historical Society and all those powerful and dramatic photos that won Pulitzer Prizes.

Okay, enough suggestions and of course I know you have a busy schedule there too!

Claudine showed me how to make the cabbage tonight, as she learned from Miss Guan and the great recipe Victor gave to me for the Rock and Roll lunch, and our cabbage tonight was VERY good! I love that stuff and ate about one huge full plate of it. We will get better each time we make it but I ate each piece up as fast as Loki can eat a hot dog from your hand, and you know that is very very FAST! ha ha ha. Claudine joked that we can open a Cabbage Deli near the OSU campus and start a new business together. What do you think? I think we would have a lot of customers from Wuhan, lol!

Henry (Bob's dad), Claudine and I then had a nice supper together, so here are some pictures of our efforts. Yes, that's a pork chop too, and I ate that done to the bare bone. Yumm!

One last thing: I also talked to Bob briefly, as he was just starting his day in China, and he's so happy to read the blog and hear that the program is going well. He wishes everyone a great trip to Tennessee!

Of course remember you are Buckeyes now, so don't get your loyalties turned upside down, ha ha ha. Go Bucks!

Have a great time there, seriously, and good night students and friends.

The Roads Scholar,


P.S. And some of you students who wrote me, don't worry, I will get at least 8 hours of sleep tonight. No more dark circles under my eyes when you see me on Wednesday!