January 27, 2008

the second day… that was

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:37 am by changisme

I haven’t been so bruised for a long long time. I don’t even think last year Nationals gave me as many man scars (or woman scars). I think it’s probably because I need new gear.
 
We played four games yesterday, which was exhausting, and we didn’t make the semi-finals. The laughter and tightness of other teams circulated in the air and at times suffocates me at the point of our lost. I have to say, it wasn’t an abnormally bad outcome. Realistically we are just not as good as many other teams, and the Swedish Team which was supposed to be unknown is actually the National team pretty much. I’m glad i played them though. I think they are so tight. That’s really teh difference between our team and the Swedes and the Ontarians (okay there are more differences than that, but …) They are so much more of a team and they are more friends with each other than we are. For one, Angell is so young. We are good friends, but… 16-year-olds have different friendships from us afterall. They have a different life. Shawn’s in her thirties. She’s great though, and can be silly a lot of the times, and so social with us, but still, she has her own life which is SIGNIFICANTLY apart from mine and Angell’s. Then there’s me, a little older than Angell and much younger than Shawn, having my own crazy unsettleness. I talk about so many things with these people but we only hang out during goalball. The Ontarians for example, they are friends all the time, andhang out all the time. A few of them even went to the same school. I think the cioach also puts deliberate effort in team building.
 
Before the second last game with Ontario where a few players are on the National team, and since Shawn is also on the development team, they were teasing and joking and playing with Shawn the whole time when we were warming up. I have to say… I should have been more mentally capable of handling pressure such as this, but I just felt that… hey Shawn is my teammate… not yours now.. she is during nationals… but not now! Aye… it’s all my own silliness. It’s just because I feel that we never have that moment of cohesiveness, plus they treat Angell like a kid so much.. and in a way, she does have her own little things that makes other people think that, but yo uknow.. that just throws us off.
 
Another thing quite funny. Yesterday when we lost, the girls were sulking, and Angell’s mom was trying to tell us that it’s all for fun, shouldn’t be so serious. That got a bunch of criticism from the guys who were also comiserating with us. LOL They were telling her, we are here because we want to win, if we don’t even feel upset when we lost, then there’s something wrong. I think she was a bit taken aback, because she still thinks of it as a kids’ extracurriculum, whereas many people here are quite serious about it. That a bit what I feel too… I find it a little hard to put the whole thing on top of my priority list. I care.. but I’m just not competitive enought… Maybe I’m changing too… becuase I was more upset this time than my first nationals, in which we lost even more splendidly.

January 25, 2008

Once again the first day

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:26 pm by changisme

We arrived in Montreal as planned on Thursday evening. The cold does sting, but I havenèt felt much, one is because itès been really dry, but also because I havenèt needed to stand and wait for a bus yet. There were little snowflakes tickling our faces on our way to and from Starbucks. The goalball guys have been keen on going to starbucks from the airport in Vancouver all the way to here. I really… I guess I’m a little too defiant that way. I just feel it’s so stupid to want to go to Starbucks everywhere, but I’m used to it by now. In a way, that’s why I like to hang out with these guys, because they are sooo culturally submerged that I feel temperarily educated or … plugged into the wall every once in awhile.
 
We actually live in the same hotel as we did last year, and I remember our excursion outside, because both Ken and I were keen on it, but this time, Ken’s not around, no one else wants to go out. The only time they did was go walk two minutes to the Starbucks on St. Catherine Street. It’s busy on the road and many people walking around. I think I rather liked it over the deserted highways in North Carolina, even though the weather in the latter is much more favourable. I remember listening to a traveling radio show people talking about how in Europe people are quite used to living close together whereas the American culture is more about out into the wild and the individualism. In fact, after the War, Germany was rebuilding Munich… and another city. They were voting to build them in the classic style or the Mannhaton style, Munich was build the classic style and wherever the other one is was build the American style. I actually wonder what style Beijing is… it feels like neither, because it’s both very big and very crowded…It’s the good and the bad of both kinds combined.
 
The guys are already gone to the Gadbois Centre because they have an exhibition game with New Bronswich. I’m quite surprised we are not going to watch them. If Myriam were here… Aye.. iono, I feel like for the past year, we have been growing more and more apart. I was just reading Brown Girl in the Ring and lazing around in my hotel bed that looked like all others all around the world. We do have a game at 8:30pm with the Swedes, but the guys won’t be there to cheer for us because they will be playing also.
 
Angell’s family’s going to see us though. Angell has a big enterage this time. Her mother is so sweet and I think she’s like Phylis the Cat, except everything in her little magic bag is food or cookware. She even brought a stove! Can you believe itÉÉÉ I really forgot what Chinese (or mothers in many cultures for that matter) could be like, she was always bring us food, oranges, apples, eggs, even congee!! She was like the mother of the team. I think she has sure won Shane’s heart by now.
 
So there went my first day, and hope my first game goes well tonight. We have four tomorrow. That will be a very sore day. If we do make it to the semi-finals, that will bring us something to do on Sunday also.

January 22, 2008

after physics lab

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:42 pm by changisme

It’s really been awhile since I last stepped into a physics lab, and been awhile since I stepped into a first year lab too. Everything was written so clearly, step by step recipes, but there are so so many things one after another, that I hardly had any time to pause and think. My partner was a typical successful science first year student, very very quick and quite smart, stressed out and talk quickly and use lots of highlighters. She probably enabled me to finish the lab on time at all. I don’t know what she was running on, apparently, she had classes straight except for lunch hour from 8am. I almost forgot what it was like to have math, chem, physics etc etc… all on one day.

When we took our measurements, the data had some reasonable error, but for some reason, she really really wanted good looking data, and keep on retrying to get the better looking data. I mean… I personally wouldn’t have bothered. Some might say, oh it’s not scientifically ethical to take measurement like that, well, to be honest, I doubt anyone cares, and I don’t care either, but it’s just not necessary right? It’s quite interesting to see how people like to do that though. We like the clean graph… the clean model. I guess for the past couple of years, I’ve worked with enough dirty data and screwed up models that these measurements well within the error bars look perfect to me.

We worked at the speed of light and probably finished sooner than most other groups, but that took no less than three hours. At the end, we finally had some time to talk, and she said how she started having migrains just this year and her eyesight has gone down three times in a year, and so on. Somehow I feel like she lives either in Joyce or Richmond LOL. Anyway… I seem to look at all these from an outsider’s point of view now, but really… how people go through all these different stages, and how could I have always thought universities are much better places than high schools? These thoughts are unrelated and bizarre. I’m not even sure if I enjoyed my first and second year or not. I felt sort of bored and stressed all at the same time. The classes seemed to have filled up a lot of my time though they are all so blurred. The other parts of my life… they are even stranger, and I think I could have handled them better if I could live all over again, but I don’t want to. Is it the stress that is stopping me from wanting to relive? That’s probably the only factor yeah… Somehow I want to just move on to the newer stress I have put myself into. It’s not that I anticipate them to be lighter, but rather… I have jumped into the stream of life and on the flow… I’d much rather go with the current…. just flow to my next destination.

January 16, 2008

doubts, arguments and vulcan picture.

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:59 pm by changisme

It’s quite fun to discuss problem with my stats prof. I think partly because he’s young, partly because he laughs and fights for the word and/or the pencil with me. So it feels more like a discussion rather than a calm condescention. I know that makes little sense, but that’s what I feel. Eventually, of course I got it sorted out, and we parted grinning. This made me think of what it means to allow doubts in my life. It’s actually quite ironic. If I do have the courage to allow doubts in my life, then I have to have the courage to open up and discuss or argue about these issues with people around me. However, the conventional sense of tolerance is really just "not talk or argue about it". That’s really not allowing doubts and not being tolerant. I guess one can extend it to pride also, but that becomes too much of a life philosophy and less useful when I face these complex waves of colours in my life.
 
On another note. I got my picture taken for an ID card today, dn the picture is so Gothic!!! I can’t believe it. LOL Also, I look so yellow in colour that if it weren’t for the big smile I have, I could have passed for a Vulcan. Maybe, I’m Mr. Spock’s sister Miss Spock, only that I inherit a little more of my mother’s gene than my father’s?? Or, I just have a human grin, but really I’m the cold-blooded vulcan hehe… what a prospect.

January 14, 2008

In trembles

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:48 pm by changisme

The elements are fearsome. The wind evelops the house which trembles and sways. Thin shrieks sound all the closer, as if it penetrates not just the walls, but also my eardrums. The roars, the roars so close to me that it is rolling around in my own brittle shell.

My vulnerability of mind is part of the fragility of this small world I live in. It’s a strange feeling because in the darkest corner, I can’t help but steal a strand of gladness, as this fragility is the result of my lack of horrific experience. Is that partly evil? Is that feeling because I have stolen the blessing that would otherwise belong to others? How could I have for so many years either ignored or lied to myself with justification thinner than tracing paper, stenciled by the eyes with their sharp looks and mixed emotions.

I thought of the home of wind in China, where those girls, whom the Vancouver Mrs. Chen is supporting to go to College, were born and raised. For these years when I said to everyone about the prosperity of the country, I have truly forgotten about those provinces! Those were the places where so much history is coated in yellow sand. That is where the Yellow River becomes yellow; that is where Muslims live amongst the Hans; it’s near there, my grandfather walked out of a life of noodles and ancient books and into the world full of conflicts of the World Wars. And yet, it is there, where poverty remains. We are children who have turned from our mothers, and the mothers of our mothers.

it is in this wind, we feel the smallness of our individualities and how thin our umbilical cords have been stretched.

time of dispair

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:28 pm by changisme

I found some radio programs from Beijing that I like. I can listen to them all I want now. Two of the programs are just audio books. They read books cover to cover. When I was back in Beijing, they read many books, most of which are Chinese literature from the 20th Century, and mostly within the past 3 decades. JNow when I looked at it, for the past year, one of the programs has been reading foreign literature for the entire time, while the other program has been reading Harry Potter, though pretty well translated and I love the books, all the way to the sixth book, maybe it will do the seventh too? I guess I like those books that are being read, but I can’t help but feel a sense of depressing helplessness. How does this come about? These are programs, the only two programs that read long fictions, on the National station. Is there really nothing? Or is there just nothing we can embrace? Backk then, I used to complain that they read shallow chinese fictions, but either those were just my pretencious days, or I’m so desparate now, I actually look forward to hearing them.
 
Taht also reminded me of a conversation I had on Friday with Yan. She said how when she was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, there were actually quite a bit of Children literature. i was surprised, because I, having grown up in the nineties, first of all didn’t know of anything from her times, second of all didn’t have new ones then. Shye agreed that in the nineties, somehow children’s lit died. People didn’t write them anymore. That disturbed me more than before, because I thought, that decade was just some predawn…
 
I guess it’s silly to dispair over such things. There are so many chinese people, and there must be things being written, but just that I don’t know where they are. I want to read someone like San Mao again.

January 10, 2008

History

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:54 am by changisme

What is history to me, a person who only lives 60 to 90 years? What is history to me who’s life is not much longer than the people I can see turning around in a circle?

I love stories, so I like listening to or reading history, but I never bothered studying it. My mother says history is better than fictions because the former is real. I have to say she’s right, but I don’t really feel Sir John A. is any more real to me than John Wayne, and Xiao Feng is any less real than Zhu Yuan Zhang. Then what is the real history other then his story?

It’s thought provoking when I look at the Canadian society, because how lives are lived hinges so little on history. educators try so hard to grasp opportunities here and there to put Canadian history into their pupils minds. There are actually quite a bit that happened, but why people don’t really care? It’s not because they are not patriotic, or ignorant. It’s just that history of this country is so implicit and so hidden in our lives. Someone from Australia said that her mother was very into telling stories about their ancestry, but she always said that nobody knew what crime their forefather committed, so she always thought it must be really difficult to find out. However, when she just went to the library, all the trials were clearly documented to the words uttered by the criminals themselves. These histories are so close and yet people think them so faraway. I guess people here still are europeans…. or asians I guess.

When I read or tell Chinese history, it’s not just a story that flows through me, it’s a passage of me participating in it. It becomes less that way when I tell stories from long long ago though. I feel that my interpretations matter little, even though it may not (??). I’m always quite aware that when I tell a story, I tell them in a way I feel best. The stories are quite often shaped in a visible way even in my own eyes. It’s like how I don’t really like simply listening to music but rather sing or play it; or like I don’t really like watching sports, but like playing them. When I channel these happenings from one source to another, I become part of the world in its making. Maybe that’s what history is to me. I become less isolated and individualistic, but rather part of an orchestra.

On a different note, I was talking to a friend who was surprised me, of all people, like this collectivism. I have to say that I do, but not in a sense where I want to belong to a group where everyone thinks the same and do the same things like in my chinese school education. Actually, I felt in that system I felt more singled out, more lonely because it is less important what I did, because there are so many others who are doing the same anyway. Rather, it is the harmony and orchestra of what we do, each different but together intertwined collectivism that I love. History. Does history do that for me?

January 7, 2008

Time to move on

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:40 pm by changisme

Maybe finally, I’m too old for UBC undergrad.
 
Once again, I return. Usually after a period of vacationing or being away, I would find getting back to UBC’s classrooms rather fun and comfortingly exciting. It’s as if I could fool myself that there are all these unknown things to look forward to while they are not as unknown as what I experienced before school starts. It’s a controled excursion. However, this time… today, when I once again return, for the second time in my fifth year, I no longer feel that exuberance. I see the trees, no longer feeling that they have grown. I feel that I have stepped out of the trek of progression, or else time has left me.
 
It is time to move on…

January 5, 2008

holidays

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:34 am by changisme

For a long while, I didn’t know what to write about the trip to NC. I have to say it’s totally different from how I live here in Vancouver. Probably because I have so much life here that going to somewhere I had to stay home all day, and going out means having to get a ride is just out of my comfort zone. On the other hand, I was totally with people I was familiar with, and we were a tight family,and didn’t have much of a distance. We talked to each other with no concerns, ad farted all we wanted. I felt a bit weird, not really lonely… but a lack of self. That scared me a little, because I really thought I was identified by the people around me and how we interact, not really by what I do. The reason I thought that way was that, I do so many things and change the array of my doings every so often. However, now I find, maybe I am largely defined by what I do? Or at least I feel like I am.

I felt quite sad leaving my aunt and cousin’s place despite the fact that I didn’t really like NC as a place. Well… scratch that, I think I do like the place as a place for camping and hiking and fishing, which we didn’t get to do. Back to my aunt and cousin. They are very cozy people. My aunt is into making all kinds of Chinese goodies. I enjoyed making dough, stir-frying with her, it felt like a home. My mom didn’t like doing all that. Even though my taste buds are more aligned with my mom’s, I have to admit, I like the atmosphere all my aunt’s cooking creates. It feels like a home. My cousin is a funny girl, as much as she fights with her mom, she doesn’t pull away. I guess that’s a quality I felt wish I could have. Anyway, also because my aunt asked her to stay home with me or take me around. Hehehe.

NC as a place is quite different from what I’m used to. There are lots of unused land, lots of trees, and hardly any people walking on the streets. When i meet one thought, they are always so nice and willing to help, much more so than people from ANYWHERE I’ve ever been to. When I asked for direction once, the person even waited for the bus for me after telling me where the bus stop is. Talking about busses, the system is very incomplete. There are lots of places where busses don’t go to. I checked their routs and found it quite disappointing. Downtown does have quite a few lines though, but the downtown’s in the triangle area are very small.

The universities there are full of air of traditions. I think that’s interesting. I like the court yards of UNC, and the forest of Duke. I don’t think I have a very hard time seeing myself studying there, just a hard time seeing myself elsewhere outside of the campuses.

The whole reason is spanned, connected and fed by a complicated system of highways. I found them like poisoned veins spearing into hearts of every neighbourhood. I can’t help but feeling this whole mess is like a cancer, grown on blood vessels that make them wild and scary. these highways, so well paved but also barred from the marshes and forests along side of them. It’s as if though they are put in this land, but is in a different dimension. When I traveled from one place to another, though I went through these areas, but didn’t really.

We also went on a overnight trip to DC. I think the place was alright. I’d go again to see more of the museums. It was crowded with tourists from all over the country. I ceased to hear only the regional accent. The people in Virginia and the capital region was significantly more guarded than those from NC. That depressed me a little. We were silly at first. When we went to the Capitol, where we thought was the White House, and called my mom saying we were calling her from the White House, LOL but later on realizing if that were the White House, the map would have been totally wrong. I wonder what fueled our stupidity as all of us have seen the White House on TV or in person one time or another.

The museums were plenty, and almost all of them were free. We went to the National Art Museum which featured Edward Hopper. I really liked a couple of the paintings. It was weird, because I actually didn’t think he was good at figures, and msot of the figures were not very good as far as I was concerned. Rather, I liked his other paintings, but the two f my favourites are actually of people. Maybe I do get intrigued by his figures, just refuse to actually… think they are good?

We had lunch in Chinatown. My aunt really looked forward to it because NC doesn’t have any chinatown. However, the plac was silly. There were shops and restaurants that were western, but with chinese signages. LOL Even the restaurants that were chinese, like the one we ate at, were not very authentic. I guess that’s alright, since we were starving.

Another reason I didn’t quite enjoy my trip is that I was constantly haunted by the project I was working on. The prof constantly emailed me about changes to the reports and things he wished to be done. I really don’t know what to think of the stuff he was asking me to put on the reports. I felt a little… angry about it.

I came back to Vancouver yesterday. I was not in a good mood because the airline lost my luggage. I hope they can find it. When I got into Vancouver, I felt a strong sense of happiness to be back in civilization. I guess i’m city girl afterall. Also, I felt more in control. I felt i could go buy groceries whenever I wish. i could go to school to do the stupid things I need to do on my projects. (How annoying having to go to school before it actually starts)