International Travels & Services

A Desultory Essay -- Shirley's America Travel Diary 116 & 507th Friendly Greeting - Dec 14, 2015

How are you? Have you started a wonderful new week?

Originally, today should be the day I leave for China, and I should be over the Pacific Ocean right now. However, for some reasons, I had changed my ticket and I would like to stay in the US for another 2 months.

-- Hopefully, Ozarks Technical Community College (in MO, USA) will open the course which was created by me -- Together With Me, Learn Chinese Culture and Language by Enjoying and Practicing Painting, Music and Poetry in their Fall Semester, 2016 online and offline. I would like to improve the course syllabus, course abstract, and to prepare something more for the course and for developing my little cross-cultural and comprehensive art here.

-- The E-bridge Series II ( books and DVDs ) 诗画乐 综合艺术汉语 (Together With Me, Learn Chinese Culture and Language by Enjoying Painting, Music and Poetry)which was created by Jinan University Press (in Guangzhou, China) and I would be the textbook of the course.

-- Jinan University Press would like to re-start the publishing jobs with me while helping me to systematize the series. I mean the second, third or more volumes will be published along with the time. So, I would like to stay in the USA to improve the writing of the second book, music, paintings which had been written and created before I came to the USA. I would really like to carry all of them with a higher level to go to the publishing house of Jinan University as soon as I arrive in China in 2 months.

-- The remolded work of my house in the USA is in the process. I do hope to complete it before I leave for China and before my classmate Mr. Zhu Bin and his family move away from the city when their son goes to the University. It was both of Mr. Zhu Bin and his wife who helped me to sign the housing contract and helped me most in the past several years. Therefore, I do hope it was also them who help me to complete all of the remolded and decorated jobs of the house.

Now, I have moved upstairs and lived into the “ belly ” of my big “bird” which had become quite clean, bright with a beautiful stairs. My long-term dream to live on the upstairs of a house which has a garden has been realized. In case my new sunshine room was fixed, whole of the first floor of the house with 3 middle size rooms and 2 little rooms will be able to use to work on my art jobs.

With an extremely tight work schedule, in the past week, I have mainly done something below:

-- Monday to Thursday, I attended English lessons at OTC in the mornings for about 14 hours. By the good directions of Mrs. Fran Giglio, first time, in my mind, there is a clear conception about the locations of an adverb in a sentence. :- )

-- Tuesday afternoon and night, by the good help of Ms. Sherry A. Phelan and Ms. Jacque Harris, I completed the last assignment of my training at OTC. Ms. Jacque Harris corrected something in the assignment and gave the most important part of the assignment a comment “ Excellent”.

-- Wednesday afternoon, I gave one of my American friends and students Ellen a Chinese Xieyi painting lesson at my house for 3 hours since she is the only student who has painted 5 Chinese paintings and learn 3 Chinese poems; she is the only student who has not missed any lessons since she came to me. Even though the library center could not offer a room that day, and I had only 2 chairs at my home at that time, I would like to offer a lesson to her.

I moved into the house in the morning at about 10:30am Nov 18, 2015 and I left for giving lessons at 3:00pm. I have been too busy to have time to buy something necessary for my house yet. I felt sorry for I could not offer more chairs and tables for my students on the day.

-- Thursday night, I went to Wal-Mart to buy chairs and tables for my students and now, I have had a basic condition for them in case the library center would not be able to offer a room for us in the future ( but the park central library will welcome us at any time according to the talking of us on Friday).

-- Friday morning, according to the appointment between the Park Central Library and I, I went to there to accept a Certification of Appreciation which was rewarded by the manager Ingride Boechencamp of the library, with the words on it:

Certification of Appreciation

Awarded to

Shirley Yiping Zhang
For many classes and an extraordinary exhibition at
The Park Central Library

Ingride Boechencamp

Meanwhile, I sent a painting, two of my books /DVDs and 2 albums of my paintings to the library as a memory. Because Ms. Ingride Boechencamp was not in the library, Mrs. Peggy Hans(she is on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd photos) sent the Certification of Appreciation to me and I entrusted her to deliver my painting, books /DVDs and albums to the library. And then I invited Ms. Peggy Hans to have a Chinese lunch since she was my work partner who has helped me most since Oct, 2013.

-- Saturday morning, I went to Ava Artist Guild. By the good arrangement and helped of President Caryl Posada- Stillings(she is on the 5th photo) of Ava Artist Guild, I visited a typical Ozark style parade in the little American town; gave a lecture and two demonstrations about Chinese Gongbi Painting and Chinese Xieyi Paintings.

-- Then on Sunday, I cooked the first “ big meal” with Chinese Huntun – Dumplings and some dishes for the three people who helped to fix the windows of my sun rooms...

During the time, I also created the two paintings below. Meanwhile, I walked for 6 hours to go to OTC as my daily exercise for overcoming my sicknesses and recovering my health.

As usual, I have been touched by the local American friends:

-- Even though she was so busy on her work in the Chamber of Commerce of Ava and Art Gallery, President Caryl Posada- Stillings of Ava Artist Guild picked up me in person in the morning and then sent me back from Ava to Springfield in the evening by driving for 4 hours. Also it was she who accompanied me to watch the parade in person.

-- Mrs. Wanda Nava who is the former art teacher of Seymour R-II School and my former American work partner drove her mother and sister(they are on the 10th photo from left 2nd and 1st ones ) to attend my demonstration from Seymour City to Ava City.

-- Mrs. Glad Eyerman(she is on the 4th photo) who is the art teacher and my work partner in the 3 Catholic Schools in Springfield and her daughter came to see me with their Christmas gifts – a box of watercolors and a beautiful sketchbook.

-- Mrs. Darlence Sorense(she is on th 7th photo) who is an architecture of Ava and my old friend sent me her own art works – freshener as a gift.

-- Mrs. Fran Giglio who is my English instructor and the educator whom I met most in the past several weeks at OTC, worked with her 120% of sincerity and passion for us. You can not imagine that She has designed and edited 12 tables for each day of a year, to introduce the historic evens in the history of World and America. Also it was she who wrote to me twice when she found I missed her lessons. To be honest, if there were no her there, I would not be able to keep studying at OTC always. I kept going to study at OTC by walking for 90 munities in the cold winter mornings, really because I was touched by her responsible work attitude and for her wonderful lessons. I really think it would be a lose to miss her lesson indeed. Therefore, sometimes, even though I wanted to go to the washroom, I did not go until the break time for I did not want to miss anything she talked.

So, as soon as I changed my ticket, I borrowed the data from one of my classmates, because I went to her class later than most of my classmates, I hoped to read something that the other students had learned in the upcoming vacation of OTC.

To be honest, I had no a plan to write something about Mrs. Fran Gigilio last night, when I started the letter. But, this morning, I was touched once more for she said she would like to talk with every old student individually after she has checked their examination paper... this made me think of the same thing I had done when I was a department manager before my department was developed to be a company. Suddenly I felt something similar and interlinked in the cultures of America and China. At that moment in the class, I wrote done a note and I felt I should write something about Mrs. Fran Gigilio...

Once more, I feel, in this monetary world, really there is still something so pure, lovely and beautiful that does not relates to money and could not be bought by money. That may be: Friendship, Sincerity, Kindness, Love, Sense of Responsibilities and Missions, always Given and Never Want to Take from the others...

Maybe this is just the Spirit of Christ? Maybe it is the meaning we spend and celebrate the Christmas? Right?

How about you? Do you have anything to share?


Shirley Yiping Zhang
Dec 14, 2015 (American Local Time)

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