International Travels & Services

Thanks the God & So Many Kind People! -- Shirley's America Travel Diary 103 & 494th Friendly Greeting - Sept 14, 2015

Hello, How are you? Have you had a good weekend and started a better new week?

In the past 8 days, when my art exhibition worked in the library in the Park Central of Springfield, MO (it will be finished on Sept 30), I have done something mainly below:

Firstly, Mr. Gong Xiaoou -- a Chinese Specialist on Chinese Program of College of Business at Missouri State University and my former tutor met me last Tuesday and Wednesday (he was too busy to finish the talking of us at the library on Tuesday). He checked my painting works while giving me much helpful advice on my target in the upcoming 3 years and many good directions on writing a dissertation according to the international standard.

The pity is: I did too much video so that there was no any battery in my camera to take a photo for us when we finished the talking. :- )

Secondly, Mrs. Desiree Young -- a Co-president of Visual Art Alliance of Springfield came to see my art exhibition at the library on Thursday and then she picked up me to share something about Chinese painting with 20 artists of their organization on Saturday. I was happy for they gave me a lot of interesting questions, encouraged applause and more than 30% of them gave me their business cards forwardly and would like to keep in touch with me. Here is a responding from Mrs. Christ August -- a poet and it was she recommended me to Mrs. Desiree Young and VAAS:

I looked thru both books. What a comprehensive work of art, poetry and music.
I read some of the poems. Beautiful. Very different rhythm than how I write.
I look forward to watching the DVD to go with it. Hopefully, I will be able to navigate thru it.
I will bring you one of my poetry books when we get together.
It is great how you show the Chinese symbols, the word, and the translation.
It was wonderful that you sang one of the poems.

I was quite touched and I am impression on the considerate and friendly treatment of Mrs. Desiree Young and her members to me. They did not only invite me to have a lunch but also kept buying some painting tools for me as a memory. What they did for me, made me feel so warmth as a foreigner in the US.

Thirdly, I have found a lovely one bedroom department with a living room, a bed room, a kitchen and a bathroom with a good price. Though I have signed a lease for 3 months, I would not be punished if I leave ahead. And you cannot imagine how a lucky experience it was! I mean it was really a so accidental chance for me to meet Mr. Don Haselhorst and Ms. Lean of Haselhorst Properties.

Do you know? Since the property company informed me that the house that I had given an offer and signed a contract 12 days ago would not be closed soon for it has an issue of title, I have been finding an one bedroom apartment. I have gone to an apartment building that I had rented weekly in 2009 twice and I have written to the manager who worked there at that time. But, instead of meeting anyone, I found only a card “ Haselhorst Property.” Then on Thursday, when I had gone through an office of a property company, I remembered the same words on the card, then I went back and knocked the gate. After having a talking with a gracious gentleman, he would like to rent me an one-bedroom apartment until next May. However, I would not need it for so long time but I asked a business card of him, then I just knew he was just Mr. Haselhorst itself. After coming back home, the more I thought, the more I felt that I should have another talking with him. So, I called his office and had a talking with Ms. Lean – the manager of the Haselhorst Properties and then I went to the company once more in the next morning and talked with Ms. Lean again. She was so patient and took me to see an apartment. Really, I enjoyed it as soon as I saw it for it is cleaning, be suitable to paint and near MSU, the library and one of the schools where I will work in. So, I asked her to talk with Mr. Haselhorst and to see whether it is possible for me to rent it for a short time, for example until Dec?

Can you imagine? In the noon, I got a phone call from Mr. Haselhorst itself, they would like to help me and offered me an apartment until the time I wanted.

Oh, my Goodness! What good news! How well the God treated me! With so much gratitude, I called Dr. Yuhua Qiao – a Professor of Missouri State University and asked her to give me a rides for I wanted to go to the church to thank the God. Then I went to the church I was baptized Friday evening. There, I learned Bible, met Mr. Philip Cheuk -- my baptized pastor, Mrs. Cheuk and many old friends. Then I got an “ Order” to paint a group paintings for the church. :- )

Then on Sunday, in the other Chinese church in the campus of Missouri State University, I met Dr. Guiping Qiu – a Professor of Missouri State University and Mrs. Qiu who are my good guides and led me to go to the family of the God. Quickly, they introduced me to the head of a group of scientists from Silicon Valley and Stanford University who would leave for the North in 3 hours and helped me to make a good connection with those scientific elites.

Now when I write these, in my heart is full of the endless appreciations to the God and their angels indeed…

Fourthly, though I have lost the opportunity to write my dissertation under the directions of a professor of Chinese National Academy of Arts for my Master Degree of Fine Arts in 2015 because I had just gotten 58 points of the 100 in the Chinese National English Examination, my tutor Professor Man Weiqi -- the President of Chinese Traditional Painting Academy and the former Deputy Dean of Chinese School of Chinese National Academy of Arts, who has taught me for 4 years has promised to recommend me to a famous professor who is a tutor of doctoral students by writing a recommendation as soon as I go back Beijing, since I do not want to wait for until next May. I meant that I will take part in the next English Examination in May, 2016 but I would also like to write my dissertation since now. I will certainly complete my paper for finding and found a theory support for my little cross-cultural and comprehensive/ integrated dream no matter I can get a MFA or not.

So, in the past 8 days, besides creating a Chinese Baimiao Painting, I have drafted the first outline for my dissertation. I will go to visit the famous professor who maybe my possible tutor with a recommendation and a draft of my paper after I go back China from the USA.

Almost at the same time, I have also gotten a responding from President Xu Yixiong of Jinan University Press. He promised to give me an answer relates to my asking for re-starting the publishing jobs of the second column of my series books and DVDs -- Poetry, Painting and Music – Comprehensive and Artistic Chinese (With Me Together, to Learn Chinese Language and Culture by Enjoying Painting, Music and Poetry) while putting them on their digital system and push them to the main stream society of the Western World.

Fifthly, along with my 5th art exhibition and new lesson works in the library, my Chinese Poetry course and Traditional Chinese Painting course would be added from planned for 10 classes about 30 hours to be for 20 classes about 54 or 60 hours. As a visitor of Springfield, MO and a volunteer teacher, I will give the two kinds of courses to about 460 or 500 ? students at 3 schools, so that the paper I have sent from Beijing will not be enough.

It sounds like a bad news, but I am glad to see the good situation. I am sure by the good help and directions of Mrs. Gald Eyerman – an art teacher of the 3 schools and my new work partner, we will certainly be able to find a way to resolve this problem.

Lastly, with a so happy heart, I have met Mrs. Wanda Nava -- a former art teacher of Seymour R-II School, my former work partner and one of my best friends and supporters since 2010. I have to say honestly, if there were no her good help, introduction and recommendation, I would not have the opportunity to teach in her classroom in 2010, 2013 and 2014; I would not have the opportunity to work with Mrs. Glad Eyerman and her schools in Springfield; I would not be able to work with President Crayl Posada-Stillings and Ava Artist Guild in 2013 and in 2015; and I would not be able to work with President Riann Lubinski and the Northwest District Art Teacher Association in Nov, 2013. If there were no her to take me to her Bible study group in Sept, 2013, I would not know Mrs. Chris August and I would not have the opportunity to work with Mrs. Desiree Young and the Visual Art Alliance of Springfield as well…

What she has done for me and for the local people really let me see a responsible K-12 teacher and a devotional Christian’s dedication for her career and for helping the others with a kind heart as a gold...

With so much gratitude to so many kind people and the God, I would really like to donate or to create some paintings for the Chinese church where I was baptized for free; I would also like to give my Chinese Poetry Course and Traditional Chinese Painting Course for the 20 classes’ students for 54 or 60 hours for free while offering Chinese paper and brushers for them…

How about you? Do you have anything special in the past 8 days?

Notes about the photos: :
No 1. Mrs. Desiree Young -- a Co-president of Visual Art Alliance of Springfield and I.
No.2: A group of local artists and I.
No.3: Mrs. Wanda Nava -- a former art teacher of Seymour R-II School ane I.
No.4: Mrs. Christ August - a poet and I.
Mo.5: Ms. Karen Mihara -- an artist and photographer and I.
No.6: Ms. Arlene - a local artist and I.
No.7: Ms. Suzy Agee - a local artist and I.
No.8: (From right to left) Ms.Sherri Davis -- a local artist; Mrs. Desiree Young -- a Co-president of Visual Art Alliance of Springfield, Ms. Teresa Dilsaver - a local artist and I.
No.9 - 11: I was working.
No.12 - 13: Pastors were working with us together.
No.14: (from right to left) Mrs. Qiu, Dr. Weiping Qiu,Mr. Xie Weiming from CA and I.

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

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