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One Step Back Today Is For Two Steps Forward Tomorrow.--Shirley's America Travel Diary 128 & 544th Friendly Greeting - Dec 12, 2016

How are you?

This is the 6th week of my 7th travel in the USA.

You cannot imagine what has happened in my life in the past one week. When I recall it now, my feeling is just like experiencing a tidal wave with so much noisy and violent ups and downs...

At about 3:30am, Dec 6, I got a cell phone in a hurry from my tutor and supervisor -- Professor Mu Jiashan who works in Chinese Painting School at Chinese National Academy of Arts both of he and I were informed by the Graduate School to attend their thesis proposal conference on Dec 16 and my thesis proposal should be handed in Dec 8.

Oh, my Godness, this is an inform should be given us in Nov or earlier, but we knew about it on Dec 6. Maybe I did not get it because I lost my cell phone on Nov 28? but there is no any news relates to it in my inbox...

Because I had earned my credits 3 times more than the rule of the school in the past 4 years (2011 -- 2015), I need just go back school three times for the “Thesis Proposal Conference”, “To Be Checked At the Middle Time ” and “ Thesis Oral Defense” in the upcoming 2 years since Sept, 2016. Therefore, I am in the USA right now. All of my 300 painting and 300 calligraphy assignments are the extra- tasks of my tutor/supervisor Professor Mu Jianshan gives me and I give myself for improving my art cultures.

At the first time, Professor Mu advised me to give up to take part in the conference in Beijing for the time is really too tight to do a thesis proposal for a dissertation which is required 30,000 Chinese Characters, but if I wanted to try, he would also like to help me to ask for about 5 days.

Since it is not easy for me to get the study opportunity, since I wanted to write a paper for the purpose to direct and support me to create my cross-culture and comprehensive art on theory, since the school told me that if I do not appear the conference, I would be delayed to get my master degree later for 1 year, and the most important is my MFA seems like relating to my possible job at OTC. Even though I have a DBA and a MBA, but the first one I got in China via the study in a Doctoral Course cooperated by both Shenzhen Personnel Bureau and an American University which was not admitted by Chinese Ministry of Education 2000 to 2003. It is said it was closed in 2007, I did not feel honor for my doctoral degree after knowing about that even though I had studied very hard and paid the expensive tuition. It was one of the reasons I came to the USA in 2008 for I wanted a Master Degree on the land of the United States) Therefore, I did not want to miss the opportunity.

So, I told my tutor that I wanted to try, then he did his best to support me by putting down his own book writing, but sending more than 50 messages, 6 emails and more than 10 phone calls within the short 3 or 4 days, even, he corrected what I have written in person.

On my side, at the same time to fight with the sharp ache on my ankle (I hurt it on Nov 21 and 28 twice and lost my cell phone on Dec 28), I wrote the first draft with about 7,400 Chinese Characters on Dec 7; then the second draft with 7,500 Chinese Characters on Dec 8.

However, I could not follow my tutor /supervisor's directions to do the draft 3rd time and 4th time.

One hand, I did not think many ideas of my thesis proposal are mature, I would really like to re-discuss them with my tutor/supervisor again. After all, for me, it is not a pure dissertation just for my master degree, but something relates to arts and a business model. It should be base on some characters of Chinese painting, to create my own cross-culture and comprehensive art. So, it is a quite serious and relates to the goal of my rest of life.

The other hand, I do feel that my physical health has reached the limit – I was too tired and burnt out because of the hard jobs one by one – always I felt I was climbing a mountain and before having time to think how I climbed up, I had to climb another new mountain. Now my feeling is similar to the time when I was creating a statistic frame of Chinese Securities Market with 6 statistic report series by newspaper, magazine, books, web sites, database and data productions...but then, I had a team and the strong support of the newspaper office on the recourse of finance, manpower, material resources and we worked in China; but now, I am working with 2 volunteers with the financial support from my former salary, save, current pensions and work between China and foreign countries; then, I was an expert, but now, I am a student...

Here is something I have mainly done in 2016:

– Feb, I was in the USA for my 6th art exhibition;
– March, I was in Shenzhen for creating new paintings and improving the music sheet for the new book while preparing the national English examination.
– April, I was in Beijing for attending the national Examination.
– June to July, I designed 112 birds according to 10,000 photos for my American State Bird Map in Beijing;
– August to Oct, I was in Shenzhen for the recording in a professional music studio;
– Nov, in the USA for working on the book...

Then in the past 3 weeks between Nov 21 and Dec 11, the first feeling and the last feeling of my day is ache on my ankle and a leg (my doctor said because I kept walking with my hurt ankle and gave my leg too much pressure) and a terrible itch of an allergy started almost at the same time when I found a big glass and a screen window were removed from two windows of my house, the new floor is in a bad situation and need unexpected money to repair, my ankle was hurt, my Chinese cell phone was lost and the inform of the thesis proposal conference was too late...

Both of the allergy and the ache, plus the worrying emotion on so many things have really driven me as an ant on a hot pan, so that I did not want to eat, could not get sleep, did not know I should stand up or sit down (for the ache), so that the vegetable, fruit and food has rotted in the refrigerator...

Although my emotion pushed me forward, my mind told me to stop down, for avoiding a possible collapse of my physical and psychology.

So, although my tutor has arranged everything for me before his business travel and he would like to correct my proposal in person as soon as he came back Beijing; although I had bought the ticket with a high cost, which cannot be refund in the Christmas season, my new Chinese cell phone card has been sent to Beijing for some friends will pick up me with it, some classmate has booked a hotel for me... Especially, I will take the risk to lose the job in the USA, and I will have to pay the expensive tuition for 3 years, instead of the planned 2 years, I will also lose the money for the airplane ticket...still I decided to give up the unexpected travel for going back Beijing, but delay my thesis proposal for one year, for recovering myself a good health, thinking of my future road, improving my art level, and preparing the course at OTC if I can still get the opportunity.

I need to summary what I have done and thought in the past 16 years and try to improve these ideas to a higher theory level under the good directions of my tutor/supervisor Professor Mu Jiashan. Since he thought I have chosen a topic which is for a book. That is good, just let me write the 30,000 Chinese characters as the thesis proposal of the book. :- )

When I write here, I cannot help smiling – and this is the first smile from my heart these days. Although I do not want to give up if I was given time enough for my thesis proposal and I do believe that I can be able to write a good thesis proposal, then now I have to give up.

After all, one step back today is for two steps forward tomorrow.

How do you think of my decision? If you were me, would you make the same choice?

Here are something and someone I would like to thank:

-- I would like to thank Mr. John David Lawson for he came to drive me first after I had sent 3 messages for the sharp ache Saturday morning. He drove me to see an doctor in an urgent care centre, after taking photos, had an injection, taking medicine, I have felt much better today, and the best news was that the doctor told me that my bone is not broken, but for the swell serious on my ankle and foot, but I should heal in 4 or 6 weeks, but the precondition is I should not walk too much. If I want to walk for a long distance, I must wear something to fix my ankle. Anyway, when I ware something they offered me, I would not be able to ware in shoes, that means I should not walk at all. :- )

I do not know how to appreciate Mr. John David Lawson, his wife and children for they offered their Saturday to help me for 4 hours, so, on the road going back home, I bought some boxes of food as the Christmas gifts for their children.

I do appreciate Mrs. Walker and Mr. John Walker for both of them would also like to drive me to a hospital on the same time. Also, I appreciate another two friends who called me on my road going back home for they would like to offering help.

-- Then, in the afternoon, Sunday, one of my former students and a good friend Mrs. Allen came to see me with a Christmas gift. I appreciated her for she had driven me to the hospital last year and now. Therefore, I let her choose one of my landscape as her Christmas Gift. She is on the second photo… Also, she tried to correct my oral English…

The pity was in the past a week, I had to cancel 3 appointments with some professors, tutor and friend in their officers for my ankle and the thesis proposal…

Anyway, I have painted a new painting 56cm x 180cm (22.04inches x 70.86inches)after I gave up the unexpected travel…

How about you? Do you have anything special to share?
I am just a student on Arts of Painting, Music, English and Management, to work on the web site in my free time. I would really like to do somethings with what I have learned to make this little web site to be an Electronic Bridge of Cross - Culture and Comprehensive Arts, Language & Friendship. To help the others and this world while improving myself and realizing my own value of life.

I would really like to appreciate you for your understanding, directions, supports and help.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, you are welcome to write to or leave your message on Message Board.


Shirley Yiping Zhang
Dec 12, 2016 (American Time)


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