The Moved & the Respected -- Shirley's US Travel Diary -068 & 319th Friendly Greeting,Sep 28, 2011

How are you? Have you had a good week? I do hope you have and enjoy your weekend.

It is 2:39 am in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. Accompany the sounds working sounds of the coffee machine in my room in the hotel; I have started the new day in my travel.

I guess maybe you would think that I am crazy to get up so early and to start to work at this time.

In fact, I have had a sleep for 5 hours, reach the usual time of my sleeping for a day; I will be in an American Chinese teacher’s car at 7:30am, to work in 3 public schools today, therefore, this is the only time I can write; the most important reason is there are too many feelings in my heart, I must get up to record them in my computer, otherwise, when I write as usual on the weekend, I will not be able to record all of the things in a letter or an article. :- )

How to say? From Saturday to Tuesday, what I would really like to say can be summarized to be two words: Moved and Respect.

Sep 24 (Chinese time Sep 25), afternoon, I attended a lesson by Dr. Huajing Xiu Maske, who is the Director of Confucius Institute at University of Kentucky (she is the lady with me on the first photo), first time, I learned and knew how American Chinese teachers work in USA, how they make so much effort to help the local people to learn Chinese language and culture.

If saying at that time, the strongest feeling in my heart was to be moved, then, yesterday, Sep 27(Chinese time Sep 28) after I worked with a local American art teacher Mr. Adam Craft and an American Chinese teacher Mrs. Xuelian Lei for whole of the day, in my heart was full of the respect to the local American teachers, so that I cannot help getting up in the early morning to record what I have seen and thought at this time in USA.

To be honest, as a guest in America, when I got 17 invitations to have Chinese traditional art demonstrations in the local schools since Sep 23 to Sep 26, in my heart there was really a little bit pride. However, when I made sure that I would have 8 demonstrations on Tuesday in the school of Mrs. Lei Xuelian, then to visit Dr. Huajing Xiu in her office on the same day, I did feel a little bit scare for the too much work load, so that I canceled the appointment to visit my American art mentor - Dr. Bill Booth’s house, and then to have a dinner with his wife together on Monday, to have a long sleep for 8 hours, to save my physical strength to meet the 8 classes; meanwhile, I suggested Mrs. Lei to combine her 8 classes to be 4, every one from 37 minutes to be extend for 74 minutes or moved a half of her classes to Monday. However, Mrs. Lei said that she wanted to all of her students to have an equal opportunity to touch Chinese culture and to paint something in person, even though the time would be short for them, also, the art classroom cannot filled 3 classes at the same time since the students of Mr. Adam Craft would be with hers together.

Therefore, after visiting the deputy head of her school with a big smile, we worked according to the original plan.

You cannot imagine how tight the work was done, group and group students came into the art classroom, and there was no any rest time between of the groups, except the 20 minutes for lunch. Until the 6th class, I had almost not known what I was speaking and my legs were soft, in case my music teachers had taught me how to sing, then I could get a short breath when I was singing the poems on my paintings... :- )

Do you know? Before I went to her school, I thought it would be a one-off job, and then I knew, it is her and all of the other elective course teachers’daily life in her school. Every day, they work on 8 classes as I did and Plus the 9th lesson for the homework of their students.

Oh my God! In May, 2010, when I had 5 demonstrations in Seymour R-II Public School in Missouri in one day, I thought that was the maximal work load of the local American teachers, right now, I just realize that I was wrong.

So, in the early morning, when I opened my eyes, I could not help thinking of that Dr. Bill Booth had told me that when he was a professor in the university, he taught for 9 hours each day; and my first American professor and the associate dean in College of Business Administration at Missouri State University ? Dr. David Meinert told me that he worked for over 90 hours each week... Wow! It is really full of the respect in my heart to the local American teachers, professors and all of the educators indeed.

I am thinking, in this world, there are thousands and thousands of parents want to send their children to come to America to accept the best education, there are so many students include me have come here to improve ourselves, however, how many of us have known how the local teachers, professors, tutors are working for us? When we are enjoying the benefit that the most advanced education system is/has giving/given us, be in the happiness for our children or ourselves have gotten this or that degrees from a western country, most of the time, we are proud of ourselves’ effort, how many of us know or have thought that how our teachers, professors, instructors and faculty had done for us?

To be honest, this is the first, I thought of this; this is the first time, I realize that all of the parents, no matter in China or in the other places in the world, we should have more respect to our teachers, professors, instructors and faculty in the educational organizations.

Maybe we should found an International Teacher’s Day some day in the world, to appreciate and to thank all of educators and the people who are working in the education fields.

Anyway, as a common Chinese, a student who have gotten my own education in 8 universities in China and in USA, a parent of a student abroad in Australia in 1 hight school and 2 universities for 9 years, I would really like to say Thank you, my (and my son’s) teachers, professors and the entire faculty who has educated, directed and helped us in our growing up road, I do wish all of you good health, long life and happiness

With a grateful heart, now I attach some of the paintings that the local American students painted in their short 37 minutes in my demonstrations (includes the time I talked something about Chinese paintings sorts and sang a song that I created for Chinese poem ), hope to bring you a big smile.

This letter will be sent to you from my computer system automatically. If you would not like to get it, please write to me, I will delete your email address from my mail list.

I am just a student on Art of Painting, Music, English and Management, to work on the web site in my free time. I would really like to do a few things with what I have learned to make this little web site to be an Electronic Bridge of Inter-Art & Cross - Culture Exchange, Chinese Language Learning & Friendship Making. To help the others while to improve myself.

I would 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
Sep 28, 2011

comments powered by Disqus