Road Is Just Under the Feet-- Shirley's America Travel Diary 115 & 506th Friendly Greeting - Dec 6, 2015

How are you? Are you still enjoying your weekend or you have entered a new week already?

On my side, I have finally completed all of the assignments of the training at OTC except I could not resolve a problem. Anyway, I would like to finish it and to start many other work. After all, I will have to go to the Park Central Library and to do some Goodbye jobs next week, will go to Ava to have an art work on Dec 12, will continue to attend my English lessons and will continue look after the remold work in my house. Therefore, it sounds like it will be impossible for me to visit so many people whom I should go to visit before I leave for China?

Therefore, I am thinking whether I should change my return ticket and delay to go back China, or I should go back China in time and then to come back to the US earlier?

To be honest, in my mind, I know clear that I should stay in the US during my house is remolded and decorated; I should visit so many people whom I have had no time to visit yet. But, in my heart, I do scare the upcoming cold in the winter in the US and I so miss my warm city in China and my family in Australia. After all, now, in Shenzhen, the temperature is about 24 C degree ( 75.2 F degree ) and in Sydney, it is summer... :- )

However, I need to make sure something relates to my art dream before I leave for China.

Anyway, in the past a week, there are really something touched me so much and made me to think:

-- Once more I found how my English instructor Mrs. Fran Giglio (she is on the second, fourth, fifth ... photos)has the huge passion for her teaching and their cultural delivery, so that she can make every student remember what she has taught us about American culture and language forever.

Can you imagine? Thursday morning, Dec 10, as soon as I went into the door, I was surprised at the red in the classroom. Most of students and Mrs. Fran Giglio wore in the red clothes. Then at the break between the lessons, she offered each student a red clothes, a Christmas cap, and many interesting things. At once, the little classroom was full of the atmosphere of Christmas. Mrs. Fran Giglio chose me a beautiful red sweater and a Christmas cap. Something I did not think was, Mrs. Fran Giglio even drove her car which contained so many beautiful and interested stage properties into the campus: Christmas trees, Santa Claus, pine branches, a slogan “Happy Holiday 2015” and even you cannot imagine there was also a ladder. By her good directions, we quickly made a good background on a wall of the campus, then a beautiful lady appeared on time to take some Christmas photos for us...

I am sure, no matter an old student of her or a new student as me, all of us will never forget this special American cultural lesson before Christmas truly comes.

-- I am impression on how American education paid more attention to improve their students’ ability instead of purely offering knowledge. This is reflected in the training at OTC. I could never think, my tutor would make some troubles in my jobs and the test was just to resolve the troubles that she has put into my work... In the past 6 weeks, I have completed about 30 assignments, almost all of them tried to train us the actual work ability. But in all of the these jobs there is a core, that is to service for students.

Students-centered and all of the things service for students sound like one of most important characters of American education.

To be honest, when I met my first American professor at Springfield Airport, MO August 28, 2008, looked at how he carried students’ luggage, drove for us and sent every student to his/her dormitory, I thought he was a driver. Until next day in our orientation, I was so surprised to find he was in fact the Associate Dean of Business College of Missouri State University, Dr. David Meinert. Then in his first lesson, I heard the words which I had never heard before: When students paid their tuition, they were our customers, we should service for them as same as we service the other customers...

At that time, I was a student to listen to how professors thought they should service us. Now, I am a trainee to learn how I should service my future students. Our first training assignment was to say Hello and Welcome to our students and to give our email address, telephone number and connection way to them, to prepare to service our customers– Students ahead or at anytime they need. Then our last second assignement was to make a vidoe of instroctors, let our students know our faces and once more emphasized that we would be here to help always...

Compare with Chinese education style and how many schools and professors do not offer their telephone numbers or emails to their students, or do not want to be "troubled" by their students, I am really impression on American educational style, the opening minds and the sense of service of their professors and instructors.

I do feel this is something quite important that Chinese schools and eductors should learn from.

-- No matter in my training or in my English lessons, I do have learned a lesson “ Detail decides every thing” Many times, just because of a letter, a word or a number, resolve is totally different.

Do you know? In my study process, sometimes I needed to use the data on my own web site. Then I just found a big mistake in my own statements in many introductions of arts. I had started my full time art study life in Beijing from fall semester of 2010 to July, 2015. But, for I was too busy or for I was too careless, instead of reading the former content carefully, I just simply corrected the date of every statement which was written in 2009 or 2010 to be 2011. Then the meaning of the statements were changed to be “until 2011, I was still a part time student who taught myself...” But the fact is “ since 2010, I have been majoring in Chinese Painting at two China art college as a full time student.”

Then I suddenly understood, why one of my work partners thanked me to send my resume to her, but she did not respond me when I just offered the links of my web site to her.

Also, I am thinking whether it was one of the reasons I was rejected by the only American University which I had applied an opportunity to study a master course there.

-- I am touched by myself for I have worn through one pair of my new sport shoes for I had walked too much. Since I came to Springfield August 21, instead of buying a car for my travel for several months, as long as I could, I walked to my destinations. At the first, I walked to Park Central Library for about 80 minutes daily often. After finishing my lessons in Immaculate Conception School and St. Elizabeth Anne Stem School, instead of calling a Taxi often, I have been walking for about 90 minutes daily for having my English lessons at OTC.

After going for 3.5 months, I feel my legs quite light. To walk 30 or 40 minutes is just a little cake. So, I am thinking, when I was in China, every night, I had to specially find some time for my walking or running; right now, I am doing my exercises naturally.

Every day, when I walked in the fresh air, beautiful view in the peaceful environment in the sunshine or sunset, my truly felt that I was walking on my road of dream seeking with the age “ 25 ”.

Many times, I could not help stopping my steps to take a photo or a video for a beautiful flower, a cute leave or a lovely squirrel. A long, meandering but hopeful road is just under my feet...

How about you? Do you have anything to share?

Shirley Yiping Zhang
Dec 6, 2015 (American Local Time)

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