Go Forward --Shirley's America Travel Diary 127 & 543rd Friendly Greeting - Dec 5, 2016

Hello,How are you?

This is my 34th day in Springfield, MO in my 7th American travel.

In the past 34 days, besides I have finished my new book; met my possible boss at OTC and some staff in their HR department, went to the Social Securitas Department and worked on something relate to my work in the USA; I have kept working on my assignments as a candidate for my MFA of Chinese National Academy of Arts… and the hardest thing I am suffering now is that I have sprained my ankle twice while losing my Chinese cell phone, so that I have to work on everything while fighting with the terrible ache…

On the night, Nov 22, I felt ache on one of my knees when I was working on my 84 / 300 assignments, then I felt numb on one of my feet suddenly. I thought it was for I worked too much on the book since I often worked for about 18 hours each days, sometimes for 24 hours before I sent it to the publishing house before the deadline. However, about 3 days later, the ache focused on a shank and an ankle. It reminded me that I had sprained it near the art gallery of OTC on Nov 21. But quickly I was getting better after a good rest.

Therefore, on Nov 28, I walked to OTC in the morning and walked back in the noon. Then near the evening, I sprained my same ankle second time in the campus, so that I had to sit down by the road to call a Taxi. Maybe just at the time I sat down, my Chinese cell phone slipped out of my pocket or it was lost in the first Taxi which drove me to OTC near 4:00pm?

It is a cell phone number I have used for 20 years, since 1996! There are more than 1300 connections and a lot of personal information inside and it is a Global with 2 channels. With so much worrying about, I called the Taxi company to ask them to check the first Taxi, and then I called a friend to help me to call my Chinese cell phone to tell someone picked my cell phone to give it back to me. Then I called another Taxi to go to At & T to open the International Call for my American cell phone and to call back China to stop my Chinese cell phone number. Then I worked until about 3:00am to input the information of my connections into my American cell phone.

In case I had found several Wechat Groups before I came to the USA, as long as I fond one friend, he or she invited me into the groups, I could quickly find back a group of connections. So, now, I have just found back 86 /1300 of my cell phone connections, but I have found back 30% of my Wechat connections.

If saying, to lose the cell phone has brought me some financial lose and pressure on my psychology, the harder test is the ache on my shank and ankle which has brought so many difficulties to me.

Anyway, as an optimist who is a little bit “silly”, just worrying about it for a short time, I told myself that is a good experience which the God arranged for training me a stronger volitional quality. So, quickly, I was calm down and re-arranged my new jobs in the new situation.

-- Since I cannot stand or walk well, I would use the time to improve my English. Therefore, now, I have been a student of 4 online English courses -- oral English, Grammar, Reading and Vocabulary. Since Nov 28, I have had 5 Oral English lessons, 3 Grammar lessons and 2 Reading lessons and 2 vocabulary lessons.

-- Since I cannot stand with two feet as usual, I put my hurt foot on a chair and stood by one foot, while I massaged the hurt one as soon as I felt too ache, with a time double or 3 times than usual, I completed the first little painting and my 85/300 assignments last night. Even though the ache was just like something drilling my foot and leg, I encouraged myself : Try to keep as the traveler in your painting – no matter what would happen on your future road, try to go forward and never give up, you would certainly meet a bright tomorrow…

Even though I can not get sleepy or I am awaken several times in the nights for the ache, in my heart it is full of the delight and happiness for I could be finally able to paint… :- )

With an optimistic life attitude, I am sure, I will be certainly ok on my foot and on my painting along with the time. After all, to learn Chinese painting, does not only for learning some art technique, but also and more important is to improve our morality and behavior, to be a better person...

Since I came to Springfield, especially during I fought with the ache, there are so many good American friends gave me their hands:

-- First of all, I would like to thank Mr. John Walker and His Wife: It was he who came to my home to fix the glass that had been removed from one of my windows on Nov 5, 2016; It was he who invited one of his friends to check my floor which was installed in the Spring, 2016, but has been swell right now and fixed three solutions for resolving the problem; and also It was he who found me in the difficult situation and drove me to buy some ankle stabilizer to fix my hurt ankle. Also, it was his wife who would like to take me to see a doctor.

-- Secondly, I would like to thank Mrs. Carissa Griffin: Besides she had picked up me at the airport, it was also she who picked up me in the night after I re-fixed a new cell phone at At & T in Mall after I hurt my ankle and lost my Chinese cell phone.

-- Thirdly, I would like to thank Mr. John David Lawson: Besides he had arrived the painting material which I had sent to the USA from Beijing, it was he who connected his friend who is an expert on floor to check the situation in my house and made a solution quickly.

-- Fourthly, I would like to thank Mrs. Kat Allie who is the head of Fine Arts and Humanities Department for she did not only decide to hire me, recommended me to their HR department but also it was she who checked all my certificates at the first, and directed me to fill the tables…

-- Lastly, I would like to thank Ms. Staci Burton and Ms. Carolyn Cantrell of the HR department of OTC, for their friendly treatment and patient help at the first time I went to meet them…

Although it is the 7th time I came to the USA in the past 8 years, this time, I do have some new feelings about America and American people. Here are some of my impressions on them and I do think there are many things worth Chinese and China to learn or think:

1.Once more, I have seen how American people created a new wonder on electing their highest leader with their own wishes. I am lucky enough to be in the USA in 2008 and in 2016 and witnessed how American people made their own choices. If saying last time, I was so moved for the textbook about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led American black people to get their own right in 60’s was still in my memory clearly, American people chose a black resident just 50 years later; then today, I was more surprise for American people have chosen an excellent business man of 70 years old as their president.

All of these are impossible in China (a male manager must retire at 60 years old and a female manager at 50 or 55; it is impossible 100% for a businessman to be a national leader) and I do think it is something which is worth us to think.

2.I do see a little part of the transparent style of American financial system and why American education is on the first class level in the world. Because I have seen where my tax which I have paid for my house will be used on and I am impressed on the biggest part would be used on a local school.

As a former senior manager, I had paid my Chinese individual income taxies for many years, but every month, I could see only a number in my salary list but I had never known where the money will be used at all.

3.The wonderful service and service attitude of the civil servants and the service industry.

-- It is the first time I myself to go to the Social Securitas Department and to talk with two officers by the window No. 7 and then by No. 4. What I have felt was very kind and friendly just like talked with friends. They did not only give me some good advice orally, but also printed some document for me and even encouraged me to try to do my best on my dream seeking as some friends … :-)

-- I myself almost forgot I had signed a contract with a company which would like to check my house yearly for preventing the termite, but as soon as I arrived in Springfield, I got a letter inform, then an mail appointment and then a gentleman came to my house and climbed down beneath of my house, in the so narrow crawl base, he crawled and checked everywhere an inch by an inch, with his so responsible service, I am really confident with my house in a safety.

-- I am so surprise that just for changing a water meter, the Utility Department sent me a letter with 4 or 5 pages to explain when, how and why… really like me feel so well…

Although I am really facing some quite difficult situation, I do feel warm and delight for living a friendly and safe environment. I would really like to do my best to study and to work, try to return so many good people, organizations and the beautiful world with what I have learned and studied…

So, aimed at the situation I am difficult to stand and to move right now, next week, I am going to try to start to color one of my big American culture maps which I have designed and drafted ok with 112 birds in Beijing June and July, 2016 – American State Bird Series with Chinese painting techniques.

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 5, 2016 (American Time)


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