Literacy and Liberty


Investigative project
Posted by: , November 7, 2018, 4:14 pm
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After reading Nikole Hannah Jones’ stories about African American education problem, I start to think about education problem that Chinese immigrants group is currently facing. The textual analysis of Mother Tongue that I worked on shows how the stereotype that American society puts on Chinese immigrants limits their possibility of live. For example, Amy Tan mentioned that she was steered away from literature and almost walked into engineering area by her teacher and boss. In my investigative essay, I am going to start with talking about Chinese immigration trend and the phenomenon that Asian American group emphasizes education so much. According to the survey, Asian American group has to make the most effort but the least probability of getting into Ivy League school comparing with other minority like Latino and African American. In my essay I am going to explore the reasons behind this problem. Other than that, as increasing number of Asian kids staying in states after years of studying, I would compare the difference of Chinese education system and American education system. The political, economic and cultural reasons supporting these two systems would be interesting to write about as well.



visiting a memorial
Posted by: , October 3, 2018, 4:56 pm
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I visited former home of Lu Xun in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province during summer. Reading articles of Lu Xun is a literature event that every middle school student has to go through; however, at that age I was so confused about his words and always had a hard time understanding his spirits.

 

Lu Xun is the pioneer who called for an end to old customs and ideas and led new cultural movement in the situation of Chinese society being self-isolated and feudal. After he watched educational film of the Japanese-Russian War, he made his mind to step into the field of literature while realizing his major of medicine could not help Chinese out. He chose to use pens to against guns from then.

During the visit I recalled that his book mentioned on the desk in the old-style private school he went to, he engraved the word “早”, which means “early” in English. However, I noticed his house is in fact quite closed to school, about 50 meters. Someone explained to me that Lu Xun had to take care of his sick father while helping mother dealing with housework, and was always on the run from pawnshop to hospital. Once upon a time he was tardy and scold by teacher, he engraved “early” on his desk to remind himself.

When I returned home I decided to reread those books by him from middle school. I was trying to refresh my memory so badly. Those dusty books, with messy notes on, gave me new understanding of this great man. One quote from him has now become one of my standards: “The brave man would go against strong if he is angry; Only timid man would go against the weak if he is angry”.



Ink marks
Posted by: , September 21, 2018, 5:48 pm
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Grasping tape with one hand, and a pen with another which has some ink stain on, I was trying to get used to this new tool. My second year in elementary school started with panic. Our Chinese literature teacher asked everyone to buy a pen and use it in the next four years instead of pencil. “Using pen to write can be helpful to improve your handwriting,” she said, “you need to start practicing it.” Then my mom and I showed up in the pen store, and got me the first pen that I still remember clearly to be a dark green color.
I decided to write something down as I went back to home, fully expecting myself to produce some artistic Chinese words,  just as those great writers did. However, pen was harder to handle than I imagined: heavy, not erasable, and tearing up my work for uncountable times. Once I made some mistakes, I tried removing it by sticking tape on paper and peeling it off really quick. My homework during that time was like a severely afflicted area after earthquake or tornado, described by my mother. Whether notebooks or textbooks, there are holes of various shapes, ink dots, and some pages even got teared apart.
As a kid, learning how to write with pen is like my first step toward maturity. Think about how careful, patient, and concentrated an elementary student has to be for not making any mistakes. Moreover, I was told to take care of my first pen by completing “daily duties” of putting cap on, filling ink in, and trying not to drop it when using it. As a kid my hands were always dirty and smudged but my work was more appealing day by day.
I gradually lost habit of using pen when I got into high school and be more likely to use ball-point pen. However, learning to write, that made me struggle so much in the past, is now considered as one of the best, not erasable moments of my childhood, just like those ink marks.



Spotlight
Posted by: , September 5, 2018, 4:56 pm
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These days all Chinese are talking about the same news that a famous Chinese billionaire, Head of JD.com, got arrested on suspicion of rape in August when he was studying in Minnesota. 

However, lots of people in China assert that this billionaire, Qiangdong Liu, might fall into a trap, which means that there might be some kind of disagreement about money happening between this girl and the billionaire when they were together. Even though facts of this case have not been published by Minneapolis police department, suspected pictures of a woman have been spread all over internet, and people kept making insults about her body line and appearance.

This case deepened my understanding of gender equality. When I went through the news and comments below, one of them saying: “she looks like that type of girl”, I was disgusted and humiliated, and even realized how much work is still needed to be done to talk about gender equality in China. Without knowing the truth, people made conclusion so easily and arbitrarily based on how much money  this billionaire has. And people judged this girl to be prostitute just by a suspected picture posted online by anonymous. I glimpsed the future and the direction I am heading to. Nowadays press in China is controlled by government and power, and the public opinion can be easily directed and suppressed once something serious happened. I think truth needs to be exposed, put under sunlight and talked about in a right way.