Snippets of Wishes

Well, the calender has turned another year. I am happy that year is over.

Just now dreamed of another undergrad classmate. I think she is doing fine. She is right now, one of the pillar faculty members of the college we both graduated from. That is my guess of course.

She just had a daughter when I asked her to help me. So right now her daughter might be around nine or ten.

I have been cut off from my friends, those who knew me and perhaps still believed in me. Many have changed. Life keeps changing the players on its battlefields.

*****

Now that I am far away from the undergrad years. I feel like telling my undergrad students that they need to treasure the friends they have acquired and maintained during and before their undergrad years. After that, the nature of lots of things changes. After that one seldom finds friends like those. The adult world is 95% utilitarian. It is not that you do not find true friends. People put on so many colors and masks they seldom take those masks off, so it is hard to tell, even if you know and feel what it is.

But then most of my students are American or international. I do not think they particularly appreciate such telling. So most of the times I just keep silent. Nobody can live life for another. Perhaps everybody has to go through those processes before one can reach a certain level of understanding.

*****

After experiencing what I have experienced, all the good, the vicious, and those gray areas in between, I have learned not to take life too seriously. Just let things unfold. I think I used to take things, or take life, too seriously.

I would not take the blame when I did not cause it, but somebody else did;

I refused to be framed up when the vicious designed to ruin me for reasons they themselves only knew;

I insisted one event has been a positive thing when it has been persistently viewed and categorized as a most negative, even pernicious occurrance;

I insisted “It Is” remains “It Is,” not “It Is The NOT;”

I insisted I be treated as an individual human being, not an amorphous, vague concept lumped together as the Chinese, or the Chinese women, or the Chinese women who cannot write, cannot speak, cannot understand, cannot earn her master’s or doctoral diploma without resorting to extra-academic methods (extra is used in the sense of extracurricular), or shall I use meta-academic methods?;

I insisted that I knew I was not born in America, and that I did not have a lot to grieve over the fact that I did not grow up with an innate sense of inferiority or worthlessness;

I insisted that all the students gave A+ performance in all the classes I had taught, and ended up not being liked by some, if not quite a few;

I insisted that somebody who have been twisted severely in their life do not twist me out of shape, or put me in a small rectangular tin box, because I do not fit in that box;

I insisted that a student did not have to jump out of a tall building and commit suicide for the mere sake of writing a dissertation, for the very reason of writing a dissertation is the joy of discovery, not a way to cultivate misery that the student has to use the rest of his life to recover from;

I insisted protecting exceptional female students when I found them attacked by their male classmates and their teachers who are supposed to instruct, to lead, and to protect;

I insisted my spotless bank records, credit records, and phone records remain spotless despite massive and complete undermining and undercutting from multiple sources;

I insisted my spotless academic, social, and personal reputation remains thus;

I insisted when a person of authority speaks, they speak with conviction and carry out what they promise to do as they have promised;

I insisted my colleagues do not come forward as friends when they show themselves to be wolves only interested in robbing me of what I have and pushing me down into a pit, or preparing traps for me;

I insisted I have the opportunity to decide what I like to do for my career, not mindlessly following the blind herd over a cliff that promises a life full of unhappiness and misery and spitefulness at other people’s happiness or sense of fulfilment;

I insisted I do not have to dumb the students down by treating them as four to nine year olds who can only be motivated by candies or games, for I believe college education is college education where one is trained to learn, think, and speak critically and independently;

And finally I insisted that a truly internationally trained academic shall work towards bringing cultures together, increase mutual understanding, bit by bit, and seek to bridge people and cultures together, not sowing discords, hatred, and driving them further and further apart, leaving nothing but animosity in between.

*****

But the crude and cruel reality seems to offer no ground for my modest wishes. We live in especially hard times, when conservatism and closing-off seems to shape and dominate cultures in many places.

Those are my bigger and larger wishes.

I also have a few smaller, personal wishes.

I wish between the writer as a human being and a book, the writer shall be treated as being more important, for the simple reason that without the writer the book will not be finished. Another reason is if a book gets written, most probably it also indicates its moment has arrived. If it is not written by this one writer, someone else down the line might get the idea and write it. There is absolutely no need to kill the write to have the book, as people say to kill the goose for the egg. Even if it is a golden egg, it is still just one. If the goose was not killed, it might give three golden eggs.

I also wish I do not have to be a consummate liar in order to make a living. When I say something is what it is, it is what it is to me. I do not have to be interrogated and crossed examined by Interrogation Experts for endless ages in order to ascertain I indeed am what I say I am. I do not have to be put through the water-boarding process in order to make certain people feel they indeed have got the truth. If what I tell does not agree to many people’s expectation, most probably there are something amiss with the expectations, not my words or actions.

I only went to bars twice during eight years. On both occasions some officemate brought me over. The poetry reading experience appeared good, but the smoking was unbearable. I had to change my entire outfit after one such experience. Since I did not like getting stupid, so usually I am not into drinking heavily when I am not in my own place. I do not smoke. I do not do drugs of any kind, therefore those who practice high-danger activities usually will not find me attractive. My wish remains so.

After my life-threatening experience of writing one dissertation, in the new year I do not wish to write a second book. Perhaps for a long time, I do not have the wish to writing books again. I still haven’t recovered from the birthing pain. And I wish to keep it at bay for as long as I can.

After the hard eight years of academics and the unforgettable experience of writing that dissertation, I do not wish to over-intellectualize my life. I want my life to have an adjustable balance, not 15-16 hours of work per day in a nonstop fashion. I am dying under this kind of arrangement. Between my personal life and intellectual life, I want them to be roughly 50-50, not 5 to 95. If somebody only wants a thinking head that engages in sophisticated and philosophical thoughts, I would suggest them kindly go and find a high-powered machine, a computer of some sort, and leave me with a way to live.

I wish to find a husband and have a child. I do not wish to wait till I become biologically challenged to undertake that task, when I am in high forties. I do not have very high expectations regarding the husband. As long as he is a decent man with a decent career with a decent salary and he loves me, that is pretty much it. As to the thunderbolt experience, I am still in the process of recovering from it. A fog still hangs over my head or my mind. But I do not like to be studied like a rare specimen from outer space, and have my mind examined every second of the day.

I assure everybody I am just a normal human being. Maybe I have moved too close to a source and got burned to ashes. Perhaps I shouldn’t have moved too close.

Well, all in all, I want a break. I want to have some life. I do not wish to run my brain like it was a control server that never stops working. I assure everybody who thinks otherwise that my brain is just a human organ. I need some rest.

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