Snippets of Life

If asked to pick one image to capture your life as an International Graduate Student at a U.S. university, what image will come into your mind?

It is a very hard question.

People back home, for me, people back in China, who haven’t experienced it as deeply, have had such a hard time understanding me when I tell them. They simply could not believe it.

Even people who work here, right on the U.S. soil, day in and day out, also had such a hard time understanding my story. That is impossible! They reacted. How could your entire dissertation by stolen and sold and your entire identity be stolen and not one U.S. government agency is doing investigation?

But I am leaving that aside today. I have talked about it for such a long time I am getting tired of the topic myself.

The image that I would use to capture my life at Purdue is like this: You are thrusted onto a battlefield, fighting a war you do not know and certainly you do not want to fight, with bullets and cannons rain down on you from anywhere, and then there are rows and rows of blades you have to walk through, if you are lucky enough to survive the showers of bullets. Furthermore, there are countless traps hidden here and there, so you need to keep alert of not falling into any of them.

Consider yourself lucky if you still have a little bit of you left, at the end of the journey.

Does every student have to give top-notch performance as if they were James Bond in a James Bond movie?

A movie is only for entertainment while your life is real.

Class, does anyone of you like to play James Bond in real life? pleas raise up your hand. But before raising your hand, be fully aware you may perish at every danger that jumps into your face.

No one?

Class is dismissed. Good-bye. No, farewell.

Oh, I forgot to tell you. I am only a student who has worked half time and studied half time at Purdue University, for eight years. I sincerely apologize if I do not have thrilling spy stories to tell, which may have disappointed a lot of people whose imaginative power is either too developed or too underdeveloped.

Suddenly I remember what a writer wants to say when she says there once was a person glowing with light. Then some angels got angry so they chopped up this glowing person. Therefore, we became little mud balls, each possessing a song. And we try to find another one who has a song.

The lonesomeness!

The chopping angels! The Devil!

All Rights Reserved. Xianfeng Mou. Feb 2, 2011.



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