Courage’s Monologue (The Mission)

I’m Rodrigo Mendoza. Spanish. I used to be a slave trader, a murder and a Jesuits. The first time I arrived at the Upper Rio de la Plata Region, I was sitting on this tree , waiting for Guarani Indians to be caught by traps. Now, I am sitting on the same tree and recall my memory about this place, people who lived here and my own story about courage.

As I mentioned above, I involved in the slave trade. I murdered my own brother because he stole my lover’s heart when I was away from home. I was a person with sins, but I would rather suffer penance than confession. I carried my heavy weapons, armors, helmet all the way and tried to declare that  I would never give in to my faults. However, the journey is not only the torture on body, but also the torture on my soul. When I slipped and fell to the foot of  the waterfall, fear and horror that Indians experienced arose from my heart; when my feet was slashed my sharp stones, the pain that my brother underwent reappeared on my skin.

One night, I closed my eyes. Horror had already brought away my last drop of energy. Cuts on my body were sealed with scars. Stars were shining above my head, comfort me with God’s bless and mercy. When I arrived at the destination, a Guarani Indian put his knife beside my neck. I dropped to my kneels, waiting for the knife wiped my throat.

But it didn’t.

Experience of attending Students’ Summit

On April 8th to April 10th, I attended Sino-Foreign Universities Students’ Summit and I harvested a lot.

On April 8th, we arrived at Ningbo. The warm welcome from Nottingham students made me feel like home. Delegates from WKU, Nottingham Ningbo, XJ Livepoor, NYU and Kunshan Duke University enjoyed a table of delicious dinner together and attended “Run! Delegates!”. During the “Run! Delegates!” we became familiar with each other via games. Delegates were divided into several groups randomly, so we can establish friendship with delegates from other universities.

Since delegates from these universities are going to present their thoughts about two topics on April 9th, my partners and I, who are representatives from WKU Student Government, revised our presentation together. Our president wanted to push me out of my comport zone and made me the one who was going to present. At first, I was not confident enough to take this task. However, I reminded myself that “If there are two roads in front of me, choose the one that is hard to pass though.” Thus, I gathered my courage again.

It is a pity that I didn’t present the thoughts from WKU SG on April 9th because delegates agreed to change the presentation into discussions. However, I gathered many wonderful ideas. The most interesting thoughts are as follows:

Kunshan Duke University – I hope that when people mentioned KDU, they will think of the Kunshan city instead of KUU itself. (They aims at increasing the value of Kunshan community)

The Chinese University of Hongkong, Shenzhen – We have a black board called “Before I Die”. Students, faculties and staffs are free to write down their thoughts on the board with chalks. (This board can help them identify the most important thing in their life)

Besides, I found that outstanding oral English ability is so important. Without it, communication between six sino-foreign universities will become dialogues between two or three universities since other universities’ delegates are hard to follow and express opinions during the meeting. Without outstanding oral English ability, we will soon become listeners instead of communicators and participants.

I enjoyed this summit very much and I long to participate in the next summit. Delegates I met are creative and  thoughtful. Great pleasure to meet them and learn from them! The people I met and the ideas I wrote down are the best gifts that we six sino-foreign universities exchanged!

 

Diary fragments 

Monday (March 21, 2016)
I almost spent my whole weekend on 15 interview questions. Althogh I thought I had presented my efforts as excellent as I could, even I learnt a lot during the preperation and presentation, I strongly felt that I was trying my best to please my professor and the fictionious HR manager instead of enriching myself with knowledge.
You are not who you are, I am not who I am. It sucks.
Tuesday (March 22, 2016)
I kept wondering my future development. Which University and which major should I apply for my master degree? I might dive into English Literature and Art and I won’t be interested in Business and English Teacher (well, I might come back to WKU as an English Professor. Hhh. I am making a joke seriously). My parents care about “rate of return”, in other words, they care about “wether my high cost of education can equipe with the ability to earn money and the possibility of living an affluent life or not”.
What do you think, Daisy?
Wednesday (March 23, 2016)
Endless raining in Wenzhou and it is pretty cold outside today.
What do you care? What do you want? What do you think? What is your goal?
“Oh God, I don’t know.”
I admire those students who have a clear final goal and achived several aims according to prescribed path. On the one hand, I long to become one of them, on the other hand, I am scared to become a classical painting in the frame.

[IDEA] About Communication – Updated 160314

Just like a bottle filled up with water, which can be knocked down easily, I was massed up at the beginning of this week. However, I admitted my weaknesses because of the setback, and I got a chance to reflect my former behaviors as well as my mentality. So…

What are my weaknesses?

The most obvious one is my communication style.

When I was discussing ideas or plans about projects or outstanding questions with others, I tended to insist my opinions in aggressive ways: raising my voice volume, speeding up my pace, letting anxieties appear on my facial expressions and using “but” to combat others’ plans frequently. When I recalled my memories about these conversations, I felt that I was the witness of these “conversation wars”, where no negotiations happened but only win and lose. I was the warrior. I was defeated when my proposals were turned down, and then looked down upon myself, questioned my ability, sank into negative emotions for a long time before I could get back to my feet. What’s more, I often complained about myself, “Daisy, you spent XX days to overcome this defeat, you have to recover sooner!!!”

Although I tried to change my aggressive conversation style, propose a better plan and strengthen my resilience,I was still a fighter in the “war”. I seemed to be more easygoing but I was struggled with stress, disappointment or even anger.

“This was not the conversation I want and communications should not be like this. But…” I kept asking myself, “But what does communication mean?”

What is communication? How can I achieve an effective conversation?

Although I took communication course, learned principles and techniches that can be applied for conversations, I am still a green hand in this field. Now, I myself cannot give an definition or explaintion on this question but I learned from my previous experiences that communication is not a skin-deep battle with other communicators. One of the premise of an effective conversation might be realizing my own characteristics and mentalities. If my current mindsets block my way toward becoming a better communicator, I should fix them step by step instead of criticizing then pushing myself irrationally.

This blog post will be updated once I learned valuable ideas from my own experiences or others guidance. And I hope you can harvest what you are expected by reading this blog post.

Also, I believe that ” Ideas-Actions=S**T “. Thus, I created a action post to encourage myself to communicate with others  and learn from my successes and failures.

Blog – A Tool for Writing Persuasive Essay

Recently, I read Shelley Wright’s Blogging is the New Persuasive Essay. I was inspired by her article because it tackled many problems which  exist in teaching students about writing persuasive essays.

According to Wright, helping students become independent thinkers is essential. Students’ persuasive essays are great evidences for  keeping track of their developments on thinking. However, on their ways to become a better thinker, some students cannot produce thesis statements that can be argued. Also, many students don’t write persuasive essays/articles anymore once they graduated from school.

To solve these problems, Wright made blogs her writing courses assistants as well as students practicing platforms. The following points are advantages of blogging persuasive essays:

  1. less stress
  2. make writing and persuasive thinking a life-long skill
  3. have more potential audiences than academic persuasive writing
  4. interactions on cyberspace push students produce ideas that can be tested/argued
  5. visible progression

I can’t agree more on last three points but I hold different views on the first one and the second.

Take myself as an example. Since I  might have more audiences from cyberspace and  my works are no longer private (not only professor, but also other students in the class can view work), I felt more stressful when I was writing a persuasive article on blog. I experienced more hesitations than writing academic essays. Meanwhile, if we use blogs for interactions, it is important to teach students how to comment others works in a well-spoken manner, and how to answer potential language violence objectively.

Towards the second point, I agree that blogging can develop students’ persuasive thinking skills but I choose to respect students’ present manners. I won’t place blogging/writing as a “more recommended” manner or “think more highly of blogging/writing than other tools”. Some students are good at persuasive speaking instead of writing; some students’ practical actions reflect their excellent persuasive thinking skills, although writing itself is a torture for them. After all, our final goal is to develop the persuasive thinking model. Blogging is only one of the useful tools.

Wake Me Up at Midnight

During the Spring Festival, Wenzhou was bright with sunshine. I insisted that it was people’s happiness that swept away clouds and dusts. Believe it or not, I could even count the stars which hung on the sky above my city during mid nights. Since February 8th, the first day of Chinese New Year of Monkey, I fell into an odd circadian rhythm — I was asleep from 3 Am until 10 Am, awake and tired in the afternoon because of being a governess. When I finished my tasks at 5 pm, bright sunshine and cold wind, as well as hunger, accompanied me on my way home. It was easy for me to fall asleep after dinner. I thought I would sleep through the night but I didn’t.

On February 8th, fireworks waked me up at 23:03. Since I felt uncomfortable with the smell of fireworks, I closed my window and enjoyed the elegant manners of the smoke, which was floating in the air like a fairy in ancient Chinese myths. On the next day, the car horn was loud enough to drive my sweet dream away at 23:15. Since I left my curtains open before I sleep, I could see lights were turned on by residences in my neibourhood. One, two, three, six, eleven, twenty… This was the first time that I thought my living area was like a beauty who was just awaked. She waited for a moment until the car owner came downstairs to turn off the alarm. Then, she fell asleep again, little by little, while lights were turned off one by one. I was amazed by what I saw during the first two days and I wondered if these were presents sent by a secret power to delight me during the Spring Festival. I longed for appreciating more wonderful scenes during the rest of my holidays, so I always prayed towards sky that “please wake me up  at midnight 😌”. I waked up, however, I couldn’t find out scences that impressed me so deeply like what I met during the first two days of the new year. Sometimes I think life may not please me on purpose, but delights me inadvertently. Well, that’s fair. Life is expected to please so many people, especially during the spring festival. She is busy and I understand. 😉