2008-04-28

T3h Awards Ceremony

Today, was the English Department's annual English Honors Ceremony, here at IUP. Every year, my Mother asks, "Why don't you submit something? We'd like you writing to be recognized when we come here, too."

Well, in an attempt to stifle said questioning, I submitted four pieces for the expository, creative non-fiction, poetry, and innovative work categories. I placed as follows:

Expository Writing - Second Place
Corporal Punishment: Old Thinking
(Taiwan's Dilemma)
originally titled:
體罰: 舊式的想法 - 臺灣人的困境

This is a piece I wrote for my public policy class at Tamkang University, Danshui, Taiwan. In it, I note the previous policies and arguments for the use of corporal punishment (mainly focusing on schools, but in a broad sense as well), and then countering it with the other side of the coin. It is complete with models and charts arguing proofs for different argumentative methods (e.g. causational relationships, authoritative influence, modeling)

Creative Non-Fiction - Honorable Mention
Bleach and the Immaculate Submission

If you know anything about my experiences in second grade, then you basically know what my paper is about. It is a piece on isolation and the feeling of being in a world fully enclosed by walls. Deeply personal, it explores my early years and delves into dream analysis and color symbolism.

Poetry - Second Place
Perceiving Difference in the Nascency of a Year

You've probably seen this collection of poetry before...especially if you read my blog entry by the title of the piece. If not, basically, it is a collection of poetry based on my observations of autumn. Click the previous link to read it.

Innovative Work - First Place
Hypertext Hemispheres: Writing as a Multimedia Venture

During my teaching writing class this year, I created a hypertext-based writer's portfolio. It contains a menu that alternates from Chinese to English, and various offshoot pages that lead to my photography, past writings, bilingual song writing, and my own philosophy on writing. It is like a website, but more like my brain in electronic form (if it isn't already just flowing electrons contained by gray matter and other bits of fleshy material).

So, there you have it, my awards in a nutshell. I was also recognized as an Outstanding Senior with a GPA above 3.5 and as an officer for Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honors Society).

Now I am at work, about to finish a movie and clear the projector of film...cheers, all.

2008-04-12

In a perfect world

I dwell on things, quite often, in fact, so it is no surprise that what happened in my Structures of English class Thursday has found some spot in my mind from which to make me constantly think about it.

As is usually the case, I do not know the name of the girl, but there is one girl in the class that I oft times find myself in opposition to. It isn't that I don't like her, I suppose that our ideals just conflict sometimes.

Anyway, we were talking about immigration in broad terms and, somehow, arrived at the juncture of "do they or do they not take up too much space". Well, I am of the opinion that they do not. Now, it is here that I will tell you what really irked me and then I will expand upon my immigration position. You see, it is easy to counter an opinion by saying, "Yeah, in a perfect world," but it shows a complete lack of understanding of where the speaker is coming from. Yes, many things could happen in a perfect world...and I am not one that believes our world is perfect; it is far from it.

Now, I proposed that, instead of complaining about lack or resources and immigrants taking up our land, that we only take what we need; this is where I heard, "Yeah, in a perfect world, maybe." She continued, later on, to argue how she loved her large yard and being able to have it, but I don't think people understand what I am trying to say.

Sure, if you want a huge yard and lots of land to use for purposes of leisure and "beautification", you are taking up, and making useless, land. A very small percentage of the Earth is arable, usable land, and there are three main reasons, in my opinion, as to why we are low on resources:
1) We use entirely too much
2) We do entirely too little
3) Political/elitist greed

The last on has to do with a lot of the more impoverished countries you may think of in Africa and Southeast Asia. Granted, the Western powers do not help the situations of these countries (even though they do provide aid), but the leaders of a few countries keep near all and give near little; it is sad that a vast majority of resources and land is, in every case, owned by a small minority of people.

This brings me back to my proposition, that we use entirely too much and should only take what we need. I am guilty of taking too much, I know this, but I have taken my own small steps in trying to help.

Little things go a long way, and if everyone keeps saying, "Yeah, in a perfect world," there will never be a perfect world. There is no solution in the foreseeable future to the plights facing this Earth, but we all need to open our eyes and quite complaining about each other; instead, we should learn how to help each other...it is that simple.

Fortnight and seven days ago...

Righteous! Wait, I should be more dignified...(or at least more formal).

'twas a fortnight and seven days ago that I, in good mind and humble spirit, set forth on a path of ambassadorial righteousness, a road leading to a beacon...

OK, maybe that is too formal.

So, if you don't know, I applied for the Formosa Foundation's Ambassadorial Program in Washington, D.C.

I have been accepted into "The Program". 太好了!

Yes, I am extremely excited, mainly because I will be able to talk Taiwanese politics and relations with people who share the same interests. (Don't take this as meaning I won't talk to any of you about it and annoy you with the subject, because this will most certainly continue).

On June 16, by some means, I will arrive in D.C. to check in and begin my two week program. Right now, however, I am taking Amy Lin's advice to "enjoy my time before 'the Program'" (apparently, it is an arduous, yet rewarding experience). Oh, and Ms. Amy Lin is the program director at the Formosa Foundation, which bases far away in El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula...also known as Los Angeles.

Can't wait...to meet everyone...fellow ambassadors, organization members, politicians, and speakers.

2008-04-09

Found Poetry

We've talked about it in class before as an activity that we could use in our English classrooms. Actually, I have not had much experience with "found poetry", or the act of creating a poem by rearranging words or phrases. Well, today, our professor (of writing class) had us each take a pile of ten words on pieces of paper, along with ten blank pieces, and make a poem out of them; the blank pieces were for us to write ten additional words. Anyway, this is the poem that we made...I think it turned out pretty well.

2008-04-05

A mission for Taiwanese moviegoers

(*note: for my request, see below first paragraph)

So, recently I've been trying to find a Taiwanese movie to show for the Organization for Study Abroad's movie night; I chose an NC-17 film entitled 色, 戒 (Lust, Caution), but every time I go to rent it for movie night [this Wednesday], they don't have it. So, instead of buying the movie for $20 at Wal*Mart, I've decided to try and find another movie. After searching, and searching, and searching, and searching, I discovered that Taiwanese movies are impossible to find in the U.S. So, maybe we'll end up watching The White Dragon (a film from Hong Kong).

As for my request:
While I was searching, I found some interesting sounding movies, but am completely unable to find them here with English subtitles. Thus, my Taiwanese friends, I task you with, hopefully, finding me the following two movies (complete with trailers!).

練習曲 (Island Etude)



最遙遠的距離 (The Most Distant Course)

So, please, if you could find these movies for me I would be most grateful. Thanks!

2008-04-04

Keith Olbermann...the Bizarro O'Reilly

You know, I've been watching a lot more cable news (mainly MSNBC) than normal, probably because of the primaries going on right now. By far, my favorite show on any of the three big news stations (MSNBC, CNN, and, if you can consider it a news station, FOX) is Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Simply, he is like the Jon Stewart of MSNBC, but instead of parodying the news, he delivers it precisely and with wit. I'll present to you one of his reports, this one about one of Bush's many idiotic speeches (this is the one where he claimed that he didn't know about the $4/gallon gas prices predicted for America).

Oh, and sorry...it is YouTube, so I can't help that the sound is slightly off tracking.



Seriously, Bush is still the leader of our nation? For some reason, it leaves me with little hope that anyone but McCain will be our president...why? Because, somehow, enough of the US was stupid enough to vote for Bush not once...but twice!

Anyway, the above was a great example of Keith Olbermann's show and if you don't watch it...do so, soon.

8pm EST with reruns at 10pm and 12am

JOB! 工作!

Behold! Ye of little faith! I have crossed the line of financial stagnancy and entered the Hall of Income. Yes, I have a job! Not only that, but I have a job at a movie theater! No, Melissa Muenz is not impressed, she has worked the big screen...but I, I have seen the light [presumably from a projector] and have walked toward it [also, note that it is the good light, not the bad "death" light].

If any of you are in Indiana, come on by the Indiana Theater on Philadelphia Street...popcorn is totally only $1...$4 all you can eat.

Indiana Theater Schedule

2008-04-02

黄翔 Select

For the time being, my Chinese class has abandoned our traditional book learning for the deciphering of poetry. Not only that, but we are reading the poetry of 黄翔 (Huang Xiang), a poet who, while living in China, had been imprisoned multiple times for his writings (because he would not promote the Chinese Communist Party in his writings (another example of Chinese oppression)). While in China, he started an underground writers' society, and currently lives in the US in exile. He used to live in Pittsburgh up until, I believe, last year, when he moved to New York. The following are the three poems we are reading in class under the grouping title 我 黄翔 (I Huang Xiang).

Read more about him here: Writing Himself Home: Chinese Poet Honored in Pittsburgh.

1
我是一次呼喊
從堆在我周圍的狂怒歲月中傳來

2
我是被粉碎的鑽石
每一顆碎粒中都有一個太陽

3
我是我 我是我的死亡的訃告
我將從死中贖回我自己

1878年10月11日
民主牆揭幕日

I will attempt to translate them here:

1
I am the single shout
Encircled by the rage of months past

2
I am the crushed diamond
Within every piece a sun

3
I am me, I am my own obituary
I will redeem myself in death

11 October 1978
Unveiling the wall of Democracy

The Forbidden Kingdom (功夫之王)

I know, I know...I just made a post about the possible horrors that could emanate from the screens playing the new Speed Racer movie, but there is a whole new movie I am concerned about: The Forbidden Kingdom. Have you heard of it? It starts Jet Li (李連杰) and Jackie Chan (成龍)...yes, you read correctly, Jet li and Jackie Chan. I am pretty sure the action will be great, but the one thing that bugs me is the movie is going to be in English.

Many of you will be ecstatic because you won't have to read subtitles, but this will more-than-likely be painful for me. Simply, it won't be realistic. Yes, it is true, a lot of movies aren't realistic, but you want me to feel like the movie takes place in some ancient Chinese "forbidden kingdom"...and everyone is speaking English!?!? I don't know...check out the preview and decide for yourself.