小北的不老歌

Monthly Archive: January 2005

演出和演讲

虽然对北大校长带队来演出这种做法颇为不齿,但是演出本身还是挺有水平的。本想中场休息的时候就退场,结果觉得还挺好看,于是一气看到结束。所有节目都是唱歌跳舞,除了几个民族舞看得有点索然无味,不知所以然以外,其他的还真不错。

北大许校长的英文实在是不敢恭维,还算是在英国呆过的,开幕致词的时候也是照着稿子念套话,估计中国的国情如此,知名学者也不能免俗。可惜北大洋洋洒洒百年校史,出过多少文豪和大儒,曾经激昂文字,指点江山,现行体制下却是理科学者当政,公开演讲时唯唯诺诺,言之无物,有损北大传统的威名。相比之下,同台致词的马大校长Mote,就能谈笑风生,收放自如,很会调动台下观众的气氛。我觉得实在是体制上的差异导致:中国是向上负责制,一个官要向他的上司汇报和负责,所以说话一般都十分小心谨慎,顾左右而言他,或者顺应领导的意思说话。美国是向下负责制,官要对选民负责,会调动人民的情绪,要会煽情,才能得到拥护,而公共演讲的技能,更是在政坛上生存的本钱。

所谓学贯中西,就是说要:对上对下都负责,一个媳妇两个婆。难,但是在国内要做得好又对得起自己的理想,是不是只有这样呢?

又是一场雪

莫名其妙地又开始下雪了。这雪还偏拣周末和节假日下,这个冬天就下了三场雪,都是这样。要是挪到周一该多好,就可以不用上班了。

呆在家里又是没有什么事情做。想上网买点东西,又觉得眼睛累得慌,看不了电脑。想出去走走拍个照什么的,又嫌下雪天冷,于是又开始收拾家里,里外上下都打扫一遍,算是周末扫除中比较彻底的一次。

晚上去学校看北大学生演出团访美表演。有什么好节目不知道,但我对这种做法比较不以为然,有这些钱,就别乱花,帮助些贫困学生多好,把一帮子学生拉到这里来吹拉谈唱一番就树立北大形象了么?但是为了政治任务,还是要去看一眼的。

飞蚊

最近一两年以来眼睛不太好,近视不说,眼睛里渐渐地多了一些飞舞的东西。形状各异,有一点一点的,还有枝杈形状的。上网查了一下,这叫飞蚊症,很多近视眼都有,也有部分遗传因素,不好治,但是也无关大碍。这一两周以来好象更加明显了,会随着眼球的运动在眼睛里沉沉浮浮的,看书的时候有点分散注意力。希望不要越来越严重就好,身体是革命的本钱呢。

Michigan, why, why?

For a very specific reason that I am not disclosing on this blog for all the world to see, I am feeling a little bit repelled by Michigan more and more. I desperately want to fall in love with the school, but just can’t seem to stay that way for too long.

People are getting into Y and H left and right, and I am still not hearing from these schools. I am bumping up the priority of S now to overtake Mich with $$$, and sent my harassment letter to S today as well.

Now everyday my mailbox seems like a treasure island laced with hidden landmines. I want to dig out the gold (and hope there is indeed gold) but am frightened by the possible explosives. What if I get a rejection hidden in the stack of newspapers, credit card bills, scholarship promises from shitty schools and etc? Will I be able to handle it?

So the preference list is as follows:

Y/H > S > Mich+$$$ > everything else.

And screw you Chicago and Penn. Deferrals, yeah right. You guys suck.

Ich spreche Deutsch, aber nur ein wenig

It’s fun to pick up German as a second foreign language. After this many years out of beiwai, where I began my painful journey into the language spoken in the great land called Deutschland, I am learning German, again.

This is the first time I am taking any classes at Maryland outside of Economics and the hard sciences. Moreover, it’s also the first time I am learning a foreign language with the American kids. Since middle school I’ve been accustomed to the way foreign languages are taught in China: play the tape over and over again until one can recite, do well in quizzes, dictations, spelling, grammar, etc. It remains to be seen how different the foreign language classes are conducted in the U.S.

So yesterday was the first class of German 103 Intensive Introductory German. 11 people in the class, not counting the instructor, who was technically a TA: She’s a master’s student at the German department. Short, dark hair and a little flabby, she seemed personable, although often a little too eager to giggle for no apparent reason.

Out of the 11 students, only 9 qualify to be called “kids.” I am easily 8 years older than most of the class, although there’s this middle-age bald guy sitting smack in the middle of the room who is at least in his 40s. He’s a gunner, too. So I am not feeling too exposed.

The first class was fun. There was the customary self-introduction, which went fairly informally and all in English, so we got to know each other pretty well. Some of the kids traveled in Germany extensively. One was born in Germany and lived there until 7, the other had German speaking grandparents but never learned to speak the language themselves. This got me to think that if I stay in this country while my kid is growing up, one of two things can happen: either we leave altogether by the age of 7, which means the kid will probably need to take English lessons all over again, like the guy in my class with German, or, we can stay here indefinitely and make the kid learn to speak Chinese, i.e., the language of the grandparents.

It’s a dilemma that I don’t have to consider now. After all, if everything goes as planned, I will be working in Europe in no time at all and my kid will grow up speaking French, German and English, so all these worries are moot. But who knows.

补发

前思后想,还是把前段时间写的一篇短文给哈佛和耶鲁两校寄过去了。其他学校我就不理会了,但是这两所学校一直不给消息,弄得人心急。心里一合计,还是骚扰他们一下,送去这篇为michigan的darrow scholarship写的东西(稍加改头换面),以表诚意。

两份fedex,又是不少钱。算了,舍不得孩子套不着狼。上次给斯坦福发的薄薄的一份信,fedex居然收我六十几块钱邮费,一看,原来是我诚惶诚恐地填信封标签的时候,手一抖,把重量一栏的0写成了6,于是变成了6磅重的一个包裹,加急快递到西海岸,确实要那么多钱。唉,总是做冤大头。

VC-7

去年在易趣网刚被ebay收购的时候在那里竞拍了一个vc-7,是装在美能达Maxxum 7相机上的垂直手柄兼电池盒。卖主在北京,于是让我爸给他汇钱去让给邮寄到南京家里,老爸却生出个歪主意,让顺路去北京的邻居给捎回来,说是不但免了邮费,还能顺便付款前当场验验货,免得在网上交易被人涮了。

于是,总共八百块人民币的东西,从北京就被带回了南京,在表妹一家去南京的时候,又让他们从南京带回苏州,表弟从美国回苏州,又把它从苏州带回了美国,最后他再从connecticut用UPS寄到maryland。这一通折腾。

在将近半年之后,我竞拍的东西终于到了我的手里。幸好装上以后一切都好用,否则退换都来不及。手柄上有快门钮,前后控制轮和其他乱七八糟的按钮,这样竖拍就舒服多了。手柄的快门钮手感比相机上的要好得多,可能是新的缘故。相机上的已经有点软绵绵的感觉,不十分干脆。

才意识到,有很久都没有在机器里装上胶卷出去拍照了。天气冷是一个原因,另外也是最近为了法学院的事情而烦神,没有兴致。什么时候应该给相机晒晒太阳了,不能总是在家里拿着空拍听快门声音玩。

别了,芝加哥

忐忑不安了一天,因为在网上看见很多人这两天收到了chicago, harvard和stanford的据信。回家一看,信箱里薄薄的一封从芝加哥大学来的信,心里说,不妙。

迅速拆开来看看,叹了口气,原来既不是据信也不是录取,是告诉我“your file is held for further review”,也就是说,被defer了。还好,不是直接了当的据信,心里舒服一点,自尊心没有受到极大的打击,相反,我想,计算出的我在芝加哥的录取几率为30%,结果我被defer了,那么几率为50%的harvard,我是不是就至少也能waitlist呢?然后死皮赖脸地跟人家缠一缠,没准就把我收下了。

还有一封从芝加哥市来的信,是一个叫chicago-kent的法学院寄来的,说要给full tuition scholarship,诱惑我申请。我就在猜是不是两个芝加哥的学校有密谋,一个学校拣剩的给另一个学校送去。

反正两所芝加哥的学校我都不会理会了。随他们去吧。

出动

实在熬不住了,一定要出去转转。本来觉得车子已经清干净了,就不要开出去了,免得雪地里弄得一车的泥。可是坐在家里,刑法通则和案例也就只能看得进去那么多,想接着写写硕士论文却总也提不起兴趣来。成天算计着什么时候芝加哥,哈佛和斯坦福的据信会到。虽说本来录取的希望就很渺茫,但是还是耿耿于怀,希望有奇迹的发生。

于是开车出去转了一圈商店,买了一条裤子以适应日渐宽大的腰身,同时琢磨这个肥如何才能减下去。

大雪封山

又纷纷扬扬地下了一整天的雪,天气预报有一英尺。在家里呆了一天,很无聊。邮递员来了又走了,也没见他送信,网上已经有人报告哈佛和斯坦福的据信了,不知道会不会有我的一份。等也是白等,于是雪停了以后下楼去扫车上的雪。