Monday, September 12, 2005

Wisdom Doesnt Necessarily Come With Age

I don't usually discuss individuals in this blog, but there was an incident this weekend that has riled me so that I can't get it off my mind for even a moment.

Sunday afternoon, apparently angry at his pen having run out of ink, one of our teachers hucked a marker at the head of one of our Chinese TAs.

This might be bad enough, for it is certainly behavior uncalled for in any situation, but the thrower was a teacher who had already worn many of his relationships with the Chinese staff thinner than Saran Wrap. And the TA is probably the friendliest and most beloved staff member, Chiense or otherwise. And it was done in front of a class full of impressionable young children.

Seriously: what the fuck?!

I don't care how old you are, what experience you might have, where you may have been; maliciously pelting your coworker with any object over such a trivial misfortune is plain wrong.

Ever since I got here it was evident that a rift between the foreigners and the Chinese existed. Ever since I got here I did everything I could to try and teach the Chinese about foreign culture while simultaneously teaching the foreigners about Chinese culture. I had hoped to foster understanding. Now it is all going to be flushed down the drain.

God, I'm angry. If I was back in the US, I wouldn't be as angry as this, as I'd have a life outside the office. But here in China, its all we got, and this issue is going to die hard.

This incident is far from over, and I know tomorrow will bring another chapter in the drama, but for now I need to return to my couch and resume the fetal position I have adopted all day as my stomach is going haywire.


At 3:56 PM, Blogger wolff said...

EVERYTING I need to know I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.

These are the things I learned..

Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life.

Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup - they all die. So do we.

And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and sane living.

Think of what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.


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