Saturday, December 24, 2011

Midnight in Paris, and also in Taipei?

Watched Midnight in Paris.  Nice to see all the streets, buildings, gardens and people of Paris, which left a such etched memories in me when I visit Paris and Prague in 2009.  The movie, by Woody Allen, is amusing.  Via the words of the great authors of the by-gone years, Hemingway said, "As long as the story is honest talked about courage under pressure, it will be a good novel."  How true.  The love theme by Cole Porter "Let's do it" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpaE1zhFXXk , is especially alluring with the warm, fussing lighting used in the movie with old paris in the background.

Of the many dreams I have, living in an artists-centric community and produce poems, novels, photographic, painting, is one that I might just try sometime, maybe in Taipei, or San Francisco, or Beijing, or New York, or just in Carmel....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Challenges and Eternal Optimism

Troubles everywhere. Bought a Seaside property at low price but condition is bad.  New roof, stove, windows.  Stock dropped significant because of Europe debt crisis, venture is over budget and running short of cash reserve. Key employee is demanding higher salary. New master program at Monterey Bay is about to start but no funding or support from the state government.  Collaboration with China is promising but still facing storming water.  Young brother is moving to Silicon Valley.  To do list growing fast...

But maybe because the cold crisp air, or the new leather jacket, or precisely because of all the challenges, I felt energized and in high spirit today.

The eternal optimism is a blessing and a curse.  It is contagious, it boost the morale of the people around me.  It turns the impossibles to possibles.  It makes me exhausted often but waking up every morning asking for more.

Move forward and seize the day.  Since not many have left, might as well make it exiting!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spending time helping the new univ

New office, "Faculty Room" in the startup university, where I spent many Saturday preparing and reflection how to make my lecture as engaging and effective as possible.  Of course, some time I even infuse a little bit of humor, since my class is at the end of Sat afternoon, most students are tired.

Helping the new university is exciting but can be controversial, since it is not accredited yet.  However, I remember my early days at the CSU, before it was accredited,  so many people, including other universities, were willing to help out.  I felt it is my obligation to help other young colleges and universities.

The room is bare but comfortable.  On the way to San Jose, I often treat myself a luxury item: Peet's Coffee, extra hot venti Macchiato with soy milk, the will sustain my work to the whole day, since I usually have meeting during lunch hours.


The door opens to "Monterey Classroom", which is the large classroom in the San Jose campus.  It is scheduled every weekend, so I have to close the door.  It felt good to occasionally hear students laughter from the classroom.

I stay in the faculty room, still 3:00 PM, teach my class in the Monterey Room till about 5:30 PM.  At the end of the class, I often get so excited that I can not sit down and have to walk around the block.

Overall, a bare room, simple furniture, provide me a quiet corner in the hectic Saturday at the new university.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Busy academic rhythm

During the summer, days are filled with travel, summer Programs, friends and relatives. It was hard to imagine how to get back to the 14 hours work days. Now it is in the middle of the busy semester, classes, breakfast updates, ITCD meetings, iied meetings, faculty reviews, fund raising, lectures, emails, many articles to write... It is hard to imagine how do ease into winter break. I enjoy the rhythm of academia, even often it drives me crazy.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Has been sitting next to Yuan and Fang for the last five years listening and coaching them every night.  Enjoyed the music, their talent and the precious time together. From twinkle twinkle little stars to Chopin Waltz e-minor.  From humid summer, to bitter cold winter.  No more.  So sad, so sad.
Have to give up something along the years, swimming, cello, tennis.  Each time is hard, but this one is the hardest.

Living the dreams

I used to just nod politely saying "just fine", when people ask me "how are you doing?".  I decided to change that. ...