【20161111】我最喜歡的故事“我可能不會愛你”

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我小時候看過很多童話故事,看得膩了,對這些老掉牙的故事,一聽到就很容易猜到結局。你不要誤會我。我不是在批評童話故事。聽童話故事對小朋友來說不止是一個樂趣而已,讓他們培養自己個性的好辦法。當然關於怎麼算是好人,現代的社會還有很多爭議,一些童話故事在現代人的看法下也已經過時了,但是那些童話故事並沒有失去價值。大人跟小朋友都可以在這些童話故事用現代人的看法來判斷,反省,思考。

我今天想寫的故事並不是關於童話故事而是我非常喜歡的一部偶像劇劇。聽到偶像劇的時一般回想起那些沒有內容的肥皂劇,都會覺得那些肥皂劇都是另一種現代的童話故事,傻女孩遲早都可以找到她夢中的白馬王子。有人覺得這些肥皂劇除了讓女人做白日夢,其他什麼價值都沒有。其實我以前也有這種想法。但是後來我覺得不要什麼事都只聽別人的評論來下結論。我已經看過一些偶像劇,有韓國的,由美國的,有大陸的,也有台灣的。我覺得有一些很有意思。很多人因為認為那些電視劇沒有真實性所以覺得沒有價值,我倒覺得下這種結論不是太草率嗎?文學一般有兩種:虛構文學跟非小說。電影也有很多類型,例如:動作,超級英雄,科幻,等,那些不是虛構作品嗎?大家之所以對這種電視劇又很低的評價是因為很多人認為這種電視劇只適合那些喜歡甜蜜情節的愛哭的女人而忽略這些電視劇的內容。談到連續劇我非常喜歡一部台灣偶像劇叫“我可能不會愛你”。五年前,很多朋友向我推薦這部電視劇。可是那年我也覺得偶像劇很無聊,更別說那時候我不喜歡林依晨,於是直到去年,因為被這部電視劇的插曲吸引,我才看這部偶像劇。電視劇中的故事很簡單。女主角程又青是一個三十歲的熟女。男主角李大仁是女主角從高中到大學的最好的朋友。他們彼此認識十五年,一直保持好朋友的關係,對對方的想法都很了解。經過一些事情,已經跟比人談過幾次戀愛,他們考慮彼此的感情,從朋友變成情侶。故事雖然很簡單,但是編劇很巧妙地把故事變成更精彩。編劇不只是在男主角跟女主角的關係中刻畫他們的個性,也讓他們在跟劇中的某一個人物互動過程中表出自己的個性。程又青跟李大仁都有優點,也有缺點,讓·觀眾可以從他們的個性中看到自己。有朋友跟我說世界哪有人跟李大仁一樣好,所以覺得這部電影不太好。我卻覺得這種想法有兩種理解。第一,我覺得很多人看偶像劇時帶著重男輕女的想法。比方說,他們都覺得能嫁給男主角是女主角的好運氣。那不是老掉牙的“男怕入錯行,女怕嫁錯郎”的傳統觀念嗎?那些人不只看到男主角的優點而沒發現女主角的優點。第二,依我前面提到,我們沒看見的事情不一定不會發生的。如果世界上的作家不擁抱可能性,只怕我們沒有那麼多精彩的作品。這部偶像劇當然難免有缺點。讓我不太滿意的就是它的大結局。程又青最後認清了她對李大仁的感覺而決定跟她的未婚夫悔婚。我看那一段時,看她跟她的父母對話就被這段台詞感動了。我蠻期待看程又青向她的未婚夫道歉,承認她對李大仁的感情,勇於面對這種困難。後面的故事卻讓我失望。程又青準備好後,發現她的未婚夫劈腿,她很機動地說:“原來我們誰也不欠誰。”我總是覺得這樣是不是太簡單嗎?編劇讓程又青的未婚夫當個壞人,讓程又青輕易地逃脫罪惡感,那就是太簡單了,更別說用劈腿的這件事情來比較她跟李大仁的關係,那不是降低整個故事的意義嗎?不過,雖然這部電視劇還有缺點,我還是覺得這部偶像劇很值得看。

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“踮起腳尖愛”是帶我來這部偶像劇的歌曲

[Book] “Listen” (傾聽) by Lung Ying-tai (龍應台)

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It’s now time to listen (*)

Listen to the ones beside you

Listen to the ones on the other side of the ocean (**)

Listen to the ones we do not like, we do not agree with

It’s a pity that I have not met Lung Ying-tai in person.

Actually, I should have met her if I had attended her speaking event “Face-to-face with Lung Ying-tai – Ask Me Anything” (與龍應台面對面 – 文學AMA), held on 6 November 2016 in Zhongshan Hall, Taipei, Taiwan. At that time, I did not care much about missing this event as Lung Ying-tai was any special writer to me but a celebrated writer, whose name was frequently mentioned in a literature workshop I attended when I was at NCCU and whose books are presented right at the center of literature area, near the main entrance of Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi, Taipei. I did not know anything more about her.

It was not until the end of November, 20 November to be exact, that I really listened to her speech out of curiousity. My first impression of Lung Ying-tai is her calmness, her knowledge and her being just. When it comes to “being just”, I mean her just attitude towards audiences coming from different groups. There were hundreds of people attending her event that day, nearly half of the audiences came from China, nearly half of the audiences came from Taiwan, and lots of audiences come from Hong Kong, Singapore, and the US. Given the complicated relationship taking place in the Chinese-speaking world, the welcome of Lung Ying-tai by people coming from these different backgrounds and political regimes is not that easy.

And amazingly, serendipity took place again. By the end of November, while struggling to write my final report with the topic “Which adjectives should be used to describe Taipei?”  I listened to the recorded video of this event and found a very nice answer by Lung Ying-tai. Answering a Chinese student on her favorite cities in China and in Taiwan, Lung Ying-tai made a nice comparison between Taipei, Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore (From 1:01:50).

Her description of Taipei as a worth-living city for its nice preservation of the tradition regardless of the economic development strikes a chord with the way I felt about Taipei. I then paid more attention to her book when visiting bookstores. “Big river, big sea – Untold stories of 1949” (大江大海-一九四九) should be the most famous book of hers, in which, Lung Ying-tai wrote about the 1949 Civil War and the escape to Taiwan of supporters of Kuomintang. The book has been sold over 100,000 copies in Taiwan and 10,000 copies in Hong Kong in its first month of release but discussion of her work was banned in mainland China following the book launch. (See more here) Other famous books of hers were The Wild Fire (野火集), Dear Andreas (親愛的安德烈).

The book I bought home, however, was “Listen” (傾聽), published in April 2016. “Listen” is a collection of Lung Ying-tai’s speeches delivered in various places in the world, from Peking University to Hong Kong University, addressed to MBA candidates to graduates from medical schools. She told about how conflicts between people speaking the same language  yet living under different political regimes, reflecting her idea of the modern world where the conflicts should be solved by peaceful discussion on the basis of mutual respect, not on the basis of power. She told about the importance of a true and fair history as a means to resolve conflict and connect people on our way towards development. She shared with the future civil servants about the necessity of learning Literature, Philosophy and History, shared with the future doctors on the importance of learning Literature as a means of understanding the value of patients’ lives. She expressed her concerns over the undermining of traditional value and historical sites of Hong Kong driven by corrupted government with greedy corporations in the name of “economic development”. She emphasized the need of preserving old buildings as a means of storing the memories of the community, connecting the past, the present and the future. She criticized our current emphasis on the success story of globalisation but ignoring the ones who are left behind in the globalisation wave and urged for our attention towards the issue of inequality. She wrote about the importance of embracing local traditional value, challenging the “progressive” ones, who thought that only the Westerners’ culture is worth preserving. She shared about how civic education is taught in German education system so that the young ones are taught to be aware of the changes in society and being an active driver of changes in society. What I can see throughout her writings is the consistency of support for the government for people and support for diversity. The ideas brought out by her are not totally new but she learns how to persuade the audiences by reminding them of the old songs, the old customs, providing with examples of the beautiful yet familiar thing like the old-styled convenience store of our grandmother, the traditional customs for worshiping Mazu in Tainan, raising our awareness of the importance of preserving our own culture, of being an active participant of society, and the necessity of tackling inequality issues.

I started reading her book on 21 November 2016, in my final week at NCCU. While reading the book, I am often amazed at how her thoughts frequently strike a chord with me and how it aligns with what I learnt in Taipei on old building preservation, on democracy. And then I found out that Lung Ying-tai used to be Taipei’s first Cultural Bureau Chief (1999-2003) and as Taiwan’s first Culture Minister (2012-2014) and she was the one who initiated a lot of movements to preserve the old buildings in Taipei where I have been to like Taipei Artist Village, Taipei Story House, Qidong Poetry Salon or Li Kwok-Ting’s Old Residence. Perhaps I am the one who can be easily brainwashed or Lung Ying-tai, along with other Taiwanese writers, cultural critics are so good at making the others believe in their idealism.

Coming back to “Listen”, I personally think that this book, while mainly addressed at Chinese-speaking population in the world, is accidentally written for Vietnamese people as well. Her writing on the importance of a true and fair history, her writing on the consequences brought by the vandalism in the name of economic development is perfectly written to Vietnam’s current situation.

Other than the aforementioned reasons, I do feel that “Listen” is really a meaningful title. We have heard somewhere that we have only one mouth to speak but we have two ears to listen but as far as I know, listening skill still seems to be the most difficult skill to lots of people. When I came back from Taiwan, lots of people asked me about how it was like in Taiwan. For example, when I said that I felt that Taiwan is really a progressive and democratic country, few people really want to listen to how it is like when I said “progressive and democratic”. Some, in an effort of proving that they are the ones who know everything, will immediately and conveniently jump into conclusion that well Taiwan is a pro-America country so it is democratic. Some will simply not care, assuming that Taiwan cannot be as good as America or some European countries so I do not have much chance to speak more about what I really felt during my time here. So my experiences in Taiwan, from an Asian country, not Japan and Korea, are not worth listening. If I described the same thing but relocated the place of experiences to the US or Europe or Japan, it would be more likely to be welcomed. Perhaps being brought up in our education with limited diversity has limited our way of obtaining knowledge. We are given too few possibilities and then easily idolised a model without considering other models. We blindly idolised the diversity promoted by the Americans but few really wants to understand what makes diversity a need or they even limited such diversity by solely worshiping the American without having a look at the other cases of the world. We dare not listen to the ones who come from different backgrounds with you, we let our mind filled with prejudice and not willing to listen to the others’ ideas. And as Lung Ying-tai shared in the introduction session of the book, it is the lack of mutual communication and respect that leads to the unnecessary conflicts in our world. Considering the whole mess happened in our world in 2016, this book is really an inspiring one that reminds us of the very basic attitude to life, which is “listen” and “respect” and reconfirms our belief in a better world where everyone’s voice will be heard.

What makes the book more interesting is that while you read the book, you may track the original speech on Youtube. What I really feel pitiful is that the book is written in Chinese so it will be accessed by only Chinese-speaking people. For the ones who do not know Chinese, you may visit these below sites to grasp better understanding about her:

http://www.chouscfoundation.org/bulletin/blog-post/culture-language-and-tradition-set-the-foundation/

http://www.chouscfoundation.org/bulletin/blog-post/lung-ying-tai-stirring-a-small-river-small-sea-in-singapore/

http://news.hoasen.edu.vn/en/936/news-and-events/speech-professor-lung-ying-tai-faculty-graduation-and-prize-presentation

Building a Democratic C onsciousness in T aiwan: An Analysis of Lung Ying-tai ’ s P olitical Essays Over Three Decades (1984–2003)

For Vietnamese readers, you may read one piece of writing by Lung Ying-tai (Long Ứng Đài) that has been translated into Vietnamese.

http://vietnamnet.vn/vn/giao-duc/doi-thoai-cua-nguoi-me-lam-bo-truong-voi-con-trai-253399.html

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Note:

(*) Original text:

現在是傾聽的時刻了/傾聽自己身邊的人/傾聽大海對岸的人/傾聽我不喜歡,不讚成的人)

(**) The ones on the other side of the ocean means people coming from the other side of Taiwan Strait or the ones from China

 

For 2016 and 2017

Of course, when it comes to describing my impression of 2016, there is no doubt that it is Taiwan that helps shape most of my experiences in 2016. There are still lots of stories I want to share about what I have seen and felt in Taiwan, therefore, you may expect that there are still a couple of entries popping up under my Project “Fragriver in Taiwan”. My three months in Taiwan is more than a journey abroad but a trip to back to basics, to have some explanations for some of my own concerns, to be humiliated by my own ignorance and to learn to embrace intellectual humility.

Why intellectual humility? It sounds pompous, doesn’t it? Or kind of buzzwords that ones use to make themselves look intelligent? When it comes to intellectual humility, it would have been difficult for me to understand what it means exactly if I had not spent my time in Taiwan last year. During my time in Taiwan, I sometimes felt uncomfortable. I was not comfortable when realizing that I used to criticize some ideas shared by my father and then I was myself persuaded after reading more and experiencing more in Taiwan. I was not comfortable when realizing how I turned my back on things I used to care about and now wondered about what I really did when I was at university. I was not comfortable when realizing that I could be wrong at even things that I used to think that I was familiar with.

However, I have to get used to it. I have to admit that I can be wrong. I have to get used to the fact that the world is big and there are lots of things remaining unknown to me. I have to learn to be prepared for being humiliated more in the future for my ignorance. And I have to learn that being intellectually  humiliated is the rude yet effective way to remind me that never being satisfied in my quest for wisdom.

So it was about 2016, it was uneasy yet it is worth an experience. How about 2017?

Lots of people asked me how I felt about coming back to Vietnam after spending three months abroad. I found it not too difficult for me to reintegrate to the messy traffic, to drive motorbike, to be tolerant with people pitting or littering on the street, to breathe this polluted air, to see the old Hanoi day by day destroyed by the rude giant corporation with their big yet ugly buildings and apartments. Admittedly, I did feel extremely disappointed. However, I used to feel disappointed about it even before departing for Taiwan  and was highly aware that at least Hanoi got worse day by day during the last 10 years. What makes me feel much more difficult is to get acquainted with conversations. Maybe I am wrong again. Perhaps it is not wrong at all for people worshipping the giant corporations that make their money without paying much attention to environment. Perhaps it is not wrong if people do not care much about how Hanoi’s environment quality has been deteriorated. Perhaps it is not wrong if people think that these concerns are just more far-fetching than concerns about how to make their ends meet or how to have an impressive photo in a high-end restaurant. It is not wrong that each person has his own preference. It is just wrong that I belong to the minority. I do not mean that the minority is of better group than the mass. I do not want to condemn the mass for anything. I just want the minority’s voice to be heard as well.

It sounds pessimistic to start a new year like this, doesn’t it? Given that it is an ordinary human emotion, I have to learn how to embrace it as well. At least, I am now more aware about the good, the bad and the ugliness around me and learn that lots of young people are taking actions towards these ugly things surrounding me. And at least I have more ideas about how a good life to me should be. To run a gamut of emotions from enthrallment to disappointment, from optimism to pessimism, from doubt to hope is not really good for my emotional health but if it may lead me to have a better knowledge or kind of realization about life, it should be worth a try. (Perhaps I am wrong again but it should be okay when I learn to embrace it).

So 2017, be brave!

【20161108】越南文字

對我來說,世界上最奇妙的發明應該是文字。我真的不能想象在洪荒時代,人類怎麼想到用文字記錄我們的思想,我們的情感,然後發明了一種很奇妙的溝通方式。如果世界上有一種發明讓我佩服,感動得不得了,這種發明應該是越南的國語字。為什麼國語字對我來說是一個很棒的發明呢?所以我想跟大家分享關於越南國語字的歷史。

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如果想知道越南國語字的重要性,我們要先知道越南文字的歷史。很多外國朋友去越南旅遊看到寺廟貼著的標語都會問我:“這是不是漢字?古越南人會講中文嗎?”越南語是南亞語言系統的一部分。越南文跟老撾文,緬甸文,柬埔寨文,泰國文,等地區有關係,跟中國話的關係其實沒有很親密的。越南文經過悠久的時間跟中國人來往才受了中文的影響而產生了一些共同點。關於越南文字的故事是另一件事。在我們的歷史上,我們的確曾經用過漢字,但是根據一些語言學家的研究,用漢字以前,古越南文曾經發明過自己的文字·。現在也存在一個假設,就是一些中華文化可能是從古越南文明來的,比如說易經,風水,算命等。越南在歷史上被中國殖民了一千年,所以古越南文字被漢人消滅,傳到現代的古越南文字特別少,所以關於越南的古文字,現在很多越南語言學家還在爭論。

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受到了中國殖民時代的影響,漢字變成越南科舉的官方語言。那時候,只有貴族家庭,當官的人才懂漢字。有人會問我:“那你們的祖先如果看得懂漢字,他們可以跟中國人講話嗎?”對這個問題,我的答案是:“不”。像日本人有“漢和”,朝鮮人有“漢朝”,越南人也用我們的方法來讀漢字。這個方法叫“漢越”。但是,越南文有很豐富的詞彙,“漢字”不能夠用來表達全部的越南詞彙概念。所以越南人創造“字喃”來記錄越南話。“字喃”是借漢字來配合造出一個新的字。在越南的封建時代,曾經有一些皇帝推動用“字喃”為我們的官方語言。很多越南名人也用“字喃”來創作文章。但是“字喃”比“漢字”有更多筆畫,更別說藥學“字喃”應該學過“漢字”,所以“字喃”沒辦法在平民中普遍。

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“字喃”-斷長新聲 (Truyện Kiều – Bản chữ Nôm)

“國語字”是現在越南文的書寫方法。“國語字”以拉丁字母為基礎。關於誰創造國語字,很多語言專家還在爭論。“國語字”的起源應該是從十六世紀(1533)。那時候,很多西方傳教士來傳播基督教。為了學習越南文,他們用拉丁字母來記錄越南話。經過很多西方傳教士跟越南人的努力,付出,耕耘,越南字越來越完整。對越南文國語字有很大的功勞的人是一個法國人,叫亞歷山德羅(Alexandre de Rhodes)。1651年他主編國語字的第一本越南-葡萄牙-拉丁辭典,一本用越南國語字書寫的聖經,一本越南文的說明書。那時候國語字只在基督教徒中流傳。在法國入侵越南的時候,把越南變成法國的殖民地,為了傳統的目的,法國殖民當局推動用國語字的教育。一些愛國的越南人y因為意識到國語字的便利性及對解放越南的重要性,認為用國語字可以提高大眾的知識,提倡愛國的精神,改革社會而支持讓國語字普及。1945年,越難得到主權的時候,為了解決文盲的問題,意識到國語字的優點,胡志明推動用國語字作為越南的官方文字。

關於越南文字,最近,在越南有一個爭議,就是在學校應不應該推動漢語學習?有一些專家說學習漢語可能讓越南人更了解了越南文。雖然不能否認很多越南文的詞彙是受了中文的影響,可是我們不需要學漢語才能了解越南文。如果要了解越南文,我們可以考慮學漢字,不是漢語,也要學習字喃。另一方面是這種想法不但造成學生更大的負擔,而且如果不清楚地說明,很多越南小朋友會誤以為越南文是從中文來的。這是一個天大的誤會。

 

【20161021】博雅書院

主題:選擇一個有益的事業來贊助

當技職教育佔上風,博雅教育被忽略

當單領域學習受歡迎,跨領域學習被冷落

健康的博雅教育跟乾淨的空氣一樣重要

大家需要跟博雅書院一起找回教育的原點和目的

quote-let-us-tenderly-and-kindly-cherish-therefore-the-means-of-knowledge-let-us-dare-to-read-think-john-adams-205489

“因此請讓我們溫柔跟仔細地欣賞知識的功能。讓我們勇敢地閱讀,思考,交談,和寫作。”

~約翰。亞當斯~

原文:Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.

~John Adams~

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“閱讀讓人完整,溝通讓人做好準備,而寫作讓人公正有理。”

~弗蘭西斯。培根~

(原文:Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.

~Francis Bacon~)

“教育”在牛津辭典中的定義是“一個啟蒙的經驗。”

(Education (Noun): An enlightening experience (Oxford Dictionary))

你曾經問過自己學習的原因嗎?當我剛上小學的時候,我的老師問我們:“你為了誰而學習?”大家就大聲地回答:“為了我自己。”可是,從來沒有人問過我們:“你為什麼要學習?”對很多越南人來說,我們之所以學習是因為我們想考上一所好中學,好高中,然後,找到一份好工作。大學畢業以後,找到一封工作以後,有很多人都覺得人生的目標都消失了,大多數25歲的我們面臨“四分之一危機”。有人開始讀碩士,讀博士,或者拿到專業執照,希望能解決這個危機。但是很少人認真地問自己:“我們為什麼要學習?”

大學畢業後,我在一家會計師和稅務事務公司工作,當一個稅務咨詢。我在大學就讀經濟學,只學過基本會計學,沒學過關於稅務的科目。跟朋友一起聊天時,我常常跟大家開玩笑:“我們在大學什麼都學過,但是沒有精通於什麼領域。”跟我一起加入公司的有一些會計系畢業生,他們對會計很有深的了解,可以容易地說出越南會計系統的項目及代碼。當時,我一看他們這樣厲害,就對自己產生懷疑,懷疑自己是不是在大學學得不夠認真。過了一段時間,我也慢慢地掌握會計跟稅務的基本原則,發現有一些問題不必背起來,碰到時只要查一查。對我們的工作來說,最關鍵的還是對新知識有好奇心,思考能力,閱讀理解跟寫作能力。當時,我再一次問自己:“我為什麼要學習?我應該學什麼?”

當我心裡充滿了懷疑,我意外地碰到愛斯丹的名言:

“對一個人來說,學習咨詢並非重要。那樣的話,他根本不需要上大學。因為他只要讀書就多好了。博雅學院的價值不是放在學更多咨詢,而是鍛煉腦部可能想出了不能從書裡面讀到的問題。”

quote-it-is-not-so-very-important-for-a-person-to-learn-facts-for-that-he-does-not-really-albert-einstein-52-56-26

(原文:It’s not so important for a person to learn from facts. For that, he does not really need a college. He can learn from the books. The value of education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts, but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.

~ Albert Einstein~)

現在在越南,每年高中畢業生考試后,媒體上的報道都提到高中畢業生對文學,歷史,等博雅學習科目冷淡對待。很多人都批評現在的教育方法,但很少人敢承認博雅學習之所以被忽略是因為大家都覺得這些科目對將來沒有用。所以現在很多學生對世界跟國家的歷史不清楚。更嚴重的是道德觀跟價值觀面臨崩潰的危機。然後,每年,媒體都提到大學畢業生不能找到工作的狀況,認為技職教育才能解決這個問題。但是,大家都看不到真正的原因是學生沒有思考跟解決問題的能力。世界不停地轉變,知識跟著世界的轉變而不停地改變。所以最重要的還是擁抱對新知識有好奇心,鍛煉思考跟解決問題的能力。在這種情況下,健康的博雅通識教育是一件非常重要的事。我並不是否認技職教育的重要性,然而博雅教育也需要被重視。我相信對一個人來說博雅學習,包括文學,美學,文學,歷史學,等會培養一個人的視野,提高一個人的跨領域智能,獨立思考能力,自省能力,審美能力跟人文及環境關懷能力。在博雅書院,我們以哲學,文學,歷史為主軸,以增強閱讀,思考,交談,和寫作能力為重點。我們舉辦很多系列活動,例如:講座,讀書會,寫作工坊,辯論比賽,學術論壇,等等。我們希望能得到大家對博雅學習的關心跟建議。如有建議或想捐款,請隨時聯繫我們。

tingliduxie

 

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這是我在政大華語教學中心的週末報告之一。那時候,我在臺北參加了很多系列活動關於歷史,哲學,文學,覺得很有意思。我也看過書一本小冊子,小冊子裡面說明書院臺北的一個計劃。這個計劃以“這秋天適合告白”作為主軸,以“聽,說,讀,寫,感,動”對臺北告白。我向來非常喜歡“聽,說,讀,寫”這些關於語言的活動,對文學,哲學,和歷史很有興趣,所以一看到這本小冊子,一種很衝動的感覺就很快地湧滿我的心裡。雖然上面所寫的可能只是妄想而已,有人可覺得我太不實際的。但是,誰要管那麼多,還是先把我所想象到的理想世界寫下來,誰知道有一天我會實現我的這些妄想?

關於這件事,我也曾經寫過一些英文文章:

Learning for learning’s sake

A cause to support

參考:

  1. 書院臺北:“這秋天適合告白”

http://2016taipeistory.wixsite.com/readingtaipei

https://www.facebook.com/Taipei2012/videos/1040628459380041/

  1. 思辨教育:姚仁祿 (Eric Yao) at TEDxTaipei 2012
  1. 為什麼我們需要博雅教育?

http://tedxtaipei.com/articles/liz_coleman_s_call_to_reinvent_liberal_arts_education/

Serendipity, again

Today is the last day of my Chinese course. Perhaps it has been such a long time since I last felt that melancholic. Although I have been prepared myself for the end of the course even when I had not set my foot in Taiwan, I was still very sad on knowing that our class finished and my classmates and I would set apart from each other. That feeling when the ones spent times with you everyday except for weekend during the last three months said goodbye to you and you even don’t know for sure when you can see them again is really unbearable. I feel myself lucky to be a member of my class, knowing lots of friends who share with me same interest in languages, especially Chinese. Such experience is specially wonderful to me given that in Vietnam hardly have I had any friends who learn Chinese, let alone love learning Chinese. It was also my first time to get along with people coming from such diversified backgrounds. Admittedly, there were lots of moments where I felt it quite complicated and felt myself weird and “ignorant” almost all the time. There were some moments I felt quite confused and even the idea of “quitting” once came across my mind (actually I don’t know how to quit, perhaps it was merely the desire of keep time frozen and everybody will forget all such weird actions of mine :P).

Recently, when thinking about my time in Taiwan, the word “serendipity” often comes across my mind. “Serendipity”, in its simplest definition, refers to “finding something good without looking it.” When I first decided to apply for Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, I did not expect to learn about lots of things other than Chinese language. I would have not been that interested in politics or international relations or history should I not have classmates who possessed great interests and in-depth understanding in these fields. Perhaps I would have not known about how almost all nations in Asia are so closely interrelated to each other in terms of politics, economics, history, culture and language. Perhaps I would have not known anything that are above-mentioned if I had not been studying in Taiwan (a nice country with its special history, politic regime that still remain unknown to many people) and if I had not been 24 (I often think that if I came there two years ago, perhaps I would not have learned that much).

Considering this experience of mine “serendipity”, I also mean I did not expect that I could learn a lot about myself like that. Before coming here, I also thought about giving myself a three-month gap, separating myself from my job and my comfort zone (Personally I think it is not quite comfortable), asking myself question about who I am (other than a tax consultant, a white-collar worker, a typical Vietnamese 24-year-old girl, a commuter that struggles with heavy traffic one hour on a daily basis to reach her office, etc.), questioning on lots of my plans (pursuing a Master, continuing my journey with CFA, etc.) Admittedly, my answers to these questions are still kinda vague, however, I feel happy for having dedicated my time here with my love for this language, totally cutting myself off from what identified me before and at the same time learning about other identities of mine that I have ignored for such a long time. I was also given with chances of understanding about my own country, my own language, my own people, and my own mother tongue, feeling proud and uneasy at the same time.

This three-month period of studying here was a chain of serendipity itself, in the sense that  it ceaselessly made me surprised for accidentally bumping into something which helps me make sense the others. My teacher introduced to us a nice comic book on the old education system of Taiwan when I tried to make sense the movement of removing  Chiang Kai-shek’s statue at my university, I came across a magazine dated 9 years ago that focused on Hong Kong in its 10-year anniversary while looked forward to the movie named “Ten years”. My three-month period of studying here is likely to be filled with lots of random hints and while it provided me with lots of connections, it challenged me to connect the hints myself, filling the gaps by activating my curiosity. There were times that I admitted to a close friend of mine on how I felt depressed on realizing how ignorant I had been all the time. Fortunately, the happiness of getting enlightened overrode the sadness caused by self-awareness of personal stupidity in almost every case.

I have to finish this entry to come back to luggage packing-up. I will enjoy this beautiful island another two weeks before flying back to Hanoi. Today, when we joined our final class, saying goodbye to my teacher and each other, we both say that “後會有期” or “See you next time”. Who knows how serendipity may help us come across each other again in the future?

【20161019】越南的現在交通情況

近幾年來,為了回應交通的需要,政府已經建造了很多交通工程,提倡很多政策來解決很多交通問題。比方說,為了減輕都市中的交通壓力,河內市政府也蓋很多陸橋暫時來解決塞車的狀況。河內捷運也在施工中。政府也推出新的交通法希望解決違反交通規則的情況。提到越南的違反交通規則問題,越南在世界上應該排第一名。十年前,在越南,一個美國教授在過馬路時被一輛摩托車撞到,他的腦部受了重傷,現場人馬上把他送到醫院去急救。他在河內的一個醫院經過兩次腦部手術。動手術後,他昏迷不醒了一個月,所以他的妻子趕快把他送回國。雖然他後來也醒了過來,可是他不能正常地走路,講話或者讀書。經過很漫長的治療,他才慢慢地恢復過來。今年八月,他在美國去世。在越南,每一次報導提到越南的交通情況,我們都會以他的故事為例,提醒大家違反交通規則的後果。現在雖然越來越多年輕人意識到遵守交通規則的重要性,但是違反交通規則的情況仍然很普遍。最普遍的違規行為是闖紅燈,超速,酒後駕駛。最近,交通部推出新規定,提高罰金,實施更多處罰的辦法。我真希望隨著交通工程的發展,新法規的執行及人民觀念的進步,越南的交通情況會比以前更好。