In terms of the election, I’m getting better. The news makes me depressed and worried as ever, but I’ve found a couple small things to help. First of all I helped make a pie, let’s all appreciate the pie.
Secondly, I signed a letter from the Fulbright community to Trump. Not sure how much impact it will have or if he’ll ever see it, but it’s a good message and signing it made me feel better. It’s also cool to see my name in the Huffington Post.
Lastly, I also made a vocab set for my classmates and others to help explain the election to Chinese people. While this Chinese study seems kind of irrelevant compared to the political change in our country, there’s been some little things that bring be back to ground. For example, one skill I’ve been developing ever since I first came to China is the ability to explain an alien culture to someone in language they can understand. This applies to explaining American culture (and political disasters) to Chinese people, sharing Chinese culture with Americans, and even trying to bridge this cultural gap that seems to have split the USA in two. It’s a critical skill that I really want to hone in on now in my everyday interactions.
I’m just now being able to talk about the election from a linguistic and emotional standpoint, and I’m always being reminded how many things there are to explain sometimes. A lot of Chinese people don’t really understand why us Americans are so affected. For them it’s just “oh, you’re sad because your candidate lost,” or ,”why are you so sad, stop being sad, it’s bad for your health.” (That’s their attitude towards a lot of mental illness unfortunately, a post for another time.) I’ve been fortunate to have some really understanding teachers though. For myself and others however, the challenge is getting Chinese people to understand that we’re terrified because the prejudice that endangers the lives of so many Americans is becoming more public and justified in a way. Racism as it is in the US doesn’t quite exist in China. The Chinese brand is so entrenched in public consciousness that it’s “common knowledge” and not viewed as racism. I.E. minorities are dangerous, all Americans are white etc. So they don’t really get these concerns. Again, a post for another time.
What’s proved more effective is explaining how it affects them. Yes he’s the leader of another country, but you tell them that Trump is considering picking a climate change denier as head of the EPA and is planning on leaving the Paris agreement, they kind of get it, as climate change is pretty damn hard to ignore here. That and a couple other explanations can get Chinese people to have those “oh shit, this actually affects us too and is kinda bad” moments.
I talked about it briefly with my masseuse on Wednesday actually. It was good to work through my thoughts as he was working through the soreness in my back, and I was able to drop some additional knowledge on him that he didn’t seem to have before. Top three are 1. Native Americans exist. 2. Native Americans still exist. 3. Obama is a “real” black person. While these might sound laughable, I’m sure I’ve been explained things that Chinese people thought were equally obvious. Cultural exchange everyone, let’s give it a hand.
Moving on, this weekend was initially going to have a hiking trip, but snow happened and cancelled it unfortunately. So instead we made snow things!
While the hiking was cancelled, the BBQ fortunately wasn’t, so nice end to the day. Today also marked the first time I watched a Hitchcock movie all the way through, the movie being Dial M for Murder. The only other time being when I tried to watch the Birds at age 8 or so and couldn’t make it through. Kind of a boring post, sorry, Thanksgiving is this week though and I am soooooooooo excited.