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Lost In Translation V o l. III

Poem s


E ssa y s

written in:


中文 Tiếng Việt Türkçe


The Pieces: Capturing Moment! …………………………………………….. Dung Tran Sapphire Midnight ……………………………...………………..

Yi Mou

The Most Regretful Moment……………………………………. Loelle Lim Universal Right or Wrong, is it?………………………………………

Somnath Sinha

A Journey………………………………………………………… Fuqin Sun O Büyük Gün Gelecek ve Ac1lar Bitecek …………………………… Tolga Kargin

The Scent………………………………………………………... Hsiu-Hui Chen Re-dream………………………………………………………... Tuan Truong About Researchers……………………………………………… Youngho Cho Parent-Children Relationships…………………………………..

Tolga Kargin

왜 그랬을까……………………………………………………….

Loelle Lim

My Grandma…………………………………………………….

Somnath Sinha

Life is Like Playing Poker……………...………... ……. ………..

Yi Mou

Nightmare in the Daytime……...……………………………….

Hsiu-Hui Chen

乡愁 …………………………………………… .……………...

Fuqin Sun

Blood - Note …………………………………………………...

Dung Tran

Mùa đông không lạnh…………………………………………… Tuan Truong Letter to my daughter and son………………………………….

Youngho Cho

Capturing Moment! ~Dung Tran Sitting in an empty office late in the afternoon, looking through the curtain in the window, I saw the last light of the day pass through the snow. Forever life-long days keep going… Like my mind is wandering to somewhere, somewhere in the real world, somewhere in an unnamed world. What should a day in my life be? And what has it already been? Starting a day with a smile, I often think of such a beginning moment! Looking at the very first sunlight, smelling fresh dewdrops on trees, listening to sweet songs of birds, hearing familiar sounds of relatives, I am absorbing all the pleasure! I started to forget my beginning, my tiny fun of the dawn in a busy world. Having cereal, packing everything in the bag, rushing to my office, I force myself in the competition with time. Has a new day come? Or just a chain of days that my life will go through! I seek to capture every moment I have in my life, but I have lost most of the time. I keep working without being aware that I am the person, not a machine to function without feelings. Just reading, writing, I am working. Looking around, I see my colleagues focus on their work; I wonder what they get from their work: Pleasure, or just responsibility? And I know that there is no answer. Sometimes, the interest I get from my work is the real moment. That I know I am living, not existing. I talk to myself: “It is only you who should find your fun on the way of working.” Leaving my office after a hectic day, the last weak sunlight was following me on the way back to my apartment, not a peaceful place like my home, but a place I rest after a work day. Cooking by myself, I saw the image of my mother who always cooks for her children including me; full of love. I catch another moment! Never in my life have I been more eager to be in my home to absorb gentle and sweet voice from my mother. The voice that was always beside me but I have not ever been aware of. Because it was too common or too easy to access that I only aspire to have when I could not. I should always be a little child in my mother’s eyes. She will take care of me as long as she can. Preparing for meals, my mother often puts in them lots of love. Delicious meals that I had before, I felt fresh ingredients, warm food, and more importantly, an eternal love source. I cannot count how many different kinds of food my mother cooks for me. She is really my best cook, who always chooses ingredients carefully, who devotes lots of time to make the best dishes. For me, her cooking is an art because an authentic artist is the only personality who has their passion in their work. Packing a lot of food into my bowl every meal, she wanted to ensure that her child got all her love contained in the bowl. She often wonders why we do not have enough food as usual. It is because of her food or because we are not healthy enough? Whatever the reasons are, she always takes care of us. Asians like me rarely say: “I love you, mom!” even though I know that I love her a lot. The last sunlight did not exist now, but the night light was shining outside my apartment window. Sitting here in my kitchen, I caught this moment. “I am present, and my presence is a gift.” Someday, I will soon get the precious gift of family relationship and I will be fully respected. However, it is in my future, I need to catch this current moment as a gift I am capturing!

Sapphire Midnight     ~Yi  Mou     Sapphire  at  midnight   Vancouver   sky        sea              mountain   merge  in  deep  blue   soft  starlight  slides  down   along  with  the  mountain  ridge   Harbor  lights        like  scattered  pearls        blinking  at  their  reflections              in  the  mirror-­‐like  sea   breeze     ripples  the  surface  of  the  water   lights  waltz  on  the  rhythm  of  waves   images        in  the  quiet  night        in  the  peaceful  heart   awakened  by  singing  of  seagulls   it’s  the  city   night  scene  was  in  my  dream   or   I  was  in  the  dream  of   Vancouver                              

The Most Regretful Moment ~ Loelle Lim “Beep! Beep!” ‘Oh, no! It’s time.’ ‘Can we just live not working? Impossible? Then what about just few days off whenever I do not feel like to work in the middle of summer? This tutoring thing just tortures me sometimes. Eurrrrr…..’ The alarm told me it was an hour to go. But I wasn’t ready at all and rolling my body in the blanket, trying to look away from the alarm clock. “Ugh……

I don’t want to go…….. ugh…..”

I stood up and headed to the bathroom dragging my heavy body, ran the cool water on my head trying to wake up. ‘I know it is boiling outside now…….’ In the summer in Columbia, Missouri where I live now, we see a lot of people in bootie shorts with tank top lined shoulders, ice water bottles are hanging on people’s backpacks, and children are playing around a water fountain in wet shirts and pants. The sun is roaring, beautiful girls in bikini lie on the lounge chairs, guys are busy glancing. Cars and buildings are playing with the waves of heat coming up from the asphalt. Korea is a peninsula. Scorching heat waves with high humidity, the moisture from the ocean surrounding three sides of small country makes breathing even harder. Many people in light dresses hold ice cream and walking here and there. Not many people want to go outside but stay inside somewhere so they can enjoy the cool air from the air conditioner. Fancy coffee shops are crowded with a lot of people sitting on the comfortable sofas, chatting, and drinking cold beverages. My favorite is ‘Red bean slush’. Sweat steamed red bean powder on the top of the grinded ice with whole milk, fruits, mini ball rice cakes, and jellies. I just can’t help thinking of it all the time during the summer. I love the alive sunshine more than dead cold wind, love walking in pouring rain more than walking on the icy roads in 5 inch heels, love wearing light and fancy

princess dresses when going out more than a thick snow-tire coat. Most of all, I love driving in a convertible car feeling fresh air touching my face more than spoiling my hair because of wet snow. It was a hot summer.

My air conditioner was set under 65℉, I kept drinking ice

water, took a short cold water shower every half an hour, lying in the bed, and didn’t really want to move. After a short shower, put a little make up but still didn’t really want to expose myself to the mad sun. ‘Please let it rain………… It’s ok, I always can use the air conditioner in the car.’ I tried to persuade myself. I started my car and drove to the place where I was supposed to meet my students. Driving along the tree boulevard in the cool air from the air conditioner, I couldn’t open my eyes because of the dazzling sun coming between green leaves but it didn’t bother me, viewing people busily walking, it was not that bad as I thought. I enjoyed looking around driving in my small cool jeep. “Oh, it is beautiful.” I was enjoying the beautiful scenery, cool air, and cozy driving. “Hmmm, what is that?” When I drove in to a small street, I saw something reflected in my eyes. It was small, brown, fluffy, and tiny walking toward my car hanging its head down. “What is that? Why is it walking toward my car? I’m driving. I might hit it. Oh man…..” I was talking to myself but there was no way to let the tiny thing get out of my way. It scared me. “Come on, get out of my way. What are you?” I still couldn’t figure out what it was but it was walking with four legs still hanging its head down until it got close to my car. “Oh, my god.” It was a really, really, small and tiny poodle. It kept walking toward me and I still couldn’t see the face but I could see its fluffy and curly light brown hair. “Come on, look up here. There is a car driving toward you.” But I didn’t want to honk because I didn’t want to scare that tiny weak puppy. It might faint if I honk. It was too tiny and didn’t seem to strong enough to resist the roar from my car. “Come on, look up here…..”

Suddenly, that tiny brown poodle raised its head and looked up my car. “Oh, thanks. Yes, here. You should move to the side. I really don’t want to scare you.” “Oh, my……” I was frozen when it raised its head. I saw its eyes and my brain stopped and I couldn’t think at all. They are small, round and had thin double eyelids with curly long eyelashes. “Beautiful.” They were beautiful. I couldn’t get my eyes off it. They were the eyes of an angel. “Beautiful.” When I got closed to that tiny poodle, I stopped the car. The tiny poodle stopped walking. We looked at each other and started a silent conversation. ‘I’m thirsty. Please help.’ ‘Oh, I’m sorry but I have to go. My student’s waiting for me.’ ‘Please…….. I got lost. I am thirsty and hungry. I am exhausted.’ ‘Oh, I am so sorry but I can’t be late to my work. You look so tired and thirsty but I can’t help now. I am so sorry.’ ‘Please…… please, help me.’ The tiny poodle moved a couple of heavy steps toward my car with a really sad face and its eyes were begging me for a little water and food. It looked really exhausted from hunger and a long journey. “Oh, my god!” I found I was already about 10 minutes late. “Sorry……” I started driving my car again and looked at its tearful eyes. Its eyes kept chasing me while I was driving past it and looked back when I become far off it. I looked at the mirror. “Damn…. It’s still looking at me.” I looked away and tried to hurry and I pressed the accelerator pushing my car forward. ‘Forget about it. You are on your way to work and already too late!’ It was painful to remove the image of it and its tearful eyes that looked like trying to say something. “Oh, my god……. I can’t do this!” I turned the car and drove back to the narrow street where I met it praying that it is

still there so I can just give it a little water and food. “Ok, I can quickly buy a bottle of cold water from the store that was right next to us where I stopped. And maybe a small piece of bread. And I can drive a little faster and will tell my student why I was late. He will understand. Please don’t move and stay there.” I prayed and hoped it would be still there. “Oh, no……….” It was too late. It was already gone. ‘I am so sorry……’ It was a really hot summer day. It was too tiny to stand that hot weather and it seemed that it has been walking at least two days with no food and water. It was really tiny and skinny. “I am so sorry…….” I was so sad. Why I could help him spending just a few minutes. ‘Stupid.’ I still remember its tearful eyes chasing me while I was trying to running away from that moment to pretend not to see anything and tried to ignore a tiny creature dying from hunger under the mad sun. I was angry at myself and sad. “Please, I will pray somebody will find you and save your life. I am so sorry. I am so sorry.”

Universal Right or Wrong, is it? By Somnath Sinha What is life? What is wrong or right? Is there a connection between Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in physics with our weighing of correct or incorrect actions in our daily life? I am often intrigued by these concerns. Well, there may be other aspects worth to be brood upon like war going on in Iraq, poverty crippling the future generations of Africa, ever increasing population in India and flooding of the world market by Chinese goods or inability of “Avatar” to surpass “Hurt Locker”. But, is not human life the building block of upcoming global vitality? If it is so, then exploring the fallacies of life is more plausible. I do not know why but I do feel strongly that there is nothing wrong or right in this world. Everything is relative and depends upon the frame of reference through which we are looking. Well, that does not mean that I deny the existence of some universal attributes (or better say assumed to be universal, based on our feelings and knowledge gathered through generations), which we consider to be appropriate. Thus, whatever I feel is shaped by my present state of mind and to the context to which I am in. I feel that we should do whatever we like to do as long as we are not hurting anyone or creating disturbance to others. I also feel that idealism looks good in book only and in practical life we always have the temptation to do everything for our enjoyment and pleasure. We would have been so happy if we all were allowed to do what we want, what we like, maintain relations in whatever way we like, etc, as long as we were not posing ourselves as threat to/for others. I sometimes even condemn the way society restricts or puts limitations on the free flow of your emotions and tries us to confine within its set rules and norms. If it would have been so then the Earth would really have been a happier place to live in. For example, in some parts of the world the societies do interfere in the personal lives of its members which, according to me, does not have any logical base. Although two adults may wish to live together with mutual consent and without any nuptial bonding but the society sometimes may not allow it. I feel that this much penetration of the community does not make any sense when such an act of the couple does not bring any negative consequences with itself. Thus, standing from this point of reference I feel that our will and wishes should have the upper hand when compared to any laws and disciplines. Now, according to Isaac Newton for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction which I think does hold for situations in our life as for every half filled glass of water the other half is unfilled. It is really logical to do whatever you want until and unless you bother others. Anybody would agree to this at first instance. Well, critiques may say that my thinking would ultimately result in waywardness and chaos in society as nobody would follow any rules and regulation. Though, I tried to defend this loophole in my idea by favoring the free flow of personal will bounded by minimal interference to any other’s life, I do not know how far I do sound reasonable. However, a deep thought into this would bring about another negative aspect; we are

neglecting our own self. We are considering thinking about others, but we are not thinking of ourselves. There are actions or modes of enjoyment or ways of maintaining relations which would ultimately not affect others but eventually may harm us. For example, our drinking habit of alcohol, our craving for sensual pleasure with consent, showing indifference to our family and friends, may not affect others but in the long run we may have to face the consequences of it. The cost of enjoyment done at youth is like the debt piling up on your credit card which you have ultimately to clear up at your old age without any other options left. As it has been always, the best strategy to choose between two extremes and I would also like to take the midway. Even if you ask me now I am equally torn between the dilemma of correct and incorrect in life. Doing things according to our will and without any bindings has its own charm but on the other hand being discipline to some extent has its own rewards. If we again go back to Einstein then according to him the frame of reference thorough which we are looking does matter. Willingness to do things which makes us happy varies from person to person, Mother Teresa always wanted to help the suffering people and she found enjoyment in it whereas Hitler enjoyed in making people suffer. Both of them did whatever they felt correct but one action was favorable to fellow beings and the other was not. Thus, I think I would rather do things according to our wish but it should be weighed on the balance of humanity before doing it.

A Journey   ~  Fuqin  Sun   A  Journey  with  love  and  care                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Knowledge  is  power!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Believe  it?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              First  day  I  came  to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Classroom?                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No,  pretty  green  house.                                                                                                                                                                                  I  was  empowered                                                                                                                                              With  valuable  knowledge.                                Friendly  dog,                                              Tall  as  pony,                                                          Black  and  white,                                                                        Smart  and  quiet.                                                                                          Shaking  her  tail,                                                                                                            Welcomed  me.                                                                                                                              Sniffed  around,                                                                                                                                          For  acquaintance.                                                                                                                                        Looking  and  asking                                                                                                                      Whether  I  could  give  her                                                                                            Gentle  touch  or  scratch.                                                                    Satisfied.                                      Lying  down  quietly  beside  me,   Laying  her  warm  thick  fur  on  my  insteps.  

Purplish red  square  table,                                                                                                                                                              Surrounded  by                                                                                                                                                              Eleven  chairs.        Two  large  shelves                Stuffed  with  books:            Fiction,  nonfiction;                                                                                                                                                              Poetry,  Drama;                                                Philosophy  and  psychology…     Eleven  people   Small  class?            Big  family!   Americans,  Koreans,  Chinese   Sitting  comfortably  in  circle,   Started  a  magic  journey.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Strong  fast  wind  couldn’t  stop  us,                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Heavy  snowstorm  had  never  been  a  hinder.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We  kept  all  promises,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fulfilled  all  missions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11:00  a.m.,  Broadway  600,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Be  there  and  be  square!     Driving,  Taking  buses,  Car-­‐pooling,  or  even  walking,  each  time,                                                                                                                                                                                                We  shared,  learned.  

All ideas  respected,                            Every  family  member  had  a  say.                                                  Errors,  mistakes,                                                                        Arguments,  debates,                                                                                              Allowed.                                                                                                    Puzzles,  solutions,                                                                                                                          Easy  topics,  esoteric  doctrines.                                                                                                                                                                                        Discussed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Reading  creating  beautiful  poems,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Drawing  thoughts  on  colorful  paper;                                                                                                                                                                                                            Commenting  on  various  pictures,  articles,  books,                                                                                                                                                                                            Experiencing  the  tranquility  of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a  silent  walk.              Hearing  adventure  stories,                                                Sharing  education  methods;                                                                                Celebrating  different  traditions,                                                                                                            Trying  universal  foods;                                                    Expressing  emotions  with  tears,              Getting  healed  through  burning  fears.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Individual  stories?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No!                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Eleven  people                                                                                                                                                                                        Created  a  journey  together,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With  care  and  love.  

O Büyük Gün Gelecek ve Aclar Bitecek Evet, çok zordu karar vermek, hatta dönüm noktasyd hayatn. Ama gerekliydi belkide böyle bir de i iklik, devam edebilmek için hayata. Tam da onun beni brakt  yerden, hiç gev etmeden elimi, Hatta smsk sarlarak hayata, acmasz olsa da. Bilmiyorum nasl adlandracaksnz bu kararm, Kimileriniz bir kaç diyeceksiniz eski ya antlarmdan, Kimileriniz de yeni bir ba langç, sonunu bilemedi imiz, Hatta bir adm önümüzü bile göremedi imiz hayata. Çok zor oldu kopmak aileden, arkada lardan, Hele o hava alanndaki el sallamalarD Anam, babam, karde lerimD Tarif edilemez verdigi ac, o e i olmayan zdrap, Ama umut i te, ac çekmeyi göze aldran ve bir parça da olsa zdraplar dindiren. Biliyorum çok uzun bir yol var önümde, Biter mi diyorum bu çile, sona erer mi bu bekleyi ! Hani derlerya eskiler, GBeklenen gün gelecekse çekilen çile kutsal,H Kim bilir, belkide bu inan beni de biraz güçlendiren, ve ayakta kalmama yardm eden. Neye benzetiyorum bu uzun ve çileli bekleyi i biliyor musunuz? Hani nasl bir anne karnnda ta r yavrusunu dokuz ay, ona kanndan kan, canndan can verir, Hele o do um annda çekti i e i benzeri olmayan sanclarD Evet, evet i te tam da öyle bir ey de il mi bizim de ya ad mz? Alt yedi yl canmzdan can, kanmzdan kan vererek çal aca z, Sonra, i te o büyük gün gelecek, en büyük snav da verece iz. Tarifsiz aclar çekece iz belkide, ama bitecek i te, bu ac da sona erecek. te o gün,o kutsal gün geldi inde mükafaatna erece iz bu ya adklarmzn. Peki ne için çekiyoruz bu acy? Vatan N millet için mi? Yoksa ailemiz için mi, ya da kim bilir belki sadece kendimiz için! Varn siz kim için derseniz deyin, bu ac büyük, bu ac e siz ve bu ac kutsal. Heyecan ve umutla bekliyorum, aclarmn bitece i o büyük günü. 03.22.2010 Tolga Kargn

The Scent    

~  Hsiu-­‐Hui  Chen       It  is  the  unique  scents  of  the  old  people  I  smelled  when  I  passed  by  the  apartment   next  door  to  my  friend’s  place.  Interestingly,  an  apartment  in  Columbia  can  smell  so  similar   to  the  old  house  back  home  across  the  ocean.  The  apartment  looks  old  but  homey.  There   are  small  pieces  of  paint  falling  off  the  wall,  instead  of  making  the  apartment  looks  rusty,   they  actually  make  it  warmly  humanistic.  The  decoration  outside  reveals  the  life  of  people   living  in  there.  The  big  deer  in  the  yard  seems  to  be  waiting  for  the  visit  of  their  grandsons   or  granddaughters.  But  it  is  the  smell,  the  smell  that  took  me  back  to  my  memory  of  the  old   house.  It  permeated  through  my  nose  to  my  brain.  The  little  odor  particles  took  me  back  to   the  room,  where  my  grand  pap  stayed.           It  feels  odd.  I  haven’t  thought  about  him  for  a  long  long  time.  I  used  to  love  him  so   much.  I  used  to  think  he  was  the  gentlest  person  in  the  world.  But  now,  I  can  barely  pick  up   any  complete  picture  of  when  we  did  things  together.  I  can  barely  describe  his  look.  All  I   can  pick  out  from  the  memories  is  that  I  had  never  seen  him  frown.  Always  carried  a  smile   on  his  face;  that  is  my  grand  pap  I  remember.  Yet,  it  is  the  smell,  it  is  the  smell  that  stays  so   clear  in  my  brain.  Almost  feels  like  there  is  a  special  storage  for  that  sense  in  my  head.  Only   for  my  grand  pap  and  that  old  house.         After  the  day  I  passed  the  apartment,  the  memories  about  my  grand  pap  wouldn’t   stop  just  like  popcorn  popping.  Can’t  even  stop  it  from  coming  out.    They  are  so  vivid  that  I   almost  wonder  if  I  made  those  memories  up  just  now.     It’s  that  smell.  There  was  a  unique  odor  he  carried.  It  smelled  like  burned  sandalwood,  light   but  long  lasting.    I  used  to  love  that  smell.  It  gave  me  a  sense  of  peace,  feeling  like  there  is   nothing  I  need  to  be  worrying  about  besides  being  myself.  I  remember  we  always  visited   him  during  the  time  of  the  Chinese  New  year.  Right  after  the  moment  I  got  out  of  the  car,  I   ran  to  give  him  a  bear  hug,  drinking  his  smell  into  my  lungs  till  I  couldn’t  inhale  anymore.   He  would  just  stand  there  and  look  at  me  with  the  smile.  He  is  the  one  who  gave  me  the   feeling  of  unconditional  love.  I  wonder,  how  come  that  elegant  temperament  did  not  pass   down  on  me.  Tiny  little  frustrations  can  make  me  running  around  like  the  ant  on  the  hot   pot.             I  remember  the  “broken”  house.  That  is  how  my  brother  and  me  called  it  because   there  is  an  outdoor  yard  in  the  middle  of  the  house,  which  made  the  whole  house  separate   into  two  buildings.  The  front  part  of  the  house  is  the  living  room  and  the  kitchen.  The   kitchen  is  so  tiny  that  only  one  person  is  allowed  in  there.  My  step  grand  mom  told  me  that   she  likes  to  keep  it  small  so  that  she  can  keep  people  out  of  her  territory.  My  brother  and  I   used  to  hide  under  the  sink  just  to  challenge  her.  It  smelled  bad  there.  Smelled  like  a  big   dish-­‐washing  sponge  had  been  sitting  for  years.  But,  we  were  children,  what  did  we  care  at   that  time?    There  were  two  rooms  in  the  other  part  of  the  house.  One  is  my  grand  pap’s   bedroom  and  the  other  one  is  a  room  for  my  grand  mom’s  altar.  That  is  my  favorite  part  of   the  house.  I  wasn’t  allowed  to  go  into  my  grand  pap’s  bedroom.  As  naughty  as  me  and  my  

brother were,  we  didn’t  even  dare  to  violate  the  rule.  But  I  loved  to  stay  in  the  room  with   my  grand  mom’s  altar.         That  room  had  it’s  own  scent.  It  is  from  the  incense  we  burned  when  we  wanted  to   talk  with  her.  I  wasn’t  allowed  to  burn  the  incense  if  I  was  with  myself  there.  The  adults  just   don’t  think  children  can  handle  the  lighter.  I  did  not  really  care  though.  I  did  not  think  I   needed  to  burn  the  incense  to  let  her  hear  me.    Sometimes  I  just  sat  there  and  soaked   myself  into  the  scent.  I  think  the  wall  of  the  room  had  sucked  in  all  the  incense  we  burned.   Whenever  I  stayed  in  there,  it  felt  like  the  room  was  hugging  me  with  the  odor,  really  gentle   hugs.  I  have  never  met  my  grand  mom.  She  past  away  when  my  mom  was  around  ten.  I   don’t  know  much  about  her  either.  They  don’t  really  talk  about  her.  All  I  know  is  that  she   had  6  children  and  she  past  away  because  of  cancer  in  her  late  twenties.         The  stories  of  their  generation  are  like  the  films  shot  with  a  yellow  lens,  which  are   covered  by  the  romantic  beauty  of  sorrow.  A  little  bit  dusty  but  show  the  value  of  time.  I   gradually  learned  by  growing  up,  that  the  smile  on  my  grand  pap’s  face  is  not  from  the   naive  happiness.  It  is  the  contentment  of  the  peace  after  the  life  filled  up  with  challenges.   What  a  powerful  strength  was  represented  behind  that  smile.  I  can’t  help  lifting  up  the   corners  of  my  mouth  every  time  I  pass  by  that  apartment  now.  Haven’t  been  there  for  more   than  7  years  after  grand  pap  left  us.  The  series  of  memories  triggered  about  the  past  have   left  me  feeling  centered  again.  The  sent  of  the  apartment  seems  to  be  telling  me  “It  is  going   to  be  okay.  Life  can  be  hard  sometimes,  but  you  will  get  stronger  everyday.”  It  was  my   grand  pap  speaking  to  me.  I  can  just  go  back  to  that  house  and  feel  protected  because  now   it  is  stored  in  my  heart  traveling  around  the  world  with  me.     Inhale  deeply.  I  am  all  ready  for  the  new  week  to  start.    

Re-dream ~Tuan Truong "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney I hate when my dreams slip away from my mind after I wake up. Only my most vivid meaningful dreams stay. One I had a couple of days ago was such a dream. In my dream, I could fly. Weird isn’t it? I flew up into the sapphire summer sky. At first, I couldn’t lift myself up above the roofs of houses on the street where I was living. I encouraged myself: ‘Try, do try, come on.’ And I tried to get my legs to move in a circle as when I was riding a bike. Like a miracle, my body gradually floated and I could feel the taste of cotton-like clouds. Now I was looking down on things underneath. Oh, wow! Everything seemed far more genuine than viewing from an airplane. I turned around to enjoy a 360- degree view of my neighborhood. ‘Such a sensational panorama could only be seen in photos!’ I exclaimed. Suddenly, I had no idea why I was now drifting far far away from my rented apartment in Columbia Missouri. I opened my eyes and realized that I was flying over my serene hometown where I spent most of my childhood. I was gliding and seemed to be hypnotized by the view of my parents’ house and my neighborhood. The familiar neighborhood I seemed to be floating above was in a small mountainous region in a northern province of Vietnam. The roof of a tiny thatched house under which my family lived for almost 10 years was easily discernable. Below the roof was, I could recall, a one-bedroom house with the living room converted into an extra bedroom where I slept at night. I wasn’t quite sure if I could call it ‘my own world’, for by saying ‘bedroom’ I meant ‘a bed with mattress snuggly fit in a corner of the living room.’ I was too small to need a private space. I could not call my house an ‘apartment’ by its modern connotation. My dad, my uncles and friends assembled the frame for the house from old giant bamboos. Once the frame was erected, they made walls from clay mixed with rice trees and burned limestone. The special part of the house was its roof. The roof was a meticulous product of different layers of dried palm trees’ leaves. It was thick enough to become water-proof and prevent sunlight piercing through. I loved living under such a palm leave roof because it was so cool in summer, much more ventilating than a cement roof! ‘Oh! Yes, that’s my kitchen!’ I glided myself a bit closer to a little room, separating from the house. Again, it was made from bamboos and dried palm leaves. I could smell some smoke from the kitchen’s roof. ‘There is a little boy cooking inside. It must be me! Awesome.’ From fourth through sixth grades, after school in the mornings, I stayed home in the afternoons and helped my parents with the housework including preparing dinners. I couldn’t guarantee the quality of the meals I made; yet I believed my parents must have been happy to see that a dinner had been ready when they came home from work. I was now directing my attention to trees around my house on top of the hill. I was not sure if they belonged to the oak family. Their foliage colored the hill with a dark green curtain. My house stood alone on the hill, amid a sea of green leaves. In my memory, my neighbors’ houses scattered here and there, downhill, but I hardly see any of them now. Maybe they have all moved now. I kicked my right leg to turn left, and focused my eyes towards a fairly flat ground at the bottom of another hill, a home for all childhood games we rural kids often played. Honestly it wasn’t a playground. It’s just an open grassy yard, an uneven surface with stones of all sizes scattered about . The far side of the ground detached to the hill whose steep cliff often challenged us all to climb, though it was strictly forbidden by our cautious parents. I found myself floating a little bit above some of the kites kids were flying. I could only see the lower side of kites. I had no idea why we little

kids were obsessed by kites. We made kites ourselves from papers torn from notebooks, cheap glue, and bamboo frames. We often stuck long long tails to kites to help maintain balance. Our kites were not too as fancy as commercial kites uptown kids often got; but we were all happy with our self-made kites as long as they could fly. ‘Kids often have simple dreams,’ I smiled. “Hey, how are you guys doing? Do you remember me? It’s me, Tony. Can I join?” I shouted at the group of kids chasing one another, giggling, as I grounded. But no one seemed to hear me. They didn’t realize my existence. ‘Oh, Yeah, I’m an adult now, not a kid any more. No wonder they couldn’t recognize me. How foolish I am!’ My face got red. ‘Knock, Knock, Knock.’ Somebody was hammering on my bedroom door. ‘Hey, Tony, are you okay?’ My roommate rushed into the room for I often left the door unlocked at night. ‘I heard you were screaming and shouting. And I think you’re going to have a seminar this morning, right?’ ‘Oh God, I just forget that. Thanks for waking me up. Anyway, I think I often talk while I sleep. I’m alright.’ I replied as I threw the blanket to a corner of my bed. ‘I’ve just had a fantastic dream.’ ‘Oh yeah, everybody dreams. I thank you for waking me up!’ My friend said as he left the room. Oh, man, I was not flying any longer. I was standing in my bare feet, facing reality: a bundle of assignments and term papers, plus a doctoral qualifying exam next week. Maybe my mind had recently been too busy to give space for dreams; yet last night dream turned back time and brought me a mirror of my childhood – an important part from which my personality was mould. It slowed me down in this fast-paced changing world. I wished I didn’t have the morning seminar! I wished I could re-dream my dream!

About Researchers    

~ Youngho  Cho  

A  tiger  watches  a  deer  hiding  itself  in  a  bush.  An  eagle  flies  in  the  sky  to  scrutinize  its  live  games  on  the   ground.  A  hyena  traces  small  animals  and  birds.  They  tend  to  focus  on  weak  games  that  would  be  the   best  for  them.  Once  they  decided  what  to  follow,  they  chase  their  targets  in  full  strength,  catch  and   enjoy  them.  After  satisfied  with  food,  they  live  their  simple  life.  Do  researchers  lead  this  kind  of  life?         Researchers  are  the  loneliest  people  in  a  jungle-­‐like  world.  In  a  jungle,  all  the  creatures  must   survive  by  themselves  and  there  is  no  helper.  They  get  their  food  by  hunting  other  creatures.  They  are   all  associated  with  one  another  by  the  hunter-­‐bait  circle.  One  creature’s  mistake  in  hunting  leads  to   another’s  survival  and  one’s  success  leads  to  another’s  death.  Even  though  researchers’  society  is  not  as   dangerous  as  the  jungle  with  risk  to  their  lives,  the  principle  governing  the  society  is  competition  over   new  knowledge,  which  is  similar  to  food  in  the  jungle.  Because  researchers  need  new  knowledge  to   survive,  they  have  to  develop  a  way  of  obtaining  it.  In  the  sense  that  nobody  can  tell  them  the  way,   researchers  are  lonely  and  must  rely  on  themselves.  Furthermore,  all  the  mistakes  and  achievements   they  have  made  are  what  other  researchers  would  take  advantage  of  to  develop  new  knowledge.       Let’s  imagine  that  researchers  are  a  starved  tiger.  A  tiger  is  grown  and  trained  to  hunt  its  food  to   satisfy  its  hunger.  Likewise,  researchers  are  hungry  for  new  knowledge.  Because  new  knowledge  is  their   food,  they  will  die  without  it.  However,  the  tragedy  is  that  their  food  must  be  gained  by  themselves.   Nobody  will  give  it  to  them  out  of  generosity.  The  jungle’s  nature  is  not  generous  at  all.  Sometimes,   researchers  see  others  take  their  food,  which  they  have  watched  for  a  long  time.  They  failed  to  get  the   food  on  time,  so  it  is  reasonable  to  assess  that  they  made  a  mistake.  Like  a  jungle,  taking  advantage  of   their  mistakes,  other  researchers  quickly  obtain  the  food.  When  it  happens,  they  get  zealous  and,   sometimes,  crazy.  But  nobody  comforts  them  because  that  is  the  essence  of  nature.  The  large  and   delicious  food  does  not  last  long  and  may  have  a  number  of  hunters.  Therefore,  they  have  intrinsic   aggressiveness  against  a  background  of  loneliness.  As  a  result  of  these  evolutionary  processes,   researchers  have  developed  self-­‐correcting  systems  and  have  a  habit  of  asking  their  peers  evaluate   them.       Researchers  are  sometimes  like  a  hyena  that  traces  the  remains  of  big  dead  animals,  especially   when  it  is  a  novice.  A  hyena  is  very  good  at  finding  the  food  that  remains  after  the  big  carnivores  leave.   Likewise,  a  big  research  topic  has  so  many  branches  that  every  branch  can  feed  a  significant  number  of   researchers.  Moreover,  the  masterpiece  of  great  researchers  leaves  a  large  amount  of  future  research.   Whereas  established  researchers  are  too  involved  in  their  projects  to  pay  attention  to  other  areas  of   study,  young  researchers  are  relatively  free  to  choose  their  research  topic.  Because  young  researchers   do  not  have  sufficient  funding  and  reputation  to  initiate  their  own  projects,  they  naturally  become  good   at  searching  the  remains,  the  study  areas  that  great  researchers  leave.  As  a  result,  they  have  to  begin  as   a  hyena  in  their  careers.  

Researchers work  like  an  eagle  that  flies  to  monitor  its  food  on  the  ground.  The  eagle  knows   many  potential  types  of  food  on  the  ground  and  carefully  watches  them  move.  However,  because  it  can   catch  only  one  at  a  time  and  cannot  attempt  to  try  again  and  again  due  to  its  limited  energy,  it  must   choose  the  best  item  for  one  attempt.  Even  though  the  eagle  does  not  have  rationality  as  people  define   the  term,  it  naturally  becomes  a  rational  decision  maker.  Likewise,  every  society  wants  to  know  many   things.  However,  quantity  does  not  mean  important.  Researchers  must  choose  one  topic  they  can   handle  best.  For  this  reason,  researchers  are  a  natural  rational  decision  maker  like  the  eagle.       Although  labor  ants  are  not  a  carnivore,  they  lead  a  hunting  life.  However,  labor  ants  do  not   follow  their  individual  interests  but  that  of  their  group.  Likewise,  if  researchers  study  only  what  they  like,   their  research  cannot  be  social  but  private.  Private  research  can  provide  social  benefits  but  may  not  be   necessarily  beneficial  to  society.  Moreover,  unless  researchers  have  sufficient  wealth,  they  must  get   funding  from  the  society  in  which  they  live.  Because  their  society  is  their  only  source  of  livelihood,  they   must  please  their  society  by  exploring  what  it  really  wants  to  know.  Researchers  live  by  delivering  new   knowledge  to  their  society.  In  this  sense,  researchers  are  a  disciplined  labor  ant.       Finally,  researchers  have  one  unique  feature,  which  is  different  in  some  senses  but  similar  in  the   other.  Researchers  enjoy  many  mental  entertainments.  They  love  what  they  study  and  imagine  what  it  is   like  in  the  world  they  study.  No  other  people  live  in  such  a  dream.  Researchers  are  insane  in  some  sense   because  they  weigh  their  imagined  research  more  heavily  than  reality.  Plato  called  this  “love  of  wisdom.”   However  difficult  and  feasible  our  research  is,  we,  researchers,  live  with  the  sweet  taste  of  our  research   outcomes  and  would-­‐be  outcomes.  For  this  reason,  researchers  are  honest  in  that  they  are  not  so   different  from  carnivores—they  are  naturally  excited  with  their  games.            

PARENT-­‐CHILDREN RELATIONSHIP                                                                                  ~  Tolga  Kargin     Mehmet  shared  with  me  one  day,  “I  don’t  want  to  go  to  school  anymore.  My  parents’   pressure  will  kill  me  one  day.”  What  was  the  reason  of  the  pressure?  Is  that  for  offering  a   good  life  to  Mehmet?  I’ve  been  wondering  about  this.  We  know  that  parent-­‐children   relationship  is  one  of  the  most  important  things  in  children’s  lives.  If  there  are  some   problems  between  children  and  parents,  these  problems  damage  the  children’s  whole  life.   Parents  should  give  some  advice  to  their  children,  but  they  shouldn’t  make  decisions  for   their  children’s  lives.  People  should  be  responsible  for  their  own  behaviors  and  determine   their  lives.  I  know  some  parents  who  decide  their  children’s  future  life  directly  and  harm   their  children’s  lives,  and  I  know  some  others  who  support  their  children  and  try  to  handle   their  problems  together.     First,  some  parents  have  great  expectations  for  their  children’s  future,  so  they   sometimes  ignore  reality.  They  don’t  look  at  their  children’s  skills  or  proficiency.  According   to  Vygotsky,  people  have  a  limited  acuity  and  it  is  changeable  from  person  to  person.  After   this  limit,  nobody  can  teach  something  to  the  person.  My  aunt  has  a  son  who  is  13  years  old.   He  took  an  exam  to  enter  the  best  high  school  in  Turkey.  My  aunt  wanted  this  school  very   much,  but  Mehmet  was  not  capable  enough  to  enter  the  school.  My  aunt  spent  lots  of   money  getting  some  private  lessons  at  their  home,  but  it  did  not  work.  He  could  not  pass  the   exam.  He  was  very  stressful  and  tired  because  of  these  lessons.  He  is  a  student  in  a  public   school  now.  After  the  exam,  I  asked  him  how  it  was  going.  After  my  nephew  said,  “I  don’t   want  to  go  to  school  anymore.  My  parents’  pressure  will  kill  me  one  day”,  I  decided  to  talk   with  my  aunt.  I  said  that  it  was  too  much  for  Mehmet,  and  they  were  doing  wrong,  but  she   said,  “We  want  that  Mehmet  has  a  wonderful  life.”  It  seems  they  were  still  unaware  of  their   mistake.   Second,  some  people  want  their  children  to  be  wonderful  in  all  parts  of  their  lives.   They  should  be  successful  in  their  school  classes,  and  they  should  have  a  great  social  life  and   relationships.  However,  generally  it  is  impossible.  Probably  people  can  be  successful  in  their   school  classes,  if  they  study  enough.  However,  children  cannot  be  successful  in  music  and   some  sport  activities  with  just  studying.  They  need  an  inherent  ability  to  be  musician  or  an   athlete.  Some  parents  don’t  trust  this  reality.  They  just  want,  want,  and  want.  If  their   children  are  not  successful,  they  cannot  back  down  from  their  purpose.  About  a  couple   months  ago,  I  watched  a  movie,  The  Joy  Luck  Club.  There  were  two  Chinese-­‐American   families  in  the  movie.  The  movie  was  about  the  mother-­‐daughter  relationships  of  those  two   families.    In  the  movie,  there  were  so  many  examples  to  support  my  idea.  For  example,  her   mom  wants  June  to  play  piano,  and  June  takes  piano  lessons  but  she  cannot  play  it  because   she  doesn’t  have  the  ability  to  play  any  musical  instrument.  However,  a  few  years  later,  her   mom  gives  June  a  piano  for  her  thirtieth  birthday.  It  shows  us  that  her  mom  didn’t  back    

down from  her  purpose.  She  still  wants  June  to  play  the  piano.  June  couldn’t  play,  didn’t   want  to  play  and  she  will  not  be  able  to  play  it.  We  know  that  it  is  impossible  to  be  successful   in  all  parts  of  life.  However,  June  believed  that  she  disappointed  her  mother,  so  she  lost  her   self-­‐confidence.   On  the  other  hand,  some  parents  have  great  relationships  with  their  children.  They   know  their  children’s  abilities  and  needs.  They  give  their  children  suggestions,  and  support   them  always.  Sometimes,  they  talk  with  each  other  like  a  friend.  If  their  children  succeed,   they  give  them  some  gifts.  If  their  children  are  not  successful,  they  can  talk  about  the   problems  to  find  solutions  together.  These  types  of  parents’  children  are  generally   successful.  I  have  a  friend  who  has  that  kind  of  wonderful  parents.  His  parents  didn’t  put   very  high  expectations  on  him.  They  always  shared  their  happiness  and  sadness.  If  he  made  a   mistake,  he  could  talk  with  his  father  without  fear.  He  was  a  hardworking  student  in  school.   Although,  nobody  said  anything,  he  studied  very  much  to  achieve  his  goals.  Finally  he   achieved  his  goal;  he  is  an  inspector  in  Turkish  Republic  Ministry  of  National  Education  right   now.     In  conclusion,  if  parents  want  their  children  to  have  a  good  life,  they  should  be  so   careful  to  make  decisions  about  children’s  lives.  They  should  support  them  and  give  some   advice.  If  parents  want  their  children  to  achieve  their  old  dreams,  probably  it  doesn’t  work.   Therefore,  parents  shouldn’t  urge  their  children  to  have  their  own  dreams.  They  should   encourage  their  children  to  choose  their  own  ways.  This  is  the  best  way  to  have  successful   children.     Some  Parents…   Some  parents  ignore  the  reality   Don’t  look  at  skills  and  proficiency   If  your  son  doesn’t  have  enough  ability   Pressure  probably  doesn’t  work       Some  parents  have  great  relations   They  give  to  their  child  suggestions   Find  solutions  together  for  problems   Always  share  happiness  and  sadness    

왜 그랬을까 ~Loelle Lim

왜 말하지 못 했을까 마음이….. 내 마음이 하는 말을 왜 하지 못 했을까. 내 눈에 고인 파란 하늘이 파란 하늘이 흘러내려도 말하지 못 했어, 아프다고. 왜 듣지 못 했을까 마음이…. 네 마음이 하는 말을 왜 듣지 못 했을까.

네 눈에 비친 나의 모습이 그 모습이…… 들릴까봐 듣지 않았어, 아플까봐. 들릴 줄 알았어, 말하지 않아도 내가 네 안에 있다고 믿었으니까. 나를 비추는 너의 눈이 거짓을 말하고 있다고 나를 설득시켰지, 왜 그랬을까. 지금도 기도해 네가 나를 들을 수 있게 너의 눈이 아직도 나를 비추게 마음이…… 내 마음이 하는 말 사랑합니다. 사랑합니다. 사랑합니다.

My Grandma ~ Somnath Sinah Although I am no longer fortunate to have my grandma, I still cherish the memories of her and adore her personality. I lost her unto the hands of inevitable reality an year back. This came to me as a shock because it was just before when I was preparing to get more optimistic about my higher studies in USA. She would have been really very happy to see me coming here for my studies. I regret that she did not live till the day to see me leaving for here. Well it is normal to lose our elderly relatives at old age but lately I realized that there could have been lots of things done to make her life more contented during her last phase. During her last days she was not happy and the worst part of is that I feel that there was a lack of responsibility on my part. I did not do anything to make her happy. My grandmother lived with her son. Well, there was no problem as such with her living as my maternal uncle did take good care of her. The problem was that my grandmother was not happy of the treatment she received from my maternal uncle’s wife. I tried to persuade my parents to bring her to stay with us but since she was very old and both of my parents and me were remaining out of our house the whole day so they did not wanted to take the risk of keeping an old woman all alone, which is logical. I think I could have at least paid frequent visits to her and talk with her which I did not do. Actually I was very much disturbed those days and were busy preparing for here in U.S.A so I really did not thought of her at that time. But, now when I look back, I really feel guilty that I could not do anything for her. Well, in fact it is not that I did not do anything, I sometimes gave her some money from my earnings but now I feel that she needed company, love and care rather than money. Whatever it is but the fact remains I really feel bad for her and will have to carry this burden for entire part of my life. My grandma was born in a small part of undivided India but now known as Bangladesh. As were the time then, infact a dark age during which literacy of girls were not paid heed to, she did not have any formal educational degree. She received some school education and was trained to deal with house hold things. She was married at an early age, as far as I guess it was something like 15 or 16. She was married to an assistant to a Medical Practitioner, my grand father. After marriage, my grand parents shifted to India and she lived there till her last day. According to my views, my grandmother is an embodiment of all the good attributes possible. She was a very good cook, infact she had mastered the art. I cannot forget the delicious dishes prepared by her. She was the best in every proportion, right from the spicy food to the desserts. She was also a voracious reader. Well, the degree of this quality hightens when we consider the fact that she did not had any formal education. Although she had a poor vision but that did not deter her from delving into the spiritual texts at later part of her life. She seemed to like any kind of literature and went through a gamut of topics. Every afternoon after finishing her household

chores for the day, she used to read through some or the other piece of literature like novels, etc. Sometimes she also encouraged me to do some kind of readings other than the academics. My grandmother was a very dutiful person. She also had a great sense of dutifulness and patience. I learned from her the satisfaction in serving others. I learned the dutiful activities from her. The best part in her was that she never grumbled of her situation. She tried to fulfill all her responsibilities and duties. I remember her saying to me that we should always do what we are supposed to do without any consideration of any beneficial or nonbeneficial consequences. I did not use to understand the truth in whatever she said at that time but now I do realize that she spoke the right thing. Along with all these qualities she was a great house keeper too. She was tacit and patient enough to raise and maintain a family of eight children with a very low income of my grandfather. She tried to maintain relation and hold together her large family as long as she could. It is really hard to imagine today a family of that size but she raised it and saw through it that all her children are placed nicely in some or the other profession. Just for example my mother grew up to become a school teacher. Although I feel like writing about her but the more I write I would feel that much has remain untold. She is no more today, but she is very much alive in me. I can feel her presence whenever I feel depressed and homesick. I feel as if she is near me and caressing me and asking me not to be unhappy. She is alive to me through every elderly lady I see of her age. She is alive to me through her advices which have ultimately helped me to lead a contented and happy life. Gone, she may be but I still feel the warmth of her love.


Life is Like Playing Poker By Yi Mou Who will you meet around the street corner? What is the next card you will get when playing poker? Life is like playing poker, filled with excitements and surprises. We would never know what is the next card we will get, unless we cheat. At the beginning of every round, we enjoy the moment full of uncertainty, variance and hopes. We do not need to start with a big A. We can also make a straight flush even though the first card is just a small three of diamonds. We have nearly nothing but we are able to draw the most exciting and wonderful picture as we want on the blank plate. We have the most chances to create, to change, and to imagine. Isn't this just like our amazing and crazy childhood? With more and more cards held in hands, we slow down, to look around, to hesitate, to mask ourselves with a poker face, to put ourselves in the others' shoes, and to worry if others are digging our secrets... Maybe you have realized that winning a game basically depends on strategies, not just luck. You begin to tell yourself that making a straight flush may be just a dream. Instead of building your paradise on an unknown mountain of an unknown continent, you fix the roof of the house and clean the backyard every morning. You are a clerk in a company, a father of your 8-year-old son, and a husband of your wife who earns $3000 a month. Something you can do. Well, some things, you just can't. No cards are left on the table. God has put whatever cards we deserve into our hand, and we probably have already known our own destiny. Now, we are not gambling with our opponents but challenging ourselves. So, what do you want to do? Put the cards on the table and tell everyone you win, or just gently throw your secrets into that pile of discarded cards and quietly leaving? It is up to you. It is your life.

Nightmare in  the  Daytime         ~  Hsiu-­‐Hui  Chen     Again?  back  again!!   Or  should  say  that  it  has  never  left.       nightmare  in  the  daytime.   there   whenever  I  open  my  eyes,   If  I  could,     I  would  rather  never  wake  up.       nightmare  in  the  daytime.     water  constantly  erodes  the  rock   smaller  it  gets  when  the  time  passing  by   just  like  my  soul,     gradually  dissolving  in  the  nightmare.     like  the  greedy  hunter,     chasing  the  deer  around  the  bushes,     ran,  used  to  run  away,   breath  couldn’t  even  catch  up     the  pace,     never,  never  got  rid  of  it,     no  matter  how  hard  I  tried.       Still  there,     sticking  on  my  back     like  the  shadow  under  sun.     I  cried,     got  mad.     so  that  I  stopped.     nightmare  in  the  daytime,     so  that  I  stopped  and  asked,   what  exactly  do  you  want?   I  heard  no  response     standing  there     the  world  spins  around   I  cry     get  mad   get  sad       the  world  is  blurred     can  I  just  close  my  eyes?       It  is  the  nightmare  in  the  daytime  in  life.    


~ Fuqin  Sun  

乡愁是一支动人心弦的歌, 缓缓地萦绕在游子的耳边。     乡愁是对母亲温暖怀抱的向往,   乡愁是对离世父亲点点滴滴的回忆。   乡愁是穿越马路时姐妹紧握的手,   乡愁是电话中兄长关切的话语。     乡愁是同事们临别的问候,   乡愁是学生们告别的泪水。   乡愁是朋友们不离不弃的友谊,   乡愁是邻居们依然如故的守候。     思念如果是一首酸甜苦辣的歌,   乡愁就是其中不断跳动的音符。   思念如果是久经岁月酿制的美酒,   乡愁则是长远时空隔绝的思绪。     乡愁是对受灾同胞的牵挂,   乡愁是对祖国和平的祝福。   乡愁是对家乡风调雨顺的祈祷,   乡愁是对重归故里的渴望。    

乡愁是一支乐曲, 在黑夜寂静的时刻响起。   乡愁是一首激励奋发的诗,   从遥远的故乡传来,永久不息。        

Blood – Note ~Dung Tran Sweet song was echoing from a deadly brown tree; sound from silence. The space seemed empty, I with myself, the tree and the sky. I stopped for a while to look around, and I saw a small bird with black feathers on its back with bright-orange belly. These colors really did not catch my interest if they appeared separately, but they were really spectacular together. The beauty in contrasted harmony of color made the bird shine gently but infinitely. Inspired observing the tiny yellow mouth, the small legs with three toes, I appeared to become another identity. It seemed like my hand bones became thinner and my palms disappeared. I felt my body getting lower. My big toes were rotating 90 degrees; my two middle toes were attaching to become one; my toenails were becoming claws. My nose turned into a tiny hole in my mouth that projected and became hard and yellow. My whole body was scaling down to her size, the size of the happy bird. Oh no! Feathers were protruding, I saw my hair turn to thicker and blacker, and they started to cover all my body, a body of black. I couldn’t find my image any longer. I became a “bird” with black feathers. Surprised and scared, I couldn’t believe my eyes; believe in what I was becoming. A beautiful “girl” was flying to me; I heard a soft voice, instead of the song. “Why don’t we go on a voyage?” Hesitating, I waved my head as an agreement; I wondered how I could travel: by car, on foot, or… Surprisingly, my hands, more exactly my wings moved and my whole body flew up off the land. Fascinated, although a little bit nervous, I was flying. Difficulty with balance and my fear of heights made me concentrate on my flying. I saw white clouds on my way without anything else. “Take it easy”, my friend said to me; I started to feel more confident. Sightseeing from so high in the sky was new to me. I could feel the clouds permeating through my thick feathers, which brought cool pleasure into each side of my body. Everything now was so tiny, I couldn’t recognize a house as a house, a person as a person. Unearthed – feeling! She took me to the world of color. Blaze of color, I could see from far distances. They were so bright with white, cobalt, orange, and black. I saw lots of fan - shape tails with colorful spots moving. They were a perfect combination of hard and soft, with dense and sparse. They began to dance. In the background of the sound of wind the beauty of a skilled dancer in glorious clothes was performing. He spread the tail like effective dancing tools. He was absorbed with his ballet. I saw the unique, the outstanding of one in a group. Sun-drops attached to the tails like diamonds in a queen’s crown. A couple was then performing; twined to make different images. I was surprised that the color of the male was brighter than the female. The male with clear-cut movements fit with the gentle movements of the female. The surrounding served as an audience to congratulate the best couple on their perfect performance. I saw the unity in the group dance as one was a part of the whole. Simultaneous, each peacock performed in the background of music, music they heard from inside. They seemed to ignore others; just danced as if they have never danced before. I saw all their devotion for perfection; my eyes were satisfied with a party of color. Departing from the world of color, the world of dancing peacocks, we flew to another. This time, I felt more confident and tried different behaviors when flying, soaring in the clouds. Sometimes, I saw a plane pass by, and I saw some passengers in it. I used to be a passenger too; had the feeling of flying, and now I was flying with my own wings. I heard the beautiful sound far away. We landed on a thorn tree. This place was not so sweet, but the sound of the song made

me forget the surrounding. The black nightingale with a high clear voice was singing a song about dawn, about the bright day, and about the beautiful environment. The peaceful melody made me remember back to my childhood when my mother was lulling with her love. A pair of nightingale was singing the song of love. The high melody mingled with the low liked a cappella band. They were so confident with their song as if the stage was for them. Chorus! I heard a wide range of voice with harmony. Included in the band was the nightingale from the first part. Like a person in a life, each really an actor in different stages, and you should play well in the stages. Red, I saw… blood. “What’s up?” The best performer thrust its body into the thorn. Blood on the body was flowing, but the voice got better than ever. The synchronizing between blood and note, each drop ran out of his body - a full note flew out of his mouth. The pain made his voice better, or the last voice of the bird’s life made it the best. Aspired by the voice, I couldn’t forget that. The voice of ideal, the voice of sacrifice! Parting from the two worlds, color and sound, we flew back into our place. I couldn’t get the memory of the fresh red blood with that last song out of my mind. I learned a lesson about different roles in stages, a lesson about sacrifice for the best. All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. I reappeared to become my human identity, and the sound kept echoing on the tree.

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###### ###### #####Missouri,#Winter#2010# ##########Tuan#Truong#

Letter to  my  daughter  and  son    

~Youngho Cho  

To Olivia  and  Jayden,     When  you  see  this  letter,  I  think  you  will  be  about  20  years  old.  As  if  a  human  being  is   not  aware  of  something  without  thinking  it,  I  decided  to  think  and  write  this  letter  to  see  if  I   became  a  good  father  after  you  were  born.  It  is  because  of  my  interest  in  you.  But  also  take   advantage  of  this  letter  to  learn  about  your  mother  and  father.     Your  mother  and  I  met  at  an  unthinkable  place,  not  in  Korea  but  in  Hangzou,  China.   Before  meeting  your  mother,  I  had  been  involved  in  a  radical  leftist  student  movement  for  four   years  of  college  and  spent  thirteen  months  in  jail…two  times.  I  entered  Hanyang  University  in   1994  and  was  released  from  jail  in  the  spring  of  1999;  I  was  totally  ruined  and  had  no  hope  by   the  second  millennium.  Because  I  had  discarded  leftist  ideals,  I  became  almost  separated  from   my  old  friends  and  comrades.  I  had  lost  my  ideals  and  directions  of  my  life.  My  life  flowed   without  direction.  Actually,  as  I  recall,  it  began  during  high  school  when  I  decided  to  form   fundamental  views  and  values  of  the  world/life  when  I  would  enter  college.  However,  my   original  project  turned  out  to  be  a  disaster.  The  world  is  much  more  complex  and  uncertain   than  I  had  thought.  I  realized  that  I  was  a  frog  in  a  well.  After  that  horrible  experience,  I  needed   something  else  to  comfort  my  mind  and  so  I  read  religious  writings  such  as  Buddhism  and   Taoism.  As  you  can  guess,  these  writings  are  based  on  a  pessimistic  view  about  life  and  the   world.  Despite  my  hopeless  state,  the  fact  that  I  was  alive  made  my  life  go  forward.     Your  mother  also  went  to  Hanyang  University  in  1996.  We  might  have  seen  each  other   but  nothing  remains  in  our  memory.  From  what  we  have  talked  about  with  each  other,  your   mother  made  relentless  efforts  to  learn  the  Chinese  language.  She  is  a  very  simple,  hardworking,   and  strict  woman.  She  frequently  went  to  China  and  traveled.  If  my  guess  is  correct,  she   became  one  of  the  best  learners  of  Chinese  in  her  department.  When  she  graduated,  however,   her  father’s  business  began  struggling.  When  she  started  to  work  at  Incheon  Airport,  his   business  left  a  lot  of  debt  and,  thus,  he  suffered  from  a  series  of  economic  trials.  Because   nobody  in  her  family  could  take  care  of  this,  she  took  responsibility  for  his  trials  and  her  family   (especially,  your  three  aunts).  Leaving  Incheon  Airport,  she  worked  at  Hyundia  Card  and  finally   moved  to  work  at  Suwon  University.  Apparently,  she  had  a  nice  job  and  stable  life.  However,  a   series  of  painful  events  prevented  her  from  having  positive  expectations  of  life.  When  I  met   your  mother,  I  think  she  was  reluctant  to  marry.  She  also  mentioned  her  desire  not  to  marry  in   her  family  meeting.  However,  who  knew  that  the  situation  would  dramatically  change  because   of  me?  

In 2001,  I  graduated  and  began  working  at  a  small  company  as  an  alternative  to  military   service.  Even  though  nothing  had  changed,  working  at  the  company  and  meeting  many  friends   and  colleagues  helped  me  forget  my  previous  pains.  Even  though  I  did  not  have  any  plan  for  my   future,  I  was  OK  for  the  moment.  After  finishing  the  mandatory  work,  I  decided  to  study  abroad   and  abandon  my  original  major,  architectural  engineering,  to  turn  to  something  else.  The   national  law  exam  and  studying  social  science  were  presented  to  me.  So,  following  my  intuition   and  interest  in  politics,  I  decided  to  study  political  science.  In  2006,  after  two  years  in  Hanyang   International  Graduate  School,  the  University  of  Missouri  accepted  me  into  their  program.  I   think  I  instinctively  knew  that  I  would  have  a  big  problem  if  I  did  not  marry  before  going  to  the   US.  Luckily,  one  of  my  reformist  seniors,  Roksam  Park,  married  in  February  and  his  wife  is  a   friend  of  your  mother.  Fortunately,  she  mentioned  she  had  a  friend  who  was  very  nice  but  did   not  live  in  Korea  but  in  China  and  asked  if  I  would  go  there.  I  had  a  plan  to  travel  China,  and  I   believed  in  even  a  small  possibility.  I  kept  asking  and  finally  got  your  mother’s  telephone   number.  Since  I  am  such  a  simple-­‐minded  person,  I  contacted  your  mother  and  went  to  China.     When  I  went  to  her  cyworld  homepage  and  saw  her  pictures,  she  looked  Malaysian  and   was  pretty.  Because  I  came  from  the  countryside  and  had  many  tough/country  things  in  my   attitude,  behaviors,  and  appearance,  I  liked  your  mother,  who  was  brought  up  in  a  well-­‐off   family.  We  began  chatting  in  late  February  and  kept  doing  so  day  and  night  until  when  I  arrived   in  China.  We  had  found  many  things  in  common  and  we  quickly  fell  in  love.  I  think  the  game   was  over  before  we  met.  Our  meeting  for  20  days  in  China  was  a  kind  of  a  confirmation  process.   In  10  days,  I  asked  her  to  marry  me,  come  back  to  Korea,  and  go  abroad  to  the  US.  Hangzou’s   beautiful  weather  blessed  us.  Quickly,  I  organized  the  wedding  and  we  got  married  in  May.  This   was  an  unbeatable  record,  and  we  flew  to  the  US  in  July.  As  a  result,  I  hooked  your  mother  up   but  it  is  she  that  picked  me  up.         My  first  year  of  the  PhD  program  was  so  difficult  that  I  was  often  disappointed  and  had   something  else  on  my  mind  (getting  back  to  Korea).  Your  mother  also  felt  disconnected  and  had   a  difficult  time  because  there  was  nothing  she  could  do.  Nevertheless,  we  successfully  secured   the  scholarship,  went  to  New  York,  and  celebrated  our  first  year  of  marriage.  At  that  time,   Olivia  was  growing  in  our  love.  Right  now,  I  am  doing  my  dissertation  after  having  passed  the   most  difficult  bar,  a  comprehensive  exam,  in  the  last  year  (congratulations!!).   Olivia  and  Jayden!!     I  have  six  things  to  tell  you,  although  I  have  many  things.  Just  read  the  first  five  but   memorize  the  final  one  in  your  mind.  First,  learn  knowledge.  Knowledge  is  light  in  the  darkness.   Knowledge  gives  us  power  for  a  better  life.  Knowledge  of  hunting  was  the  most  important  thing   in  primitive  periods.  Knowledge  of  agriculture  was  the  most  important  thing  in  pre-­‐modern   time.  Knowledge  of  fishing  is  the  most  important  thing  in  the  coastal  villages.  What  is  the  most  

important knowledge  in  your  period?  Our  modern  society  is  based  on  a  tremendous  knowledge   base,  from  basic  to  professional,  that  human  beings  have  created  throughout  our  history.  By   learning  basic  knowledge,  you  become  a  man  and  a  woman.  If  you  know  better  in  specific  areas,   you  will  be  an  expert.  Enjoy  learning  and  do  not  be  afraid  of  discussing  what  you  know.  And  do   not  be  ashamed  of  what  you  do  not  know  or  misunderstand.       What  knowledge  should  you  need  to  learn  beyond  basic  knowledge?  Since  we  do  not   learn  everything,  we  need  to  learn  what  we  like.  Thus,  I  would  like  you  to  follow  what  you  like   and  learn  knowledge  in  that  field.  In  my  case,  I  was  interested  in  politics  but  had  unbalanced   knowledge  about  social  ideology  and  overestimated  the  role  of  social  movements.  Because  of   that,  I  spent  hard  time.  But  since  I  like  learning  about  politics  (instead  of  doing  politics),  I  am   now  trying  to  be  a  political  scientist  and  will  probably  never  stop  learning  politics.  Likewise,  you   need  to  observe  yourself,  learn  what  drives  you,  and  expose  yourself  to  a  variety  of  experiences.   Without  this  long  process,  your  soul  does  not  say  anything.     Second,  hear  your  moral  voices  from  inside  yourself.  Human  beings  are  so  rational  that   they  often  violate  morality  in  pursuit  of  their  own  short-­‐sighted  interests.  Morality  is  like  a   fundamental  guideline  when  nothing  else  is  available.  Even  when  everything  is  available,   morality  is  the  most  important  thing  we  need  to  follow.  When  your  life  goes  and  goes,  you  will   see  many  situations  that  you  can  take  advantage  of.  Whenever  you  see  those  situations,  please   follow  your  moral  message.  Sometimes,  human  beings  make  mistakes  not  to  hear  their  moral   voice.  So  many  corruptions  and  deceptions  are  all  the  products  of  when  they  ignore  their  inside   voices.  Small  mistakes  should  be  socially  excused  but  they  should  not  be  so  in  your  mind.  Please   learn  that  the  mistakes  of  violating  morality  may  destroy  you.       Third,  be  polite  and  generous.  We  do  not  live  alone.  In  my  study  of  politics,  there  are   political  conflicts  and  disagreements  even  when  there  are  two  persons.  In  other  words,   conflicts  and  disagreements  are  always  latent  in  our  relationship.  How  can  we  transform  these   latent  disagreements  and  conflicts  into  harmony?  The  most  fundamental  way  is  to  make  us  all   the  same.  But  this  is  impossible.  The  realistic  way  is  that  we  become  more  polite  and  generous.   Politeness  and  generosity  are  not  only  socially  good,  but  good  for  you.  Politeness  and   generosity  is  a  representation  of  your  intrinsic  strength.  If  you  are  polite  and  generous,  your   friends  and  supervisors  will  like  you  since  they  think  you  are  strong  enough  to  master   appropriate  social  attitudes.       Fourth,  challenge  yourself  to  learn  and  challenge  your  life.  Everyone’s  life  is  unique.  In   the  whole  universe,  only  you  exist.  You  are  not  a  replication  of  old  people.  You  are  just  you.  Be   yourself.  Human  society  seems  to  be  so  established  and  solid,  but  it  has  so  many  holes.  As   human  beings,  we  are  generally  ignorant  of  the  universe  and  ourselves.  And  we  are  also   incapable  of  getting  rid  of  many  social  problems,  including  genocide,  civil  wars,  and  famine.  In  

other words,  we  and  our  society  are  incomplete.  Challenge  is  not  only  good  for  society,  but   good  for  you.  Without  challenge,  how  do  you  get  to  know  and  get  sophisticated  about   something?  Without  challenge,  you  are  just  as  you  were.  But,  with  challenge,  you  will  create   your  future.  Challenge  begins  from  learning,  but  it  pushes  learning  further  and  makes  it  more   complete.     Fifth,  take  care  of  your  health  and  learn  a  sport.  Without  heath,  your  life  cannot  go  well.   Nobody  takes  care  of  your  health  more  than  you.  Specifically,  I  would  like  you  to  exercise  at   least  once  a  week.  ”Once”  means  2-­‐4  hours  of  intensive  practice.  During  college,  I  lost  my   health.  I  did  not  take  care  of  my  body  for  several  years.  In  1999,  my  weight  was  60  kg.  I  was   almost  a  skeleton.  My  friends  were  very  sympathetic  about  that.  It  was  not  a  good  thing  and  I   did  not  like  it.  After  that,  I  began  to  play  tennis.  Whenever  I  have  enough  extra  time,  I  have   done  exercise  including  tennis,  walking,  running,  riding  a  bicycle  and  so  on.  I  am  not  a  sport   expert  and  not  crazy  about  it,  but  I  am  sensitive  to  my  health  and  take  care  of  it.  Likewise,  I   hope  you  learn  your  favorite  sport  and  enjoy  it.  Learning  a  sport  implies  more  than  taking  care   of  health.  From  my  experience  of  learning  tennis  for  a  year  (almost  10  hours  a  day),  learning  a   sport  would  give  you  many  things  other  than  knowledge:  discipline,  attitude,  passion,  a  sense   of  fairness,  relationship,  and  so  on.       Sixth,  I  have  stressed  five  good  things  you  can  follow.  But,  Olivia  and  Jayden!  You  must   know  that  these  are  not  easy  to  follow.  Even  I  do  not  practice  and  master  these  things.  And   there  are  many  other  good  things  we  can  follow.  However,  life  is  complex  and  we  are  not   extraordinarily  strong  and  smart.  People  are  so  diverse  and  the  universe  is  so  broad,  too.  Olivia   and  Jayden!  Your  mother  would  say  that  we  need  to  believe  in  God  and  pray  for  what  you  do   not  know  and  are  not  able  to  do.  However,  your  mother  also  agrees  with  my  more  realistic  but   final  lesson  that  you  must  believe  that  we  need  to  learn  these  good  things  and  only  this  effort   guides  us  to  a  better  life.  We  can  make  a  mistake  since  we  are  not  complete.  I  have  also  made   many  mistakes  that  I  do  not  want  to  remember.  But,  the  relentless  effort  to  learn  and  master   the  good  things  is  the  only  way  to  a  better  life  and  happiness.  There  is  nothing  else.       Olivia  and  Jayden!     We  love  you.  We  do  swear  that  we  do  our  best  for  you.  Believe  your  father  and  mother.   We  believe  that  if  we  will  do  our  best,  you  will  do  your  best.  It  is  not  fair  to  ask  you  to  do  your   best  when  we  do  not.  From  this  letter,  your  father  and  mother  seem  to  have  become  better   parents  and  we  all  have  become  a  family  in  our  mind.  Everything  begins  from  your  mind.  Be   awakened.  I  love  you.    

Lost in Translation Vol III  

Issue 2011

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