Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Perspective Schmerspective

It just doesn't ever slow down or let up. Nope. Last week D. and Stella both were really sick, probably the flu but they wouldn't know for sure, being uninsured and broke!

In addition to one of my students having an emergency appendectomy, yesterday I was busy with another student having an emergency root canal. It just won't stop.

I feel disconnected from the people and things that make me happy and bring joy to my life. I can't remember the last time I went dancing. Or to my yoga class. I've made a commitment to exercise more and cook more at home and so far that's working out pretty well. This week's menus include chicken, spinach soufflé, saffron basmati rice, baked butternut squash* with marinara sauce, homemade falafel, and roasted poblanos stuffed with queso fresco served over caramelized carrots and onions. So that makes me feel good, at least. What doesn't make me feel good include dealing with generations of deadbeat dads and the psychological trauma that gets stirred up every time I think about all that too much, not being able to afford health care for my daughter, feeling adrift and out of touch with my partner, feeling like a lazy piece of shit, political grandstanding, feeling like I'm alternately wasting my life and killing myself with all work and no play, and on and on and on.

And when my pity party (table of one, please!) gets to be too much, I get an email like this one below from one of my former students. This guy broke my heart. He's from China and was so distraught with having to return to his country without a home. The government in his town razed his apartment building and offered his family a fraction of what a new apartment would cost in return, leaving them effectively homeless. The stories I hear about the Chinese government could turn your stomach - and yet they retain Most Favored Nation status and own the majority of our debt! I think of China as some sort of deadbeat dad, doing whatever it wants with no thought to how it might affect the psychological well-being of its people. I want to quote part of his email to me (please forgive the ESLisms):

Now, I am working as a officer for Health Inspect and Supervision in my city. But more and more social problems occured in our community, these issues had made heavy burden to local people in their nomal life.
High inflation lead to everything which pursued to high price and benifits in all occupation, this reason pushed our government becoming rich but most of local people or household with poor conditions. High price house, Education system corruption and Health care with high cost, these are likely new three mountains hold down Chinese people after new China was found in 1949 by turndowning the old three mountains such as feadulism, stratocracy and imperial.
Like my house removed by local government, they told us that they wanted to set up a new residential building in our location. Most of my neighbors had to move another place to live or rent for waiting the building construction about two years. However, we had to pay more money for them that we could move new one. As you know, there is 6500 Yuan (1000 US Dollar)/squ meter for our house price, I need to pay 350,000--400,000 Yuan for the extra fee to them if we continue to return our new apartment with the dimension of 100 sq. meter. It is equal to the value of salary for working 15-year without any expenditure. In some large cities, the price of real estate surpass 30,000 Yuan (5,000 US Dollar) per square meter. Most people in China appeal to inhibit the high price of housing for residents.
Food price is also high speediness comparing with the income of local residents. For example, the pork meat is about 12 Yuan/Jin (one Jin is equare to 500 gram) as same as 3.5 US Dollar/ Kilogram. Every food included vegetables, egg and soybean products with not normal ratio. In meantime, education system was corrupted filled with smell of money. Like the compulsory education of elemantal school, most teacher compel students to attend their extra class in Saturday or Sunday for special tuition. Some knowledge of text were not lectured in normal class but giving the weekend courses. Because of obtaining extensive knowledge, the students had to attend these weekend class such like my daughter and their classmates. These children are so hard work in very day but also have not time in their weekend.
The third burden for local people is a difficult thing for seeing the doctor. Although the reformation of health system was advocated by government again and again, there are many unfair facts in patient treatment in hospital by health policy-makers. Some people have privilege for treatmen in hospital such as governmental offical, and other people have not basis health care like local resident. The Social Medical Insurance is just superficial project showing outside and most of category in common diseases did not include in SMI.
So, How about the economic development of China is, as saying as it is a model ecomomic of price makeup in nation. As the leader of government says that the development of economic is improving high price of commodity. They called that this is startup the requirements of domestic costumers. Like housing, food and shelter, these are rigid consumption whether or not how high the price is. Consequently, the rich of government in our country is set up the foundation for sarificing many benefits and interests of the local people.
May be a reason of the experience of abroad study, compared other country like Thailand and The United States with my homecountry, I found the difference with others and wanted to try doing something in order to arouse my compatriots. Last week, I was very sad to hear a message for "returned chinese scholars commit suicide" . He was Dr.. Tu Xuxin (涂序新), a graduate of America's Northwestern University and committed suicide when he hired at the lecture of Zhejiang University. Just short time of three months after he returned home from Chicago, Dr. Tu chose this extreme method to end his life. Although existed his personal character with the conflicting for environmental survival, there is not ignore social problem pushing him into the one way to end.
I also reminisce of many things happened in the period of my visit-studying in U of A .These are likely the moive show in my brain. Especially I recalled the anecdote that there were 3 students like freshman helding the activity of donation for some organization when I went to Student's Union in one day afternoon. I expressed very interesting and talking with them, they told me about their vision and goal and they worked for the organization of Blood:Water Mission. I was moved by their passion and loving and did not hesitate to donate 10 Dollar to them. They sent a Red T-shirt to me in the return. From the simple thing, the youth take part in attending social activity to enhance the responsibility and obligation for sociality in our community.
For the influenza H1N1pandemic, there are more and more cases in our area but not death case. Local health authorities called the residents keep good health habit to fight this plague such as washing hand, covering mask and avoiding the crowd. In addition, you can avail to take traditional medicine like herb syrub something. In my opinion, I found the result in the newsletter from our journal which 35 cases were confirm Influenza H1N1 out of 214 suspicious cases. That is to say that there is 16 percent for H1N1 and remnant is common colds. Even now, there are also many schools would be closed if found any suspicion in case of the epidemic..
I was regretted for writing this prolixity to let you understand my situation and the truth reflection of my thoughts. I also know there are long way for making our country to become more democracy and freedom to all people .
In the special day, I express my appreciation to your encouragement and hearten. This is end of this time, I will share my story or ideas next time if you are interesting to listen.

So this email did a number on me. Why am I complaining? I have freedom and health and enough love in my life that I feel overwhelmed sometimes. I think the least I can do is share this man's words. Frankly, I'm shocked that the government allowed his email to be sent to me. Another former student of mine who lives in Urumqi has no internet access whatsoever because of the unrest there. What a mess we've all got ourselves into, huh?

*PS - whomever came to this site searching for "butternut squash anal sex," I am deeply disturbed by you. Although you might be my soul mate.

1 comment:

I Know Right? said...

really makes me feel shitty for even THINKING about complaining.