神聚会

我们可爱的Howard跟我们说过一句话,When you feel you have nothing to write about, GET OUT, observe and talk to people. 所以,在我终于在家睡了一天,倒完从卡迪夫到伦敦,期末到假期的时长后,我开始 往外走。

在伦敦,每一次出行都要付出一些代价,包括金钱与精力,因为它太大了,所以为了不迷路要做很多功课;因为它太大了,所以每次出行都是公车地铁加11路。所幸的是,我在这个令人慌张又精神的魔都有一个土豪阿姨家,和他们出去的时候,这些就暂且可以放一下了。

12月22日,星期天,今天的行程是去拜访一个High Wycombe的home party。阿姨为准备这个圣诞home趴,几天前就买了鸭子,前一天晚上做了提拉米苏和椰奶糕,今天一早又起来烧烤鸭,可见重视程度。House趴的主人很热情,食物很好吃,但这都不是重点。我的重点在于餐桌上的神讨论。

神讨论有两个主题,一是关于孩子和家长沟通的问题。二是关于找寻个人幸福的问题。

因为今天的餐桌上,基本都是90后的孩子们和他们的家长,我是正好出生在90的人,和那几个正在上大学的94+孩子微微有那么点代沟。 这些孩子很多是从小出生在英国,或者是小学阶段就被送出来读书的。简言之,都是有底气说“我爸是李刚”的那帮土豪,而且个个是名校,牛津剑桥斯坦福,最次的是我弟也是个伦敦政经的“货”。正因为如此,他们很有自己的主见,而他们的父母很多都是大学教授博士后,道理也是一套套的。

很多时候,父母凭借着自己的经验,希望可以把更多的人生道理传授给孩子,让他们走更少的弯路过更好的生活。而孩子认为自己的世界应该自己做主,父母说教很无聊经验很过时。举个简单的例子,我表弟刚从法国滑雪回来,他父亲跟他讲了很多遍滑雪要注意的安全问题,千万不要尝试陡坡因为最近新闻上又有几个英国学生因为滑雪而死亡。就此,我表弟就表示不满了。他觉得老爸老说这事很无聊,首先,他并不会去尝试这些危险的路径;但是,如果父亲一味地强调安全性,可能会使孩子反其道而行之,说不定哪天还真是去冒险了;再次,退一步讲,如果他就想成为走那条路的第一个人,那么不尝试又怎么会成功呢?结果是,父亲始终觉得孩子没听进去他的忠告,一而再再而三地重复,而孩子觉得父亲的话虽有道理,但很明显,多次重复之后非常唠叨并激发逆反心理。非良性性循环。

我觉得其实解决这样的问题最简单的方法就是换位思考。父母站在孩子的角度,有些显而易见的道理不必多次重复,随着孩子年龄地增长,适当地给他们提升信任额度。对于非原则性的问题,可以让他们去体验,让顺境或挫折去教导孩子。而涉及重大原则的问题,则适当引导,最终的决定仍让孩子自己做。对于孩子,一定要理解家长的良苦用心,要明确他们一定是为自己好,keep that in mind, 把父辈的经验当做参考,时长对照以防走地太远。补充一点,选对时机很重要,否则父母用四十多年的经验并不能与孩子产生共鸣,导致事倍功半多说无益。

第二个话题是人类永久的社会话题,如何选择个人幸福。饭桌上的家长都有着让人羡慕的婚姻,夫妻感情深且家庭幸福指数高。他们一致认为,一个人感到快乐能够成功,一个优秀的伴侣起到很大的作用。因此,找个好老婆好老公尤为重要。找个话题是争论焦点在于,家长们认为我们现在有了更多的自由,也就面临了更多的诱惑。我们缺少对感情的执着与责任心,未来堪忧。而九零后认为,自己一点不比父辈们差,那些核心价值观并没有丢失。可能唯有的区别是孩子们生来就有了相对的自由,而家长们是最近几年才受到更少地束缚(解释了为什么近几年四十多岁夫妻频频离婚的现象)。

这个话题到结束,我们都没有找到一个合适的结论或解决方案。毕竟这是很多人穷尽一生在寻找的答案,可能的解决方案是尽可能去认识更多的人,与他们相处,甚至进行一番分析,挑选一个合适的,stick to him/her. Possible qualities for a good guy, honest(long term), and responsilble. 我想不到更好的解决方法,我也正在这个难题里,可能用心吧。婚姻是个赌博,但是在押宝之前有很多迹象可以帮助你判断。如果爸妈都不认可,婚姻不一定会幸福。

很多时候,站在长我们20岁的角度去分析问题,看年轻的我们讨论同一个他们曾经历过的事件或话题,本身就是一件非常有意思的事情。我不确定在哪一个场合下,还会有机会参与或听到这样的讨论。但是有一点我知道,我们每个人都在很努力地寻找对更好生活的出路,有的人很幸运的成功了,有人的失败了。那些幸运的人,一定付出了更多的努力。

2013/12/23

伦敦

Sarah

Welsh Education Minister reviews HE

The Welsh Education Minister Huw Lewis has unveiled details for funding for Higher Education across the country. His speech focussed on three key themes – including fair sustainable funding for Wales.

For the ministers speech and interview, click here.

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Welsh university students pay around three and a half thousand pounds for their tuition fees – with the Welsh government paying the rest through a grant. The students get the money wherever they study. The Welsh Conservatives say that policy is unaffordable. So it’s not surprising that sustainable funding was one of Mr Lewis’ key themes. And he says HE funding in Wales is going up.

Mr Lewis said his other key themes were equality and equity and jobs and growth. He said universities should play a bigger role in society. And he talked about a recent trip to China and what his impressions were of that country’s recent growth…

In the audience for the Ministers speech was Dr Lynn Williams – an executive of scholarship and research society in Wales.

According to the Minister, there will be a national debate about his review of funding for Higher Education in Wales – with everyone welcome to express their opinions.

 

This is literally the most time consuming news I have ever made. On Monday night right after the conference, I wrote the first version of this piece. Later on Wednesday I showed that to James, he told me some broad information of Monday review which made me realized whenever I wrote news, I shall always link the background with current event. Apparently, that’s review is not just a simple speech. The minister Huw Lewis is in a big trouble right now, because current HE funding policy in Wales costs the government a lot money, and the expenditure is still increasing. That’s why Welsh Conservatives think it is unfavorable. That’s why in the review, Mr Lewis claims that the current policy is ”sustainable”. For more information, click the links below!

I personally think this is a very interesting topic. You can see England, Welsh they are all in UK while as relatively independent nations their own education policies are so different.

Golden fish

Sometime you could be overwhelmed by the world around you so that you forgot the initial reason why you are doing these things.

This is something I picked up from a church. Golden fish sees quite clear of what happens in the tank but gets rather blur view of everything outside the tank. Sometime, we are exactly like these fish because we only see what happens around us. However, there are more things outside the tank. That’s why we say, sometime, you need to think outside the box.

It is hard to keep a clear mind all the time, but it is important to keep awake once a while.

 

Let Me Tell You Some Halloween Stories

I am a Chinese, so honestly I have never celebrated Halloween in my entire life. So when people around me started to talk about what costumes they planed to wear, I panicked. What it Halloween? 

According to my limited knowledge, Halloween is when children knock their neighbors door and say treat or trick while grown-ups wear either funny, sexy or ridiculous dresses. But after these days’ experience, my impression on Halloween somehow changed.

First of all, UK Halloween and US Halloween are two different stories. One of my Germany friend invited me to a farm for pumpkin carving and cornfield maze. For some reason, I mentioned this to one of my lecture James and he was the very first one tell me British Halloween is pretty much Americanized. Having that in mind, I went to the farm for evidence. Dylan who studying drama in local college volunteered on the farm, he told me a suspicious story about bonfire.

As for children in Wales, the traditional treat-or-trick is actually a kind of fruit. Can you guess what fruit it is?

From what Dylan talked, you probably as I did finally got a sense of the original Walsh Halloween style. Also, Dylan told me that Halloween in British is more about ghost and spirit. Halloween comes from a Scottish term All Hallows’ Eve, the evening before All Hallow. It is the last day of harvest and darkness is about to come. Americans definitely put more commercial values on Halloween, such as sweets, costume cos-play and so on.

After the study of history Halloween, I got to pick my own pumpkin and carved Mr. Smilepump! 

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How much has American culture affected British or Walsh tradition of Halloween is continue to be found out. But in such a globalized planet, no one could just immune from it. Enjoying the diversity may after all be considered as wise choice.

 

 

 

What Is On the Roof

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How many times you’ve been passing by City Hall? Have you ever noticed that there is a wild creature on the roof and has been watching Cardiff for decades?

The ‘mysterious’ creature is a Welsh dragon! It sits on the dome of the City Hall. And because this dragon is so proud that you can’t possibly take a close look without a binoculars. My college Sandister has done some research on that.

This Welsh dragon was designed by three architects, Henry Vaughan Lanchester, Stewart and Rickards. However, it was sculpted by Henry Charles Fehr. Back to early 19th, it actually took five years, from 1901 to 1906, of creating this stone made dragon.

Next time, when you walk by the City Hall, you might want to look up and have an eye contact with this proud fierce Welsh dragon.

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A close look of this lovely creature.

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Sandister with her baby dragon!

 

Is Chinese equals to Copy Cat?

I really hope this was just simply one of the stereotypes of China. But based on what we did in last several decades, it sounds like us.

Then I start to ask myself, are Chinese people born to be copy cats? I simply don’t agree with that idea. Two thousand years ago, there were 4 brilliant inventions, the compass, gunpowder, paper and movable-type printing, invented by ancient Chinese. Not to mention numerous china listing in British Museum. All of these are absolutely original. Image

So we used to be a creative nation! Good to know ;) Then how come all of a sudden there are so many kick-offs in Chinese market.

Is that because the way we have been taught? It could be. In my memory, only a few people want to be different in China. When I was little, I liked to be a host. As I was a monitor back then, I organized all the class events and hosted some of the school activities in higher grades. But when I entered middle school, my parents suggested me focus on my study instead of being a little bit something in class. And teachers wouldn’t want their students to get involved in too much social activities, children who like dancing or singing would be regarded as poor students. Although I still became a TV host on campus station in middle school, and my diploma degree also have something to do with broadcasting. Nevertheless  I assume the way parents and teachers led to were quite singleness. It somehow diminishes many children’s talent and turns them into a boring copy machines ( it is not that pathetic as it sounds, because these machines can survive by doing some less creative work).

Having said this, I still don’t think education is the primary reason. I assume the economy still plays an indispensable role. The purpose China have Gaokao, on one hand, the country wish to select talents, on the other hand, it is indeed one of the best ways to jump out of where you came from for many families. Since the medical care system in China isn’t sophisticated enough, a good way to ensure a proper elder life is having a smart, well-paid child. (In this content, I assume you know we Chinese view filial piety extremely high.) In order to achieve this goal, the parents kind  of push their children to study as hard as they could. Because of the developing medical care system, people would not want o risk their professional careers to some imagination-related work( many old people believe this sort of work is unsteadily ). Consequently, many Chinese just wind up with an ordinary life.

However, thing has been changed. GDP in China still leads a rather high figure, and every family’s living condition is much better than ever. This is a bright sign that more people get to pick whatever they like without too much draw-back. I believe imitate it a method to learn good skills as long as you give the credit to the original creator. When we get to the hang of that, and the people have more confident in future, China is ready to CREATE.

 

 

Quickest Way to Check Out Cardiff University’s Diversity

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Cardiff University has been claiming itself as a quite international school. This is easy for a headmaster of the college to say so, and this is easy for a Cardiff University student to say so. But how can the public to feel the diversity of this one of the best Universities in Wales? Here comes the St David’s Student Lock-In, which is the event gathered majority students.

St David’s is a Cardiff city center shopping mall. Hundreds of world-known brands located here. On October 8th, 8:00 pm, St David’s Students Lock-In official started.All the students got 20 percent off of the original  prices, and some shops even offered half price for selected items. The discount seems rather appealing to college students, therefore, almost everyone in Cardiff Uni was pretty excited about this coming event.

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Eight past twenty, as you can see from the above picture. There are already numerous students shopping in the mall. Many of them are still having their backpacks with them because they just got off from class. A Chinese student from Cardiff University, Chen, said that she didn’t want to miss out this big mid-season sale, so she just rushed out from school and went straight away to here.

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Most retailer have offered their best deal for students. In Boots, the discount are rare in most time of the year.  But tonight, they give out 10% for all the items along with small gifts. Sarah is a saler in Givenchy fragrance. According to her, tonight is really worthwhile to spend money. For example, a Givenchy Play fragrance’s(50ml) usual price is £51, but today you get 10% off, besides, the brand will send 4 samples, a Givenchy mirror as well as a make-up bag. 

An interesting thing to notice, although the sale is big, many international students think the British items are much more expensive than their home countries’ deals. Kathryn from the United States claims that most international products have a similar price as American ones, however, the dollars are weaker than pounds. So things here are slightly more expensive than States. As for those American brand, such as Apple, Gap, ect., US definitely offers a more approachable price. In terms of Chinese customers, me,  cloth are rather cheap while some makeups and electronics tend to have a similar expense. 

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Many DJs and events are going on meanwhile.

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That is me and my trophies :P

From the equator to Cardiff

Everyone has their own first impression about Cardiff.  Many people find it quite cold.

But for a girl from somewhere near the equator, will the cold seem even worse?

Sandister is an MA international journalism student from Ghana. Her first impression of Cardiff was definitely the temperature.

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The good thing is that she finds Cardiff people very friendly. Hopefully, the friendship will warm her up.

By interveiwing Sandister, I learned that audio is rather important in radio journalism. You must know how to use the equipment correctly.