Audi: Audi A3 Sedan (Chinese Edition)

Audi: Audi A3 Sedan (Chinese Edition).

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2012 Maya Prophecy, Superstition or Science?

So I watched the documentary on 2012 Maya prophecy on Netflix. I really love the idea that December 21st, 2012 will be an unprecedented era in which things become evident to people, and they do not want to fight with each other any more.

 

 

CRDM Advice: Dr. Carolyn Miller on Scholarly Publications

CRDM Advice: Dr. Carolyn Miller on Scholarly Publications.

Floating Clouds and Flowing Water? The Difficulty of Convergence Culture amid Cyberimperialism

There is a Chinese saying “floating clouds and flowing water” to praise good writing and thoughts, but here it occurs to me suddenly that the convergence culture through new media is just the same. Owing to the liquidity of information and ideas, people from different cultural and ideological backgrounds can now easily access each other’s most private thinkings by reading blogs, posts, and so on. However, the highly public and sharp differences can probably cause conscequences even the authors would have never imagined. So, maybe it is much more difficult to arrive the level of “floating clouds and flowing water” in cultural convergence. Maybe I should not overly exaggerate the difficulties, but the good side can turn bad if the situation is worsened by people who use rhetoric to fight wars, not making friends, am I right?

The example in the introduction to Convergence Culture immediately reminds me of the film that mocks Muslim prophet not long ago. Even the fresh news reported by New York Times on Chinese Premier Wen and his family is now in the spotlight online and in China. While the freedom of speech on the Western side can explore interesting stories on anyone anywhere, I cannot help suspecting the validity of the news and its purpose of releasing such a seemed horrible news just before the big conference in China. It seems to me that the NYT, one of my favorite news resources, has chosen a completely wrong target this time. One who is deeply loved by the people in China by his charisma and his idea to fight against corruption, to cooperate internationally, and even to change the Chinese governmental systems. Who does not know that politicians all over the world make a lot of money?! If such kind of non-friendly reports goes on and on, how can the convergence of culture happen if people just wage wars against each other openly and fiercely. Does it mean that US will convert all the other nations?

Each person has a specific memory of history that is rooted in the specific culture, and it changes or even shatters when new media era demand one to converge to another system of belief. Clashes and conflicts either openly or secretly is not necessarily bad, for they prompt one to learn and search for the specific information on the “other” for a more holistic literacy—a worldwide literacy that can embrace different histories, beliefs, experiences, and practices. In the popular culture circle, people debate with each other by commenting to a certain piece of news, by daily dialogues on certain topics that they cannot possibly understand within the limitation of one culture, and by blogging and other means of social networks. In the academic circle, through multinational collaboration and cross-national communication.

However, when bad things, such as the anti-US protests happened in Egypt and Lybia, when anti-Japanese protests happened in China, who is to blame? Should someone who has always been bullied feel sad and say a word? Can the internet wake up one day and say, “Hey, don’t look at me today. Your heart will break if you see other people playing with your faith now!” I love the internet and all new media stuff because I use them as a tool to learn, to share, and to communicate with friends and family. But sometimes, I woke up and was made sad because of tons of negative or bad news that would literally give me no mood to go to school. I wonder why people just cannot understand that politics are politics, when you play with the politicians, consider the feelings of the civilians also. They suffer a lot because of your games! All the world is now learning and adoring the American idol(I am thinking of the copied Hollywood in India, and many other cloned things), but whether they will continue to do so depends on what their Godly idol does to them, I guess.

Back to my title, I think the cyberspace environment is highly imperialist and pushy because the wind that blow the clouds and waters, or the trend of some important agencies really decides which direction the world will go to. Trying to understand each other thoroughly is just in vain and pointless if people do not calm down and make efforts to learn from each other and really sit down to talk. Because history has proven that wars and hatred cannot save problems once for all.

Once again, the power of rhetoric in such a “convergence culture”, whether true or false, has frightened me. I wonder when will a genuine democracy of culture come into being.

I have some links for my dear professor, classmates, and blog followers below:

The first one tells how imperialism and the foreign invasions happened in Asia. It has an audio version just ahead of the text.

The second one talks about an American Chinese journalist’s struggling with his dilemma of identities.

The third one is a link of the Chinese Exclusion Act, it will also take you to the National Archives.

Imperialism Asia

The Olympics, China, and Me

Chinese Exclusion Act 1882

We Are the World & We Are the Word

Of all the following videos, I think the most important ones are the first two. Other videos are basically Chinese music and culture, except the erhu version of  the Carmen Fantasy.

This is the 2008 beijing Olympic theme song. A song that expresses the hospitality of the Chinese people and the good-willed wish that people from all over the world can try to understand each other and become family forever.

Lyrics:

  You and Me,From one world,We are family.

  Travel one dream,thousand miles,Meeting in Beijing.

  Come together,Put your hand in mine.

  You and Me,From one world,We are family.

I bet you are more familiar with this song than me. So I’ll just walk away. Haha. I heard it a long time ago, love it!

I found this video when I was trying to search a video of traditional Chinese music instrument pipa, which is one of the oldest instrument in Chinese history. This video introduces a little bit about Chinese culture by introducing the traditional health treatment and the musical instrument pipa. The two melodies played in the video are “Spring, River, and Flower on a Moonlit Night,” and “Ambush from Ten Sides”.

Below is the original poem by Chinese ancient poet Ruoxu Zhang, and the background information about the second melody from wikipedia.

ZHANG RUOXU Chang Jo-Hsü (c. 660-c.720) 

(from http://www.thedrunkenboat.com/zhang.html)

Translated by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping 

Zhang Ruoxu is a poet about whom little knowledge has survived. Along with He Zhizhang (659-744), he achieved fame as a poet as one of a group of four poets from the Lower Yangtze Basin (the group was known as the “Four Scholars from Wuzhong,” and also included Zhang Xu, and Bao Rong). Only two of his poems survive, but one of them, “Spring, River, and Flowers on a Moonlit Night,” is so admired that he has become a famous poet on the basis of this poem alone.

Spring, River, and Flowers on a Moonlit Night


The tide in the Spring river meets the flat ocean.
On the sea a bright moon is born with the tide
And shimmers along the waves for thousands of miles.
Nowhere on the Spring river is without bright moon.

The river meanders through fragrant fields
And in the flowering woods moon makes everything snow,
Until even frost flowing in space is invisible
And on the shores white sands disappear in light.

River and sky merge in one dustless color.
Bright, bright sky, with only the moon’s wheel.
Who first saw the moon on this riverbank?
What year did this river moon first shine on men?

Generations keep passing without end,
But the river moon looks the same year after year.
I don’t know who the river moon is waiting for;
I only see the long river seeing off the flowing water.

One scarf of white cloud fades into distance,
Leaving unbearable sorrow in the estuary’s green maples.
Whose husband is drifting away in a flat boat tonight?
Who is missing her lover in a moonlit tower?

What a pity, the moon wandering through the tower;
It should light the mirror-stand of the traveler.
She cannot roll it up in the jade door’s blinds;
Or wipe it from the rock where she beats clothes clean.

At this moment, they see the same moon, but cannot hear each other,
She wishes she could flow with the moonlight onto him.
The wild goose flying off cannot escape this light,
When fish and dragons leap and dive I read patterns in the waves.

Last night she dreamed of fallen petals in a still pool.
What sorrow: with spring half over, the man hasn’t returned.
The current has almost washed the Spring away,
And the setting moon tilts west again in the river pool.

The slanting moon sinks deep, deep into the sea fog.
Between the Brown Rock and the Xiang River is a long way
And I don’t know how many people ride the moonlight home.
The setting moon fills the river trees with shivering emotion.

Note: “Spring, River, and Flowers on a Moonlit Night,” stanza 6. Traditionally, Chinese women wash clothes by a stream or river by beating the clothes on a rock with a wooden club, and in Chinese poetry the sound of beating clothes typically generates homesickness. 

Ambush from Ten Sides (Chinese埋伏pinyinshí miàn mái fú) is a classical piece written for the pipaAmbush is written in the “Wu” or martial style, and is about the circumstances of which General Xiang Yu in 202 BC was defeated by Liu Bang. This is the same subject matter as “The King Doffs His Armor“, but is written from an different perspective.

Ambush from Ten Sides is considered a masterpiece in Chinese classical music. The difficulty of the piece ensures that it can be played almost exclusively by virtuosos. (from wikipedia)

I love the Carmen fantasy, but this piece is played by Chinese music instrument erhu.

When I saw this clip again I remembered the Goddess Rhetoric and the common sounds narrative in our assigned homework.

This song is a very old folk classic and the original singer is unknown.
This has been a folk story and not a fable, with some degree of authenticity, without the turning into butterfly segment. The reason I am saying this is because there is a Liang temple in front of the Village of Ma, the same village of my own mother lineage (her family name is Ma) in the Province of 浙江 (outside of West Lake of Hanchou)

The song was originally a violin piece and made into the theme song of a movie depicting the two characters of Liang Shan-Bo 梁山伯 and Zhu Yingtai 祝英台. The latter is a lady. They both studied together for three years but on the urge of her father who missed her dearly, Zhu wanted to go home. The distance from the study hall to the home of Zhu was about 18 miles. Upon home, since Zhu was of age to marry, according to custom, her parents arranged for her to marry the son of the Village of Ma. Liang paid a visit, only to find out Zhu was a lady. His love of her as a brother turned into romantic love. When home, he planned to announce his intentions to marry her. Unfortunately, midway to Zhu’s home, he died. Zhu was devastated. On her way to marry the son of the Ma Family, she asked the wedding party to briefly stop at the tomb of Liang, which was close to the mid-point of the 18-mile journey where she and Liang once pledged to be brothers before their studying together. As soon as she approached the Liang tomb, her body turned into a white butterfly to join Liang’s body that had turned into a yellow butterfly.

Lyrics are also composed specifically for this piece of music:

碧草青青花盛開 彩蝶雙雙久徘徊
Rolling meadow flowers blossoming, pretty butterflies lingering in pairs

千古傳頌深深爱 山伯水戀祝英台
Eternal story of deep affection, Shan-Bo loving Zhu, Yingtai

同窗共讀整三載 促膝並肩倆無猜
Studying together for three full years in close quarters in complete innocence

十八相送情切切 誰知一别在樓台
Eighteen miles of farewell of thick sentiment, who would know of departure at the balcony of the tower.

啊… 啊… 啊… 啊… 啊… 啊…
Ah…

樓台一别恨如海 淚染雙翅身化彩蝶
Since that departure misgivings have been like the ocean, tears soaking both wings, bodies turning into pretty
butterflies

翩翩花叢來  歷盡磨難真情在
Flying through handsome-looking flowering shrubs, experiencing utmost torments with true feelings

天長地久不分開
Inseparable forever and ever

The way to the Garden of Eden/Heavenly Road

lyrics:

On the green grassland in the morning
I saw the king of birds cast in the rays of morning sunshine
flying in the blue sky like auspicious cloud
bringing the fortune to Tibetan.
On the top of hill at dusk
I saw the railways thru to my home
like a megalosaurus crossing over mountains
delivering good health to snow-covered altiplano.
That is the way of mystery
leading the warmth of terrestrial to border land.
Mountain will be no longer high and road will be no longer long.
All the nations be in union for joyous.

On the top of hill at dusk
I saw the railways thru to my home
like a megalosaurus crossing over mountains
delivering good health to snow-covered altiplano.
That is the way of mystery
leading us to the Garden of Eden.
Sweeter, the wine and ghee tee
the happy song resounding all over Tibet.

lyrics:

I see a blue sky,

Over a green lake,

Vast is the grassland

This is my homeland.

Horses running wild there,

Sheep as white as snow,

Girl wait for me,

Where my heart’s at home.

I love you, my homeland,

My homeland, my heaven.

I miss you, my homeland,

My homeland, my heaven.

Persuasion in Sound: Reaching to the Speaking and Listening Aspects of Composition

Sonic Persuasion: Reading Sound in the Recorded Age

When I was in high school, I heard from my mother that if you read things loud, you can memorize things faster and practice your speaking at the same time. Great! A one stone two birds thing! I personally found the method quite useful and it helped me a lot to memorize new words in my textbooks and other readings. Later, I found reading loud helps me to do proof-reading much more efficiently. Sometimes it helps to correct words and sentence structures, sometimes it helps to change some words into ones that sounds better. The “tone and style” thing happens all the time.

Reading “Voice in the Cultural Soundscape: Sonic Literacy in Composition Studies” really makes me excited on how students’ ability to enhance their words, sentence structures, and voice can become more persuasive to their audience (Introduction). Their mentioning of using film studies, music, psychoacoustics, and audio technology is fascinating. Through the use of sound tracks, students write texts, combine verbal with visual and sonic elements to compose multilayered writings.

I think reading out loud and the sonic way of composition have something in common: they both use aural dimension to help students’ learning. While it is important to native speakers, it is more important for second language learners to practice aural and oral ability. Meanwhile, to use sound to learn is also important. For example, I used to have a habit of recording what I heard while listening to songs. I found my hobby quite conducive to my later listening ability. Then when I became a teacher, I asked my students to make changes to classics, write their own adapted lines and act them on a stage. I found students who participated in such acting activities became aware of their Chinese accent as they work to compare their own drama with that on the screen. This is also true for my own literacy story.

“Voice in the Cultural Soundscape: Sonic Literacy in Composition Studies”, the authors talk about the relationship between voice and its representation of gender and culture. I think it is peculiarly latent for second language learners. in the process of acquiring a foreign language literacy, we not only read and write, but more importantly, we have to practice listening and speaking. The listening and speaking skills are emphasized in the English departments in China to a certain degree that students are asked to imitate the accent of both English and American accents. We practice this by following to tapes and recording our own sound tracks to discern whether or not we have mastered the foreign accents.

When I was a translation and interpretation major, I practice translation and record my own sound track every day and night. Somehow, I really believe the kind of drill helped me. Or else, you would have to tolerate a much more worse accent of mine. Even that much practice, I think is not enough for me to communicate efficiently here. I still have a long way to go. I am a living example of the voice and culture relationship. And my friends from the United States, Britain, New Zealand, and the Philippines, they are all walking embodiment of voices and cultures in our foreign language department. Sometimes, I do think having one’s voice is a good thing to kind of preserve culture. I mean, when I saw an Asian face on TV who speaks fluent American accent English, my true feeling is creepy! I’d rather seeing people with certain faces speak differently. Yet, here is the States, where immigrants occupy certain percentage, so I’d better get used to the diversity and unity here.

“Literacy=Identity: Can You See Me?” piece is quite interesting. I will do my final project from the perspective of literacy, too. I love the idea of discovering the factors that influence students’ lives and experiences and the inspiration that we can become responsible and productive instructors and scholars in the field of rhetoric and composition. The practice of paying attention to students can also nurture our pedagogical trend in the future.

The Spirit and Heart of Digital Writing—Digital Identity (Mid-Term Point Response)

http://www.jedbrubaker.com/

Hi, All! Did you ever think of what will happen to all your online files after you die? I seriously thought of this problem. I am the kind of person who always lament on the short life span I have on this planet and I seriously thought that I may want to pass down all my files, records of my pictures, my failures, and my success to my offspring. I felt bad when I thought they might be disappear like myself one day. And I want to hold fast to them, to preserve sort of a trace on earth that I had existed.

At this point of the semester, I think all of the topics we have read and discussed about are related to each other, but of all the issues, digital identity situates at the heart of the whole picture. Maybe because I am focusing my final project on digital identity, I think all the other topics are related or of importance to this very notion of digital identity. I tried to brainstorm the issue of digital identity and found myself thinking about globalization, digital composition, multimodal composition, writing with the new media, digital literacy, digital ethics, and so on.

Firstly, mass media and new media enable and accelerate digital globalization, which allows world citizens to execute power and exchange ideas cross cultures. Therefore, digital imperialism is quite an issue in the online writing space where news agencies obviously cling to their own set of norms and ethical standards. Digital divide and digital literacy are also investigated both inside one culture and from cross-cultural perspectives. All these issues cannot even exist without the core idea of digital identity. If we are not using social media and the digital appliances such as cellphone, computer, and so on, everything we are talking about now will be in the vacuum.

Steven Krause’s attitude in his “A Very Brief and Very Selective History of Computers and Composition” is one example of how the history of technology and computers has developed fast. When I read it, I cannot help thinking what the world is like during each stage of the computer and internet development. Globalization is displayed in Lanham’s “The Electronic Word” . The fact that the internet has enabled millions of the unprivileged and marginalized to read, to write, and to communicate with people whom in the non-digital age they could not get in touch with. Lanham also shows us the new phenomenon of the “unity of knowledge” and the disappearance of disciplinary boundaries.

Secondly, writing or composition instruction, under such digital and global circumstances, gets a new dimension of visual or multimodal writing perspective. Writing, which were mainly verbal texts, is increasingly embracing visual compositions. Writing instruction that once faced with the difficulty of world Englishes is now facing another challenge of how to instruct visual rhetoric as parallel to verbal rhetoric, and how to assess writing if it is multimodal. This current situation, is to some extent a step forward to build a new babel though the hybrid of verbal and visual rhetoric, the notion of which Dr. Hocks forges. Literacy for a world citizen is not only the verbal skills in the printing era, but also the ability to navigate and get what we want in a vast information sea, the ability to produce and understand multimodal and multi-media writing. Our identity as writers shifted from a simple pen and paper form to a complex but colorful one as displayed in Anderson’s prosumer concept. Issues such as ethics, intellectual property rights, legal enforcement on privacies, and so on will be increasingly urgent for many areas, including our field of rhetoric and composition.

“CCCC Position Statement on Teaching, Learning, and Assessing Writing in Digital Environments” defines the teaching, learning, and assessing writing in a digital age and makes digital writing and composition official and authoritative in the filed of composition. Because the technology and new media give us opportunities to reevaluate writing, to use machine to grade writings, and to assess writings that are not only verbal, but visual. “The Rhetoric of Technology and the Electronic Writing” illustrates how the increasingly use of computers and the internet in a writing classroom can be both challenging and rewarding depending on how the writing instructors make use of the technology. This makes our teaching, assessment, and view of writing different from our old tradition of verbal and printed notion of composition. We also face the issue of computer literacy as functional literacy as stated by Selber. Students’ performance can be enhanced if we teach them to become “empowered users” or “functional literate users”(7). Yancey’s “new key” embraces multi-literacies that have been enabled by digital revolution and Dr. Hocks’ paper gives us a hybrid both textual and visual rhetoric in digital writing, and she shows us how to teach visual rhetoric in our classrooms, which is just in time for the new dimension of visual or multimodal writing perspective.

Thirdly, issues such as privacy, gender, race, religion, and even world peace come along due to varied ideologies and practices in different cultures. Whereas digital writing enables people to express their beliefs online and communicate freely, it also brings problems such as new identity crisis, true and fake identity, national and/or transnational identity, gender identity, racial identity, religious identity, and so on, which all relates and influence one’s writing process.

Selber’s advice of helping students to become not only aware of social conventions, but also capable of critically analyze discourses that they are interested in is crucial when we deal with texts and visuals permitted with various issues within different ideological frames. Silber also suggests that our functionally literate students should be able to negotiate between and among discourses. To achieve this, we have to be able to design literacy technologies that will enable different rhetorics for cross-discourse communication(16). Cynthis L. Selfe and Richard J. Selfe hold that interface can be the agent for the exertion of power in electronic contact zones because interface automatically enforce the ideology of the designer. Exertion of power is automatically related to gender, race, and other issues that will be influenced by the power hierarchy, no matter the impact is from which level. Wysocki and Jasken prefer to stress the content of the interface because it is ideologically loaded(32-33). This again, relates to the exertion of power, and the function of writing in establishing one’s social position, in expressing oneself to make others act, and so on. Digital identities and complexity in our new media identities are not only what we express ourself or the window for others to know us, but also a tool for us to influence and persuade others through the rhetoric of our identities themselves, through interface design, web design, and through rhetoric techniques embedded in both verbal and visual composition.

It is easy to reach a conclusion that digital identity become the spirit of composition online or through social media. We are who we are when we use pens to write on our most private diary notebooks before, but we are who we are now when we are represented by a set of numbers of telephone or student card, we are who we are when our images and writings are exposed on Facebook, wordpress, and so on. Identity is no longer the simple ego we can apprehend before, but a digital one that is displayed in multidimensional ways.

I found this weeks readings related to sonic literacy, relationship between literacy and identity, between voice and culture are especially interesting to my ideas on digital identity. I want to do a comparative study between major social networks in China and the US, but my knowledge of the US social networks is scarce. So I decide to do a tentative study of the two groups by analyzing digital rhetoric, digital literacy, interface design, and related topics to illustrate similarities and differences based on culture, philosophy, and theories on postmodernism and digital rhetoric.

Interesting links on digital identity:

Digital Identity: Race

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