For Payton
and Deona


Connecting Mandarin and English,
          Chinese and American,
                    people with people

A Medical Decision
(October 22, 2008) (return to Homepage)
     To date, this has truly been the most difficult day in China. This stems from the decision we had to make. "To return or not to return" to America for medical care. An enlarged prostrate is as routine in aging men as wrinkles are on aging people. A corrective process to a restricted urthea is as benign as missing a day of work and not even reporting it to friends or neighbors. However, with the differences in language, medical procedures, types of medication and policies regarding records and privacy, it seems wisest to cross the ocean for care.
     After the decision and conversations with staff here on campus, we arranged for a flight on October 28, deaprting Shanghai at 5:55PM and arriving at 6:05 the same day in Portalnd. I love the time warp when traveling east. The tickets include a return trip to China on November 14 which we will use if all goes well, and we have no reason to believe or expect anything different perfection.

A note about a Chinese morning at JSTU:
     It's 6:00AM and as I look out the window I see a young lady four stories down reading as she strolls down the street. The dawn gives enough light for reading but retains a chill requiring a jacket and long pants. She's alone on the street serving as a token representative of many typical Chinese students as she reads out loud. Whether she studyiing English where she wants to train her mouth to enunicate properly or a Chinese where she wants to reinform her memorization but using several senses to reinforce the readings, she is a product of the Chinese educational system and traditions of study.
     As she disappears beneath the cover of trees, two girls come running down the road, representing another segment of the student body, morning exercises and running. They call it running. Maybe jogging is an advanced vocabulary. They uniforms are the same style as they might wear to clas and are anything but uniform.

     Not far behind another pair, this time boys, come running and as they pass one can see the thump of a basketball on the street. They'll find the hoops outside. In this dawn light they will spot the loops and warm their bodies.
     As the minutes go by these representatives of early life forms are joined by their collegues, buses, and persons headed to classrooms, outdoor benches and the library to read and study. In a couple hours, the streets will be covering with a heavy stream of dark haired students headed to classes. And then quiet until the change of classes. So starts another day at JSTU.

     As the past three weeks have passed by, I have been engaged with several additional classes at WOU via the Internet and email, so my computer time has been devoted to communicating with more students, and my free time has been absorbed with my attempts to regain my health. This is my lame excuse for not adding more stories to the blog on a regular basis. Hopefully this will change again in the future, as I resolve some of these issues.

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