Friday, March 30, 2007

BJ非單身日記--In honor of BJ, my friend

I seldom post any blog in English for my intention to start my own blog is to share my life with my friends and family, most of them are from Taiwan as you can image, for they care about me. Of course writing in Chinese is much easier and time-efficient too. Yet when I was sorting out my files this morning, I encountered this and all of sudden, tears welled from my eyes. I am too old to be a teary jerk (but old enough to have nostalgia), so I pull my coat and rushed out in a hope that the cold rainy day outside will help put myself together and calm me down. I then rode the bus to school. When I was on the way to my tiny office at school, I decided to share this in English so that my friend, BJ, the person this blog is designated for, can read it.

In honor of BJ, my best Korean friend.

Our first meeting was back in Seoul 1998 after several phone contacts. That was not my first business trip but it was my very first visit to Korea. I used to be a frequent flyer yet my fruitful traveling experience did not save me out of trouble. My very first experience, at least my first impression, about South Korea was very unpleasant due to the rudeness and dishonesty of the taxi driver. Yes I got ripped off by the taxi driver.

As planned, I placed a phone call to him after I settled down in hotel. I was tired and felt unease while waiting for his coming to dinner. As promised, he showed up on time. It was not difficult to identify him because of the briefcase and the blue shirts were just like what he had described over the phone. Knowing my fatigue, he decided to have dinner in the Hilton hotel where I stayed on that trip.

When we were waiting to be served, he introduced himself to me, from the university he attended, to his major and even his 3-month pregnancy wife at that time. In contrast to the taxi driver, he is like an open book which I just flipped through the pages with his introduction. His being so frank alleviates my unease. After dinner, he wrote down something in the back of his business card and handed the card over to me. “Show this to the taxi driver tomorrow. Also, the fare should be less than 5000 Korean Won. If it is more than that, just call me.”

The week passed by quickly and my day to return to Taiwan came. My flight was in late afternoon so I managed to join a half-day city tour. Without enough cash, I booked the taxi via hotel so that the taxi fee can be charged to my room. After a long line, finally I came to the customs. “You need to pay the airport tax,” the customs officer told me. As most of the international airports included airport tax as part of the flight fare by that time, I did not expect this. I did not reserve cash for this either. “Go downstairs, and you will find it at the corner,” the customs officer continued. “Ok, Thanks.” I went downstairs. All of sudden the merry from the sightseeing was replaced by frustration. “Sorry, but we do not take credit card. Korean Won only.”

Reaching out every single penny in my wallet, I was still 300 Korean Won short. I had no choice but gave BJ a ring. Fear and worry quickly filled me up. I was so afraid of missing my flight because the flight, which is the latest flight on the day, was going to depart within 30 minutes. I was equally worried because it was 5 o’clock in the afternoon on Friday and I was just not sure if he was still in the office. Witting my helpless, a girl went up to me, “may I help you?” in not fluent English she asked. “Would you please help me call this number? Thank you!” I indicated the phone number on his business card. Luckily BJ was still in the office. Once he realized my problem, he quickly made the decision. It was too far for him to deliver the cash to airport. Instead he asked me to hand the phone to the girl who helped me make this phone call. And I did. After short conversation, she asked me to answer the phone again. BJ told me over the phone that “the girl will help you. Call me next Monday. Have a safe and nice trip home!” he said.

The girl paid the airport tax for me and companied me to customs and even to the waiting lounge. We soon realized that we were taking the same flight to Taiwan; she would continue her flight to Bangkok and then Paris, France for her study. We tried to have some conversation but it was really difficult. Virtually the only English she could speak was “May I help you?” and sentences like that. She asked if I speak French, which I don’t; neither does she speak Japanese, which I do. In awkward English with the aid of body language, she told me “he say, you no money. I pay you airport tax. He say he pay me money. I say no. I am not in Korea, I am to France.” I figured that BJ must have asked her to pay the airport tax for me, and have asked for her address to return the money. Since the girl was departing for France, and the amount was not big, she told BJ no need to return the money. As that was the plane bounded for Taiwan, I easily exchanged my New Taiwan Dollars into US dollars and paid her back.

When I went to office the following Monday, I gave him a call, telling him my funny conversation with the girl and expressing my thank-you. Since then we became good friends. Our second meeting was of the same kind but in reversed form—he was on his business trip to Taiwan.

Two years after our first meeting, I changed my job and worked for the company that split off from the previous company I worked for. My boss at the time asked me if I could recommend anyone to work in Korea branch office. BJ’s name was of course on top of my head. After some contacts and some administrative work, he joined our team. The same year I made my second Korea trip. It was still a business trip but I arrived one day early on purpose.

It was a snowy and windy day so the flight was delayed. Remembering how I felt two years ago on a sunny day in June, I had no more fear but just excitement. He, his wife and his 2-year old son came to airport for me. We went to the aquarium together and had great fun.

Time flies. There were lots of reorganization and layoff but we both managed to survive. Lots of things happened in years: I made the third business trip to Korea and met him again. His wife couldn’t come because she was pregnant again. His first son rememberd me and liked my little gift for him. He had a second son. He learned some basic Chinese and I learned simple Korean so that next time I can communicate with his wife better. Time freezes-he lost his second son, an unspoken sorrow for which I could not help but only lamented; at almost the same time, I quit the job and returned to campus.

We are still in touch. We are on emails and some times call each other. When I was wild crazy, he is like a brother, asking “when on earth are you getting married since you are getting old.” "If you were in Korea, I am going to introduce you to my best friend.” And I know he would. He introduced one of our common friends to his college friend and they were married 1 year later. When I was off track and ready to give up my PhD study here, he is like a father or a mentor, coaching me “you were not going to US just for marriage. Don’t forget your initial objective to travel all the way there.”

Having his wedding gift in sight, his email warms me up in this cold rainy day. He wrote--

"Dear XX,
I'm not sure whether you can read my message before or after your wedding and would like to say again CONGRATULATION both to you and your husband. I'm so sorry that I can not attend your wedding ceremony but please understand it with our longtime friendship. My heart will be there in your wedding ceremony place.......

.......I just passed 8 years marriage life with my wife and the words which I'd like to share with you from my experience is "I'm married to make the happy life for us but not only for myself" That is I hope you always think about since sometime we are getting selfish...

I just mailed a small gift to you....... It is a traditional pendent trinket which is worn by ladies. I think you also have your Taiwanese tradition dress so you can put it in your dress or hang on the wall in your house. It will bring a good luck to you....."

Yes, longtime friendship. This is a friendship that I will treasure it in my lifetime.

In honor of BJ, my best Korean friend.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

原本也是一座山的 柴高夫斯基

不要誤會,這篇講的絕對是 柴高夫斯基. 柴高夫斯基不賣海苔, 他只創作音樂.

如果沒有記錯的話, 這個標題應該是當初台北愛樂介紹柴高夫斯基的開場白. 因為當時我的筆記中(是的,不要懷疑, 我有愛樂筆記, 但卻沒有上課筆記:P)寫著"貝多芬和布拉姆斯的小提琴協奏曲就像是兩座大山,每個演奏家都想攀登,每個作曲家卻都不敢面對! 柴可夫斯基並不是登山好手,他只想另外建立屬於自己的山脈!.....到了今天,所有的小提琴家都知道,想要成為偉大的演奏家,除了貝多芬和布拉姆斯之外,還必須征服柴可夫斯基建造的這座大山!....."

為了找出之前寫好的北韓遊記和布拉姆斯的第一號交響曲, 我翻遍舊硬碟, 找到的卻是這篇沒完成的筆記, 看了一下是2003年寫的, 事隔四年, 我怎麼也想不出當時想要記下的心情. 臆度當時的我, 大概是聽三個版本有感吧!

<小提琴協奏曲 >
呈獻: 一作Adolf Brodsky(古典名曲欣賞導聆3協奏曲,音樂之友社授權,美樂出版社出版) 另一作Leopold Auer( Notes by Charles O'Connell)

事實上一開始曲子的確是要呈獻給Leopold Auer的,但是卻被殘酷的批評,認為此曲"無法演奏"(unplayable),一直到了三年後(1881)年才由布洛斯基(Adolf Brodsky,1851-1929)為其"真除"並擔任初演的演奏. 這首曲子的開端據說是受到拉羅(Lalo)的"西班牙交響曲"之刺激而來,並在俄國小提琴家柯特克的協助下完成草稿. 雖然一開始奧爾(Leopold Auer,1845-1930)批評此曲子,但在初演之後不久,奧爾改變了他對此曲的評價,而這首曲子也成為小提琴協奏曲的代表作之一

其實奧爾並非唯一批評此曲的人,樂評家韓斯力克(Eduard Hanslick)甚至批評此曲為"發出惡臭的音樂",也許是因為此曲充滿濃厚的俄羅斯風味所致吧!正如同德佛札克的小提琴協奏曲也可能因為濃厚的波希米亞味而未受到呈獻者姚阿幸的青睞. 不過這種讓韓斯力克厭惡的"惡臭"正式此曲的獨特魅力所在....以"食物"的語言來說,It's impossible to dissociate Tchaikovsky's music from the fold music of his country, just as it was impossible and undesirable for the composer to dissociate himself from the Russian melos. Nevertheless, its influence is filtered through the mind and spirit of an urbane, a sophisticated artist; the resultant flavor is delicately touched with eschalot rather than with the earthier flavor of garlic"

諷刺而有趣的是,奧爾正式將此曲介紹給當時的音樂神童海飛茲的人(好個敗也奧爾,成也奧爾!)( After a while Auer reconsidered his verdict.....Ironically, perhaps, it was Leopold Auer, aging but still the master teacher, who introduced the music to the young prodigy of whom he was so proud-Jascha Heifetz)

* 小提琴/海菲茲與萊納指揮芝加哥交響樂團 BMG 09026617792
* 小提琴/歐伊斯特拉夫與德勒斯登國立管弦樂團 DG 4474272
* 小提琴/謝霖與孟許指揮波士頓交響樂團 BMG BVCC8897-98 

*小提琴/海菲茲與萊納指揮芝加哥交響樂團RCA victor 09026-61495-2
其中前兩版本都是由俄羅斯裔的小提琴枷所演奏的,應該富有俄羅斯元味. 在我的偏見裏, 演奏者與作曲者同民族方可將民族特有曲風詮釋出來; 相對的如果是不同民族, 那也許是演奏者設身揣摩作曲者了.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

如果在冬夜. 一個旅人

看過卡爾維諾的 "如果在冬夜, 一個旅人"嗎? 想像你興高采烈買了本書回家閱讀, 看完充滿玄機的第一章急急翻到第二章卻發現裝訂錯誤. 追根究底的精神使你再去買了另一本同樣的書期待著後面的章節, 結果卻是讀完了十幾二十本(章)沒有順序或是不相連的故事.

嗯, 我也有這種毛病. 倒不是因為裝訂錯誤, 雖然多少有追根究底的原因, 亂七八糟讀了一些文章或書, 卻沒一本讀完. 最近這種毛病益發嚴重, 從閱讀蔓延到記事, 不, 這還稱不上寫作. 部落格裏存了一堆草稿, 電腦硬碟裏到處是支言片語卻難已成篇.

既然你正在讀, 就假設你是我的(部落格)讀者好了. 避開和學校有關的牢騷或靈感, 當你們看到以下的殘章斷句會有什麼想法? 最想看完哪一個呢?
 #1 從陳之藩到李家同

我一直不是很喜歡美國, 其中一個很重要的原因是資本主義掛帥, 對市場機制太過沉迷. 不, 不,不, 不要誤會, 我絕對是自由主義的支持者,但也許不夠格說是其忠誠信徒, 我的偏見裏, 社會不能只靠市場機制來制定秩序. 大概我經濟沒學好, 對市場機制不夠了解, 所以請教教我:良心要怎麼定價? 社會正義要怎麼交易? 公權力要如何維持? 簡單說, 我是自由主義的支持者,但非自由市場資本主義的信徒.

1. 郵局...民營化
2. 大學教育產業化經營
3. 監獄公辦民營, 套句時尚話, 監獄外包

郵局電信局等等民營化, 我猜爭議不大, 反彈的大概是那些原本公職身分的員工民營化後擔心也許會損失某些既得福利或利益的, 在不就是唯恐天下不亂的媒體大書特書一番

大學教育產業化的觀念本身也許沒有問題, 做法可議之處相對於第一個情況(民營化)就多很多了. 美國的大學教育或說是高等教育(higher education)被認為是相對成功的, 雖然我也關心教育, 但成功與否並非本文所要探討;成功定義為何也不在討論之內.我要講的是各級教育工作者的薪資怎麼制定,以及同級教育工作者不同專長的薪資制定;還有人文素養應該佔有多少比例的問題. 薪資制定也許太偏向經濟問題的討論, 但我感興趣的的是各級教育工作者甚至各學科的教育工作者他們的薪資似乎與其對人聞培養的貢獻脫鉤的現象.


#2 關於美國服務的碎碎唸

碎碎唸者, 雖不滿意但無能為力或無可奈何是也(原出於瓦哈拉) 我現在也要來碎碎唸一下我在美國遭遇到的令人不敢恭維的服務 . 被碎碎唸的對象從美國郵政(USPS)到美國銀行(Bank of America),到Qwest電話公司,到….為了不讓人誤會我是龜毛XX座,我一定要把事情發生經過寫下來讓大家來評評理.

首先是美國郵政. 物流算是我本行的一部分,我本來非常佩服美國郵政裡面的自動轉寄(auto-forward)服務. 那就是當你搬家時,只要填寫好單子寫下原來地址和搬家後的地址,那麼郵局就會自動把信件轉送到新地址去,上面還會貼上標籤標示當初申請轉送的舊地址和現在的新地址.即使跨州也行喔. 本來這是個很好的服務的,誰知等我搬到El Diablo之後才發現可愛之事必有可惡之處.

我開始收到好多錯的轉送信,之前我都是把地址和人名圈起來後又放回信箱讓郵差收走了事. 雖然不樂意也沒啥大不了,直到我收到別人的重要文件--扣繳憑單. 我寫了一封信(email)還印出來放在信箱給郵局,郵局先簡短回覆email說將有專人回覆. “專人”打來說, 喔那是因為系統上的限制(系統是1980年左右建的)系統上只會比照地址每行格式的前三碼. (美國的地址一行寫門排,街道,和公寓號碼; 另一行寫城鎮,州還有郵遞區號). 這好了,所有同一棟大樓裏的信都會寄到我這來, 因為大樓裏每間公寓是以公寓號碼做區分,而且公寓號碼還被寫在最後面….這種老舊的系統竟然從80年代起沒有更新…”專人”說,你的反應很好,我們已經開始研究如何更新了…啥! 我不相信這沒人反應過,但我確知我還會收到一堆不是我的信!!


#3 飛躍三十八度線--記北韓之旅(1)

2002六月和家人去了一趟北韓. 停留的時間其實不長, 只有一周. 知道的台灣朋友紛紛問我”北韓好玩嗎?“ 其實不好玩的, 整齊的市容少了生氣, 筆直的道路缺了人氣. 到處林立的銅像,頗有台灣十年前抑或更早的模樣. 那麼為什麼去那裡? 眼見為憑, 想見識這個在所謂資訊爆炸的時代裏依然維持封閉的社會體系. 知道的韓國朋友也問我 “他們的人長得什麼樣子? “ 原來, 早年反共反美的宣導裏, 北韓人在南韓的教科書裏被描繪成長角的異類待拯救,醜化對方的確是各地不變的戲法.


#4 重返38度線-- 記北韓之旅(2)


來到板門店這個劃分南北韓的小鎮, 我的心情也跟著嚴肅起來. 快進到軍事基地之前遊覽車先做停留. 上來的是一身戎裝的士兵先是”檢查“文件以及是否代違禁品, 之後隨行. 說是保護大家實為監視吧! 我們有人輕聲交談了兩句, 坐在前排的士兵轉而回頭用中文接上對話. “我可是會說中文的, 你們別想亂來“, 我想這是他接上對話想要傳達的訊息吧. 此後一車噤若寒蟬直到離開板門店為止

#5 北韓遊記(3)


#6 生活偶拾

'捨得'這兩個字太難.只想要有得的部分,卻不能捨不想捨.也許因為在我成長的過程中努力就會有得這種學習的經驗遠多過於有捨才會有得, 現在卻要學會捨一些東西因此格外痛苦.

因為想過過完第一學期就閃人, 我開始用擺爛的態度過日子.然而發現要擺爛也不是件容易的事情. 就像檳榔西施也不是每個女生都可以做的事情一樣, 那要有身材, 更重要的要有厚臉皮,敢露. 我是說真的! 我每次這樣講都引來朋友訕笑. 但我是認真的這樣以為, 難道你認為你有那樣的臉皮嗎?


#7 兩個幸運的人

這是經濟學家Milton Friedman和他老婆合寫傳記,Friedman主張放任資本主義(Laissez-Faire Capitalism).本來打算帶著這本書去北韓的, 想想怕引來無謂的麻煩只好做罷. 雖然如此,它的影響猶在, 在北韓的期間我特別留意對共產經濟體系的觀察. 不過這篇是關於此書的讀後感, 和北韓之旅無涉.

#8 貝多芬第十號交響曲? 布拉姆斯第一號交響曲!

布拉姆斯被稱為貝多芬第二人.他的第一號交響曲也被稱為貝多芬十號交響曲.這樣的類比也許是褒獎,但我卻覺得是羞辱.不知道是否德國佬方正稍顯呆版的民族特色?抑或他個人特色, 濃厚的感情隨著音符傳遞到聽者耳中從不悠揚,每每聽他的作品我都有滿溢的感覺卻無法一吐為快只得簌簌低吟任憑琴音佔據心思.繚繞不絶. 相對起悲慘一生的貝多芬樂聲依然奔放很是不同

布拉姆斯是個可愛但為愛折磨的人. 他的感情表達總是含蓄內斂, 不僅對師母克拉拉舒曼如此—窮其一生只是默默守候在旁,即使舒曼做古依然不變. 對自己的父親也是如此. 因為感情過於內斂可愛的他傳遞對父親的照顧也很迂迴. 讀到一個故事: 布拉姆斯曾經對父親說,如果生活很苦就翻翻XX琴譜吧! 他會帶來一些快樂的! 過了甚久原本不富裕的父親果然窮寂潦倒之際想到兒子這番話於是翻出該琴譜,原來遠行前的布拉姆斯夾了一些錢在裡面. 你說, 這內斂的布拉姆斯音樂的表達怎會和熱情的貝多芬相似呢?

"嘔啞吵哳難為聽“是我第一次聽到他的一號交響曲的第一感覺, 這麼說好像很不敬,但卻千真萬確是我當時的感受. 擺在架上的CD因此也被束之高閣甚久直到多年以後. 也許是年紀和經歷吧! 當我再聽時我竟然有完全不同的體會, 我急急忙忙打電話給一個愛樂朋友D告訴他我的新發現, 約定時間一起欣賞.

現在我有三個不同的版本, 如果不是喜歡的曲目怎會有三個版本呢? 這首曲子大概不大適合在清晨欣賞,我個人喜歡在午夜時分播放此曲讓喧嚷一天的情緒隨著樂聲沉澱下來. 開場的九小節鼓聲特別像是在宣告著"啪啪啪,安靜各位,請聽我說...."要比較各版本的差別這九小節也很適合.有的聲聲平穩,有的由弱轉強,有的緩聲趨弱....

好像已經太長了, 但"如果在冬夜,一個旅人" 有十章耶, 我也就先列出十個沒寫完的部落格標題來吧! 後面兩個都是讀書心得啦!
#9 失去的暴龍與青蛙
#10 接骨師的女兒

Friday, March 2, 2007

明尼蘇達的冬天: 堆雪人

昨天停課一天,今天本來已經恢復上課了. 但是系上已經把活動改期我就自己偷懶放假. 奮鬥一早到了下午我們決定不辜負持續下著的雪, 出去堆雪人

到了外面發現積雪很深難怪會停課. 鏟雪車努力不懈在鏟雪, 我們努力堆雪人

第一次堆雪人才發現其實蠻難的, 努力半天只弄出個女王頭的樣子來. 幫他戴上帽子眼鏡勉強有個樣子. 但這代價不小,我一不小心一脚踏進去發現雪深及大腿......要照要快啦,會冷耶

一時玩興大起學小朋友從雪堆上滑下去. 這時候發現旁邊的鏟雪車停下來看我們, 還偷笑著. 為了不平白受到羞辱我們決定轉戰附近的公園

走到前門發現雪已經把小徑埋掉了, 對面的房子上垂掛著冰柱


有了剛剛的經驗我們很快堆出雪人.....好吧被發現了,雪人堆在涼亭裏的桌上, 有偷吃步的嫌疑

沒關係, 我們真的很有天賦的. 既然堆整個人很難,那就堆半身就好了吧.
討論一下我們決定堆特徵就好. 但一定要清楚可辩才行, 啊, 有了 (以下X級兒童不宜)

如何? 跟你說我們很有天賦吧! 別騙我說你看不出來我們堆什麼
好吧, 我承認.那只是消防栓啦. (你在偷笑, 我看到了! )

Thursday, March 1, 2007

明尼蘇達的冬天: 風雪見真愛


收好書包我打電話回家告訴DG,學校關閉了我要回家去享受風雪假了. 此時外面風雪已經漸漸大了起來, 路上也冷冷清清,除了雪還是雪. 等了好一下子公車終於來到,已經遲了數分鐘,而且還是3C, 稍微猶豫一下我還是決定上車. 嚴格講3C公車並沒有到家裏附近, 自從溫度降到華氏10度以下就決定不再搭3C了, 因為冷風裏多走兩站實在不是有趣的事情. 但今天情況特殊還是決定先上車再說.

"喂, 我上車了,可是是3C, 想想還是上車, 因為公車已經開始脫班了, 不確定下一班要等多久."
" 可是要走很遠耶,而且現在雪很大 "
"還好啦, 今天不冷. 而且班車已經不照時間了, 怕一下子公車收班沒車搭更慘" (開玩笑, 經歷過
-32F相當於-36C左右之後這種-10C以上的天氣都算溫暖的了 )
"那你到XX站就打給我, 出門去接你"
說是接其實只是"陪走", 因為在明尼蘇達沒有車,之前租的車也還了,只得靠公車.

下了車才知道真正考驗開始. 首先, 找不到路, 因為雪太大了,行人道完全沒入雪裏.還好沿著兩旁低矮樹叢勉強辨識路徑. 好不容易走了一站轉近巷裏看到行人迎面走來. 其實看不清楚的, 因為雪太大除了一片灰濛啥也看不清, 不過我知道那是DG出來等我

雪有多大? 你看那第一截的柏樹已經和積雪同高了

雪實在太大,鏟雪車鏟雪的速度有如杯水車薪,緩不濟急. 回家後看電視看到高速公路基本上是一個車道一輛鏟雪車, 我開始可以了解當地人如何引以為傲了

走到公寓門口,房東已貼著市政府發出的緊急令(snow emergency),我們這種第一年在雪地求生的菜鳥根本不了解那是啥晚糕, 只覺得好像事態嚴重了

進到公寓裏進家門前先把雪拍掉, 連褲子摺角裏都是雪,背包上還是雪

回到家裏把鞋子等晾乾. 左邊的雪鞋是以前去北海道看冰雕買的, 本來以為夠暖夠厚,來這裡初冬的幾場大雪後發現需要高統的雪鞋就買了右邊的雪鞋, 大概是去年11月在密西根買的, 因為是舊款才花了9塊美金喔
怪了, 不是說幾十年沒因為暴風雪停課怎我第一年來就遇到? 不不不, 不是我. 一定是老天考驗我們啦, 上次DG來時最高溫 -20C(-3F), 最低溫-32F(-36C), 這次來則是幾十年來第一次因為暴風雪停課.....而且事後證明我的決定是對的,走了兩站公車站一直到我轉進巷子前都沒看到下班公車經過呢!

明尼蘇達的冬天: 美夢成真?

据說是幾十年沒聽課的明尼蘇達大學,我來第一年就因為暴風雪停課, 難道我命帶放假? 學校網站簡短的幾行話, 可是盼了幾十年才盼來的啊!想到此我不禁熱淚盈眶,心懷感激的收拾書包準備回家..... 下面是學校發出來的校園關閉通告.

"U OF M CLOSES AND CANCELS CLASSES, EVENTS FOR THURSDAYMINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The University of Minnesota is closing andcanceling all classes and evening activities effective at 2:30 p.m. today,Provost Thomas Sullivan announced today."In light of current conditions and the forecast for severely worseningweather, this is an appropriate measure at this time," said Sullivan. "The mid-afternoon closing of metro area schools, colleges anduniversities and other institutions made it even clearer that this is theright thing to do."President Robert Bruininks’ State of the University address, which wasscheduled for this afternoon, will be rescheduled. "

根據氣象預報今天將有暴風雪, 心裡小小期待放"暴風雪"假. 昨天離開學校前同辦公室的同學跟我說" 明天見! "我還說, "不不不, 我希望明天放假一天", 當時受到莫大恥笑, 他說,別傻了,雙城市區的大學幾十年沒停過課呢, 一旁的老師也附和說, "對啊, 有時候連公車都停駛了,大學也不會停課的". 我還問,那要怎樣來? 這兩個名尼蘇達當地人跟我說, 自己想辦法啊, 開車來,不然駕雪橇或滑雪來, 後面兩種方法是他們故意嘲笑我這個南方來的, 雖然失望還是只能默默接受這種羞辱,尤其那老師1979年就在此地唸博士了, 不能不相信

今早乖乖上學去. 到了公車站稍等一下果然公車就來了. 連我一共三人排好隊伍等上車,沒想到公車司機竟然過站不停, 我心裏一邊咒罵, 還是只能接受. 到了學校室友早就到了,我把車子過站不停的事講給他聽,立刻被嘲笑, 他說"昨天就跟你說過了啊,有時候公車不開了還是要來上學啊 ,更何況公車只是不停,離不開還有一段距離呢"可惡, 真是沒有同情心

心情隨著天氣惡劣跟著惡劣起來, 到了下午準備到東岸(按:校園被密西西比河分成東西岸)上課,再回到西岸上晚上的課. 嘿嘿, 突然收到email竟然是下午那堂課老師發出來的,大意是說下午兩點半開始學校關閉,所有課都取消. 我興奮的大叫. 接連著收到系上秘書的,晚上那堂課的老師, 連整個大學的都寄信來了, 真的是停課耶

呵呵, 上去學校網站看通告, 還真簡短, 相對上電子郵件就官僚多了,還交代不是只有我們關閉校園,雖然他們的用意在於說明關閉的決策正確性,我感覺只是找人背書拖人下水. 但這不是重點, 重點是放暴風雪假了, 少上兩堂課,賺到了!!

回家後看氣象台, 乖乖,不但各級學校停課, 連州政府都簽署同意各地政府若有需要可直接向聯邦求援; 再看一下發出的警告, 呵呵, 降雪量已經直接用"呎"(one or two feet)算啦! 另外就是叫大家別外出,外出要有救命包(survival kit)



對了, AL州正颳著龍捲風,已造成18人死亡,我猜這如果在台灣, 大概會被媒體說成國之將亡所以才有天災人禍不斷了吧? 而我們卻在這裡慶幸撿到一天"暴風雪"假....