Jun 2, 2022
The perplexity I felt while studying aboard | 留学生活中感受到的迷茫
Jan 1, 2023 07:20 AM
Hello, my friend,
It is becoming hotter these days. What is the weather like in your city?
This week I would like to talk about an impressive reading I read in a course I took, which is Maybe you only look white written by Becca Gercken-Hawkins.
这一周我印象最深的阅读,是在大学课程里面读到的一篇有关族裔身份认同(ethnic identity)的散文Maybe you only look white,作者是 Becca Gercken-Hawkins。
The author illustrates the problem of ethnic authority she encountered as a multicultural literature specialist at the University of Minnesota, a state-run university at Morris. She had to make an effort to show others her ethnicity as Cherokee and Irish American because of her white-like appearance and is currently experiencing common identity conflicts on campus, such as doubts from students about her academic authority as a specialty. These uncomfortable events raised her conflicted consciousness that, while benefiting from the university’s hiring politics, she found it problematic to reinforce the cultural connection between appearance and specialty.
After reading the essay, I had some thoughts on my situation of being an international student in Japan. I hate being labeled or categorized by others without having deep conversations with me. However, unavoidably, I felt inspected by others with curiousness every time as a foreigner. A typical example is that most Japanese would be surprised about my inability to eat spicy food because Sichuan cuisine is an essential part of Chinese cuisine in their image. Every time I will explain that, first of all, cuisine differences a lot among regions in China. For instance, Cantonese cuisine is light in taste. However, living in Guangdong for 18 years doesn’t mean that I only eat Cantonese cuisine because most of the time, I ate my mother’s hand-cooked meal, which was very different from typical Cantonese cuisine. In conclusion, everyone has their situation.
The thing is, I don’t feel upset about such inspections. Sometimes I even feel grateful for my foreigner identity because it provided many topics during conversations to avoid embarrassment. Nonetheless, I realized that the expectation influenced my decision in many cases, which gradually became my fetters. For example, I subconsciously chose to design an apartment that has a related topic to my foreigner identity. However, I realized that this is not the architecture I wanted to create during the making process. I project others’ expectations on my pursing.
These things raised my confusion about self-identification. I have no choice but to face the subtle but critical influences of expectations as the only international student in my department. Moreover, my rebelling against labeling stimulates over-reactions when facing stereotyping, negatively affecting my daily life and personal relationships.
这引起了我对身份认同的极大疑虑,我不得不直面这种审视给我带来的潜移默化的影响。尤其是我 最近会对标签化的话语过度反应——这极大影响了我的日常生活和人际关系。
Therefore, I wonder if I will be able to remove the constraints from labels and expectations and spend time at university as a normal student rather than an international student? Do students at colleges where international students are ubiquitous have similar confusion with me?

Life Updating

notion image
  • Before the sketching course, I have never seen an actual model. I felt highly inspired when facing a life with a beautiful body. During the 3-hour session, I intentionally focused on blurring some outline edges to provide sketching deepness. Suddenly I realized that I could concentrate more when drawing with physical materials rather than with digital devices, which may be become the reason for my drawing bottleneck.
  • 在课上第一次见到了真正的人体模特,面对如此真实的人体美受到了极大的震撼。在约3个小时的绘画过程中,我有意识地根据实际观察到的景象模糊了一些边缘。我突然意识到,用物理媒介画画时候的我比用屏幕或者手绘板画更能集中注意力,或许这就是至今以来我无法练习绘画的真正原因。
  • Adding the animating clothes to the background of “Only for ‘me.’” During the feedback session, I asked my professor about how to make an animation that only targets a minor group of people. He answered that if you do not need to make most people empathize with your work, then the best way is putting all your zeal into the making process, then it will convey the message to viewers naturally. His word hit me like a stone. While worrying about others’ low possibility of understanding my work, I almost forget that first, I have to create a perfect piece that can stir my heart of myself.
  • 本周给上周的背景画了时装的动画。在课上的提问环节,我问一位教授,如何做到只让一小部分观众产生共鸣?他回答道,如果你的对象不是大部分人,那最好的办法就是将你的全部热情和想法都庆祝到你的作品里,然后从作品中人们自然而然地就会感受到你的意图。教授的话给了我当头一棒。曾几何时我已经忘记了那么重要的事:创作作品中最先打动的观众永远是你自己。
This is a short newsletter for this week! Please feel free to leave some comments on the post or send an email to me.
I hope you have a good week!

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Vol 2. Exploring Yoga on the Other Side of the World | 在地球的另一端与瑜伽相遇“作为聊天的交换,为你创作一副画”

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