|Yale University, in my travelling schedule, was
the 7th 'station'. It was my last time to speak to the American BIG
STUDENTS. Like our Qin Hua
University in Beijing, I learned, in America, Yale was an older and
recognized as one among the most world-famous ones. It occupied the
largest part of my mind. In China, even the learned professors dared not
to think about it even in their dreams but who on earth could have thought
a 70-year-old retired ordinary remote mountain-corner chalk-eater was
thrilled with an invitation from a Yale's well-known sociologist professor
named Deborah Davis. From its very beginning, in front of our computer in
our cafe, we couldn't believe our eyes when we discovered the invitation
really came from somewhere near New York city!
|During my unforgettable short stay at Yale, what
happened was a chain of surprises. Having a quick look at the row of
colourful hard-paper works she has published, it speaks volumes that she
is indeed a lady-professor who deserves the reputation people enjoy.
||When I was in Wooster, I was told that I would be
put up in a hotel, I thought the person who came to meet me would be an
ordinary staff member of Yale university. It was impossible for a Yale's
famous professor to meet an ordinary 'chalk-eater' from poor China. But my
heart jumped up into my mouth at the moment she first passed me her
personal card. She was none other than Deborah herself. On our way to
their university, she first took me to visit Mark Twain's Museum and
immediately honoured me with a new copy of the famous Mark Twain's OWN
AUTOBIOGRAPHY. This I called
it Deborah's first surprise.
|The car turned round and round and stopped in
front of a house which looked like in a street. Before I asked "Is it
a hotel?", she said "Here we are HOME. ...."
She had prepared a large separate room for me on their third floor.
People she invited to join our first meal were friendly and amiable and
most of them could speak Chinese. This meant the language barrier was
broken. I began to feel at
home. It was her 2nd surprise.
|At the bottom of my heart, I took my visit to
Yale was very big honour for the Bai people in Yunnan province which
couldn't be bought with a pile of US money. Who would ever have dreamed
that a poor "country Bumpkin", from a remote corner of Southwest
China, would be walking shoulder to shoulder with a famous professor of
their university? Who would
ever imagine that such a country-bumpkin had his day to address such a big
group of postgraduates at a BIG SCHOOL= Yale University in America??
This could happen once in a blue moon, NOT IN A MILLION YEARS!
||I realized and understood obviously that the
distance between my poor ability to their advanced requirements was huge.
However, with Deborah's encouragement and kindly help, I did spoke to the
young scholars! Although, in
a way, my rusty Chinglish might made their higher authorities
from a person-to-person corner of viewpoints, I respect Deborah's
outstanding personality. I have a huge mountain-like pile to learn from
her heavy 'knowledge-box'. I
feel like a million dollar to be a Yunnan Bai- student of hers and she
will always keep on staying in my head for ever and ever, until the last
minute of my life..
|Her 3rd surprise was: She was a standard
professor, but in many ways she treated me in a natural way. I mean I
looked like a member of her own family. All the arrangements she made were
acceptable including all the activities such as to speak at their public
discussion meeting, the slide show,
| to eat in their dining hall or outside
in a restaurant, to visit their library, to see some more special halls
and what was more, to arrange a special postgraduate (student) guide to
take me to enjoy a special trip to New York to meet several other visitors
and friends. She had also bought a ticket for me to enjoy her (musician-)
husband's concert. (Unfortunately we were too late to catch up with our
||In New York, I was very happy to visit Elna and
Bruce and meet Clark with his friends. In Bruce's house, I telephoned back
to talk with my two sons. I was too excited to realized that it was deep
at night in China and silly asked Lu-jiang: "I am in New York, What
are you doing now?" "We are sleeping!" was his answer.Elna
and Bruce helped a lot to arrange this trip. Clark's parents are our
family friends, they came to visit us in Dali this Feb. At that time, we
were worrying about how to apply for the passport from our government in
time. We had already had a written invitation from Bates College, but
Maggie did not send us a copy of her ID to support the invitation. It
would take a few weeks to send the ID. At this critical moment, Dr. Edward
F. (Ted) Anderson, Clark's father wrote a personal invitation letter! With
this invitation and his ID, we easily got our passport in time!
|After a short but honourable stay in New Haven
and New York, I kept on going to my next stop: Washington D.C. to visit my
brotherly friend, Mike Davis.
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