A Country-bumpkin's Visit To Yale University

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 disappointed.  Nevertheless, 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 limited time.)
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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