#metoo

The urge of talking about this has been itchy for at least a week. Finally, I decided to find a way to organize my thoughts and express the anger and anxiety in me, in a more rational mood.

 

This summer I was harassed by my former professor in graduate school.

 

When I was in Beijing I went to visit him. The last time we met was three years ago, and people need to show respect to professors/teachers in China, as a cultural tradition. He invited me to this dinner party that his phd student celebrating the graduation with fellows from his lab. The dinner went like any other Chinese official banquet, there is one person who has most of the power and sits in the center of the table while everyone else (12+ students) has to kiss his ass. I was never a fan of this kind of thing, but I also understand if I want to go back to china with a good job offer, it is obligate to attend.

 

Everything was fine until we switched venue to a karaoke bar after dinner. My former advisor was slightly drunk, in a pretty damn good mood, since this phd student landed a damn good job offer. Things started going down at the bar. At first I just feel he came too close. He sat next to me, skin to skin. Then he forced me to sing a love duet with him and staring at me and trying to hold my hand as an act for the duet. I didn’t finish the song and moved to sit to the other corner of the room because I already raised suspicion. What confirmed my suspicion is when he walked across the room and sat next to me, again, skin to skin. What made me feel worse is when he started to touch my back and waist, acting like he was too drunk to support himself of accidently touched my skin. The last straw is that he slided his hand from my knee down to my shin. I stood up and told the host, the phd student, that I need to leave because I’m still suffering from jetlag.

 

I was so angry that I was trembling on the taxi back to my hotel. I wasn’t sure if I was angrier at myself or at the professor, a married man, a teacher of mine, who did this to me. I am still not sure about the object of my rage even today. I called my good friend in Beijing and told him what just happened. I remember telling my friend in the phone that, (1) I told the prof I have a boyfriend, (2) I wasn’t dressed inappropriate, i was wearing a cardigan, and my dress goes down to my knees, (3) I didn’t flirt with him at all. (4) did he do this to me because he thought i am easy since my boyfriend is a foreigner?  You see, Immediately I started to check if it’s me did something wrong, which may misguide him that I am interested to sleep with him.

 

It is not a solo instance. Now look back at my time in that institute as his student, he was trying to flirt with me from time to time. The most obvious one is that he offered to take me to some resort hotel outside of Beijing during weekend, which I said no thank you. But he didn’t dare to touch me physically back then. However, I did see him as a model or admired him as a student, and I didn’t tell anyone I had a boyfriend back then. And I am more open minded than any other fellow students in the lab. So maybe, perhaps, he is not the only one to blame? That is why I had the checklist going when I was in the taxi?

 

Every detail is still crystal clear. Every time I look back at this harassment and my time there as a student, I blame myself for not standing up against him at the scene and giving him a slap on the face. There were at least eight other female students at dinner, who are much younger, naïve, and innocent than me. I want to ask them if this monster being harassing them as well, and I want to tell them it is ok to fight back. But how could I? First of all, I do not know them and they know little about me. I have graduated from the lab five years ago and they only heard my name. I don’t know if he ever harassed anyone else. Secondly, which is more important, I didn’t stand up against him myself. How can they expect me as a role model? Lastly, the most important reason, is that, I have no idea where I can report him to? I am only an alumni of the institute, there is no liability issue from the school on me anymore. Moreover, I’m pretty sure even a registered student may have no place to file a complaint. People in charge may just let them shut up, or worse, give them a hard time to graduate for speaking ill of the professor who is in power. Students who report these kinds of things often end up with a slutty reputation as well (particularly if i was the only victim and my boyfriend is foreigner). So no one really wants to disclose those monsters. I’m also worried about the consequences apparently. Do I have any evidence that he harassed me? Students there in the same bar may see nothing. Since he only touched me and it’s not something worse, like many other victims suffering from penetration, people may just say, oh shut up, stop pretending to be a victim here. It is also that once I speak up, there is no possible network for me in this institute, it’ll be a bridge well burned. All these fears, these worries, stopped me from doing anything further. After that night, he texted me a few times while my time in Beijing, inviting me to dinner in private. I turned them down, politely. That’s the keyword, politely. I’m still so afraid to even confront with him.

 

During the phone call in the taxi, my friend tried to calm me. He is a salesman in a company. He said, yeah, it is really common that women in the workplace are often taken advantage. He has several female colleagues who have to deal with customers at dinner table from time to time. And because they need to sell products, there’s no other way but accept and suffer in silence. It’s a rule of thumb. There are other stories I heard from friends who work in China this summer. It is also true in academia, female faculty members will be invited to resort venues for meetings to “balance the gender”, which usually it’s the male professors are in charge of the meetings, and female profs are just there as dancing/dinner partners. Basically, escort. I’m sure same stories lying around and are easy to find. This makes me sad, how pathetic is the working environment for Chinese women. They already suffer significant prejudice from maternity leave and household responsibilities, which is worsen because of the second children policy. Now they are still being treated like a sex tool even they are as capable as their male colleagues?

 

 

I didn’t speak out when the #metoo went viral on facebook and twitter, because my case is cultural specific. Because of my background, I guess I’ll never be able to just blame the professor who gave me these endless self-doubt, or ever collect the courage to confront him or warn his students. Even this essay I’ll only post it on my personal website instead of share it on facebook like I usually do. But I do want to have some answers or clear thoughts on my other rage, to one of my friends’ reaction to this.

 

There are not many people aware of this assault. People I told are all my close friends that I trust. They are all very supportive and warm, offering me lots of assurance. However, there is this one friend, after I told him, asked me, are you sure he touched you not because he is just too awkward to show his affection to you?—The arguments with him is actually a trigger for my anger and willingness to write down these words.

 

To his question, I said no, it is not him being awkward, it is because this is not appropriate for him to do so. First of all, he is married, secondly, he was my professor and is still at a more powerful position than me. Then my friend raised an assumption, which is, would you still feel uncomfortable or unacceptable if he is young, attractive, unmarried? I told him that I may very likely to grow affection to this person, but I still think it’s not acceptable for him doing this. Especially you need approval before you can touch anyone! But I feel very offended by his assumption, it makes me judge myself that I only rejected him or feel disgusted because my professor who touched me against my own will is married and not attractive.

 

Not long ago we had a second argument, when the Hollywood harassment thing is going viral. This time this friend initiated the discussion. He said he doesn’t understand why people only feel powerless, to him, the predators’ behaviors are weird, which is not a power dynamic. This made me jump off my chair. I know this friend means no harm and we often argue about things. However, once again, I am extremely angry at what he just wondered. This sounds like the harassment victims are in a power equal position with those predators, and it is their fault to feel powerless and not fight back at the scene. You see, this is exactly what I have been blaming myself for. So, this time, instead of arguing with him, I just tell him to shut up. I told him, being a friend means you need to be supportive if anyone is going through a sexual harassment, not being judgmental.

 

I know this friend, as a victim himself once, has no intention to criticize me or blame me for not standing up. I still feel extremely angry at his tone. But later when I am less furious, I started to think if his argument has some merits. Maybe we do need to feel less powerless but analyze the predators’ behaviors so that we can find a solution? However, I can’t seem to be able to convince myself. Emotionally, I kind of still suffering the fact that I didn’t do anything to stop him, and this is why I am angry at my friend’s tone, because it is true that I did feel powerless and it is the reason I didn’t stand up, for myself and for others. However, that monster professor is the person who started it, it is not my fault not to feel his behavior weird, but rather disgusting, offensive, assaulting, and destructing. It is the society’s fault that women are often victims to these types of situation. Why they did it? Because they are sick. Because society gives them power to assault women at no cost. Is it weird? Should we think their behaviors as weird? I don’t care. It is WRONG for them to do so. WRONG, not weird.

 

Anyway, I’m still angry at myself today. For both not standing up, and for not winning the argument with my friend. This essay definitely helps to clear my thoughts and makes me less upset. I wish in the future, I can find peace with myself, and, the worst case scenario, if this type of thing ever happened again, I will pull myself together and stand up against it.

Our trip to California (and a first try of story map)

I tried ArcGIS story map with our trip to California, here’s the link:

Wictor and Yue’s trip to the west coast

This April, Victor and I had a road trip along the coast of California. We visited Yosemite (of course, highlight of California), santa barbara (a grad school friend of mine, Dr. Shaohua Wang is a visiting scholar at UCSB), LA (after we saw La La Land), Joshua Tree, and San Diego (my ABM conference was there).

We enjoyed our time a lot at the two national parks, also enjoyed food in LA (but not the city), and beer at San Diego.

 

产于印度黄金海岸带的腰果甜酒

今天要介绍Feni,一种只出产于印度南部Goa地区,并且只能在该地区贩售的酒。Feni有两种:一种酿自腰果(cashew),另一种是由酒椰子(toddy palm)酿自而成。因为我去玩的时候正好尝了一下腰果甜酒,所以今天来谈谈腰果酒。

 

印度的Goa是个独特的所在。Goa是印度最小的一个联邦(相当于咱们的省,面积大概占印度国土总面积的0.1%),位于印度南部的孟买和班加罗尔之间。不同于印度的大部分地区,Goa是受葡萄牙人统治的,一直到1961年才脱离殖民,晚了印度独立整整14年(为什么呢?因为受葡萄牙人的影响,整个goa都很悠闲)。Goa有很长的海滩,常年招待很多从俄罗斯、英国和欧洲大陆来度假的退休老人。近年来也有越来越多的印度年轻人来这里赶新潮。我觉得很像咱们的海南(常年很多俄罗斯和东北银哦)。不同于三亚的是Goa有山,植被繁茂,生长着很多名贵的香料和坚果。腰果就是其中一种。

腰果的坚果(cashew nut)是长在果实(cashew fruit)上的,一个巨大的腰果果只结一个小小的坚果粒。当地人将腰果的坚果从腰果果实部分采摘之后,坚果拿去烘干、封装,果实部分则被用来做酿酒。

上半部分是fruit,下面小小的是我们常吃的腰果

上半部分是fruit,下面小小的是我们常吃的腰果

当地人将腰果的果实碾碎,然后将汁水收集起来,装进一个特殊的陶制锅状容器。容器底下可以生火,用于蒸馏。蒸馏之后的腰果汁流入另一口半埋于地下的陶制容器,自然发酵几天之后就是酒精浓度在45%左右的腰果甜酒啦!

(酿造feni的土容器)

(酿造feni的土容器)

我当时去了一个香料种植园参观,他们就还在用这种土制容器。不知道是否不能工业化腰果甜酒的生产,Feni大部分目前还是这种小规模的生产作坊方式。在种植园的时候我尝了一小杯,虽然酒精度数和伏特加差不多,却很好入口,非常甘甜,像度数稍烈的白葡萄酒。售价也出乎意料的便宜,比如路边小餐馆里,一杯纯feni是20印度卢比,而一杯啤酒则要100印度卢比。

(干了这杯feni)

(干了这杯feni)

可惜我当时并不知道feni在别处买不到,不然就背一瓶回来,壮大我们小酒馆的收藏了。诶。

Why female PhDs are under prejudice

Here is a true story of mine: I was hanging out with several friends, who are all grad students of course, on a Saturday evening at a pub. It was Halloween, so everyone else was dressed up in funny costumes except us.  A guy wearing a yellow chicken costume came over to our table and started talking to me. He was good-looking and good mannered, which carried the conversation quite smoothly. After telling me he is an undergrad student in Accounting, he asked “what’s your major?” I answered without thinking “oh, I’m a PhD student in Geography.” All of a sudden, our conversation froze, so did his facial expression. He was so shocked that he could not say a single word. “What?!” he found his tongue after ten seconds, “you’re a PhD student! No wonder you look smart.” Not surprisingly, he vanished soon.

 

In China, female PhD students are called the “third” category of human beings, beside “male” and “female”. When I told my family and relatives my decision of pursuing a doctoral degree, they tried to persuade me to give up by all kinds of methods. Before I came to Canada, I thought highly-educated females are only discriminated against in China. However, I was very wrong: female doctoral students have to suffer prejudices, not only in China, but all over the world.

 

Personally, I hate being labeled as female PhD student, because this label always comes along with the descriptions of nerd, bossy, unfashionable, emotionless, etc.; actually, I like this group of people very much (not because I myself am part of this group). They are highly intelligent, they are passionate for their own research, they can handle stressful situations, they are powerful in fieldwork, and they are attractive from the inside out. Basically, they should be called “Super Woman” instead of “neither man nor woman”. Trying to understand why they’re under unfair prejudice, I did an informal survey on Facebook and Chinese version Facebook, and I have more than 50 responses. However, the answers may not be representative due to the majority of my friends/respondents being all grad students.

 

The most popular answer is that highly-educated women are threatening to men’s domination. Such threatening can be found in every respect of daily life, which makes the male gender not as satisfied as they used to be. Without doubt, men have long been in dominating positions among genders. They are unwilling to accept the fact that women can perform equally well as long as both of them have equal access to proper education. The second popular answer is that women’s natural duty is to raise children and support their family, which female PhDs can’t devote enough time and energy to. One can simply imagine how hard it is to balance trivial housework and tens and hundreds of proposals, experiments, and papers. Besides, most of the female PhDs are above the average age of marriage and giving birth—“retarded” in their personal life, which is a general social issue nowadays. The third answer is that the unfair judgement is just sour grapes.  People (either men or women) who can’t pursue a PhD degree are jealous of those who can, especially those who are female; men who can’t have a partner with a PhD degree will defend themselves as “we don’t want to because they’re monsters”.

 

To my huge relief, excepting the above answers, most of my respondents said that they are not scared of female PhDs at all; on the contrary, they admire this group of people as “heroines with both beauty and wisdom”. However, I am not 100 percent satisfied with these answers, because none of them can explain why people only have prejudice for female PhDs instead of powerful women in other regimes (for example, female CEOs).  Moreover, the survey should have covered people with different degrees to represent diversity. Anyhow, at least I have learned my lesson: never tell strangers that I’m a PhD student when we are at pub on a Saturday night.

Beyond its visual effects: what I see from Avatar

Having seen Avatar twice already, I was still very excited when I received the email from Galaxy, the largest entertainment company in Canada, saying that I have the chance to see it for the third time. I also broadcast this news to my friends and invited them to see this thought-provoking movie with me.

 

People’s first impression of Avatar is its pioneering effects: huge screen, excellent sound, three-dimensional image, magical creatures, and bold imagination. Avatar won three Oscar awards: best achievement in art direction, in cinematography, and in visual effects—all related to visual arts. From this point of view, Avatar is an extraordinary “must see” movie. It is a milestone of movie art.

 

However, the storyline of Avatar is quite simple, compared to its mind blowing visual effect. A paraplegic retired marine is sent to Pandora to collect local information for a greedy human company. After spending a few days with Navi, the native people on Pandora, he falls in love with this planet and the people. Thus he betrays his original mission and helps Navi to fight for their rights and protect their beautiful planet. A lone hero saves the entire world, very typical Hollywood storyline. This is why some people argue that this movie is not a “great” movie, only its visual effects are great.

 

Although this storyline is naive and utopian, I enjoyed the movie very much. Not only its visual effects, but the story inspired me profoundly. As a geography PhD student, I can find some similarities between the situation in Pandora and my study area, the Brazilian Amazon: these areas are full of resources and their own spirits and values, but native society and economics are less developed (according to outsiders’ standards), which bring them the danger of exploitation from outside capital. When facing this danger, there are only two results for native people in history and in movies: colonization or temporary victory. Unfortunately, the latter one happens only in movies. When it comes to reality, the results can be unbelievably severe. For instance, the population of Native Americans dropped from 40 million to 3 million after the colonist massacre. Even in the end of Avatar, I call the victory a “temporary” victory, because there will be a second, a third battle since the capital is always chasing for profit. Navi people won’t be safe forever.

 

Neither colonization nor temporary victory is what we want. First of all, one can’tstop capital coming into these virgin areas. Secondly, there will be a “war” (even a war without bloodshed) inevitably; when that real war happens, no supernatural “forest creatures” can be called to fight for justice as in Avatar. Last, for the native people themselves, advancing with the times seems a more practical solution than dying in a massacre and ending with their culture disappearance altogether. Some people may say that they would choose to fight until the last person and last minute. This is the least responsible method to me: you let the people die for no return, you let the land be exploited with no respect, and you let the unique culture disappear from the world. Moreover, in the movie itself, Navi killed tens and hundreds of human beings during the war. One may argue there should be no mercy in a war, but those human soldiers are not cold-blooded killers, they are just soldiers who perform their duties. However, the ultimate goal is that we have to find the balance of life and nature via avoiding loss of any side.

 

Thus comes the question: how can we find a win-win solution for both native people and the capital market. For the capital market, chasing more profit is the only purpose, no matter what paths must be taken: war, colonization, destructive exploitation, or more gentle and sustainable development. The first three are faster but not durable approaches, while only the last approach is sustainable and can earn public credibility as well. For the native people, cooperation is their last and only chance, so trying to win over a better contract or business mechanism at the very beginning is recommended. Impacts from outside are inevitable, of course, but the undesirable impacts can be reduced to their lowest. If we calculate the loss and profit from both sides, cooperation is the optimum solution.

 

The real world is much crueller than the fairy tale of Avatar. Although the story ends “happily” in the movie, one must not forget the tremendous loss of Navi as well as earth people. Trying to avoid bleeding, learning experiences from history, and finding an optimum solution are what we should be inspired by Avatar beyond its magical visual effects.

【9】Can REDD save the forest?

 

【明明应该是六月七日发布的日志】

第九个月的主题当然是学术。

二月份的时候老板就说让我参加CAG,the annual meeting of Canadian association of Geographers。因为committee member 德哥刚来我们系任教,受命主持其中一个ABM的session。不然之前Ray告诫过我说在CAG上讲ABM底下的人都听不懂的,AAG还差不多(AAG有关ABM的section持续了两天)。老板当时问我做个poster怎么样,我考虑了一下,脑残的说,要不还是做个presentation吧。后来发现当时自告奋勇的我是有多“无知者无畏”和“不自量力”。

这个会议也让我意识到了自己有多严重的procrastination。proposal很早就写好了,却一直不去动手调程序,觉得应该没有那么难搞定。在这种盲目的自信和懒惰中迎来了最后一个月的苦逼生活。还好有ray(我那几天跟ray发了大概一百多封邮件。。。)和吴龑还有其他人的帮忙,在报告的前两天跑出了实验结果。也因此意识到很多idea是好,但是在具体执行过程中编程的困难;以及反之,编程时可以产生的一些新的idea。交相辉映?互为促进?

初写proposal时的想法其实很简单,测测那种价钱最合适补偿农民。实验进行中才意识到“从上至下”的宏观计算和“从下至上”的模拟之间可能产生的巨大差别。用经济学原理计算出来的农民肯接受的补偿价格要远远高于模拟时能够产生作用的补偿价格。虽然我也希望能够给农民更多补偿,但是当经费有限或者发达国家以“太贵”为借口时,我们可以拿出模拟的结果为例证驳斥这种说法。当然,模拟还是有很多需要验证/改进的地方的。

后来和老板还有德哥商量,按我自己的想法就是越快出文章越好。老板是老好人,什么都OK,德哥就不行了,直接来了一句“我们都知道这个实验的内容是不够出文章的”。德哥,我不关心第一篇文章的质量啊,555。。。这么一来我想趁热打铁出文章的斗志又没有了。

总之,还是斗志不够,自我管理能力不够。

【8】Parenting

【明明应该是五月七日发布的日志】

不知不觉进入了加拿大的夏天,小草绿了,小花开了,遍地的蒲公英,满树的红桃花,风景美如画,词语真贫乏。

在这样一个夏天里,因为她爸要回国,傻姑bella同学暂居我家整整一个月,于是我就提前体会了一把当家长的酸甜苦辣。

1,养娃之苦

bella在我家的时候正好过了她的一岁生日,由于是拉布拉多和德国牧羊犬的混血,加上还是个puppy,格外活泼好动,运动量巨大,用同学和我老板的话说是“that dog is crazy, full of energy”。早上傍晚半夜各遛一次,早上和半夜不少于半个小时,傍晚那次因为草坪上经常有很多狗狗,所以就放她玩至少一个小时。饶是如此,bella同学回家之后还是不安分,会叼着球跑到你面前让你丢球跟她玩。有时在草坪上跟别的狗狗追逐一两个小时,累到回家就整个趴在地上大喘气,我和室友以为可以轻松一下了,没一会儿她就又活蹦乱跳的往你身上扑了。

有段时间室友不在,我还要准备一周之后的报告,每天被程序折磨的痛苦不堪,还有一个人照顾她的重任。有一天晚上骑车回去,遛bella一个小时,做饭,11点左右又冒雨骑车往学校赶,继续调程序,到半夜两点再骑车回去。这边大农村跟北京不一样,天一黑,路上没人没车,只有松鼠和星光。后来骑那些个大上坡的时候也不知道脸上是雨水还是泪。第二天早上九点跟导师有会,遛完bella准备出门,傻姑同学不知道发什么疯,追着我跑出来,拉都拉不回去。多亏有邻居joel帮忙,才hold住她,关进了屋。因为这一闹,就特别急的骑车往学校赶,在ring road上拐弯时没减速整个人从车上摔了出去。坐在地上傻了30秒,爬不起来。有司机停下了问我“are you okay?”,除了回答”i’m alright, thanks”,还能说什么,您能帮我带狗吗,您能帮我写程序吗?爬起来继续往办公室骑,还不能哭,因为马上要开会。

单亲妈妈真的不好当,不是谁都能成为女超人。

2,养育之乐

有一天想要去咖啡馆享受一个悠闲的下午,锁门的时候bella一如既往的趴在窗口用忧郁的小眼神瞅着我。于是在咖啡馆里,我的脑海里全是她那小眼神和可怜兮兮的模样,不到一个小时就受不了,赶紧回家了。去上学的时候留她一个人在家还好,可是我要出去玩,留她一个人在家就总是特别愧疚。心里有个东西需要你记挂着,即使分量不是那么重,也总是在你心里,吃不香,玩不high,“陌上花开缓缓归”么。

最开始的时候不习惯看电视或者吃饭时总有个毛茸茸热乎乎的“生物”、“东西”或者“别人”在你旁边蹭来蹭去;也不习惯一开门就有个庞然大物冲出来扑到你身上;更不忍心每天晚上睡觉关门时,bella总是可怜兮兮的在房门口蹭来蹭去试图进屋跟你一起睡(尽管一直到最后我都不知道晚上她怎么睡觉的)。可是她爸把她接走后的头几天,开门时再也没有期待,出门时亦不再有牵挂,淡淡的觉得心头空落落的。

这就是所谓的“永远的牵挂”吗?

3,邻居之善-side effects

后来带bella出去的时候,已经可以记得这个neighbourhood的所有狗狗的名字,常常跟他们的主人打招呼问好。我记得从东欧过来的john和他的两岁的狗狗mika,mika是猎犬,永远一副女王范儿,每次都自己叼着球优雅的跑大圈,bella就在后面哼哧哼哧的跟着追,狼狈的要死,却怎么都追不上。还有一个加拿大大叔david和他的狗marlo,七个月的金色拉布拉多,一岁之后就会被送去成为导盲犬。david听说我们是babysitting之后,就专门从家里拿了好多狗玩具,每次如果碰见我们都会帮我们遛bella多一会儿。还有一个大叔,我不记得他的名字了,坚持带我去走了旁边的woods,太美了,我后来专门去走过好多次,还在那里认识了trillium。

有一回bella自己从我们家后院跳出去了,我穿着拖鞋和睡衣就冲了出去,急得眼泪都出来了。开林肯加长的邻居老爷爷主动说,我开车带你们在这附近转转,你这样跑要找到什么时候。我们开车在neighborhood里转了一圈又一圈,bella被车撞倒在血泊里的画面,bella找不到家变成流浪狗的画面,许效回来骂我的画面,像放电影一样在我脑海里播放。过了漫长的时间,终于在一家人门口看见了被拴在门口的bella。原来两个大姐看见bella乱跑,就合力拽住了她。但是因为狗链上没有电话,地址也是许效家的,所以只好把狗狗拴在门口,等着主人来找。我跑过去一把抱住了bella,傻姑还茫然不知的在那里活蹦乱跳,让我哭笑不得。

第二天我买了蛋糕去答谢开车的爷爷和那两位帮我们拽住傻姑的大姐。爷爷家好认,因为门口有加长林肯车,可是因为太激动,却忘记了那两位大姐的地址。找了一圈,还敲开了几家的门,未果,后来就自己把蛋糕给吃了。姗琪说她后来遛bella的时候还被那两个大姐认出来了,结果也没记住她们家地址。

所以要找房子的时候,想想这么好的neighborhood舍不得,就决定继续在这里住下了。

4,担忧

我问了好多朋友,说,我觉得我对bella的照顾,是责任多于爱,那种发自内心的爱。我会担心她是否吃好睡好开心了,但是是基于父母的义务,而不是主动自发的那种感情。如果她乖乖的,我会非常高兴;如果她不听话,我会很严厉的训斥她。那万一我以后对自己的小孩儿也是责任多于爱怎么办?要是他们表现的不好,我就不爱他们了怎么办?墨西哥大姐说,有时候责任和爱是连在一起的,你没法真正分开他们;况且你知道bella只在你们家待一个月,潜意识里知道不能放太多感情进去。巴基斯坦大姐说,哦,怀孕的时候荷尔蒙一分泌,你就明白所有的事情都不一样了。三哥也说,for sure you’ll love your own children.

好吧,我就这么希望吧。

傻姑bella,希望你跟你爸爸住的开心,你未来的老妈会发自内心的爱你。

 

【7】虚怀若谷

看,拖拉机不仅能拉猪还能拉人去枫糖节,要学着接受啊亲!

看,拖拉机不仅能拉猪还能拉人去枫糖节,要学着接受啊亲!

其实三月份的主题应该是“切忌刚愎自用”,或者更简单的讲,要能接受不同事物、想法、意见。虚怀若谷这个词可能也不对,欢迎提供纠正意见(我还专门查了该成语的意思,不仅英文没有练好,中文也退步了)。

之前跟同学聊天的时候说到“文商指数”——人们接受、适应不同文化的能力,加拿大国民的文商指数全球排名第一,这当然和加拿大是移民国家的背景分不开。作为在加拿大生活了七个月的我,也渐渐开始学会平心静气的接受不少cultural shock甚至academic shock了。

第一次意识到自己会不由自主的评判别的文化,是和中德混血heidi聊起西式早午餐这个话题。我当时皱着眉头问“为什么你们要在早上吃那么油腻的土豆呢?”,潜意识里认为西人果然肠胃更厉害且不会像我们做精致的各色早点。Heidi说,这是我们的习惯呀,以前农民要出去做工,早上出门前吃土豆会很管饱。这是个多么合情合理的原因啊,在我了解它之前为什么要在心里鄙视耐饿的土豆呢。。。

第二次是跟韩裔tutor的一次对话。前两个星期滑铁卢天气非常抽风,直接从冬天过渡到了夏天(今天又下雪了,暂时就不吐槽这个天气随机播放的2B城市了)。我只一个周末没有见到tutor,再看见她时她已经黑得像刚去了一趟非洲。我很惊讶(其实有点嫌弃)的问她怎么变得这么黑了,她说不知道呀,没注意就这样了,语气轻松愉悦,一点也不像我们晒黑后大惊小怪的样子。我其实知道北美这边流行”美黑“,在多伦多出生的我tutor肯定更是taned的爱好者,只是一时没忍住嘴快就问出了那个问题。关键是后来小组讨论的时候,一个香港背景的CBC说”啊,怎么会有人想要美白?!“。。。

说起来咱们祖国一直强调自己是多民族融合的国度,但其实汉族的同化力实在强大,我猜测大概由于我们不允许”特立独行“的事物或者行为以及人的存在。从小受这种教育长大的我,不仅理所当然的长成了一个”面目模糊“的”好学生“,更是认为所有的事情都应当和我的”饮食习惯“、对”美“的看法相同。但其实多元化才是发展的基础呀,不然我们干嘛拯救基因库,又为什么强调多学科综合,甚至连agent在做选择时也是不同偏好才使平均utility更高呢。

除了这些,最近因为读了几篇导师给的文章,所以对我博士研究的ABM也有了一点观念上的转变。我一直认为土地利用模拟一定要跟现实做对比,不能反映现实的模型不是好模型,不能被generalize的决策规则不是好的规则。所以以前读文章的时候总是纠结于ABM的验证环节的缺失和先天不足,以及即使做现实的模拟,结果也总是差强人意,甚至都不优于随机的模型结果。。不过现在已经开始慢慢接受这第三种科学方法了,我的理解就是试着通过现有的样本、案例、经验、理解做出在这种情况下最合理的假设,或者最好的模拟结果,对于导致这种结果的过程,我们可以怀着信心和信念,因为人类和环境的复杂性,我们看到的感知到的永远是受限制的。而且与其他科学研究以推理演绎、归纳总结为方法和Occam’s razor为指导思想不同的是,ABM是试图尽力反映人类的交互和人类环境交互的混乱性。。所以我们永远无法将所有的可能性考虑进来,提出一个简单的人类决策规则,建立一个完美的ABM模型。

reading list还很长,code也很多,同志仍需努力。学术之路,最重要的大概就是虚怀若谷了吧。

特别鸣谢:教授同学

 

美东2——首都华盛顿之城市形象篇

当当当!!大豆同学的学术排版美东流水帐第二期出炉了!(距我承诺的放松时间好像已经过去了两周。。。)

1,华盛顿城市印象

请尽情想象一个已经在北美大农村生活了六个月并且坐了12个小时夜车大巴的人见到华盛顿UnionStation那宏伟大厅时候的激动!!当时我们一行三人都特别不顾形象的原地跳着欢呼了起来!!

正如我在《美东1》中所说,华盛顿的各种纪念馆、国家建筑,都是白色的大石柱子,非常高的吊顶,和北京的一些建筑很像。但是当我们三个从UnionStation出来往预订的青年旅舍走时,街道就成为了可爱的住宅区,即使它们离国会山不过两个街区。

我说这些住宅区可爱,是真的“可爱”,它们都是窄窄的两三层建筑,一栋紧挨着一栋。每栋楼都被刷上了粉嫩的颜色。而且这些楼是真正的居民住家,间或有一两栋挂着诸如“全国神经学协会”等这种铜牌。这些楼房看起来都有些历史,墙外的空调还不是分体式的呢。每栋楼前都停有车辆,所以想要拍照是真不容易呀。

“可爱”的还不光是建筑风格,连这里的居民也都表现的很可爱,在享受着美帝的首都生活。随处可见在家门口活动的小朋友和狗狗,社区里车不多,所以到处都有身着专业服装慢跑的人们(可惜我不好意思对着他们拍。。),后来我们也在林肯纪念堂国会山附近的路上发现了很多锻炼的人。社区里走几步就能发现很cuzzy的咖啡馆,而且总是满员,客人在里面悠闲的享受咖啡、纸杯蛋糕以及当天的报纸(不要说我描述的矫情,是真的!)。这么看来,这个首都的生活质量其实是有的。

(左1是我们每天买早点muffin和咖啡的小店,是两位黑人妇女开的,男女厕所门口挂的牌子是黑人老爷爷和黑人老奶奶的画;左2是一个在门口玩耍的MM;右1是一队奇怪的骑双轮车的人;右2和右3就是我形容的社区的房子)

让我对华盛顿这个城市印象很好的还有一个地方:Georgetown。乔治城在downtown的西北外,有一趟环形线公交到,旁边有一条河以及很多海鸥,河边有很多意大利风格的小咖啡馆和餐厅,还有一条步行购物街(没错,虽然只是旅行第一站,我已经在这里买了两条牛仔裤和一件衬衣),总之就是个非常休闲的地方。我们先在河边拿薯片喂海鸥和麻雀们,然后邂逅了一家很有趣的咖啡馆,店里挂满了各种旗帜。那家店里的美女服务员英语比我还不顺(但是因为长得很美意大利人吧大概),后来找零的时候他们老板,一个可爱的老头出来跟我们聊天。我说it’ll be better if you could have flag of china,老板说,不是better,是nicer,不过我这些旗帜都是顾客、邻居或者朋友送的,下次你们可以自己带一面来。哈哈,他还跟我们说这里还有dalai lama的旗帜。另外还有一面很奇怪的旗帜,是镰刀斧头加一个五角星的红旗,我跟振中师兄都没猜出来是什么,我说搞不好是外国人理解错了我们的国旗。。然后老板说,啊,你们来自中国,居然不知道这面旗,shame on you。原来是苏联国旗。。后来我们在MIT校园的也看到一个办公室窗上挂着这面旗。因为发生了一件乌龙的事件,所以我们发现到费城的megabus已经错过了的时候,就决定好好吃一顿午饭。挑了一家有lunch special的一个意大利餐馆,12块一个人,而且有两个菜,餐厅装修的也很漂亮,尤其是二楼的阳台,不过那会儿还不让上。点餐的时候是餐厅的主厨出来推荐了,然后我在对这些食物名称一无所知的情况下,勉强点了一个认识的意面,真的非常好吃,很浓郁的香味。而且吃的时候他还来问我们及隔壁桌的三位美女觉得怎么样。

(左1是georgetown的街道,右1和2就是我们中午吃饭的餐厅,左2是河边,右3是我们喂了很久的海鸥(还是鸽子我也不清楚),最下面两张就是那个挂满了旗帜的咖啡馆)

2,downtown惊魂

第一天大概八点多我们在downtown找东西吃,去了一家比较大的麦当劳,门口就有很多homeless,里面更是聚集了很多。我们点餐的时候就有几个在打架,过了一会儿警车和警察就来了。其中一位女警对一个满脸是血的黑人女性说:你流血了,你必须去医院,但是那个黑人女性一直拒绝并且大叫“我不去医院我就是不去医院”!后来可能还是被拖走了吧。。振中师兄找座位的时候,还有个穿着紫色裤袜的亚裔老太太提醒他说,不要坐刚才那个流血的女人坐的凳子,怕有传染病。

说实话当时那个女人在那里鬼叫鬼叫的时候我就已经比较发怵了,但觉得只要站远一点就事不关己了。可是后来发生的事情才让人真正觉得恐怖。我们三个正在角落的桌子吃汉堡的时候,来了一个黑大个,一个劲儿的说他没钱,他饿,他要吃的。然后我就低头继续吃当作没有听到他的话,师姐就说,不好意思我们英语不好。但是那个黑大个还是继续说:我就只是想要点吃的。他一个人说了很久,见我们没反应,就讪讪的走了。过了大概五分钟他又回来了,手上拿着几张一块的纸币,继续说,我就是想要点吃的。后来我们决定把一个苹果派给他,结果他又不要,还是继续说我就是想要点吃的(其实是要钱)。缠得太烦了我们三个就开始收拾东西,然后他就开始骂人。。。我们三个基本上是落荒而逃,出了麦当劳。但是我们还是步行了半个小时回的hostel!!路上还看到很多睡在长椅上的homeless。

 

总的来说,我对华盛顿这座城市的印象很好,既可大气,又很休闲;既有博物馆,又有咖啡馆,人民群众生活也比较安逸,高质量。可惜没有赶上华盛顿三月的樱花节!!

美东1——首都华盛顿之国家代表篇

首先科普一下(我之前也不知道),美国有两个华盛顿,一个首都、特区Washington D.C.,就是我这次去的那个;还有一个是华盛顿州,在美国的左上角。

行程:先坐了两小时灰狗从waterloo到了toronto,然后从晚上9点开始上了去DC的megabus,一直到第二天上午9点到达DC的union station。忘记几点钟在buffalo那里过界的,反正那个黑人officer还挺和善,问了你们住哪里,待几天,就放我们过去了。美帝城市之间也是和加拿大风格很像的大农村,容积率低的平房、房屋间隔大,没有人烟。。。走的高速路两边有山有水有围墙,而这个石头围墙很奇怪,经常一段有一段没有的,不知道是不是美国交通部钱不够,不能全部修完。。

住宿:DC我们定的是一个hostel,离UnionStation大概十几分钟的步行距离,一间小小的阁楼,check in的时候是一位黑人staff,说的话我一句都听不懂。小蓝楼右边的那栋就是啦。另外说起来,除了恢弘的博物馆和大楼之外,DC也有很多这种小住宅楼,两三层高,楼体很窄,但是径深,而且刷了各种漂亮的颜色,除了这个蓝色,还有各种粉色黄色,像网上一张流传很广的希腊民居照片,非常的有生活气息。

虽然只是美帝的首都,可是和我们伟大祖国的首都北京风格还是比较一致的,主题区建筑风格恢弘统一,都是大柱子。咱们有天安门广场,他们也有national mall,东西两头分别是“议员大会堂”Capitol,和”林总统纪念堂“——Lincoln Memorial(你看老美多不尊重人家领导,都不叫President Lincoln Memorial)。中间还分布着人民英雄Monument,美国故宫national musuem of american history+national gallery of art。远处还有八宝艾灵顿革命公墓。不一样的地方在于有一座national musum of natural science,咱们北京的科技馆有点远,在北四环外,我以前革命的地方附近,不像华盛顿在城中心。到此一游照都已经放在相册里了。忽然觉得红围巾真的好革命斗士的范儿,有没有酷

最震撼的地方有以下几处:

1,国会山,是我本次旅行中安检最严格的地方,没有之一。进去时水和食物都不能带,于是师姐决定不牺牲她的水杯,在外面等我们。而我过安检门的时候,警报响了,我以为是手镯,结果是腰带,然后他们很不给我面子的让我当场把腰带解了下来重新过一次安检门伤不起。。。不过里面的人都挺好,他们还提醒振中师兄说名牌背面的胶太粘,不要直接贴在他的皮衣上,会留下痕迹。

而国会山里面一小队游客有一个专门的解说员负责,他/她负责全程解说,每个游客发一个小耳麦,频率是你解说员的频率,因此听的非常清楚老奶奶和老爷爷解说员们也不费力。

国会山功能的官方介绍是这样的:

The Capitol stands as a monument to the American people. it is where the issues facing the nation are considered, debated, and written into law. 不知道这里面的代表举手累吗?在这个角度国会山里有可以看国会的会议室、有美国历史的油画大厅,有每个州做的雕塑。

另外,it also houses an important collection of American art, and it is an architectural achievement in its won right. 从这个角度欣赏国会山,你可以看到它wedding cake形式的构造,磅礴的穹顶、顶上的statue of freedom的青铜雕像。

这里面也有很多像我们小时候的北京夏令营游一样的美国被学校组织来参观首都的各地的中小学生们,穿着红色制服的那些都是。

2、博物馆,我们去了三个博物馆(一下午的时间,效率高吧):national archive, natural science, and gallery of art.在画廊里有中文、日文的说明,还有毕加索和梵高的展厅,看到了thinker和罗马的雕塑,有一个摄影师的作品展,都是他太太的屁股组成的奇特结构的照片,我非常不能理解。。。。。另外有个工作人员老爷爷跟我说中国女孩子个性最好啦!这里面中国的文物不多,只有几个质地一般的瓷器。archive里面最重要的当然是那个连字都看不清楚的独立宣言啦,不过还有一卷一卷的关于朝鲜战争、越南战争的文件!科技馆里面主要是我被教育了一下初中生物知识(比如在twilight ocean zone里面99%的生物都是自己发光的、两栖动物在哺乳动物前还是后这种)、看到了一个很炫的地球、还有在各种标本前拍213青年照。

3、纪念堂,看到林肯雕像的时候我真的觉得他会站起来,像在电影博物馆奇妙夜里那样跟其他活过来的标本本各种玩。不过振中师兄指出来说他的脚摆放的非常随意,并非正襟危坐,还特意看了一下林肯椅背后面是什么(搭着的大衣)。在林肯纪念堂的右边一整面墙上刻的都是独立宣言。

最值得一提的是,因为华盛顿机场就在附近,所以每两分钟就有一架飞机从我们头顶经过,感觉很像降落在纪念堂的后方,或者是从纪念堂里起飞的。

从这里出来后我们就过河了,对面是艾灵顿国家公墓,一个我非常感兴趣并坚持要去的地方。也不知道为什么我就是对墓地蛮感兴趣大惊,以前在玉泉的时候,还会走到八宝山里面去散步。中美这两处国家公墓的最大区别,在于一个树荫通幽,一个草长明亮。另外,八宝山里除了革命烈士,还有一些文化界名人,比如老舍、马三立;但是艾灵顿好像就是军人了(肯尼迪除外)。八宝山的墓碑各有特色,像老舍的就很简单隽永,但有些官员的,还是比较铺张,占地大不说,造型还很复古。但是艾灵顿公墓里,除了一下片区域是有军衔之人的墓地,普通士兵的墓碑都一模一样。艾灵顿规划的片区也很清晰,譬如二战区、无名士兵区、女兵区,还有最新的利比亚战争阵亡的士兵,当然还有很大的一片空地。。。

艾灵顿和五角大楼其实都不在特区里,而是在virginia州了。所以出了公墓,我们又坐地铁到了五角大楼Pentagon。一出地铁气氛就不一样,到处都是警告牌写着no video,no photo,很多军装帅哥把守,不能随便乱窜。我们想找911纪念馆,结果走错了路口很远就被大兵叫住,把刚刚偷偷拍了一张五角大楼照片的振中师兄吓坏了谄笑。而且这里有很多军装男进进出出,非常帅气,也有西装革履的文职人员。不过不管从哪个角度,我们都不可能把五角大楼拍全,因为它真的很大,美国的军事力量的确不容小觑嘛。

911纪念广场设计的真的别具匠心,飞机上的死难者,他们的椅子头朝向五角大楼;工作人员的死难者,椅子头则向外。代表遇难者的椅子按照出生年月分别排列。每张椅子下有水、旁边还种了树苗。那里有一个大兵执勤,他告诉我们五角大楼被撞蹋的那个洞现在还留着,只是墙体修好了,但是颜色有明显的区别。

4、国家政权机关部门:奥巴马家和珍宝馆、环保部等等等等

其实看到白宫的时候真的非常失望的,奥巴马不仅没出来迎接,还只能隔着围栏远远的看一个小房子。不过Akanksha告诉我是可以申请参观内部的。。。我们不知道,错过了让振中师兄带着米歇尔浪迹天涯的可能啊。

财政部对应的英文居然是treasure,挺稀奇的;还有环保部,也是很恢弘的一栋楼,不过是晚上没有拍下来。

好吧,好多东西啊,明天继续:DC的城市风格篇以及我们在downtown的惊险经历和最有价值的被搭讪故事!!。。。。。