Maria Holland

Ready or Not, Here They Come!

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm

2 down, 1 to go!  I took the final for my main Chinese class today, which went okay despite being a little bit harder than I expected.  I heard yesterday that we have an online student page, and learned how to log on to see my grades!  I got a 92 in Listening class and am hoping for similar grades in Listening and Oral. 

Since I finished the test this morning, I have been stuck in my room waiting for a person who may or may not be coming to fix my toilet.  I’ve been waiting for about 3 hours now, in which time I have watched a few episodes of a new TV series . . . ate lunch, delivered to my door . . . talked to some friends online . . . made a welcome sign for my parents . . . caught up on the news . . .

The most interesting current story is the hostility between Google and China.  Basically, Google’s threatening to pull out, citing some hacking attempts from within China . . . oh, and that thing about how China’s government censors the internet, punishes free speech, persecutes dissidents, and violate human rights.  I have a lot of feelings about this.  First of all, I don’t want my beloved Google to be even less available to me here than it is now.  I was feeling whiny yesterday when trying to read some blogs and searching for information on a convent in China, but I couldn’t imagine having to sign on to my proxy before accessing my email.  At the same time, the rational part of me realizes that this is a sacrifice that I should accept, embrace, and rejoice in if it would further the cause of freedom in China. 

And, simultaneous with the feelings mentioned above, I am cynical and suspicious about Google’s motives.  It’s not like they just figured out they were in bed with the devil – censoring their search results was a condition they accepted in order to operate in China.  As one friend said, they’re trying to un-sellout after selling out; they’re trying to buy back their dignity and moral high ground, but only after selling it to the highest bidder first.  So, brownie points for threatening to pull out, and even more if you actually follow through, but I’m still a little suspicious as to why these violations of human rights just became an issue now.

My parents will be here in about 9 hours!  We’re supposed to have good weather in Xiamen this weekend, but unfortunately, it looks like they’re coming for a record-breaking cold winter for the rest of China.  But I found this really cute photo/essay/thing on weather forecasts and it made me smile and know that everything’s going to be okay. 

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