Sending my daughter to college and coming back to KS


This is what happened during these unforgettable days.

8/24/2013, Saturday, three of us left KS at 2:30 am, arrived at Washington, PA at about 6 pm that day.

8/25/2013, Sunday, we left Washington, PA for New York at about 6 am, arrived NY at 2 pm, went to DoubleTree hotel and parked the car, went to a donut place to meet my son and his girlfriend, went to see their apartment, went to Central Park, went to a Chinese restaurant. After dinner, my son walked with us to our hotel. Then, my son and my daughter walked back to my son’s apartment to spend the night there. The hotel is on west 36th Street, New York city, just off the 8th avenue. His apartment is on east 62nd street, not far from Central Park.

8/26/2013, Monday, we walked to my son’s apartment, then three of us went to have breakfast. After that, my daughter and us went back to the hotel to check out the room, get the car, then we drove to my son’s apartment to pick him up. He had a lunch meeting with his friends. Four of us drove to South Hadley MA from there.

8/27/2013, Tuesday, we drove to my daughter’s college in the morning, sent my son to Peter Pan bus station at 11:30 am. We went back to our hotel, my daughter took a nap, went to Wal-Mart for refrigerator, looked for bestbuy for a long time, finally found it and got the refrigerator, then went to Target nearby and found something cheaper and better, returned the one bought at bestbuy, bought the one at the Target. We went to a Chinese restaurant for the dinner.

8/28/2013, Wednesday, we helped my daughter move in early in the morning, attended the open-door BBQ which was to welcome the new students and their families, in the evening we went to another reception for all the new people. Met some Chinese parents there.

8/29-30/2013, Thursday and Friday, we went to my daughter’s dorm to say goodbye to her, then left for KS at 7:45 am, drove overnight, got back home a little after 11 am yesterday morning.

On the way there, the car was fully packed with three of us. On the way back, the car seemed so empty that I even felt it a waste to drive our big Highlander instead of our sedan car. Of course, back home, the house is even more empty and joyless without my daughter.



We are on the road again to send my daughter to college


We are on the road again exactly like we did 6 years ago with my son in the car, driving to the east coast. This time we are sending my daughter to college.

8/24, leave KC early in the moring.
8/25, arrive in New York in the evening to see my son and his girl friend.
8/26, leave for her college in the afternoon, taking my son with us.
8/27, my son will take a bus back to New York on Tuesday morning to go to work.
8/30, we will drive back to KS.

On 8/22, my daughter went to see a movie with a friend of hers. While I was cleaning the room, I saw some Jo-Ann Fabrics store coupons lying on the floor, which I always save for my daughter. Both of us like to shop at that store to buy some crafts and art equipments. When I thought of her leaving and the fact she was on the way to build her next home, I realized it was no longer necessary for me to collect these coupons. Suddenly, a rush of sadness grabbed me. I felt so sad that nothing seemed to make sense any more and of course, I couldn’t control my tears.

Something will always reminds me of my children. Every time I drive by SMS, I think of the time when my children went there. Every time I see a group of boys running outside SMS along Lamar, I think of my son when he just entered high school 10 years ago. He was running with a group of boys right after school, hot and shirtless. He was a skinny teen then…

I know I will have some rough time ahead after my daughter leaves.



A wired bike: one of my to-do-list items


This is the picture of the bike that I plan to learn to make, and hopefully I can put it to good use.

wire bike



What is on my plate when my daughter is off for college


We are going to send my daughter to college this coming Saturday, on 8/24/2013. My colleagues kept asking me what I was going to do with all the time after work. Of course, I am not going to answer them directly and tell them I was going to do the following activities. For one thing, I don’t want them to know what I do after work. For another, they don’t understand why.

Here’s the list of things that I have on my plate.
-> Prepare and take CPHIMS exam
-> Research and prepare for my next paper
-> Devote 30 minutes after dinner to planting
-> Learn to make bike with wire, fun thing for me, will wait till I earn it
-> Clean some of the rooms, whenever I need a break
-> Read about investment,
-> Work on my yard on weekend, when the weather permits on weekend
-> Of course, never stop checking with my children, especially my daughter.



“The fact I am not in the office matters most”


Last week I was chatting with a friend of mine about job and children going to college, etc. How I wish I could transfer my job to wherever my children are. Or I could follow them wherever they go.

My friend mentioned retirement. To be honest, I am not horribly fond of going to the office everyday. Instead, I would rather go somewhere else whenever I want.

Also last Friday, when I asked an NP at our clinic, “What’s your plan for the weekend?” She said, “No plan. The fact I am not in the office matters most. That means I can do whatever I want.” That echoes my thought.

Last weekend, I happened to read something about retirement. Here’s an excerpt of the article.

“It’s not just a love of working that has kept Prosen toiling away 30 hours a week as an octogenarian. He also sees keeping busy as a matter of life or death.

Prosen said he is certain that if he stopped working entirely, he would literally die not long after.

He could be on to something. A number of studies show that retirement is, in fact, bad for your health.”

I am sure this is the case with those who don’t have their personal agenda or goals to go after during their employment years. For me, my plate is always full and I can always find something to keep me super busy.



The tragic death of Australia’s baseball player Christopher Lane


It was a tragic day for 22-year-old Melbourne baseballer Christopher Lane who was killed while jogging through the town of Duncan in Oklahoma on Friday afternoon, 8/16/2013.

“It comes as Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford said he had secured the confession of the 17-year-old who summoned investigators to his jail cell and claimed he and the younger boys were bored “so they decided to kill somebody”.
“He said he was the driver of the car,” Chief Ford said.

“They saw Christopher jog by the house they were at, they chose him to be the target, they got in the car, drove up behind him and shot him in the back.”

I feel sick in my stomach. Bored and start killing? How senseless this can be! Yes, the easy access to gun makes it possible. Now there is a reason why people should stay away from these neighborhood.



A gathering with some friends last Saturday


Last Saturday evening, the last Saturday before my daughter leaves for college, a friend of mine invited us together with some others to her house for a gathering. It was very kind of her.

There my daugher met another incoming college girl, also a Chinese. The girl will go to Princeton University. This is the first child that I met this year who has been admitted into the school of her choice. All others have applied but was turned down by all top-notched ones like Harvard, MIT, etc.

This further confirms that academic excellence alone won’t get you to the top. A student must do something extraordinary. Here are something that this girl has achieved while in high school,

National/Regional Aspirations in Computing Winner from National Center for Women & Information Technology
Presidential Scholar Candidate from US Department of Education



“You look best when you smile”


Here’s one of those intimate moments between my daughter and I, a comforting one.

While I was packing for her college stuffs, I told her to take with her all my good stuffs because I am old and ugly now and no longer need any of them.

She protested it vehemently, saying “No you are not. You look like 40 years old and you look most beautiful when you smile. Some people look horrible when they smile, but you look best when you smile,” etc.

She refused to admit this is a daughter’s bias. This will be one of those cherished moments for me after she leaves for college.



Loss of any hope together with the loss of land for Palestine


israel_palestine-map

The mighty powerful one will win. No justice.



A very friendly alumna club gathering


Yesterday, Saturday, 8/10, we went to a party organized by the local alumna club of my daughter’s college. The party was held for the two incoming students in our area, but the other one didn’t show up. In fact, she didn’t have any communication with the local club president at all.

We not only had a good lunch, but also got to know some people there and learned a lot about her college. Most of them graduated from that college. I had good chats with some of them — one graduating this year, one in year 2007, one 1994, one 1997. The one who graduated in 2007 went to law school at KU and is working here.

They made great efforts to be helpful and friendly, answering questions as best as they could, which made the party very successful. We had a good time there.



Textophilia, yes, too much texting


I read this piece on textophilia on yesterday while at the office. I feel like I have to share with someone that I know of just to alert her of this danger. Here’s the text.

“From the DSM-V, the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:
Early on-set textophilia is accompanied with feelings of euphoria, wholeness and exuberant empowerment, soon followed by social and environmental seclusion.

Symptoms include an inability to look up, walk with eyes forward, complete full sentences, or engage in uninterrupted physical conversation for bursts longer than 60 seconds.

Without treatment, patients regard texting as more real than flesh-to-flesh communication. This feeling is reinforced by quick dopamine and oxytocin hits to the brain.

In advanced cases (25+ texts per day) life without texting becomes unbearable, empty and meaningless. At this stage, textophiliacs develop an inability to distinguish cognitively between device and existence.

Sudden withdrawal can lead to total collapse of identity and rediscovered freedom.”



Clean up the shoddy work of other people at my office


This is how I spent my lovely Friday morning (8/2). I received some DCFs for a 2005 trial. Let me put it this way, to say they are outrageous is an undeserved compliment. Ok, one of them goes like this:

“Item: Platelets = 95 10^3/mcl
Problem: corresponding LNR 050302 (eff.31JAN2004)
Comment: LAB: Platelet(08MAR2007) is outside the corresponding LNR 140 – 415 10^3/mcl and represents a violation of the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Please check & verify result, and provide comment.”

It certainly looks like a protocol violation. But why did it take 6 years for them to find it out?

Actions taken:
(1) Get the CRF binder and patient chart to confirm the platelet value done on 3/8/2007 is correct.
(2) Get the protocol, and read the inclusion/exclusion criteria to confirm value 95 is out of the accepted range for enrolment.
(3) Check if there was other CBC lab done during that period. Check physician order and lab reports. Yes, one was done on 3/1/2007, with acceptable platelet value.
(4) Search protocol to see if the 3/1/2007 lab is within the timeframe to meet screening requirements.
(5) Patient consent on 4/5/2007 and was registered on 4/23/2007. The 3/1/2007 lab is out of the window.
(6) Check to see if patient had any medical activities during that period. Found patient went to have a surgery in late March 2007.
(7) Call the hospital to see if patient had any labs done while at the hospital.
(8) Faxed a formal request form to the hospital, as I was told.
(9) Follow up with the hospital later and
(10) Have to constantly keep related persons updated
No ending yet. Wait for their response and go from there.

It would be an easy solution if I admitted and submitted a protocol violation, but a violation is a major offense which we try to avoid.

I was in a bad mood after going through these actions, as I don’t like wasting my time cleaning up the mess left by others years ago. I lament greatly the loss of my time over one simple idiotic mistake that other people made. There is no word that can satisfactorily describe what upset I was on that day.



Saturday gathering at a friend’s house


Last Saturday, 8/3, we went to a friend’s house for a gathering. We talked a lot about college cost, current economy and job situation, especially for young college graduates.

To be sure, the situation does not look bright for the younger generation. Many of these college graduates, without a full time employment or having to engage in something unrelated to their education, got a long way to go before they can become financially independent, settle down, get married, have children and buy a house.

Let us hope the incoming college students will see a better economy when they graduate in year 2017.



Mean people don’t live long, really?


Last Friday, I read an article, “Selfish traits not favoured by evolution, study shows” by Melissa Hogenboom, Science reporter, BBC News.

It is said that a new research reveals “Evolution does not favour selfish people,”
which challenges a previous theory which suggested it was preferable to put yourself first.

We are told that it pays to be co-operative, shown in a model of “the prisoner’s dilemma”, a scenario of game theory – the study of strategic decision-making.”

It should be this way when we consider how important it is for people to stick together and how we value key words like teamwork and cooperation. But, from what I observe in life, the opposite is true.

In real life, those who are very considerate of others and sacrifice themselves in order to keep peace are often punished by illness or early death. On the other hand, those who spit out whatever in their chest regardless how others feel, feel better and live longer.

The first law of living is self-preservation. I think those who think of themselves before anyone else have much higher chance of outliving those who think of others first.



The first day of August, with only 5 months left for the year


I can’t believe it is already August. 7/12 of the year has gone.
I asked my mother yesterday over Skype if she still got something special for August First, the day celebrating the establishment of Chinese PLA. She said no. She had been out of the army for so long, over half of a century. It should be the turn of the newly retired army officers and solders. Nice thinking.

I set the goal of having two publications at a professional journal this year. I think I am pretty close to the goal now, with one already published in June, another having been accepted by and most likely coming out from the same journal.

Authors don’t get paid for their publications, but the greatly coveted honor and distinction associated with a publication at a professional journal is not something you can buy with money. That’s why both of my children say they are very proud of me.


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