A Couple of Things

First of all, I hope everyone will continue to keep Japan in your thoughts and prayers. Donate to a relief agency to help out, if you have the resources. From the things I am reading, it sounds like the situation continues to be very, very dire. Tens or even hundreds of thousands of people have lost their homes and are living in shelters, it’s cold, food and fuel are difficult to get, and on top of all of that, the nuclear plants are proving to be a huge problem. The impact to Japan’s economy, and therefore to the world’s, will be huge – and all of this at a time when the whole world’s economy is struggling.

I have to say that I am dismayed (if not disgusted) by the lack of leadership that the USA has shown, both in this crisis and in the Middle East. I don’t really want to make this a political blog, but our current administration is not distinguishing itself. Remember the “wake up call at 3:00AM advertisements?” Well, neither our President nor our Secretary of State are impressing me with their handling of these crises.

Anyway, one of my classmates in my Chinese class is Japanese, and is living in Seattle working for a seafood trading company. We are all supporting him, but I can see that this affects him. He seems embarrassed at all of the trouble, though none of it is his fault nor the fault of the Japanese people. Please do what you can to support Japan, which has been a close friend and ally of the US for many years now.

Speaking of our Chinese class, the second thing I wanted to mention is that our class has “graduated,” so to speak. We are now moving on to Integrated Chinese, Level 1 Part 2. If we can finish this whole book, it will be the equivalent of one year of college-level Chinese. I’m nowhere near fluent, but I have really enjoyed learning to read, write, speak, and understand this fascinating language!

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