Saturday, May 26, 2007

Black Moshannon State Park

Alice, Brian, hubby, and I explored an 18-mile trail network in Black Moshannon State Park Trails this morning. The park is located in Centre County on PA Route 504, and it takes about 30 minutes driving time from State College. The park covers 3,394 acres of forests and wetlands that provide recreational opportunities for thousands of visitors. Besides hiking, other outdoor recreation activities that visitors can explore include boating, bicycling, fishing, camping, picnicking, hunting (special season), and ice sports (winter).

Our mission in this morning was to hike a 6-mile trail (around 10 km). Without doubt, we accomplished it, and our record was 2 hours (Whao!!). The consequence of this attainment is that I have footsore now. However, I enjoyed the feeling of walking in the wood - cold fresh air, wet grass, beautiful birds songs, blooming wild flowers and plants (wild blueberries and strawberries are blooming), and reading wildlife signs (such as tracks and droppings ... haha, this is fun!). I hope we will go hiking again in another 2-3 weeks. At that time, our mission will be ... eating blueberries and strawberries!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Interior vs. Exterior

In the book club meeting today we discussed Harper Lee's famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird. One of the scenes in chapter 12 was about Capulnia helped Jem and Scout dressed up nicely for church. Then I raised a question: Why do people have to dress up nice for church? Arthemesia answered my question. She said, "This is because people want to show their vanities to the God." Well, perhaps she is right, but I still don't understand why is it so important to show vanity to the God. In my country, we care about human interior more than exterior. In other words, humbleness, sincerity, and respect to the God is much more important than how they dress. We do have clothing codes for every religion in my country, for instance, Taoists and Buddhists should wear clean and appropriate dresses in temples, whereas Muslim has its special dress codes for Islamic women, like clothing must cover the entire body and must hang loose so that the shape of the body is not apparent. After all, I do not mean to compare the dress code of every religion because I know every religion has its own rules. I am just currious why people wear what they do.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

U.S. History Terms


The belief that slavery should be abolished.

Alien and Sedition Acts

Laws passed during the second presidency (John Adams) that restricted public activities of radicals who sympathized with the French (who were fighting the British in Europe.)


Things and houses built before the Civil War (ante=before, bellum=war).

Articles of Confederation

The 1782 agreement among the states before the Constitution was signed in 1789.

Battle of Bull Run

The first battle of the Civil War. The Confederates won.

Battle of Bunker Hill

The first battle of the Revolutionary War. The British won.

Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments to the Constitution, giving freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly and limiting search and criminal laws.

Boston Tea Party

In 1773 colonists threw tea shipment into the harbor, an act moving toward Revolutionary War.

Civil War

1861-1865, between the Union (northern states) and the Confederacy (southern states). The Union won.

Declaration of Independence

This declares the U.S. independent of the British king; adopted July 4, 1776.

Emancipation Proclamation

President Lincoln declared all slaves to be free, 1863.

French and Indian War

British fought French in America 1754-1763. The British won and kept Canada. Some French people moved to Louisiana.


The greatest Civil War battle and a turning point. The Union won.


The first English settlement in America; Virginia, 1607.

Lewis and Clark Expedition

President Jefferson sent two explorers to the north-west (later Washington state) to see what he bought from France.

Mason-Dixon Line

Essentially was the division between northern (free) and southern (slaveholding) states.

New Amsterdam

City founded by the Dutch in 17th century; no called New York.

Plymouth Rock

Landing site for early Pilgrim on the Mayflower in 1620.

Revolutionary War

The thirteen American colonies fought the British for independence 1775-1781. The French helped. Official end was the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

(From The Vocabulary Teacher's Book of Lists. 2004, Edward B. Fry)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The onset of summer holiday

Fifteen weeks of summer holiday is pretty long, but time flies like an arrow if one doesn't weigh it carefully. One week has been passed and what have I done? I asked myself. Well, I went to the biggest book sales of the year in State College, gathered together with my language partner who will soon move to Texas for goods, attend a training course and a friend's birthday party, and did a little of preparation for summer ESL classes. I think in overall I have gained something for everything that I did in the past week. First, I got few inexpensive books from the book sales. Second, I attend a really good training course which was given by a well-known professor from San Francisco State University. I admired her vigor in doing education works while she is fighting the stubborn disease -- Cancer. Then, in the farewell party with my language partner, I got a new language partner who is her good friend. Last but not least, I learned to play Bridge, a card game, in the birthday party (no money was involved in the game, so it was not gambling ... hihi). That's all I did in the past week and I am looking forward to a productive new week.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Life is beauty

Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Primary Election 2007 of Pennsylvania

I have just learned a lesson in Primary Election in the United State. This lessson was given not in the classroom but at the poll. Tuesday, May 15, is Primary Election Day here in Pennsylvanian, my Brasilian friend and her husband and I had gone through the whole process of voting with Alice Clark, a resident of State College. So I knew who she voted for, but I won't tell you :-p

A Primary Election is an election held to decide which candidates will be on the November general election ballot. Having closed primary election here in State College, voters may vote in a party's primary only if they are registered members of that party. Independents cannot participate. They are two things impressed me about this election. The first is that citizens of this country are given the right to vote for Justice of the Supreme Court, Judge of the Superrior Court, Sheriff, Treasurer, and other important positions (refer to the sample ballot for more detail). It this is amazing. But, on the other hand, I wonder about the reliability of the decision make by the grass-roots. The second, judges in this country need to participate in a political party. In this case, I wonder how a judges can make decision indifferently. Well, these are just some foods for thought.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Reflections on life 生命的倒影

Our life cannot always be full of happiness but it can always be full of love!

He who is blind to the view of our souls, will not enjoy and see life as it is.

The more you plan, the less likely you will experience chance, therefore live life to the fullest.

A true friend is one who holds your hand and thus touches your heart.

When we get married, we won’t know what lies ahead. Until we hit the waves of life at sea.

Life is reality without an eraser!

Nothing in the future, will correct those moments that you have missed in the past.

Don’t waste time with someone who won’t support you in time of need.

Always look at the bright side of life. If there is no bright side, wait until the future turns to light.

Don’t cry over what has happened in the past, but be happy that you could enjoy the moment.

Always remember the words from a true friend: “I’ll be there for you”

Work, as if you don’t need money. 工作,要像你並不需要錢那樣
Love, as if nobody has hurt you. 愛,就像並沒有人傷害過你一樣
Dance, as if nobody was watching you. 舞,就像沒有人正在看你那樣
Sing, as if nobody was listening. 唱,就像沒有人正在聽那樣
Live, as if this was paradise on earth. 生活,就像是地上的樂園那樣

Don’t dispair, the nicest things will happen to you when you least expect them...

And remember: “Everything that happens, happens for a reason!”