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Alan Macfarlane’s talk and Darwin dinner

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This evening, I attended a talk by a social anthropologist, Alan Macfarlane.

Anthropology is a field very new to me.

To the a great number of Chinese-ethnicity audience, Alan said, ‘I know it’s impossible for me to know China as you know.’ His humility appealed to me, hence I focus more on his talk than I expected. Dear teachers and aspiring teachers, we have to always remember, in order to spread knowledge, we must let our students like us first.

His movies are on my to-watch-list, as well as his recommendation: ‘China: Beyond the Clouds (1994)’. He kindly wrote my name, when I asked for his autograph. I am a desperate data collectors, so I collect signatures, photographs, basically everything collectable and veritable.

Alan said Cambridge is a miniature of English system. How do I fit into this system? I am not a son of foreign dignitaries. In my humble opinion, Cambridge is undergoing an evolution, by accepting more people which would be denied decades or centuries ago.

Alan is a curious scholar, admire his learning spirit. When it has become too familiar for him, then Alan would find another place which will be a surprise. Yes, I love surprise too. By attending his talk, I found new knowledge.

Interestingly, Alan briefly compared the China-Tibet and the England-Scottand relationships.

Love Alan’s strategies in researching:
# After giving a talk at Peking U, he requested audience to recommend him 3-4 books he should read in order to understand the Chinese societies, or to suggest places he should go.
# Alan said a Cambridge biologist described many Cambridge academics like cobras. When they have eaten a big animal, then they would slowly digest it for the rest of their life. We have to keep on climbing, find a subject we are interested in and working on it.

Dinner at Darwin College. Love the green carpet to the dining hall, perhaps I have not been to Cambridge colleges for some time. They accepted no cash, so my friend insisted to treat me. Thinking of how to return her kindness? Had a good chat, interesting Chinese girls of 21st century. They complained about the visa difficulties in getting to other European countries, they talked about what they are going to do after graduation. Cappucino after dinner, good chat. Darwin’s portrait, flowery-pattern wall papers, but too dim for me.

W.Z.’s friend who is going to work for the International Olympic Committee at Lausanne this summer, thought that I am an undergraduate. Happy, especially such a remark comes from an Asian woman. People said many Europeans tend to underestimate the age of Asian girl.

Upcoming tasks:
1. I spent entire day to make a figure today. Must finish this manuscript.
2. Our present to you is the past.
3. 聖地牙哥加利福尼亞大學, I am coming, ready to learn as much as I could, and as my neuro teacher said, to synthesize knowledge. I want to see Roger Tsien with my own eyes, of course my supervisor and team members.

Written by blueroselady

May 14, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Posted in food, study

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

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