My English Journals

I will try to broaden my eyesight


Thurs. 1st Nov., 1990. 27℃. Sunny.

I have written over thirty journals. All are self-business orientated (自身的為主), except the one about the death of the great conductor, Leonard Bernstein.

Writers ought to be well conscious (有意識的) of world affairs.

The atmosphere (氣氛) of the Middle East (中東) is so tense and President Bush (布殊) is quite upset (煩惱) about it. A lot of problems are waiting to be settled there.

Another catching news is Mr Gorbachev (戈爾巴喬夫) has won the Noble Prize of Peace. But I haven't uttered (說出) even a word to comment the situation and congratulate the far-sighted (有遠見的) Soviet leader (蘇聯領袖).

From now on, I will try to broaden (擴闊) my eyesight as far as possible rather than shutting myself in a room without concerning about what is going on in other countries.


How to do the research for writing a paper

Fri. 2nd Nov., 1990. 26. Sunny.

Reading from morning till night today, I have gone through books, journals (雜誌), articles (文章) and dissertations (論文), from which I am aiming to draw some useful materials for my music history term-paper: Vocal Techniques of Motet Singing.

I can't find much description (描寫) that is relevant (有關) to my topic though I have read a lot. That means I have to read more.

I must go searching the library again, surely deeper this time. Maybe I shall have to turn one or two of them over before I can find enough materials because this topic, Motet (無伴奏的經文歌) Singing, is not so common as harmony (和聲學) or musical form (曲式).

By the time I wind up this paper (論文), I might have become an expert on Motet Singing as well as a good researcher.

How wise my lecturer is to assign this as our term-paper title!

Bewildered by strange things

Sat. 3rd Nov.,1990. 26. Cloudy.  

We will be bewildered when getting into an event of which we don't know the overall situation.

I have buried myself in those strange terms of the Middle Ages music these days, such as Kyrie Elasion, Credo, Gradual, Mass, Vesper, Talea, Ordo, Organum, Clausulae, Dupluim, Contrafactum, Plica, etc.

It seems that I was put in a place and scared by some strange plants, rocks and animals there without knowing exactly where my position was.

I have been feeling quite lost recently when writing a paper (論文) on The Vocal (聲樂) Techniques of Motet Singing. After a few days' drilling (鑽研) on this topic, I have gradually made the mist (雲霧) clear.

The clue (線索) is a history outline book which links me up from the Medieval Time (中世紀) to the Baroque Period (巴羅克時期) and to the 20th century.

I shouldn't have been so stupid to miss such a helpful guide, the history outline.

Anyway, the feelings from misty (迷濛) to crystal (水晶) clear in writing this paper was a very good experience for me.

I can't do what I want

Sun. 4th Nov., 1990. 25. Cloudy.

--------------I suppose
--------------I can write a poem every Sunday;
--------------but today I can't.

--------------Instead of taking a walk,
--------------I have to bury myself in books.
--------------Instead of hearing the birds sing,
--------------I have to listen to those
--------------monotonous (單調的) Gregorian (葛麗果) Chants (聖歌).

--------------Probably (可能) this
--------------Medieval Music History Term-paper
--------------I am writing now
--------------is the poem for
--------------this Sunday.


University students shouldn't cheat

Mon. 5th Nov., 1990. 23. Cloudy.

A classmate told me that there were two or three classmates took out their books and copied the answers in our music history test when the lecturer was out of the classroom.

It was astonishing (使吃驚的) to hear that, University students shouldn't have behave like that!

If the questions are difficult, then they are difficult to all and there may be a lot of students failed. So there is absolutely no necessity to get high marks using that way. It will not be fair to others. The worse is that a student doing that inexcusable (不可原諒的) thing will lose his or her personality (人格).

University students should know well that "cheating is a crime".

I won't do that for any reason.

Taiwan Congress meeting out of order

Tues. 6th Nov., 90. 25. Sunny.

The meeting of the Taiwan Congress (台灣國會) is not quite in order. Members of the Democratic Progressive Party (民進黨) very often quarrel or sometimes even fight, as broadcast on TV this evening, with the members of their counterpart in a meeting.

What will people over the world think when they see the Taiwan Congressmen' (議員) bad behaviors (表現)? Surely this is bad to the image of us, Chinese people.

I think the modern conference hall is not suitable for their meetings, but I cannot suggest an appropriate place for them at the moment.

Ah, I have an idea. That is to install iron bars between them or even cages to lock them in when they have meetings in order to prevent them from leaving their seats and thus they can't fight.

What a big laughing-stock it would be if it really happens!

I am ill

Wed. 7th Nov., 1990. 25. Cloudy

I went to see the doctor in the university clinic this morning because the right side of my abdominal part has been aching these days. The pain came quite suddenly. I can't stand straight and even can't walk normally.

I thought it was just a muscular pain due to the deep breathing when blowing the clarinet (單簧管). So I was easy about it and believed that I would be alright after having some medicine.

"Take some blood for laboratory examination (抽血化驗)." The doctor said after asking history and inspection.

I was shocked (受驚嚇) by that!

I preferred to have some medicine for one or two days and then to see the result rather than taking blood for test immediately.

I don't think I have trouble with my liver because I am feeling so well and very hungry now. How can a person feel like this if he has liver illness? I am sure I shall recover soon.

Practice makes Perfect

Thurs. 8th Nov., 1990. 25. Cloudy.

It was my first time in the language laboratory (語言實驗室) of the University Library this afternoon.

I went there to listen tapes in order to train my listen skills. It was an assignment given by my English lecturer Mrs Bond.

I took out a tape from the drawer at random (隨意抽取) and the topic was "Problems of Novel Reading"(閱讀小說的困難) , which suits my interest.

Going through the tape, I listened carefully to every words, but I could only jot down a few words in nearly ten minutes' speech.

Just imagine what would happen to me if I were a reporter and that speech was delivered by, say, our governor, Sir David Wilson, in an occasion like the Policy Speech Address (施政報告) or the Annual Report Press Conference (年結記者會).

I don't worry much about that because I'll not be a reporter and I know also there is a saying : Practice makes Perfect (練習會帶來完美).

We are not sound-receiving computer

Fri. 9th Nov., 1990. 25. Cloudy.

I made seventeen mistakes in my dictation of only two sentences this morning.

It was not vocabularies (生字) that caused the mistakes, but bewilderment (慌張) made it so, for that was the first time we had dictation in University English lesson.

Mrs Bond read the sentences three times altogether, but she read them very fast. When I was writing the first word, Mrs Bond had uttered many already.

She probably assumed (當作) that when she finished reading the last word, we had written down all she read. That's why I left out a lot of words and even a whole phrase (片語).

Mrs Bond should read the sentences slowly the first time, the second time faster and till the third time in normal speed; and at least she should pause a little bit at every phrase end.

Writing needs time. We are not sound-receiving computers.


My dreams last night

Sat. 10th Nov., 1990. 20. Cloudy.

Last night I had two dreams.

The first one was about a concert. I can't remember where exactly the concert hall was. An orchestral piece of mine was played after the interval. I can remember that the first section of the piece was mainly in woodwind texture (木管質地). There was a female voice coming out in the middle part. How the middle part was carrying on, I have no memory now.

And then I dreamed about a girl who was about eight years of age. She was treated badly by her uncle because her parents were dead. I held her in my arms and carried her along the streets. I felt very sad. I can remember clearly that I had cried.

It seems that these dreams came to me arbitrary (隨意的). According to Freud (佛洛伊德), the father of psychology (心理學), they do have roots: I study music and my parents die when I was young.     

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