Fireworks in July 4th

Today is July 4th United States Independence Day. It is National Day. Every year there are events in each city such as concert, introduction of new citizens and fireworks. Fireworks are usually the final event and pushes celebration to climax. 

Last month I relocated to Monterey Park, a small city within LA County. Independence Day Celebration lasted from 4pm to 10pm at Banes Park. Fireworks started at 9pm. When I arrived around 8:30, a lot of families had been there enjoying band performance. Most of them are Chinese American and Hispanic American. Around 9pm the band stopped singing. A girl jumped to the stage and asked us to stand up. Then she began singing a song. I didn’t realize it is National Anthem of the United States until I noticed everyone put their hands on chest except me. At this moment I felt a little lonely. Although people around me also speak Chinese, although people around me also have yellow skin and black hair, their heart belongs to a country totally different from mine does. It’s the first time I missed my homeland so much.

One of my friends told me fireworks here are not as fabulous as those in China. But I even forgot what fireworks in China looked like, because most of the time I stayed in US in the past two years and before I left China I didn’t watch fireworks very carefully. I thought every year fireworks are almost the same so why I should pay attention to that. Fireworks in Banes Park lasted for 40 minutes. At beginning a man read the name of each state along with one firework. People stared at the sky, cheered and clapped for fireworks with various color, shape, and size. They might consider fireworks in July 4th a very holy ceremony. People didn’t leave until the conclusion of the firework show.

I rarely took part in rally because I always worried about traffic issue and I didn’t want to rush to a place with too many people. But maybe this kind of celebration is an ideal way to learn more about American history and culture. I wish I could know more.



6 Tips to attend a live performance

Last Friday my friend and I watched Swan Lake at Hanover Theatre. It was the first time for us to see a live ballet performance. The Russian National Ballet Theatre came back to Worcester after the 2009 appearance. As students, we only paid $62 in total for two tickets and other fee. Undoubtedly it’s a good chance to enjoy a first class ballet in the doorway.

 The performance didn’t let me down. Performers’ postures were neat and dexterous. The swan looked much slimmer on spot than the one I saw on TV. My father is a super fan of symphony and collected thousands of CDs at home. So I am familiar with the music of Swan Lake. But this was the first time I listened to Swan Lake dedicatedly from start to finish. Tchaikovsky is a genius composer. I can’t help but admire him. He could imagine so many plots and extend a simple story into a four stage ballet.

Here are some tips I get from these two experiences. I’d like to share with everyone, especially people who haven’t seen live performance in US.

  • Buy ticket early

Take a note of performance prediction and save dates. I first noticed this Swan Lake ballet at the end of February. When I attended the concert, I got a flyer announcing following performances in Worcester. When I decided to buy tickets for Swan Lake in the middle of March, there were less than 20 seats left. One of my friends told me she even bought tickets in 2012. So for such a cost effective performance, if you want to select good seats, never wait for the last month to buy tickets.

  •  Learn about the story in advance

No matter what kind of performance it is, ballet or orchestra, see the show list in advance. If you are not familiar with the song or the ballet plot, try to search related introduction. Frankly speaking, before I went to see Swan Lake, I didn’t know what the story was. All of my knowledge about Swan Lake came from the message I got from the movie Black Swan. I believe I could catch up with the performance better if I could know plots in advance.

  • ŸBring a telescope if your seats are in the back row

If you have missed the chance of choosing a good seat, don’t forget to bring a telescope with you. I regretted that I couldn’t see performers’ face and expression clearly this time because of my poor seats. But I noticed that many families in the same row with me brought telescope with them. Perhaps it’s a good idea.

  • Arrive early and enter the theater on time

Usually the theater parking space is far from enough when holding such a big event. So walk there or take public transportation if possible. Finding a parking place is so exhausted. If you have to drive there, please arrive early. Once you come late, you can’t enter the theater until the next stage.

  • Always dress decently

Americans consider a concert or ballet a very formal occasion. So gentlemen usually wear suits and ladies wear evening dress with make-up. Even little boys and little girls put on their decent clothes when attending such a performance. We didn’t know the rule before. My friend just wore hoodie and jeans what he usually wore at work. He felt a little embarrassed and learned lesson from this experience.

Hope these tips can help you. The Northeastern is a place with strong cultural and art atmosphere. Although Worcester is just a small city, there are always national performances every now and then. On February, I attended a concert performed by China National Symphony Orchestra at Mechanic Hall in Worcester. I believe the ticket price here is much cheaper than that of Beijing. I feel so lucky to live in Worcester. Wish I could enjoy more excellent performances when my parents come here.


Spring comes. Let’s go hiking.

This spring comes later than usual. My outing plan has been destroyed by snowy or rainy weather for numerous times. After two rainy days, sun showed up on Saturday. As planned, we 10 WPI students went to Wachusett Mountain for hiking on Sunday.

“Wachusett” is the Algonquin Indian word for “The Great Hill”. Its summit elevation is 2,006 Feet. It’s an ideal place for hiking and skiing. Both my parents and I love hiking. I still remembered that when I took the interview for WPI application, I said my hobby was hiking. The interviewee told me there were several mountains around Worcester area suitable for hiking. Unfortunately this was the first time I went hiking since I came to U.S. I will graduate next month and say goodbye to Worcester.

We took a trail randomly departing from the visitor center. There were stairs at the very beginning. After around 3 minutes, stairs disappeared and we had to climb through muddy earths and steer rocks. We used both hands and feet to go up hard. Two of our team members are hiking fans, so they moved on so fast that most of us couldn’t catch up. Every time when I climb a mountain with my mother, she will ask for a rest every 10 minutes. I doubted that if I had become too old. But a lot of people older than me passed by easily. Some of them went with a dog; some even carried on a baby on the back. Perhaps I hadn’t got used to this kind of trail. In China, people climb mountains with stairs along the way. But in America, most trails are like this. I discussed this difference with an American friend. He thought that the Chinese style hiking was no much difference with walking on stairs indoor; American style hiking was a better way to embrace nature. He also encouraged me to ski next winter. He said I needn’t feel scared at all. I even believe it’s a shame not to try skiing for people living in New England. I hope that I still have the chance to ski next year.

After about 40 minutes, we arrived at the summit. A man was flying a kite at the peak. All of us laughed when we saw the kite was blowing without direction and shaking violently because of the extremely strong wind. The sunshine casted shadow among groves at the island. At this moment I felt the awakening of spring even though it was so cold at the peak.

People always say it is easy to climb the mountain but hard to get down. We chose another trial to get down. Luckily, this one was not as steer as the one we went up. I felt a little released. In China I rarely climb a mountain without stairs because I consider it too risky. But now I find that hiking on this kind of trail is not as difficult as expected. I even wish to visit Wachusett again with my parents next month. They are coming to US. We have another choice of relaxation here. Mom and Dad, are you ready?


Loli’s First Trip in Washington D.C.

Every year National Cherry Blossom Festival attracts numerous tourists to Washington, D.C. I am one of them. This year the festival lasts from March 20th to April 14th. I booked the flight ticket from March 30th to April 2nd. I am so excited about this trip, because I will live with one of my best friends Tutu and see the other friend Thelma who also comes for the blossom.

Unfortunately when I came here, there’s almost no cherry blossom bloom at that time because of the cold weather. But I was still very happy since I met my friend I hadn’t seen for 2 years. First afternoon, we went to downtown of Washington Metro. Here I saw a lot of renowned buildings I can only see in TV, such as Capitol Hill, White house, and The Washington Monument.

ImageImageImageI got this picture from the outside of iron railing. Tutu told me she applied to visit White House at the beginning of this year. But she later got a notice that because White House is undergoing financial strain, her visit would be put off indefinitely. What a pity. How I wish I can go into White House.


Day 2 is Saturday. There’s a kite event in the national mall area. There are so many people flying kites on the lawn, angry bird, snow white, and plenty of cartoon I never see before. Both Tutu and I wish to fly a kite by ourselves but we didn’t find any kite vendor. Actually every family bought their own kite from supermarket even created kites by themselves. I believe if it is in China, vendors can’t miss such a great opportunity to make money.


Then we went to a modern art museum. I have to admit that I can’t recognize the meaning of most modern art masterpiece. The following picture is the only one we believe is delightful. So we took a picture under that painting.


In the evening, I finally met Thelma and enjoyed a Spanish dinner. The seafood rice is awesome. It tastes better after I add lemon drops. Wish to eat that again. I began looking for similar dish after I came back to Great Boston. Thelma shared a lot of tips about finding a job and her new life in Georgia. The living expense is much lower in the south than that of Great Boston. There are malls and outlets with better discount. But the cultural life is not as colorful in the south as that in the northeast.


Day 3 is Easter. Arlington Cemetery is the only place I can go. I didn’t notice Easter Day is such an important festival in U.S. until this year. All department stores are closed. It’s a little raining that afternoon. The atmosphere was so suitable to visit a cemetery. There are many more visitors than expected. Most of them are native American families. Adults came with their children, telling them some stories behind gravestones. I recalled that when I was a pupil my teacher would lead all my classmates to cemetery at every tomb sweeping day. Here American parents also progress the patriotism education to their children.


Day 4, I just went shopping with Tutu and ate steak in T.G.I Friday. Tutu found out two very cheap sweater at the mall. So happy ha. The consumption tax rate is only 5% in VA. In MA, tax rate is 6.25%, we don’t need to pay tax for clothes under $150 or any food.

I wish I could come back to D.C. again, for my friend, for the cherry blossom, for the interesting places I haven’t seen. See you later, D.C..

25, is it too old?

Two days ago, a heavy snow came to New England greeting my 25 year old birthday. It is early March. It’s 75 Fahrenheit in my hometown. But here there’s no sign that the spring is coming.

Many people say 25 means a lot for a girl. A girl should become mature and independent at the age of 25 instead of 18. Yes, for most girls, they just graduate from high school and will pursue a bachelor degree at 18. But at 25, most girls have already got a job and embraced the society even for those who got a master degree. Some girls have got married; even have given birth to a baby, as many of my friends do. However, I still get nowhere. I will graduate at this May. But I am still looking for an intern after graduation, not to mention a job. Looking back on the past year, the only thing I accomplished is that I passed the road test. And luckily, I found an intern at the beginning of this semester. But I still think it’s far from enough. I should have grown up more quickly. Is my pace too slow for this age?

The past week is the spring break. But I didn’t realize that at all. After I come back from China this winter, I feel no interest in shopping, eating or travelling. I even don’t admire my classmates when I see their trip pictures. Perhaps it’s because I am in an anxious state. This birthday I make a wish that I could find a job in the following year. Recalling my previous birthday wish, it’s always related to study or work. 22, I wish I can pass TOEFL/GMAT and get an admission offer; 23, I wish I can pass the visa interview easily; 24, I wish I could get an offer for paid internship; 25, I wish I can get a job in US. Actually I realized all of these birthday wishes before 25 till now. It’s interesting that every time I told myself I could relax for a while and treat myself a nice gift after I finish this target. Ironically, I didn’t buy anything but began worried about my next target after I just realized this one. Perhaps I can never become satisfied about my current status.

When I ordered the cake on Cold Stone official site, I left a customized message: “Happy Birthday, loli”. I wish I could be always young and cute like a loli forever. But I am sure I should achieve more at 25 year old age. As my QQ nick name says, I am preparing for a totally win.

After two days snow storm, today a sunny day come back to New England. If winter comes, can spring be far behind?


Labitva Intern Dairy 1

It has been three weeks since I got my first intern in US. The responsibility of the marketing intern is to improve product recognition and expand users in US/UK/CANADA. The first two weeks was not so intensive. We just had brainstorming about the development methods and distribute territory. But this week, I felt a little pressure and underwent such a busy week.

The first challenge came from our first demo to potential customers. Our product is called ReadCube, a kind of reference management software. We decide to directly advertise to universities librarians, ask for software presence on library webpage, even permission to hold workshops to students. Since all of the three Chinese girl in my team are WPI student. We select WPI as our first trial target university. Currently WPI is using Endnote, paid software and WPI is looking for free reference software as alternative. As planned, we three delivered a demo to six R&I librarians and to inform them of features and advantages of ReadCube. They said it’s so cool; students should love it since it’s so easy and user friendly. But later on, they came up with very technical questions, for example, what’s the exact rule of recommendation function? ReadCube can automatically recognize the title name of the article; does it use DOI technology, or other technology to recognize the title and other information in one PDF? But we cannot answer these questions. We just recommend this software as an entry level user’s perspective. We didn’t explore more details behind these functions. So I really learned that the importance of recognizing features of target customer. In my previous class assignments, I did STP numerous times, for example, search for the demographic, geographic, psychological characteristics of target customers. Until that day, I didn’t realize the significance of that work. We know librarians are very technical savvy and demands more complicated functions. So we should have prepared more than the usage demo itself. We promised to give feedback concerning these questions by email. But I believe it would be much better if we can offer satisfied answer on the spot.

The second challenge is also a little related to technological problem. I supposed to use “invitation campaign” to attract more users. It takes me almost a week to find a vendor who can offer related technical support. I found 2 online finally. I explained our demand and NextBee said they can do it but it’s too pricy. The other one ReferralCandy replied so technical resolution options that I even can’t understand what they are saying. I had no choice but forwarded the email to a marketing community manager. I felt a little disappointed. I am not sure whether this campaign can be launched because it requires so much investment. But I hope if my boss can adopt the “invitation campaign”, I can become familiar with the process and deal with similar campaign easily next time.

On Friday, we four groups presented our marketing strategy one by one. I felt comfortable about the presentation since I had done this many times since 6 years ago. I even feel no excitement when I am required to present. For students majored in marketing, we consider presentation “routine”, although most of us are still not professional presenters. Sometimes I doubt if what we learn and practice will benefit our future work. This presentation and the demo to librarians made me feel I really put what I have learned in class into practice. Yeah~

On Friday, we were authorized to get access to Google Analytics account. It looks awesome and track various online traffic information. However, again we need to learn by ourselves. The community manager assumed that it’s easy and we could learn this function by trial. I can ask for one friend to introduce GA generally, haha.

I got less sleep but more fun. Enjoy busy life.


Love you deeper

In Latin word, Nemo means no one or no man. Last Friday and Saturday blizzard Nemo swept in great Boston area. At that time, Chinese people are celebrating Lunar New Year. As an old saying goes, a timely snow promises a good harvest. And my hometown Jinan city has undergone warm winter recent years. I can’t recall any memory about Spring Festival with snow. So I eagerly look forward to the arrival of Nemo.

The blizzard lasted for 36 hours. We are so excited to see the heavy snowflake blown by the strong wind, just like the scene in movies. All cars in the parking lot were painted into white color, from the wheel to window, and finally covered by a white carpet. Another reason I am so happy is that I don’t need to go out. I always feel extremely lucky when there’s heavy rain or snow outside but I have arrived home, lol~ People talked about the Nemo and shared interesting photo through twitter, for example, someone forgot to close the window of his car, his car was filled with snow and looked like ice sculpture. Frankly speaking, I hate rain and snow before because the road will become muddy and I don’t wanna to make my shoes dirty. But at that moment, I fell in love with snow and great Boston area. Perhaps previous snow is not as powerful as Nemo. Its beauty even held my breath. I didn’t feel regretful when I missed the snow storm at Weihai (I got my bachelor degree here) in 2006. But it’s great fortunate to experience Nemo. It only was ranked as 16th in Northeast history. What a magic place!

When I go out on Sunday, the main roads have been cleared. Bright sunshine flooded the snow bank, so glaring. At that moment, I love Worcester deeper– a city under blue sky almost every day and relatively warmer than places at similar longitude. When I visited Venetian in Las Vegas, the sky blue dome impressed me. I feel the real sky is like a fake one but the fake sky is like a real one in this kingdom. Isn’t it interesting?

Today is the second Valentine’s Day since I come to U.S. Happy V Day, great Boston. Wish myself and great Boston a happy ending^_^ Image