The Why of China’s Recent School Attacks

One writer explains what is going on:

Wan Jia believes the people behind the school attacks are furious, and he can understand why. These days, everyone in China feels a lot of pressure from work, from their families, from themselves to get ahead, he said. People are forced to face problems by themselves, without help from the police or the government. In Wan Jia’s view, the attackers are just the mentally disturbed few who reach a breaking point.

When school shootings take place in the United States, Americans tend to focus on the killers’ psychological problems, trying to find what is aberrant about those particular individuals. When talking about the recent school killings, many people in China point to cracks that run through the foundation of their society. They believe that the stresses that have driven several people to raise knives to children in the last two months are typical of the frustrations of life in China.

“People feel that society is unjust, and when they are treated unfairly, they have no one to go to,” Amani told me when we discussed the school stabbings. “Most people swallow it and swallow it and swallow it, until they can’t anymore.”

–Michelle Tsai, Slate


I fully expect to experience the wrath of Mary Emily for posting all of these photos on the blog (don’t worry Mems, no one reads this).

So, last Friday sister #3 graduated from Auburn and it was a family affair. Below, see an embarrassing amount of photos. In my defense, I was just trying to figure out how to work Michael’s camera.

Proud possessor of a bachelor’s degree in accounting, in front of Cater Hall in the Upper Quad.

Me and Mary Emily.

I promise Daddy is excited about the graduation–just ignore the grimace on his face.

Love this. Not sure if it is because Mary Emily is doing what I say when I boss her around in this pic, or because her shoes are so cute.

Los parentals.

Gabbing about heaven only knows what, pre-presentation of the diploma.


Pure bliss.

Traditional graduation day sisters photo in front of the Auburn sign on Samford Lawn.

We made Helen take this photo of all the Auburn grads in the family. She’s just a baby freshman, her day will come.

So long, farewell

Not quite yet. But soon.

Michael and I are in the midst of packing up all our winter clothes and shipping them off to Asia, where we’ll pick them up once I arrive in August-ish. I thought I would be terribly upset about the whole prospect; I had even started composing a mental good-bye letter to my beloved KitchenAid, which is flying with the clothes. (Thanks for the good times, the memories, the pizza crust. See you in three months, I’ll miss you daily until then.)

But honestly, right now my overwhelming emotion is embarrassment. See, I have a lot of crap. Who knew? I always thought that I just wear the same couple of outfits over and over, that I’m frugal and thrifty and low-key…. but apparently, no, I really like my clothes. (See above for photographic evidence.)

I know there’s nothing wrong with having what you need and liking pretty things, but it’s a bit of a rude awakening when I realize I’m taking all this junk to a country where my friends wear the same 3-4 outfits over and over and over, repeat. Even more overwhelming than the clothes is the thought of packing up all the things–dishes, lamps, pictures, stuff that has no purpose other than looking pretty–that fill my house.

I am so privileged, and I am so spoiled. I think it is high time I called an end to all pity parties (which make me feel so much better about my already pretty-awesome life) around these parts.

Friendship is a sheltering tree

We stayed up until 3 in the morning. We went hiking and looked at pretty mountains. We grilled out. We played with the world’s cutest puppy. Basically, what I’m trying to say is: this weekend was perfect.

Everyone thinks their friends are the best. I’m really lucky, because my friends actually are The Best. And Friday, two of them came to see me!

Melissa, Joy, and I have been friends since high school. Even writing high school is a big deal for me because, you have to understand, I was homeschooled from 2nd through 10th grade. And then, after a summer of anticipation about my first year in real school since I was 6, I found out two weeks before the start of fall term that my family was moving from Sylacauga, AL (so small we don’t even have a movie theater) to Tuscaloosa, AL (home of my extended family and the much-hated U of A*****). Change of plans.

Joy was one of the first people I met at my new place of education, a private Christian school with only about 30 people in our class. She was, and still is, one of the kindest, friendliest, and funniest people I have ever known. The kindness part is pretty obvious, as Joy still decided to become my friend even after my parents made her come over for a family dinner/interrogation before they would let me hang out with her. (Strict, much?)

Melissa was the smartest girl in school, and she has always taken really good care of her more, ahem, impetuous friends (such as myself). I probably would have lost half of my personal belongings during high school if she had not made sure that I didn’t leave my purse and car keys laying around for anyone to pick up. She is caring, wise, considerate, and loyal.

I am so thankful for these friends and am so blessed to have them in my life.

About to get on The Incline. Love being a tourist in my own town!

Chattanooga from Lookout Mountain.

Joy’s intense face.

She was looking so intense because she is trying to figure out how to fire this cannon.

Love it!

Mel, contemplative.

Joy almost stole Bella (my in-laws’ puppy) and took her back to Birmingham.

Love these girls!