Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Hero Or a Victim of Western Media

To recap the story. A duke freshman Grace Wang (Chinese name Qianyuan Wang, for now, later on) confronted a group of Chinese students in a rally for the Beijing Olympic Game with what conceived to be pro-Tibetan Independence messages. She was immediately picked up by western medias as a hero who stands up against the Communism government, as well as overseas Chinese students community. NPR granted her an interview, and both NY Time and Washington Post made her a first page story. It turned out, though, revealed by the blogs attached, that Wang is but a mentally ill person who need medical attention, not political spotlight. I guess Wang's parents should sue NPR, NY Time and Washington Post for exploiting a mentally ill patient for commercial purposes, what else could it be.

From a blog Bibita Naturale D'italia made by her dorm mate,

I just really have to write this.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I really just have to write this.

Wow. Just wow. While I have physics and a paper to write, I really need to get this out.
Grace Wang. She's really something.

She's quite useful to the media. Both sides are having a field day. The chinese TV are branding her as this terrible traitor while western media is holding her up as the lone voice of reason. They both are neglecting the truth, what Grace really is, beyond the 9 minute Youtube video and glorious interviews.

When I first met her at a dinner, she immediately spilled her life story. I thought, maybe she was being a slightly socially incompetent fob and trying to make friends. I listened. What a good story it was.

She told of how she was involved in a political group with some top lawyers in China. They were trying to get the truth out of the Tiananmen square incident. They wrote articles and blogs together on the subject. Then one day, one of her friends involved in the group disappeared. They called her, went to her house, tried everything, but she was no where to be found. Then Grace and her parents start freaking out. Grace's dad, at the time the ex mayor of Qingdao, afraid of Grace facing a similar fate, went to her files in the city government and threw them out. She got a new name, and quickly moved to South Korea. At the time, Grace told us that she already dropped out of her high school in Qingdao because she was unsatisfied by the best high school in Shandong province. She moved to Korea, and there she learned English by watching American films. While she was there, she also slept around with a lot of guys. Then she applied to Harvard and got rejected. The next year, she applies again, to Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Duke. She gets accepted to all but Harvard. She chose to come to Duke because she got the Robertson. She then turns down the Robertson because she didn't want the restrictions set by the program.

After the story finished, we were all pretty amazed. We were all thinking that this seemingly innocent Chinese student is destined for greatness. After we come back to my room, she proceeds to tell one of us about the guy in the dorm she had sex with. I was quite shocked by this. She seemed so innocent, and we had only been at Duke for less than 5 days. She says the guy was a virgin and now he wants a relationship. We go to the common room, she points him out, and he was playing pool at the other side of the room, totally not paying attention to her. Later on, Grace begins telling us many stories about herself. All she ever talks about is herself. As the stories piled on, they became inconsistent, and sometimes directly contradicting. People begin question her trustworthiness. Eventually, after months of lies and irrationality, people begin disliking her. For such a trusting and kind dorm like Brown to dislike someone, you really have to be special. And Grace is that special. Now we know she is a liar. She didn't go to Korea or even participate in anything political. She even told people that she wrote her own recommendations for college applications. She made up stories to make herself seem impressive for colleges, and now, the western media.

She's overloading by taking around 6 courses. 2-3 of those are foreign language courses. She was angry that the academic dean wouldn't let her do more. Funny thing is, she's definitely not doing well in any of them. I've heard her practice her German, and it is atrocious. She also reads like a maniac. I don't really know what she reads, but it's Chinese literature/philosophy and political theory. She prints hundreds of pages a night to read, parades around with her stack of papers, telling anyone who would listen, trying to impress another person of her political acumen. She shaved off her eyebrows the other day. Because 1: all her boy problems will go away, and 2: pretty girls never make history. She also makes up stories about how people ask to have sex with her or perform sexual acts with her. Is it me, or is she someone trying to convince herself that she's destined for greatness?

It would really take a really long time to really describe all my Grace stories and I don't have time for it. But all I can say is, she has been lifted up by western media as a martyr in this battle for Tibet. And she's drinking in every moment of it, because finally, she is being seen as a hero. What a silly, irrational girl.

Oh how could I forget to mention, she wants to be president of China.
Posted by pleskita at 8:22 PM
Labels: Brown, Duke, Grace Wang, 王千源

Dorm Drama

Monday, March 3, 2008
Dorm Drama

There's a certain Grace Wang in Brown. just wow. I shall copy and paste an interesting email conversation.

Dear Brownies,

I'm Grace Wang (王千源) from second floor. I think I've at least talked to everyone here. If not, I'll pay a kind visit to you as soon as possible. I've experienced some serious issues in our dorm recently that almost made me move out. Actually I've already submitted my reaccommodating application and decided to leave by next Friday. But after days of serious consideration, I decided to stay because I believe the best way to solve the problem is not to quit but to confront it. I'm writing this email to you because I think this is an issue considering every one of us.

The problems are distrust and gossip. Of course, not all Brownies gossip. But a lot do. Brown is a very close community, which facilitates communication of all kinds and, of course, a curiosity of our neighbors' interesting lives. Not only do many of us nose into others' privacy, but also do we share our amazing discoveries. I've heard some very unkind sayings from young gentlemen gossiping about their roommates, or ladies meanly mentioning their neighbors, even from people I trusted and respected so much. Many, if not all, of the stories were simply fabrication but like snowballs they grew bigger and bigger. None of us is perfect but that is not an excuse for us to hurt others. Treat others as how we want to be treated and insulting others is humiliating ourselves. I became a target probably because I acted up against it. Recently I was openly insulted by more than ten people who barely talked to me anywhere but Marketplace about several different issues in public. When I responded to those rummors, I was laughed at by many other watchers who seemed to be so nice otherwise. I was forced to answer questions that should not be asked by any rational being in public. (When he asked me these questions the gentlemen was wearing a contented smile.) I was chased by a gentleman who had insulted me many times and he even cornered me to forgive him without trying to appologize after all he did. Suddenly, after all these happened, everyone went back to their small niche and became a saint again. From their smile I saw insecurity; from their pretension I saw hollowness; in their eyes I saw fear. Majority is no guarantee to be correct. Up till now I haven't received any apology from any single person. All I got is denial and denial and denial. Dumb as I am, I still got the message. All they meant is just "it was not my fault," "it was only a joke," and "I didn't say anything." This is how responsible and brave they are. I was so frustrated. I almost packed up everything and then I unpacked again. I unpacked and decided to stay because I know I'm not alone. If they can gossip about me then they can gossip about everyone. Or maybe they even gossip about each other. Only by blaming others would they find their own security and peace.

I have already forgiven everyone and forgotten every insulting word. But my principles are inviolable. I don't mind if some people would continue gossiping about me after I wrote this letter. What I want to tell them is that I will defend everybody's privacy to be protected and reputation to be preserved. I will fight for this public disease to death. If anyone want to talk with me about this, my room is 226.

My last words here are that we should cherish the opportunity to have everyone here. Instead of hurting each other or saying a superficial hi, there're much more meaningful things to do with each other. Together, we should protect each other, help each other, and love each other.



A response sent to her in private, but she decided to send the response to everyone in the dorm, including the original message.

Hi Grace,

I don't really know how I am considered by you, but I feel that you are a great person and have lots of potential. You should know that Brownies are not malicious beings who gossip to hurt you. You should try to see that they are trying to help you.

The distrust is there because you tell us many different versions of your life. You are the propagator of all these rumors. Like this email, your stories get told by mostly you. You do realize that mountains of rumors will now spread because you have brought yourself to the attention of others and now you will be discussed? You might feel that people are insulting you by their disbelief, but I think you are the one insulting yourself with your false stories. You first told me that you are from Qingdao and that you are here due to political persecution. I have heard different versions where you organized an international conference and it flopped, thus you are here. People are not dumb, we piece together your inaccurate stories. I will not guess at the reason why you make up many different versions of your life, but perhaps you are doing this to impress us? Please do not feel a need to impress everyone you meet, spill your lifestory to everyone you meet. There is distrust because you created it. Not only do you make up lies about yourself, you openly tell stories about others. Perhaps they are true, but because of our previous experiences with you, we do not how to view this. If you did fabricate these events that have taken place, you have hurt them way more than anyone has hurt you because you are actively harming others. But perhaps you did not make anything up and we are just very bad at piecing together your lifestory (we do so because it definitely is interesting, from what you have told us), so we could take all those stories as truth with a grain of salt.

Also to let you know, you are infamous on west and infamous within the Chinese circle at Duke. Had you escaped Brown, you would have been confronted with a world of people who arent so patient with your lies.

Curiosity is only natural, from what I hear, you are also very curious about political science. Curiosity means no harm. If I were you, I would be grateful that no pranks have befallen you.

Like any person with self respect, you have a sense of pride. I respect that, yet it is wise now, and definitely in the future if you wish to persue a successful political career, to be humble. Try to understand others, look at yourself for perhaps the blame lies there.

I do this not to hurt you, but to ease your current social situation on campus.
Please try to be open minded about things.

Grace (王千源)'s Response:

I admire your courage to reply in such a candide way. When I wrote the letter to everyone, I never thought about you so I was surprised by what you said about Chinese community. You have made a very fast judgment on me and also an unfair generalization about Chinese community. As far as I can see, you like to make fun of Chinese people and see yourself superior than Chinese (maybe only those who are more Chinese than you are?) Candidate, I have faith in Chinese community here and everywhere. I also believe that people have the ability to tell right from wrong. Apparently some people have eagerly spread the rumor to as many people as possible. I can tell you that all of the stories you heard from me are true. I am also very happy to see how much interest you showed to my and others' life. If you want to know something about my personal life as you have shown apparent interest, I can tell you very candidly whatever is appropriate to tell. I am from Qingdao, which is a fact that I have never ever hide. I have also organized an important political protest in Beijing. The political science professor Tianjian Shi at Duke and a Chinese student (Class 11 from Beijing) called Ruochen Zhu can attest what I've said. I can also tell you that that protest had something to do with Duke university political science department and I communicated with president Brodhead and got replies from the then political science departement acting chair Michael A Gillespie and Vice Provost for International Affairs Gilbert Merkx.

If I feel a little intimidated, I wouldn't even try to write this email or to stay here. I told the story because my past shows who I am today and I am still bothered by a lot of the experiences. I also want people to be aware of the political status quo in China and feel a need to care. I have been through a lot more than you can ever imagine and it is not easy to handle by myself. You don't need to worry about how do I or others think about you. It is what you think of you and what you do that matters. I have said I have chosen to forget about everything everyone did. I hope this is the end of your game.



Posted by pleskita at 9:37 AM
Labels: Brown, Duke, 王千源, 王千源 杜克, 青岛 王千源

As a side node, Grace Wang (Chinese name Qianyuan Wang) was formerly known as Patricia Wang (Chinese name Jiani Wang) according to information available on the Internet. She applied for colleges in the US for 2007 admission. For certain reason, she changed her name and applied again the next year. This time she received the full scholarship from Duke university in North Carolina and came to Durham, NC.

1 comment:

deadseagull said...

Dear Mr or Mrs or It Seagull Reference. Your blog name is stupid. As a person who speaks the English language, has some proficiency in it, and a sense of aesthetics, your blog title makes me want to skewer myself upon a dictionary. And your pathetic attempts to be poetic by saying "a seagull is fast; and he's free" is not very poetic, except if you go back to elementary school. On top of that, you misused a semicolon. Shame on you.