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schencka
Letter to a Friend in China
Thanks for explaining some things for me. My  recollection of Stephen's stories is surely not fully accurate, and my assumptions about my father-in-law Jack's meanderings were asking for clarification. That divorce seems to have sunk in. My mother-in-law Linda changed back to her maiden name, and she got a job promotion, so will be moving to Minneapolis with Jess's sister, Stacy.

My wife is currently up in Phoenix, doing campaign-type stuff. I've been thinking recently about how deeply different we actually are, personality-wise. Funny how the single wish to be coupled, the coupled wish to be single. Jess and I have our "values" in the same place (you could call us "values voters"), and my  cousin says that that's what can matter when you're 20 years old. But later, it just matters if you can work together and avoid arguing about chores.

I feel like our friend David a bit, mulling ideas and indecisive. I've gotten briefs from my brother Paul in Ames that David is worrying about general stuff in his life, going out to drink often. Sure sounds like a grad student to me.

Phil Hoesing is the new band director in Red Oak, Iowa, the community where my Grandma Schenck lives and where my father was valedictorian in 1971. It sounds like Phil is doing well. Well, he is a fine young man, as we both know.

I wonder how my penchant for working out would go over in China. My understanding of China is so facile and shallow, like most Americans, I'm sure. I just imagine streets, buildings, bustling, scooters, smoking, indiscernable language. I wonder if there are cultural points of reference where you feel like you're *part of what's going on*, like when being in Europe (Italy and Germany) made me proud to be a Westerner.

NDJ, I bet your position on US trade normalization with China is that you're pro (given your work); you mentioned that wages are going up rapidly. US consumers are borrowing and borrowing in order to spend money on products made in China and sold in Wal-Mart. So, products are sold for less at Wal-Mart in the States, but admittedly low-skilled jobs get shipped overseas to SE Asia. What I mean to ask, when will the table turn, and Chinese people start buying US products, or has that already happened? Is the US like Switzerland in the Early Modern period, going from making money with mercenary armies and investing it in banking and insurance, essentially physical-laborless work? (The second part is more applicable to an anlysis of the current US economy.)

Perhaps, perhaps, given this sort of economic trend, maybe I'll actually have a job in the future market, if I can successfully teach analysis to folks. That's what's important for business leaders, CEOs, financiers, and so on. The funny part is that English and literary studies, so easily derided, are essential if an economy is to be based on thinking, because English is one of the places where real thinking happens, along with other humanities and "soft" sciences. This is my unfounded assumption; I'm interested in what you think. Point being that most econ profs and accounting profs, for example, can teach skills, i.e. How To Get a Job, but when it comes to high-level stuff, like the running of a multinational, deeper critical thinking is needed, the kind that melds history, cultural understanding, language, philosophy/rhetoric, and other disparate cultural analyses. Can the business school people do this stuff?

Yes, so, like Laura Bush, "Education is my passion."

Thanks for reading,
ADAM S.
No profanes - sacred
 
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