Young and Restless

November 24, 2008

In World Literature class, I watched a video that showed young Chinese people in China adapting to the rapidly changing economy in China. I answered questions to this video:


3.   In what ways do you think Ben Wu, the entrepreneur launching the Internet Café, is representative of the ‘new’ China?


The “old” china was a communist society where the government controlled everything that happens in the country, including the businesses and economy in China. However, China is becoming a free market economy by the efforts of many people to start their own businesses and becoming entrepreneurs. An example is Ben Wu, who also started his own business. He created an internet café, which was pretty uncommon at the time. He got this idea from studying outside of China and experiencing many different cultures and not just one in China. His internet café is a stunning success and many young people are following his example and starting similar businesses like his.


8.      Who do you think is the happiest of the young people profiled in this documentary and why?


I think that Lu Dong is the happiest from the young people in this video. His aspiration in his life is to own a business and according to the film, he is doing just that. He started an online tailoring business and in the later parts of the video, he states that he actually has employees, the business is showing signs of improvement, and that he is happy with the job he has. Lu Dong’s only significant problem is the relationship between his mother and father, who are divorced. His future is brighter than any of the other young people. A case can be made for Ben Wu with his successful internet café, but he misses his wife, who left him for her own career aspirations. Everyone knows what effect a departed loved one can do to one’s happiness. The other young people face multiple problems. They face family problems, but at the same time, they also face financial and marriage dilemmas. Lu Dong is easily the happiest of the young people interviewed in the video.


9.      Why do you think FRONTLINE producers named this program Young & Restless in China? Do you think this is an appropriate title? Why or why not? What other titles would aptly describe this program?


I think that the producers named this program Young and Restless in China because of the rapidly changing state of China (Restless) and the people it effects (Young). The young people interviewed in the video are struggling to make a living. These are just a few examples of the total concept that many young people in China are struggling to survive. I think “young” could have another meaning. I think it could also mean that these changes to China are in the “young” stage, meaning these changes are just the beginning. There are more drastic changes to come in the high populated, ever-changing economy of China. The young people are trying restlessly to improve their lives. They are controlled by the tradition of China but they are trying to separate themselves and become more influenced by the traditions outside China. One part of China’s culture is that arranged marriages are never cancelled by the sons/daughters. Miranda Hong, one of the young people interviewed in the video, was involved in an arranged marriage by her parents. However, she refused to follow the tradition. She cancelled the arranged marriage. This shows that young people are tired of the old traditions and they want to change the culture in China for better.



It’s amazing how Korean students work so hard diligently and passionately during their high school years and end up quitting and dropping out of the prestigious school they worked so hard to get in. Kim said in the article that:

Such a high dropout rate is largely attributable to Korean parents forcing their children to study rather than participate in extracurricular activities, an essential part of overseas education for foreign students to acclimate themselves to American society and get a good job in the long run.


I think it’s just plain sad that we have the highest drop-out rate from all races in the world. People say that Koreans are just naturally intelligent and smart but from this evidence, I would say they Koreans are just screwed up in the head and they don’t have the right priorities in place. School isn’t just about getting the best grades in class. School is about interacting with other people and forming positive and everlasting relationships for the future and also gaining social skills. Later on, life won’t be about taking tests and quizzes and receiving grades. Life is going to be working with other people and interacting with the world, something the Koreans don’t get. Koreans are just so fed up with studying that they don’t even place any importance on extracurricular activities. I’ve lived in America for 12 years out of my 18 year old life so basically, I have a American way of thinking. I like playing basketball, which is my favorite extracurricular activity and I spend a lot of my time improving my skills and getting better. This is the goal of extracurricular activity. Finding something you like and getting better at it. I reserve a time to study and then after that, I don’t touch a textbook or worksheet after again.

This article should be sent out to every mother and father of Korean students and make them realize that getting the best grades isn’t everything. The parents are the reason the irrational thinking of “my son/daughter HAS to get in the BEST college”. What’s the point of getting in an Ivy League school if the student is not prepared and is going to drop out of it?

In the baseball world, the majority of the championships belong to the Yankees. However, The Philadelphia Phillies is the oldest team to date in any major league with a 127 year history but they only have one championship won while the Yankees have won 26 championships. After October 2008, they finally added another banner to the lonely banner hanging that was won in 1980. They beat the other feel good story team of the year, Tampa Bay Rays, 4-1. The Rays were the youngest team to make the World Series in the history of the league. The previous season, they had the worst record in all of baseball but this year, the Rays’ led the way and gave them a bright future to a past that was darker and gloomier than any other team. Both teams deserved to make it to the World Series and although the Rays haven’t won a championship, the future looks brighter than any other team in the league.

The city of Philadelphia was one where dreams never became true. The Phillies have the most losses in baseball history. When the season began, nobody saw them even close to winning a championship. They had to rely on a closing pitcher who had a bad history and their ace pitcher was a 24 year old and also, their next best pitcher was a 45 year old man whose body seems to be on the brink of collapsing. They also had numerous injuries to their best hitters and add it all up, nobody really seemed to be thinking about them. However, the closing pitcher, Brad Lidge, became a pitcher nobody could hit off of, their 24 year old ace pitcher, Cole Hamels, became one of the best starting pitchers in the league, and their 45 year old pitcher, Jamie Moyer, used his experience and wisdom of the game to fool hitters.

Brad Lidge after striking out the last hitter.                                                                   

Cole Hamels winning the World Series MVP.

Jamie Moyer celebrating with fans after finally winning a championship.