Just over a year ago, YuHan, YaShuan, and I came to NCKU to attend the IIAS for the first time. Summoned by Prof Tang, attracted by the fame of Aaron Ciechanover, Nobel Chemistry Laureate 2004. Who could had resisted that? So we skipped the Internship at Rehab <Try’n make me go to rehab, I say "no, no, no…"> and attended, listened, and were amazed. Mr. Ubiquitin. Wait, Dr. Ubiquitin. On top of that, and what I was most impressed was, he taught the public what he was "thinking" besides what he discovered. That’s how science shall be passed on I though. He was an educator of the game, no doubt. Real Cool. But I didn’t know the "Spice" had yet to arrive.
Introduced by Tang, I had the opportunity to meet him in person, face to face. That’s when I got to learn the "other" side of him. He was by all means, a Proud Jew. I couldn’t discuss much science with him, so I did it with politics. It worked…and that was just about the only thing that worked. Maybe he was tired (he fell asleep on the car), or maybe I had too little to light him up. So as much as I was impressed to be around all these "the greats" (including Dr. Feng Da-Shuan, what a man), I was bumed. After years of companying numerous visitors in KMU, I felt empty. I told myself I will get it back.
Ever since then I’ve had flashbacks countless times of that special day, and re-thought of what would I have done differently. Answers? Not sure. Results?
I met him again on an open-lecture he offered to the students. He was meant to share his opinions, we were meant to ask. Before the session started, Dr. Song Ren-Jen was panicking; he was afraid that NCKU would embarassed itself and Aaron with "low" attendence and "little" discussions. In my mind, he’s such a classical Taiwanese Prof who’s trying dearly and urgently to "haul" the school to what he believes "an ideal institute." He reminded me of myself in the first few years of KMUSM: a big heart, even bigger sweat drops, and the biggest gut few would know.
So the session opened as Wei-Chun set the tone with her first stereotype question. Then about 10 more of which "circled around the same theme of what to decide," according to Aaron; among which I poped in mine as well. But I was far from satisfied. "Is there someone with a question that’s from another planet?" he joked. I took it seriously. After going through politics, personal life, and so on, I decided to throw in a "dangerous question"…that’s his words… of the secrets behind the success/influence of Jews. Bingo! by my standard. He said it’s one of the most "stunning" questions he’s heard in recent years. Mission Accomplished. That question also drew the attention from the reporter, who later did an interview on me. (Camera Shy!)
We later had a few more occasions with Aaron, but they were just gravy. I got the chip off my shoulder in that open lecture.
What about good o’ Dr. Song? He was satisfied as well. He came by and spoke with those who raised questions. "Good job. Very good English" he said. Must had been stressed and relieved. Why did that feel So familiar?