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I sometimes wonder if I’m just wasting my time at journalism school. We so much talk about ethics in our classes, and then we see these ethics hardly being observed in American mainstream media. I watched 60 Minutes interview with Ahmadinejad on Sunday and I was amazed how unprofessional Pelley acted. Has any journalism professor who teaches at American universities watched that interview?!

We learn that in an interview we should not lead the interviewee to an answer. If the interviewee does not answer our question, we can reword the question, but we are not allowed to force the interviewee to answer in a specific manner. After all, we should respect someone’s right not to answer a question. We should always be polite. We should talk based on facts. We cannot generalize and give comments without having direct and indirect quotes from credible sources. A journalist should not add his own subjective biases to the story. A journalist should let the reader/audience decide.

As much as I dislike Ahmadinejad and am against his policies, I was disgusted by the rude, ill-mannered, and unprofessional behavior of Pelley.

Does any journalism professor actually care how journalism is really practiced in the American mainstream media these days? What should I do with what I learn about ethics of journalism at school on one hand, and the interviewers’ and the “super stars” of cable news networks’ practice of journalism on the other hand? Which one is the right thing to do? If the latter is right, then why do we bother ourselves at school to talk about ethics?

p.s. 1. Again I repeat that I dislike Ahmadinejad greatly and am against many of his policies fundementally. That doesn’t stop me from criticizing the practice of journalism in the US though, specially while I know how journalism schools insist on ethics. Pelley’s work was abhorring last night.

p.s. 2. I have more to say about Ahmadinejad’s remarks (and sometimes big fat lies) both in 60 Minutes and at the University of Columbia. But I should sleep now to get up early and go to the airport.

This is my last night at Boulder, Colorado. I came here on Friday to visit my aunts. One of them lives here and the other two are visiting her from Switzerland and Iran. This was a chance for me to visit these three amazing women after three years, get some energy and support, and remember how great it feels to be surrounded by family. I had lots of fun. They cooked me lots of delicious food, gave me tips on how to cook Persian food better, and made jokes about past memories. I saw the campus of University of Colorado at Boulder. It was amazing. The exterior of the buildings is made of red stones. Some of the buildings look like the mountains that are surrounding Boulder. The campus was totally different from any other campus I’ve seen in the US (see a slideshow of the campus here). The students certainly enjoy the beauty of their campus. (Perhaps I should consider this school for PhD! Imagine if I write in my application’s statement of purpose that I want to study at this school because I love the beauty of its campus!) We also went to a casino and gambled for five hours! It was my first time at a casino. I first won $50 and then lost all of it! Now I know I probably should never go to Vegas. It’s dangerous!

The only sorrow of the trip was seeing how old they have become. One of them has cancer, the other one has Parkinson, and another has a heart problem. I went to Colorado three years ago for one of my aunts’ surgery and saw all of them. Now I can see how older they have become in these three years. They are all above 70, and it’s not unusual for someone above 70 to be sick. But they are full of energy and desire to live. It’s sad to see that they are increasingly getting older and sicker.

It was a bit crazy to take a few days off in the middle of all the work I should do for school, but it was worth it. I feel much  better now, ready to “finally!” kick the semester off and start working on my thesis. I’m sure my advisers are a bit angry at my laziness and depression!

I’m at peace with myself and my environment. I went on a date that was not a date. It was so peaceful, so ordinary, so real. I feel alive. I’m a bit confused, but alive.

Whenever any of my ex boyfriends would tell me they loved me, I wouldn’t believe them and would tell them that they are lying. That rejection/denial has been usually interpreted as my lack of self-confidence or low self-esteem. But that wasn’t really the case. I know I’m lovable. But the problem is that the word “love” has certain denotations in my mind. To me, love is unconditional. There’s no buts and ifs in it. It’s like the way a mother loves her child. No matter what the child does, the mother doesn’t stop loving her. There will be moments of anger, disappointment, frustration, or even mistrust. But the state of the love for the child never cease to exist. It’s not dependent on the child’s ever-changing being. Unfortunately, that’s the only way I see love. And I know it’s almost impossible to love someone – that you haven’t given birth to – that way. That’s why its so hard for me to believe someone actually loves me after being with me for just a few months. It’s really difficult to love somebody unconditionally, unless you conceive something special in the relationship with that person. I don’t know how to put it into words. There are moments that you create something, a feeling, an environment, a memory, with a person, as if you have given birth to something new, something as special as your own child, that would make you fall in love with your partner I guess. This has happened to me three times in my whole life (two of them were not even through relationships). I have given birth to a new me through three different encounters, the me that I love so dearly, a me that was not preexisting. The existence of those new me-s was related to the existence of the men whom I had encountered with. They were part of this new-born child. That was why I loved them, and I still love them, unconditionally. My love for them is not diminished by the fact that one of them betrayed me, another one never found out (or cared) about my feelings, and the other one left me alone at the most difficult moment of my life. I still love them and will love them forever, because they had a big role in the most surreal moments of my life, the most unique moments of passion and ecstasy, in my unique experiences of being invincible and alive.

And of course I still get amazed at myself whenever I believe someone loves me, while I know how hard it is to love someone by my standards. I still make the mistake to sometimes believe when someone says he loves me. I still sometimes believe that someone loves me “unconditionally” and I count on it foolishly. I make the mistake of assuming that he loves me unconditionally and act based on that, or let’s say based on the quasi-feeling of security that the love of that person gives me. I still should remind myself that people can hardly love each other “unconditionally,” so that I won’t make mistakes, don’t count too much on them, and don’t get disappointed when they aren’t there for me when I expect them to me.

(I read what I wrote here once, and I think what I wrote hardly makes sense! It’s 5:30 am here and I’m dead tired, frustrated, and disappointed. I just wrote them to empty myself and organize my thoughts. I appreciate your understandings if you made it up to here!)

*Remember the Turkish “Love is” chewing gums that each had a note about what love is?  I always wished there would be one that read “Love is unconditional.”

For specific (and obvious?!) reasons, I love this song and that’s why I chose it. I know the now legend Pavarotti had much better works. Rest in peace man. You are eternal.

Listen to the English version here.

Lyrics in English and French (they’re a bit different from each other)

Thanks Ata jan for sharing this with us!

Something broke last night…

I can’t sleep again. I know why. I can’t sleep in silence, and I am all surrounded by silence now. Even the music doesn’t help. I feel really miserable, because I’ve become dependent on someone who can break the silence by holding me. I’m totally dependent, and now that person is gone. I go nuts by the silence. I’m going nuts…

Gosh, it was just last night that I felt so good to write. It didn’t last even 24 hours. I’m confused again, and the pain is starting to hit back. I’m frustrated. Am I getting bipolar?

*Listen to the Falling Rain by Jose Feliciano

The first week that I was back was like hell. I was crying on and on. It was unbearable, but, ironically, like many other unbearable moments in the past, I bore with the unbearable. I’m really good at surviving. I went out with my friends almost everyday. For the first time I appreciated being in two departments, although that means writing two thesis. I was hanging out with people from both departments. I drank a lot (well, a lot for me means two or three glasses of wine.) I went walking, I went to my advisor’s house, chatted with her and drank with her. She gave me a good sense of support. She’s always understanding and supportive. It felt so good to be in touch with her again. I met with my other adviser who gave me good ideas for my project. I started the new semester with good energy, and I enjoyed the rain. It’s raining constantly. The weather is beautiful. Right now it’s pouring and my feet are soaking (my laptop is under the shade so it’s safe!). I just feel good sitting outside my apartment and enjoy the sound and freshness of the rain.

***

And gosh, I don’t feel frozen anymore. I can love again. The passion has come back to me, and it feels so damn good. My friend is helping me tremendously. I feel so lucky. I feel loved. I feel like I’ve been given another chance to live and love again. I’m so positive and optimistic. I think I can handle the rest. I have someone to take care of me, to love me, to hold me, and to understand me. I must have been really lucky to have this friend. I think I’m getting my star back…

***

I didn’t write for a while, because at some moments the pain was too much, and at some moments I was too confused. I lost the ability to articulate myself on those moments of pain and confusion. I was crying constantly instead of thinking. But right now I feel much better. I think it’s time to move on. I should start a new life. The most difficult moment is passed with the help of the friends I once thought I don’t have. I should get back my words about not having friends. I do have friends, great friends, and I’m so grateful for that.

There is a kind lady who helped me a lot in the past couple of weeks. I wish I see her one day, hold her in my arms, and thank her from the bottom of my heart for being there for me, at a time that I thought I’m losing it. She was like an angle coming from the skies. Thank you dear lady. Thanks for the precious and hard-to-find kindness you offered to me, although you had a lot of problems yourself. You have no idea how helpful your kind words were. Now I know where the passion in your work comes from. It comes from your kind heart and beautiful mind.

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