Tuesday was a double feature day, with two screenings at Kean University and Montclair State University in New Jersey. We started our journey right after our screening at Wellesley College in MA. Professor Joseph drove us to the train station where we took the MBTA back to Boston’s South Station. We had several hours to burn, since our Megabus to New York’s Penn Station wouldn’t depart until midnight! For several hours, we sat away in the bus terminal next to some power outlets. I charged up all of my devices while using my iPad which I hid in behind a newspaper. No need to attract any would-be thieves late at night!
While sitting in the waiting area for our bus to arrive, we had a great conversation about fate and destiny with Fay, a lawyer who was returning to Boston after a day trip in NY. Maybe I’ve watched Terminator 2 a little too much, but to a degree, I believe that fate is something that you make for yourself. How you react to particular situations and life experiences is entirely up to you. You can be a boat floating down in the stream of life, or you can grab a paddle and start steering your own path!
At midnight, the Megabus departed for a four-hour journey to New York. I was able to get some rest on the bus ride, unlike Rae who has trouble falling asleep on moving vehicles. We then had to wait another hour before our NJ Transit train for New Jersey left Penn. There were many homeless people loitering or sleeping in the station, no doubt because it was unusually warm. The train ride to Middletown was uneventful, and we were picked up by my Uncle Don who took us to his house, which would be our base of operations for the next two days. I stayed up to talk with my uncle, aunt, cousin and niece while Rae rested upstairs. It’s only been six months since we last saw our niece Kimberly, but she seems to have grown up so much! Blink and she’ll be in high school and college soon!
Borrowing my uncle’s car, we drove to Kean University with about an hour to spare. Before we went into the Little Theater where our screening was to be held, we were interviewed by ICEPN, a local Chinese Internet television station. We’ll post the video once it becomes available on the ICEPN web site.
Professor Sue Gronewold’s class has been learning about Chinese history during the tail end of the Qing Dynasty, so our film was especially relevant to the students. One of them mentioned that as a history major he had never heard of Qiu Jin, and asked why she isn’t more well-known in the U.S. Sadly, women are still often left out of the textbooks, and there’s still much to be done to incorporate them into the larger historical narrative.
Also in attendance at the screening was Professor Larry Tung, who teaches in the Media and Film Department and is an independent filmmaker. During lunch following the screening, he gave us the names of several contacts to whom we’ll be reaching out for Autumn Gem marketing in the future. As we tour to more and more places, our business rolodex is getting bigger and more detailed! Marketing and selling the film is all about networking, and we thank everyone who has shared contacts and ideas with us. You, along with our donors and supporters have been very instrumental in the success of Autumn Gem thus far, so thank you!