Nov 16, 2006
We're revisiting our roots and catching up with old friends in the San Francisco Bay Area, where we stopped in at San Jose State University to attend a presentation about Roadtrip Nation, a PBS program that dispatches teams of 3 college students to travel the country for 6 weeks in a green RV exploring career options by interviewing prominent personalities in business, entertainment, law, public service, and other fields. The team of students we met today interviewed the CEO of Starbucks and leaders of other well-known businesses, as well as stand-up comic Wanda Sykes and talk show host Wendy Williams. And their experience on the road this summer has given them valuable insight into what directions their own lives should take.
This week, we present a story about someone else who had to courageously forge her own path: The Song of Mu Lan, a folk tale from China. (Which we've been performing onstage as part of our production "Daring to Dream".) It's the saga of a teenage girl who disguises herself as a man in order to join the army and fight in place of her ailing father, thus preserving family honor. And according to tradition, she served her country extremely well and even became a high-ranking officer.
We don't know for certain whether The Song of Mu Lan is a true story, but it was written as a poem about 1500 years ago. The name "Mu Lan", which is translated as "Magnolia", means literally "wood flower", a very appropriate name for a person who appeared as delicate as a flower but turned out to be as durable as wood.
Dennis, Kimberly and Zephyr Goza