Thursday, July 07, 2005

Shattered Vision

My alarm clock is working again because I fit my AA battery into a AAA battery charger that I bought at the local mall. It wasn’t a rechargeable battery, but my logic was that if the battery exploded, it was dead anyway. Plus, I didn’t mind losing the charger either because I’m going to be throwing it out when I return to the states. Luckily, it worked and my clock is working again. Let’s see how much of charge it held.

This morning I made rice, but knowing that I didn’t have time to drink coffee, I decided to boil the rice in coffee instead of water to make a caffeine-enriched meal. I also put beans in there and barley, so it was more of a coffee-flavored cholent by the time it was finished. It tasted terrible. Oh well, I’ve made worse and it didn’t hurt to experiment.

I’m feeling a little bit confused because I just found out that the reason I thought I was here in China won’t happen. The revealed door of opportunity has slammed shut. An American cannot practice Chinese IP law because 1) we don’t have the language and basic legal and writing skills, and 2) there is no market for intellectual property / patent attorneys in China for the next fifteen to twenty years because the country isn’t developed enough to get to the level where there is a demand for these kinds of lawyers.

I’m wondering to myself “then why am I here?” Why have I killed myself to learn the language, the Chinese legal system, the Chinese patent law, the Chinese trademark law, and the Chinese copyright law? I was in no need and in no want for comparative courses to put on my resume; I wanted something tangible that I could apply to my daily law practice. My goal was to specialize within the patent law field to include a foreign market so that I can specialize instead of being just another patent attorney.

So this begs the question – why am I here? Why did G-d put me on this side of the world for so many weeks? We learn in Chassidus that everything happens for a reason, and there is no thing that happens that didn’t have a G-dly intention and a G-dly purpose. Of course this reason is so often not revealed to us, and we only understand the reason (if at all) after the master plan has played itself out. For example, six years ago, if you told me that I would be a frum (religious) law student with a long beard learning about patent law in China, I would have laughed at you and told you that you have lost your mind. But here we are.


sweetces said...

hi zoe:
i empathize with you in your challenging life as an american law student in china. i am a lawyer here in manila, philippines.
i also read the 2 reasons why you became religious. very serious stuff.
god bless you and good luck in your life's journey.

Rowan said...

Oh no! That's so sad! Well, I've learned that no knowledge is wasted. However, I've also been privy to - use it or lose it. *I'm such a cliche today huh?*

I don't really know what to say, just hope you take the trouble to enjoy China for what it is then. And by reading another comment here, I think it still might be possible to be a lawyer in foreign affairs, just might be more difficult than you originally thought.

Anonymous said...


Remember that your goal has always been not to practice patent law in China but to provide legal intellectual property support to Chinese Companies (perhaps as part of a US Law Firm) as they independently sell or acquire U.S. Corporations ( e.g. Levorno-IBM or e.g. Haier-Maytag ) and want to sell their version of products in the US and Western World.


Zoe Strickman said...

I am satisfied with the above answer, and I no longer feel bad about being here in China. I understand now how to use the materials I have learned here. Thank you.