Teaching

Getting Settled in the City of Perpetual Gloom

A  green-eyed monster was here.  I knew it when another foreign teacher complimented Sarah, a post-doc student assigned to help me transition to life in one of China’s largest cities, the City of Perpetual Gloom.  To me, the green-eyed monster was a minotaur which shook its head furiously and threw its horns to either side. (…)

A Portrait of the Teacher by a Young Student

A student from my underground literature class wrote an article about her experience with my teaching method.  I had been helping the student develop her writing skills so that she could perform well on the GREs as her dream is to go to graduate school on edge of the prairie in Garrison Keillor Country —(…)

Teaching Nineteen Eighty-Four in Mao Country

Every Wednesday evening six Chinese girls came to my apartment.  By the middle of the Spring 2010 term at Xiangnan University in the home province of Uncle Mao and General Tso, I had come to depend on them to keep me happy.  They were junior English majors and picked English names like Tina, Victoria, Christie,(…)

A Day in the Life of a Fake Teacher in the Real China

One day I found myself squealing like a pig in front of children.  I pushed my nose up, grunted, and oinked.  We were playing a simplified version of charades.  It was a Sunday afternoon in the bleak of January.  And this being China, it was bleaker than bleak.  The dean of my university had loaned(…)

Goodbye Year of the Ox

Since I only teach three days a week, and spend most of my time studying, reading, blogging and sheltering from the cold, wintry rain it is easy to forget where I am.  A quick jaunt about the campus quickly reminds me that I’m not in Pennsylvania anymore. Just beyond the dingy metropolis, my university was(…)