Traditional Chinese Medicine & Elizabethan Theatre

With 16 teaching hours per week and a four day weekend it seemed that I had an abundance of free time.  There were no office hours required, but I provided nine hours during evenings throughout the week for students wanting to talk about literature, culture, or life.  It had to be evenings because the studentry(…)

Teaching Thoreau in the Heartland of China

I was teaching Thoreau in a time when the Chinese were migrating from the countryside into the cities. It was a new Industrial Age—but this one was taking place during the age of globalism, cell phones, and Hello Kitty. Experts estimated that a population greater than that of America’s total population would move into Chinese(…)

Thoreau: His Life and Times

In this literature class I explore Thoreau by delving into his perspective on life and his motivation for choosing a spartan lifestyle, despite having a Harvard education. I am surprised by the brilliance of one Chinese student’s penetrating question about Thoreau — one that I had never heard before. The whole class works on an(…)

Dinner with the Yu Family

One late summer evening before the sun went down, I was at dinner and had what appeared to be a glass of Chinese wine at an open air restaurant from across the campus.  Children surrounded me.  It was cooler now and all the neighborhood children were playing.  One by one they came by my table(…)

Drama Week 1: Suspended Disbelief

This is the first day of drama class. I enter the classroom posing as a doctor, wearing a white lab coat, surgical cap and stethoscope around my neck– all borrowed from a medical student at the university. For this mini-drama, I carry my Medical Terminology textbook and introduce myself as “Doctor Matt”.