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 —(…)

Where I Come From

A Chinese student, a talented English major from a university in Hunan, China, asked me to describe my hometown.  This is what I wrote: Smethport is very different from Chenzhou.  It is like a dream that I’m afraid will seem unreal or too abstract for you to realize.  Words alone are not enough to describe(…)

Going Back to China

I rolled through an intersection without stopping.  I pounded, tapped, blasted, and played the car horn like a motherfucking riot.  And wherever I went pedestrians and motorists alike trembled in fear.  America is a diverse country.  That was something I had missed while teaching in Hunan last year.  I had missed the Republicans, Democrats, conservatives,(…)