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(…)

Happiness is a Vampire

Every day I discover other worlds so unlike the one I once called home.  The possibilities seem boundless.  I even fantasize about coming to America to become a Wal Mart door greeter or an assistant manager at McDonald’s.  If I work hard for a couple years and save money, then I could return to paradise(…)

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(…)

Perspectives on China

November was nearly over here in the heartland of China.  The days alternated between short manic bursts of sunny, blue skies and  longer periods of sunless, chilly days full of drizzle and melancholy.  It was weather most conducive  to studying Mandarin, writing for my own site, and reading other people’s blogs.  One of my favorite(…)

It's Gettin' Hot in Here (So Hot)

“Wow, you ah sooo stro-ooong.”  The tone of his voice turned each of the last two words into something bisyllabic.   The student had been scoping me out.  This is what it feels like to be a zoo animal or a celebrity in America, and just an ordinary foreigner in Chenzhou, China. My job was to(…)