A Journey to Hengshan Mountain

We took the midnight express back to Chenzhou from Hengshan late Saturday night.  This meant getting dirty.  I once spent four years as a grunt.  Digging foxholes and wading through marshes was dirty work too.  I look back at this previous incarnation with nostalgia as I board a crowded train in which tickets were sold(…)

36 Hours in Billings, MT

While all of China took to the road and celebrated its 60th anniversary with a week long celebration I ducked out of the country for a quick trip to Billings, Montana.  The Rocky Mountain College Physician Assistant program had invited me for interview.  Though I was already missing teaching English literature and drama to my(…)

Teaching British Romanticism in China

I’ve been procrastinating. A recent trip to Montana left me in a swoon. Now it was just a Movable Feast.  But I needed to get back on track and prepare a lecture on American Romanticism & New England Transcendentalism. As I wrote this students were reading excerpts from The Scarlet Letter, The Raven, Song of(…)

Drama – Chinese students step up English skills

I asked a Chinese professor at the university if a foreigner has ever taught Western drama to college seniors. He said he had never heard of it. A check on Google reveals nothing. I believe I am the first, which is quite an honor. This may be the result of students clamoring for more than(…)

The Government-Issued Literature Textbook

I describe the government-issued anthology textbook for Chinese Students. It is good, but has the obvious deficiency of containing only snippets of the greater works. A story by Steinbeck, for example, has only one chapter.  So this is just one reason why I began the semester with an allegorical novel about following your dreams.