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.

Will Chinese Students One Day Appreciate Thoreau?

With the fast pace of growth in China and its emphasis on modernism, I wonder if my students will one day come to appreciate Thoreau’s ideals, especially his love of nature and his concern for the environment.