• Podcasts

    Trauma or drama – That is the question

    In this podcast I describe the first day of teaching drama class, noting that I was totally unprepared for the experience. I anticipated teaching “English as a Second Language” to college seniors, but this changed as the college administrators asked if it “would be convenient” for me to teach drama as well. With doubts coursing through my brain, I accepted the challenge …

  • Teaching

    Back to School: Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, Boom!

    They were a tough crowd. I introduced my first two literature classes to my concept of learning as a journey. At first their faces were impenetrable masks. Then I told them, “Even in America we know about Chair Mao’s famous Long March, and the founding of the People’s Republic of China.” Their faces lit up with pride. That’s when I knew my students understood me. “So this is an honor for me to be here on the China’s 60th anniversary, and be your guide on another journey. And it is an honor to be part of your education in the beginning of the Chinese Century. Of course, this journey will…

  • Podcasts

    Lit Week 1: Why Read?

    Through various readings, I find out how familiar students are with Western literature. One poem about the Congo River by Vachel Lindsay, an American, intrigues them. They ask if it is really a “rap” song…

  • Teaching

    The Journey Began

    Reality Laid Somewhere Between Daydreams and Nightmares I got out of bed at dawn Wednesday.  It had been restless night spent thinking about all the clever things I would say to make students wonder if I was some reincarnated Confucius in disguise. I had spent the last few days losing track of time in a kaleidoscopic tour of Chinese culture and hospitality. And I had spent the nights of that last disorienting week of summer vacation dealing with nightmares about the first day of class. These nightmares had nothing in common with my daydreams. In them I was continuously lost in labyrinthine hallways, losing my books despite fruitless nightlong search…