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 —(…)

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(…)

Lit Week 1: Intro to Thoreau

I gave students an assignment: read Thoreau’s essay “Reading” and make notations about passages that have special meaning. For instance, why does Thoreau refer to some readers as cormorants and ostriches?

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…

A Dream Come True

After being informed by Xiangnan University that I will be teaching Literature to juniors and Drama to seniors, I head off to dinner along noisy streets to ponder the situation…