Stop Renting White Guys!

Chengdu made it on VICE on HBO, but not in a good way. When I first moved to the Hibiscus City a teaching company pimped me out to a snake-oil salesman. It was the ultimate gig. Approximately $1,000 for about two hours of work, which amounted to wearing a suit and white lab coat and(…)

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(…)

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…

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(…)