Because anticipation is the one of the best parts of the journey.

  • Prologue

    Matt Muller — Smethport’s China Connection

    Smethport resident Matt Muller is off to teach English at a university in Hunan province in south central China. The province is famous for its spicy cuisine and the birthplace of Chinese Communist revolutionary Mao Zedong. The major city there is Chenzhou, home to about 4.5 million people, most of whom live in the surrounding countryside. After learning that he would have to wait at least a year before enrolling in a master’s level physician assistant program, Matt decided to go on yet another international adventure, having already visited many countries in Europe, Africa and South America. This time the target of his wanderlust is Asia; specifically, China. Continued on…

  • Prologue

    How It's All Gonna Be

    They call it the Middle Kingdom. Right now, I wait for paperwork.  It is the only thing holding me back.  I expect that everything will be in order by the middle of August, Year of the Ox.  Until then I dream.  Though not in China yet, anticipation, planning, and great expectations are all just as important to me as the actual experience of being there.  Right now, I think about the students I will teach at a university in Hunan province. The university says that I will teach literature.  They welcome me create my own curriculum and to supplement their text book with from my own library.  This is very…

  • Prologue

    Grandiose Visions of a Migrant Worker

    Born in the Year of the Dragon, the day Viking I landed on Mars, and about one year before the original Star Wars film hit the big screens, it is only natural that I would be forever restless, dreaming, and yearning to ramble beyond the borders of my country. I am just another migrant worker dreaming of a better life.  Just as one of my teachers had dreamed of a better life.  He went into the woods outside of Concord, Massachusetts.   He found something useful there.  Something inspirational.  His experiment at Walden Pond taught us how to advance confidently in the direction of our dreams.  So that is what I…

  • Prologue

    Confessions of a Hyperbole Abuser

    I have this condition.  Something within compels me to wander with mournful tread.   Everything once strange in life becomes familiar, ritual becomes routine, and life the antithesis of zen marks the time when you are but a bell toll away from the walking dead.  Beyond these dust clouds kicked up by the masses of men there lies man’s greatest pleasure galloping ahead beneath azure skies. So when another gap year loomed ahead I plotted my escape.  Playing the waiting game in a stately Victorian on West Main Street in Smethport, Pennsylvania—the home of the ghost of Ralph Crossmire, America’s First Christmas Store, and Wooly Willy–would be like being strapped down…