In God’s Country?

Yesterday, I took a beautiful drive to see the colors in the Smokies and to get fresh produce from Carver’s Apple Orchard in Cosby–a ritual I observed for years but had lately neglected. I used to go there with my family when my children were young until they began objecting to the long drive. It … More In God’s Country?

Idioms with “It”

“It” carries a lot of baggage for such a tiny word. I’ve been collecting some idioms that refer to “it” without specifying what “it” means. Please add any you can think of. Weather idioms: It’s raining, it’s sunny, it’s foggy, it’s snowing, it’s cloudy, it’s cold, it’s hot, it’s warm, it’s cool, it’s windy, it’s … More Idioms with “It”

Beauty in Writing

For a while I have been working on how to teach ESL students not only how to write correct sentences but beautiful ones. In an 11-module course, I teach students how to use simple, short sentences for power and punch; compound and reduced compound sentences for, respectively, leisurely and speedy additions of information; complex sentences … More Beauty in Writing

Nanjing and Kindness

Every city that I’ve visited in China has its own spirit and character, but Nanjing is unique for its “cultured and relaxed” (according to the┬áLonely Planet’s guide to China) atmosphere. Of course, one’s impressions of a place are largely and in some cases solely guided by the bits of the elephant that one gets to … More Nanjing and Kindness

On Ignorance

I have been in Nanjing almost a week now, teaching English composition in the mornings and, until today, sleeping in the afternoons because my body could not wrap its little brain around the idea of being 12 hours off its normal schedule. I would get back from class by hook or by crook (Southeast University’s … More On Ignorance