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
Take a male donkey and a female horse and mate them, and you get a mule: strong, stubborn, with tough hooves and able to thrive on little and poor food. Great animals, but sterile. You can’t just breed mules. You have to persuade a donkey to mate with a mare, which apparently many are hesitant … More China: The Fertile Hybrid
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 Lonely 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
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
I was trying to capture the spider veins of these mountains, exposed by snow, and only saw the envelope of the atmosphere later.
Speeding out of Shanghai at 187 mph on a spotless, incredibly fast smooth train, hurtling past apartment buildings, some old and ramshackle, some massive and undistinguished, and some with architectural details that make them intriguing, like little Chinese roofs perched on top of multi-story buildings. Some look almost Italianate, with yellow walls and terracotta tiles … More Riding the speeding bullet
When you’re a foreigner, without the language but more importantly without the cultural knowledge to understand or respond appropriately to sharks, you get skinned. This story is about sharks and dolphins in the same Shanghai waters. I got off the plane from Chicago yesterday, and right after the document check and picking up my massive … More Getting through the sharks