Friday, May 25, 2012


Thoughts on a Still Night - Li Bai 

Before my bed, the moon is shining bright,
I think that it is frost upon the ground.
I raise my head and look at the bright moon,
I lower my head and think of home.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Rare and lovely like a feathered or aquatic member of an endangered species: #4 in the list of desired student outcomes reads as follows-

A student should develop and increasingly demonstrate creative appreciation for the visual, literary and performing arts. 

Can we implement this outcome countrywide in China? : ) 

across the entire global community?

Woodstock School

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Oracle Bones

Review: Oracle Bones by Peter Hessler 

If you read Oracle Bones while you are living in China, as I did, Hessler's insights and observations concerning the culture create a context for your own personal emotional reactions to the country and the people. 

For example, I asked several ex-pats about their adjustment experience during their first three months of life in China, and I received a similar response from each one of these ex-pats. Everyone, including me, shared a feeling of isolation and depression for that initial period of adjustment. Unlike other countries where I have lived, no Chinese co-worker or acquaintance extended a hand of friendship or a bridge of cultural support. Everyone I met seemed too busy with work or family concerns to notice me. Hessler's passage from the chapter "Hollywood" expresses my exact thoughts on the matter. 

"Without a sense of a rational system, people rarely felt connected to the troubles of others... In part, this was cultural- the Chinese had never stressed strong community bonds; the family and other more immediate groups were the ones that mattered most. But the lack of a rational legal climate also encouraged people to focus strictly on their own problems... A foreigner inevitably felt even more isolated." 

I decided not to study Chinese until I knew I would be in the country for more than one year, but the sadness of being linguistically alienated from the company of over a billion people by a barrier of words and characters is overwhelming at times. I admire Hessler’s acquisition of the Chinese language during his Peace Corps training and his description of the language learning process in the chapter “The Voice of America.”

“First, you established basic sentence structures and vocabulary, the way a painter might initially outline a portrait’s fundamental elements. Over time, you acquired more sophisticated words and phrases, attaching them to the existing foundation. It felt like living in a rough sketch of the world where new details appeared day by day.”

Overall, if you are an ex-pat living in China, enjoy the insight Hessler will give you on your own experiences- enriching the time you spend in the country. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Friday, May 04, 2012

Changzhou B12 Bus Stop, Friday, May 04, 2012

I was on my way to Wanda Plaza when this warning sign entered my awareness. The feelings I experienced while trying to fully comprehend the meaning of the sign were common in my daily life here: wonder, confusion, an oppressed sense of squashed freedom, more confusion, and at last- a realization that I must construct my own meaning from a bad translation.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


White Jade in a Xi'an Shop Window

Definition of NEPHRITE from the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
the commoner and less valuable kind of jade that varies in color from white to dark green or black

Jade -To become weary or spiritless.

April 29, 2012 

About Me

My photo

What do I do? That’s a question with more depth than the deceiving three-word construction would lead us to believe.

I live on planet earth with other folks, and I’m involved in the field of education and learning. I’m a life-long learner with a passion for knowledge and the process of bending bits of ideas into new constructions of beauty.