A spinoff in proper "Rhoda" style of my patented e-mail blastograms, this blog was created with the intention of keeping friends and family updated on and amused by my life.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Quiz Websites are too Fun!

My friend in Taiwan recently took this test, so I thought I'd follow suit...'cause following is fun! Frankly I'm not too surprised that I'm a 100% PoMo freak. So I don't believe in Truth with a capital T, sue me!

You scored as Postmodernist. Postmodernism is the belief in complete open interpretation. You see the universe as a collection of information with varying ways of putting it together. There is no absolute truth for you; even the most hardened facts are open to interpretation. Meaning relies on context and even the language you use to describe things should be subject to analysis.





Cultural Creative












What is Your World View? (updated)
created with QuizFarm.com

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Chewing Gum as Metaphor...or Simile...or Whatever

Well, I'm on my way home to the US for my cousin's wedding this weekend (it's a super-crazy trip, and I think I'll spend more time in the air than on the ground--I fly Kunming to Shenzhen, bus/ferry to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Taibei, Taibei to San Francisco, overnight there, then continue San Francisco to Denver, Denver to Fort Collins--but I'm looking forward to seeing all the family.), and have a few minutes to kill at the Hong Kong Airport, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to post my thoughts about a funny experience I had this morning.

Today started off on kind of a bad note. I stayed up way late packing, as I had been avoiding it all yesterday...I did manage to get the rest of the 7th season of the West Wing in before bed though. Bad Jeff! Anyway, what the meant was that instead of waking up at 630 to get to the bus to the far-away campus at 730, I woke to another teacher calling me at 726 wondering where the heck I was. I rushed to change my clothes, then had to get a taxi out to the other campus for 40 yuan (US$5!).

Despite my best efforts, I dropped off my luggage at my friend's classroom (it was closer to the main gate than mine) and make it to class on time. Today's topic: essays, but more specifically conclusions of essays.

I explained that a conclusion generally has three parts: a summary of main idea(s), a transition, and a lead out--the job of the lead out being to explain how the essay itself is important and how it fit into the grand scheme of things, to identify the broader implications of the essay. I stressed that the lead out is probably the most difficult part of an essay (at least for me) because there is a thin line between going beyond the essay and introducing a new idea entirely.

I was trying to help my students visualize this, so I thought of three different pictures I could draw--three metaphors for the essay. They were as follows:

1. An essay is like a flowing river. The job of the introduction is to focus a side stream that narrows into the flow of one thought. The conclusion helps us find where our side stream goes back into the flow of the main consciousness. The author is the island in the middle. They liked my picture of a river, but I'm not sure they quite got it.

2. I drew a grid on the bord and said that it represented "the grand scheme of things" (which is an interesting expression that is obviously rooted in the Judaeo-Christian belief system, something I had never thought about before), or "everything." I drew a dot on the grid, and said that represented the idea of the essay. The job of the conclusion was to link the essay to the blocks around it. This seemed to make more sense.

3. My personal favorite was when I decided the chewing gum stuck to the bottom of one's shoe best represented the essay. The ground represents all human thought. The body represents their beliefs and ideas, the shoe a specific part. The essay then was gum--it is attached to a large "splotch" at the shoe and the ground, where it is tied in to many ideas, but the middle is strectched thin, down to one idea. Of course, if it's stretched too thin, it breaks, just like an essay.

Needless to say, I was very proud of myself--I mean, I figured out a way to call my students' essays pieces of gum stuck to the bottom of their shoes without making it sound insulting at all... :o)

Now, we're off to Taibei. Wish me luck!

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Boring ol' International Economics

Ok, well you'd think that I just spend all my time reading the International Herald Tribune or something, but actually it's only like half my time...the other half I spend in video arcades playing taiko drum games. Seriously though.

Nevertheless, I'd like to share an interesting article with y'all, Globilization a la carte, which is an interesting analysis of (mostly) France's new global economic perspective. The article also talks about the US and China, so I could hardly resist considering my three most familiar countries are all included in one article. Honestly though, if you could care less about economics or globalization, this article probably isn't for you.

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Perspective on China

I highly recommend that people read the following NYT/IHT article by Howard French about China's involvement in Sudan. It's a scathing, but beautifully written critique of the current situation.

Letter from China: A Growing Power lets a growing crisis fester

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Sunday, May 14, 2006


The Chinese love any chance to send cheesy text messages, and so I thought I'd share one Chris got from one of his students...that and I did want to wish me mum a happy mother's day!

What does family mean?

F- Father
A- And
M- Mother
I- I
L- Love
Y- You

Hope everyone have a family full of love! Happy mother's day! best wishes to your mother!


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My Future

While I was in the US, a fellow teacher at Yunda, Kristina, subbed for me and had my students predict my future using the classic junior high school game: MASH. I thought I'd share some of the choicest results, as some of these are REALLY funny!

According to the outcome of MASH, you will live in a house in Beijing where you may suffer from the dust storm. You will live there with your wife, Witch, also your lover Eve. You are so lucky. You will be a contract killer and you have four children. How terrible. You will die at the age of 90 because of a flood. You will walk to Rome for you summer vocation.

According to outcome of MASH, you will live in Las Angeles, and you will have wonderful vacation in Hawaii, you will have a beautiful equipage, cool! You will marry with Suffi Maso (a famous Franch star, I'm not sure I got the correct spell of her name [I'm guessing Sophie Marceau]), she is very beautiful woman, congratulations! OW! Your also have a beautiful lover, Zhang Ziyi, but, you have 30 children. You leave China, you will become proffessor, you will die at 70 year old, because disease. In a word, you will have wonderful experience. Good luck!

According to the outcome of MASH, You will live in an apartment in the beautiful city of Sanfrancisco. You will live with your wife Uma Thurman and you 3 children. You will have your vocation in your summer home in Paris. by train. You will be a professor in the future due to a disease. Almost forget. You have a lover named Lisa.

According to the outcome of MASH, you will live in Bagdad (bad place) with your African wife, you will have 4 children and you will become an acter. You'll cheat your wife because you will have Zhang Ziyi as your lover. However, you will spend your summer holiday in Alps and you will go there on foot. Then, you will be shotted to death at your age of 110. That's not too bad. You wil have a good life. Congratuation!

According to the outcome of the MASH. In your future life, you will live in Kunming with your wife who is a begger now. You will go to Paris for your summer holidays this year. I can’t believe that you will go to Paris on foot. You will be an old man in the future for you will die when you are 85 years old. Unfortunately, you will die of cancer. You are a teacher now, but you will be a potato seller in the future. Your lover is Kristina now, but you will not marry her, Your wife and you will have three children. I’m very sorry about that your future life is like that.

I think you have a good time now. But I have some thing to tell you. According to the outcome of The MASH, you will live in house in the terrible city Bagdad, but Britney [Spears, I assume] will be your wife and you couple will own 2 children. What’s the most amazing is that movie star Nico Kitman [Nicole Kidman] will be your lover. In Bagdad, you will serve your sexy Britney as a househusband. In summer holiday, you can tremp [tramp?] to Sahara Desert to enjoy such a cool holiday. With such a happy life, you will die at the age of 100. But unfortunately, you will be eaten by a fierce shark when you are swimming in Atlantic Ocea. Wish you lucky.

According to the outcome of the MASH, you will live in a small room with just a chickenwire ceiling and plywood wall in New York. During your vacation, you might have a good time in Cape Town, but you just can get there by subway. To my surprise, you can live till you are 108 years old. Unfortunately, you will be slaughtered by some terrists. You will be a beggar with only one child who will attend and hold your funeral. But, what makes you happy is that you have a beautiful wife whose name is Liu Yifei. And, You will keep a good relationship with a famous Chinese movie star, Zhang Manyu. We can’t control the fate that God arranges to us. But where is a will, where is way. Just do it. Keep your life wonderful.

According to the outcome of MASH, you’ll live in a shack in Tokyo with your wife Geogre W. Bush and your 3 kids….. you’ll take plane to your summer villa in Toronto with your lover—your sister. You’ll not die until you’re 356 years old bitten by a crazy dog, so please be careful about dogs. You’re going to be a movie star in Kunming. Congratulations. To be frank, your future life is not so splendid as I wished at the beginning of the game. Anyway, I hope everything goes smoothly with you.