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avant-garde_chauvintist wandering through the garden of ideals

I have nothing to say about today.

CHINA | Tuesday, 6 May 2008 | Views [466]

But I did have an interesting thought while I was napping.  I'll see if I can work out what it was here. Something about words and the way we use them.  Something about accents and how strange they are.  Something about how some words and phrases can ... Read more >

I paid my water bill today

CHINA | Monday, 5 May 2008 | Views [562]

A bit of a mundane thing to write about, but as it almost had me in tears, I thought it waranted some air time.  Paying a bill is not a complicated task.  But living in a world where I continually prove and then disprove my ability to speak the language, ... Read more >

A lazy Sunday

CHINA | Sunday, 4 May 2008 | Views [382]

I wish I had an awesome rap a la SNL's digital short about such a day, but unfortunately, my writing abilities do not extend to poetry over a beat. Little to say about today. I fell asleep on the couch last night (no one to occupy it, so I took ... Read more >

Gallery: Jimingyi

CHINA | Sunday, 4 May 2008 | Photo Gallery

May holiday trip with Hagen
See all 21 photos >>


CHINA | Saturday, 3 May 2008 | Views [465]

I spent the day recovering. Even though I didn't get much sleep, I "woke up" slightly hung over from the festivities of Hagen's last night. I put on a movie and slept nearly all day. Around dinner time, the phone calls started coming.... Read more >


CHINA | Thursday, 1 May 2008 | Views [471]

New day. New holiday. The Chinese flags are back up outside every building in China. And the nationalism continues to seeth during this national holiday. Yesterday, I was walking across the obscure footbridge near my apartment to catch the bus.... Read more >


CHINA | Tuesday, 29 Apr 2008 | Views [534]

China officially (it has the Olympic rings on it and everything) hate France.   I'm not quite sure why the hate is just restricted to the country that serves amazing wine and cheese. Today, the assignment in class went something like this: "... Read more >

Gallery: Summer Palace

CHINA | Monday, 28 Apr 2008 | Photo Gallery

Yiheyuan with Case and Hagen
See all 7 photos >>

Yihe Yuan

CHINA | Monday, 28 Apr 2008 | Views [381]

Summer Palace. Today. Another tourist attraction. Another relatively small area of space crammed with photograph seeking tourists. Almost more white people than Chinese. It was kind of a disappointment. Overcast and polluted, the vista was not ... Read more >

I have a ghost

CHINA | Friday, 25 Apr 2008 | Views [383]

I'm sure he or she is Chinese speaking leaving little room for me to investigate why they are roaming an alternate reality between the living and dead.   I'm sure he or she is from the 15th century or something equally as untouchable. I'm sure he ... Read more >


CHINA | Thursday, 24 Apr 2008 | Views [544]

is not blocked! Apparently, a major influx of English speakers and the absolute absurity of blocking the entire site finally hit the Commies.  Because I can now search for nationalism or chickens or Eugene Delacroix freely.  Of courese, only the ... Read more >

Tags: culture

Chaos theory

CHINA | Wednesday, 23 Apr 2008 | Views [571]

My classes are generally a random conglomeration of my students' reactions to things I say or do. I plan, but things often don't go exactly as I plan. And any teacher will tell you that there is a LOT of improvisation that goes on in a classroom.... Read more >

Tags: work

Trying not to laugh out loud

CHINA | Tuesday, 22 Apr 2008 | Views [591]

Midterms basically suck for me. I'm stuck in a classroom having mini-conversations with nearly 40 students for an hour and a half. They get to leave after two minutes, but I'm there the entire time trying to deal with the bull shit they're trying ... Read more >

Tags: work

Three fourths done

CHINA | Monday, 21 Apr 2008 | Views [511]

I'm giving my second round of midterms this week. Most of my students...wildly impressive. But there, of course, are a few outliers. One student didn't understand the question so he just talked about what was on his mind. I don't take off for ... Read more >

Tags: work


CHINA | Sunday, 20 Apr 2008 | Views [606]

Today was a beautiful day. The rain never stopped. All the streets had the rainbow sheen of the separation of oil and water. The vines lining my windows dripped continuously. I made hamburgers for lunch and dinner. I drank cups of coffee. I planned ... Read more >

Tags: olympics, weather


CHINA | Thursday, 17 Apr 2008 | Views [438]

I completely loathe the idea of exercise.  I rather enjoy my time with art, culture, books, movies, or friends.  Exercise...I often find it a complete waste of time. While living in Beijing, my excuse doesn't have to be my utter dislike of physical ... Read more >

In the air

CHINA | Wednesday, 16 Apr 2008 | Views [584]

It's official. Spring is here. And it's floating on the air along with some weird pollen/dandelion things. There are vines that run along the outside of my window. When I first moved in they were covered in green leaves, framing the view of the ... Read more >

What is American food?

CHINA | Monday, 14 Apr 2008 | Views [460] | Comments [1]

Very few people in the United States grew up eating like I did. Firstly, I lived in Louisiana, so Cajun food was a staple. Secondly, my dad's is from New York, so Italian food, pizza, and Chinese food were never to be missed. Thirdly, my dad's side ... Read more >

Mesmerizing memorizing

CHINA | Friday, 11 Apr 2008 | Views [446] | Comments [1]

It's a difference in culture. It's a difference in teaching methods. It's a difference in learning styles. And it's no surprise. In school, I was actually discouraged from memorizing. Learning, as opposed to cramming, it was said, is a better ... Read more >


CHINA | Thursday, 10 Apr 2008 | Views [526]

Chinese men smoke.  From the age of about 15, Chinese men smoke.  It's like a rite of passage.  Learning to ride a bike, getting braces, smoking. There's nothing abnormal about it in China, especially in the countryside.  Women, who rarely smoke, ... Read more >

Flip flops

CHINA | Wednesday, 9 Apr 2008 | Views [351]

It's nearly time to pack away those winter clothes.  Today was so pleasant that I actually wore flip flops -- the first time since about October that such a delight has graced my feet.   It's no longer too cold to put my clothes in the drying room.  ... Read more >

Don't they have machines for that?

CHINA | Tuesday, 8 Apr 2008 | Views [525]

Since arriving in China, it's become far too obvious that most of the work done by most of the people is just so they can have a job. There are A LOT of people in this country. A lot of people that need rice to eat. A lot of people that need money ... Read more >

Gallery: Just some stuff around China

CHINA | Monday, 7 Apr 2008 | Photo Gallery

random photos from the East
See all 21 photos >>

Fa piao

CHINA | Monday, 7 Apr 2008 | Views [719] | Comments [2]

With the fear that my four year old camera has been gracing the shelf of some antique market, I broke down and got a new one. My old camera was perfect for what it was, but it was starting to get on my nerves that the batteries died almost instantly, ... Read more >

Cheng De

CHINA | Sunday, 6 Apr 2008 | Views [595]

The Tomb Sweeping Festival is the traditional time for Chinese people to visit the graves of their ancestors, clean them, plant new flowers, lament over their losses, and have a big dinner. Like most traditional things in China, this isn't really ... Read more >

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