I once heard of a scenario in which an American professor at a foreign university asked his students to compose a list of at least 15 problems their country faced. I was shocked. The homework might as well have been: "Make a long list of things that are wrong with your country."
I do not know if other cultures are as obsessed with surveys as ours seems to be, but I do know most surveys I read of affect me very little. For a survey to touch me, it's got to practically hit me in the forehead.
2014/12/7, 1 Comment
Here I sit, 12 hours to go before the 9-in-1 Elections 2014. If I make print as I hope, you are reading these words with, as the newscasters say, "the results now all in." On the eve of the election, I am weighing the situation, trying to be brave as I share a few impressions about what has happened here these recent days.
2014/11/30, 1 Comment
I promised to soon return to last week's topic of student reactions to a certain type of examination. I've decided that "soon" means today.
As I prepare a mid-term examination these days for students in a survey course in American Literature, I am quite conscious of a doubt that's been nagging at me the past three or four years.
My Facebook screen recently brought a photo from California that put a smile on my chops. It showed a little boy, perhaps seven or eight years old, the son of a treasured former student. He was all fixed up in his Halloween costume. I so concluded because "Trick or Treat" appeared above the picture.
With a ban on religious instruction, which today affects families with children in more than 2,000 schools in Xinjiang, China deserves more public attention, I fear, than it is getting. Reasons easily come to mind to explain why international (and local) media are not rushing to cover the story. A brief word first, however, on the news itself.
I just looked up "aggressive" in a fat dictionary which promises in a blurb on its cover to help writers to improve their efforts (hmm). The scholars there split their definition into two parts.
Commentators in the media are expressing generally positive views on the cautious first steps that nearly 200 Catholic bishops, priests and lay persons have taken in recent days at what is shaping up to be a groundbreaking meeting in Rome, called a synod. The steps involve lengthy discussions, followed by straight from the shoulder feedback from participants representing a wide gamut of personal, theological, and social views on the concept of family.
Responding in part to space I recently offered to two common English words ("We must distinguish between studying and learning English" 9-28-14) a friend wants me to say more here on language related issues. Her wish reached me after last week's attention to the term "decency" appeared, albeit in a social, not to say political context ("On decency and the HK protests" 10-5-14).