Gustave Flaubert's great novel "Madame Bovary" builds itself around a series of rich and complex "community events." These events in the hands of Flaubert can be elaborate indeed. But the event itself need not be.1 Comment
Like many, I find the Rachel Dolezal controversy both fascinating and troubling.
For the past 5 years, I've been meeting over Thursday lunch periods with a group of students on my campus for discussions on current affairs, almost always focused on Taiwan. We rely on media reports, opinion columns similar to this one, and life experiences to share observations and views on whatever pops up in the news.
A professor I have never met and a TV show I've never watched grabbed headlines this week, and my attention, too.
If you are a regular reader here, you know I occasionally ask my students to give me a hand. I might ask them, for example, to respond anonymously to an anecdotal survey on one topic or the other. I have found some of their words particularly interesting.
University professors offer students carefully honed syllabi for courses at the start of each semester. These syllabi list boring details such as the instructor's contact information, goals of the course (not so boring, I hope), instructional methods, rules and policies, weekly assignments, and other cool items.
The phrase "the secret to happiness" sounds so beguiling that we've a right to be skeptical about it. People may say there is such a secret, and they know what it is, but most of us probably shake our heads in wonder. We doubt anyone can tell us a secret such as that.
When I was a child, there were two holidays that I dreaded. I dreaded them so much that I wanted to rip them off the pages of calendars. If I could have thrown those holidays out the window and out of my life, believe me, I'd have done it. It was of course impossible.2 Comments
It is old news now that Mayor Ko Wen-je touched a sore spot on the local scene last week by announcing a plan to substitute police surveillance with camera surveillance for a very specific parking zone in Taipei.
In the beginning, the news story requires a bit of patience just to keep the details straight. By the time you get to the end of it, however, you may find you've plumb run out of patience and are feeling not merely unhappy, but angry.2 Comments