Think Inside the Box

Duct tape has a lot of cool uses. Getting a kid to speak English is one of them. A new business moved right next to a school, a paint ball court. Yeah, just a slight distraction. But last week after installing the air ducts, the workers dumped  a gazillion huge boxes into the trash. I’m talking larger than life boxes–well, […]

Some things need to be retired. But never are they people.

I cannot eat this apple, I thought as the old lady handed it to me, her beef jerky like fingers trembling, the smile under her hat lighting up the dingy room. “Xie Xie,” I nodded, admiring  her face. Every wrinkle lead to a different story, from China’s Cultural Revolution to her recipe for jiaozi. Why was I at this human time capsule […]

Chinese School

A friend invited Hamburger Laoshi for “Show and Tell” today. She’s an English teacher at a Chinese Public School on the north side of Kunming. Four Thousand students, forty crammed into every class, all wearing the same uniform. The students learn by rote memorization. Check out this video clip of them “getting their English on”. I talked a bit about […]

Wǒ jiào Beetlejuice

  I haven’t seen a rat that big since I lived in Chicago.  It was scruffy, looking like it had better days, huddled next to great wall of soy sauce in my favorite local store. That’s when  universal phrase for “I just saw a rat!” came flying out of my mouth: “SHRIEK!!!!!” A group of young female employees came over […]

WeChat English. YouChat Emojis.

I admit,  I was not the best behaved best high school student. I will be remembered for detention slips and making popcorn during chemistry lab more than my grades. So when I unexpectedly got a message from a teacher in the USA, I thought I was being summoned to the principal’s office. But it wasn’t from my alma mater, WHS,  in Watervliet, Michigan. It […]