You Care Too Much

The three words silenced my room: “What the hell?” They weren’t from a junior high student, because the utterance would have been in Chinese. The slip of the tongue was from a second grader. From the same kid who doesn’t know his sight words. I looked at a coworker, who heard it too. While I was thinking about school policies […]

Smoke

There is a famous Chinese proverb: 不到长城非好汉. He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man. And after he visits the Great Wall, he picks up a pack of cigarettes.  Smoking is huge in this country, even with doctors, including my “no chicken, no OJ, drink broccoli juice” acupuncturist. Before the young doctor light his cigarette, […]

The Other Ten Commandments

I am glad that when Moses came down the mountain with two tablets, there wasn’t another set for those of privilege. Thou shall not steal, unless of course, you can afford a good lawyer. Thou shall not commit adultery, unless you are a politician who can afford payoffs. Thou shall keep thy Sabbath holy unless you want to go to […]

Lessons in Doing Nothing

Last night, someone slept through my class. But it wasn’t a student. It was me. Not only did I also slept through my midnight/lunch-time catnap alarm, I slept through three calls from my classroom assistant in China wondering where I was, along with a text from my principal: “Is everything OK?” Well yes and no. My Zoom didn’t turn into […]

Signs of the Times

Hopefully, George Floyd will not be forgotten in a few weeks when people go back thumping their Bibles, and care more about the extra ketchup in a supersized meal than the single mother that handed it to them.