104 weeks later

On July 31, 2006 a slightly bitter expat English teacher married a gentle Chinese lass. In the registry office he couldn’t read the form or make the appropriate pledge.

going for broke

One of the best things about traveling, about teaching ESL, is the things I see and the students I meet. Summer camp is a misnomer compared with North American summer camp. There are no tents, campfires, marshmallows, or canoes. There are English lessons, games, and contests. After a day in the classroom the ESL teachers…

an evil weekend

The constant rain, that had me wondering how to build an ark, has passed. The sky over Shenzhen is now a bright seasonal blue and full of fluffy clouds. There is that evil ball of flame some call the sun, it’s only purpose to burn me to a crisp, to contend with. Better that than…

ESL in China: First days – Looking down

I don’t remember much about that Sunday, looking back after three years. It was cold, I recall, much colder than I thought it should be in a sub-tropical area. I huddled in my apartment, on the thin-padded wooden sofa.

Teaching English in China: Utter beauty

Five days, 24 classes, more than 1000 students.

I spent the week making Grade 1 and 2 students laugh. I gazed into astonished eyes and saw a sea of toothless smiles. As I looked at those faces I wanted to weep at the utter beauty and innocence.

airports, bad moods, muppets, and students

It had been a bad day for Stevo. At 12:15 he stood outside the airport, unsure where the bus from Hong Kong would drop off the arriving teacher. Verbally assaulted by touts, pointed at by the unenlightened, tired, and nearly out of cigarettes, he stood alone under a street light, much like his loner-hero Phillip…