Nearing the End

This last weekend, all of the surviving China 23s came back to Chengdu for our Close of Service Conference. It was a little difficult to explain what exactly the conference was about when my students asked why I wasn’t traveling over the long holiday weekend, but basically COS conference was a chance to say reflect…

A Thousand Variations

Since arrivingI have come to knowa thousand variations on silence The stillness of living alone The constantunintelligibleunrelenting blur of a foreign language The long minutes when a student stands and stares straight aheadtoo scared to say they don’t know the answer The hours waiting between a text sent and a message read when the recipient…

Alice’s Speech: The Stones, The Legacy

Every year, university students from across China compete in the “FLTRP Cup” National English Speaking Contest sponsored by the Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. By 2004, just two years after it started, more than ten million college students from across China participated annually. That number has continued to grow, making it one of the…

Giving and Getting

Fall is my favorite time of year in Chengdu. We’ve definitely passed into winter by now, but I’ll take a minute to look back at all the wonderful parts of the last two or so months. November 11, or Single’s Day as it’s known here, is the biggest shopping day in the world. It puts…