careful step I’m experimenting with an alternate reality for my blog. I’d forgotten that I established this WordPress account 3 years ago; maybe I found it too difficult to use. Oh well, let’s hope that it’s accessible for viewing in China.
dog – Sichuan University
gateway …and I’m falling naturally into the rhythms of a new life. This semester is going much more smoothly than the last, which was simply an endurance contest of long classes and recalcitrant students. In the first two weeks, I’ve had two moments of clarity. For those not familiar with 12-Step-speak, a moment of clarity translates as a “lucid moment,” and falls somewhere between clear thinking and a startling revelation. The first occurred during one of the best classes I’ve ever taught, last Tuesday, in which I drilled and prompted my six students into greater fluency by practicing short phrases of a sentence, then gradually putting them together into one smooth unit. I also taught how to “count” the syllables in a sentence, saying the numbers rhythmically instead of the words, to train the ear for the sounds of English. It was teaching at its most brilliant, yet I couldn’t repeat the performance to save my life during the rest of the week. Oh well. The second moment of clarity came in the middle of my classical guitar lesson, when I realized that berating myself and feeling like an untalented failure was a waste of time and energy. I have the rest of my life to become a proficient guitar player, and it will take as long as it takes; my fingers will obey me when they’re good and ready. I think my mini-revelation involved understanding “practice” for the first time. I was able to equate guitar practice with
Sakyamuni 愛道堂 Aidao Nunnery, Chengdu
Twisted steps 都江堰 四川 Dujiangyan, Sichuan