What My Students Wrote About This Week

Shared office for foreign faculty. School of English and Int'l Studies.

Some of the stories my undergrads, in opinion-writing, wrote about this week:

A Communist Youth League project the writer is involved in, sending fresh college grads to the poorest mountain villages to teach elementary school, where the unlicensed teachers were all fired.

The popularity, and importance in China, of free, online U.S. college-course videos (humanities, social sciences, engineering and technology).

A love letter to the university’s British parliamentary debate club, which “promote[s] democracy globally by supporting discussion and active citizenship.”

China’s fast urbanization required importing 600 million tons of iron ore. You got a problem with that? The writer knows a Chinese raw-materials importer; it’s a small family company, not an ‘evil extractor’ or pillager.

A plan to prevent racist violence from erupting when Poland and Ukraine host the 2012 European Football Championship, by a writer who’s a member of FIFA, the sport’s governing body.

How unfair it is that small online merchants are being screwed by unfairly high fees by Taobao, the eBay of China.

That China must spend more money to combat the spread of AIDS in Africa.

No heat...until Nov. 15.

(Random selections, what was handy)

3 comments on “What My Students Wrote About This Week

  1. Della says:

    What a fascinating array of topics (as well as backgrounds revealed through their writing). What new issues are developing as areas of interest or concern for you as a result of this experience? What viewpoints do you feel the shifting, stretching, and resettling of? I keep thinking what a treat it would be to have dinner with you every night and talk about all this.


  2. Della we devoted much time (and I, lots of thought) to your questions today. More on them all soon. I’m so focused on kids & work, I don’t reflect nearly enough. My 2 Fulbright orientations (Wash & Beijing), about 8 full, exposed me to SO MUCH deep expertise & shrewd observations. Plus some books, some great films, talks w/ people w/ decades of experience here. So there were few ‘issue’ surprises, in a factual sense. But something does seem to get rearranged deep inside, psychically, when experience begins, and I hope I can explain what I’ve learned, over time.

    My clearest thought 10 or 11 weeks in is that the vast numbers of peope makes me so small, so humble, and in a way to experience the freedom of nothingness. I think of the Spaniards’ “no somos nadie” expression, I liken it to the cosmic nothingness feeling of laying on your back under a clear August night sky full of billions of stars. We are no one. We’re dust specks. It doesn’t matter. We can do anything.


  3. […] his reporting–so rightly praised by Pulitzer juries, readers, editors, colleagues. I tell all my students one of his great questions, useful almost always in interviews: “How […]


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