I read a book to my very young students regularly because it’s a favourite of theirs. It’s called “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt”. It’s about a family that, together, faces several challenges on their walk to find a bear, such as very tall grass, a river, thick gooey mud, a blizzard, and eventually, a bear.
I am a teacher. Not the title I want on my gravestone but a teacher nonetheless. It’s a job, a means to an end, my meager money-making profession of choice. To narrow it down farther, I’m an international quasi-ESL classroom teacher following the American Common Core curriculum, instructing in English, expected to assess ESL learners according to a rather rigorous Westernized standard.
I used to think that life was like skydiving without a parachute, you can only do it once. But as time tears on and I grow older and know less about everything I realise that a thousand lives can exist in the space of a lifetime. When my grandmother died a couple of years ago at the tender age of 96, I sat down to write her eulogy and counted up the number of days she’d been alive: 35,210.
Tomorrow evening I will be speaking at Benjamin's Desk (1701 Walnut St.) to share about the release of ME.mory (www.yourdigitalmemory.com) and the story behind all of it, with the title as shown in the subject of this post.
In November of 2015 the Foreign Language Department of Anqing Teachers University invited me to present a lecture to primary and middle school English teachers. These teachers were participating in a National Teacher Training Program. Having enjoyed participating in this program for several years, I immediately agreed. This year I was in for a real treat.
The worst bout of humiliation I’ve ever suffered took place publicly in a parking lot, and it was all my own doing, and a little bit the other guy. I got angry and it completely overtook my ability to reason, communicate, and ride my motorbike. It was a shameful few moments in time.
I have a friend in Surabaya who lies awake at night, trapped beside high tension electrical wires that buzz and hum and encroach on an otherwise peaceful night’s sleep. I also live next to these wires, within this field of disquieted energy. The other night, near midnight, I sat pulled over on the side of the road on my motorbike, trying to come to a decision about something.
Confession time: I never learned how to ride a bike. How to go about learning it?
Well, over the weekend I attempted to learn to ride a bike for a bit, finding through my girlfriend what appeared to be the ideal scenario, a small group of adults learning together, led by an instructor.