Category Work Life

Zai Jian Gong Zuo

On Tuesday 6/7, I officially carried out my last work responsibilities in China!  I had to give a placement interview at Tsinghua for an incoming student.  With no closing ceremony like normal, it was an anti-climactic end to the year.  Nonetheless it felt great to be done! Over the course of my two years in […]

Google Boondoggle

Internet restrictions have always been one of my biggest gripes about living in China.  Since we arrived, I haven’t been able to use You Tube or Facebook, and it is impossible to access any blogs at services like Blogspot or WordPress. But all of that has been tolerable given that they haven’t messed with gmail […]

Work It Out

In summer 2010, as we were busy with wedding planning, the Academic Bridge Program underwent a major transition in leadership. Long story short, two similar programs under the Tsinghua umbrella started the long and laborious process of merging.  The process has made for an ambiguous and uncertain year in 2010-2011, but overall things have worked […]


Anyone who has learned a foreign language knows the uncomfortable situation of knowing how to ask a basic question but not really having the language or cultural skills to understand the response.  For me, no other question has been as troubling in this regard here as, “Where are you from?”  Unless the answer was Beijing, […]

100 Years

This year, Tsinghua University is celebrating its 100th anniversary. In 1911, the University was founded with a surplus of money that China had planned to give to the US as reparations for US victims in the Boxer Rebellion.  Interestingly, the US asked China to use that money to start a university.  Here we are 100 […]

Angry Birds

This semester, I have been teaching a class at Tsinghua University called Critical Thinking.  Over the last two months, students have been learning how to identify an argument’s pattern of reasoning, and subsequently, how to criticize it.  Students have been learning about assumptions, credibility, clarification, inferences, logical fallacies, inconsistencies, and more. Today was the summary […]

In Context

This week in Critical Thinking class, we discussed how context can change the meaning and the intent of an argument.  To elucidate that, I asked students to draw pictures in which the same normal objects would take on a completely different meaning just based on what was around them.  To my delight, students really got […]