This video (4.5 minutes) records one of my classes of nursing students in Zhengzhou, Henan, China in 2010.
The secret key to teaching well is to learn from students, and odd as it seems, the students who learn best are nearly always those who are most eager to teach. Somehow, swapping ideas keeps the universe in balance. Nowhere is this more true than in language teaching and language learning. Human language that is worth knowing about is always an exchange. It can be so interesting. We all like to share fun, and nearly all of us hate being treated like zombies. When a teacher tells me she is bored with teaching, I know that she is a burden to her students and a fool to herself. Life is so short, and there are so many wonderful things to find out about. Since 1976, in seven countries and every imaginable kind of setting I have taught English language and linguistics, sometimes directly and sometimes to those learning to teach. That has been a privilege and a fascinating journey, by no means complete. I see myself as a wandering scholar, an ancient tradition that keeps one forever young.
Congratulations to the first graduates of our International Joint Venture with Holmes Institute at Zhengzhou Railway Vocational & Technical College. I’m really glad to see that you didn’t all run away ^_^. You didn’t give up. You made it!
This short video (2.5 minutes) was made in China in 2010 for the purpose of showing the Chinese Public Security Bureau that “I wasn’t dead yet”. If was a futile exercise since they threw me out of China a little later for the crime of turning 65.
A high school teacher told me once that I would never win a race. Well, nobody has ever gotten away with telling me what I can or can’t do. I’ve been distance running ever since. Sure, it wasn’t Olympic stuff, just 10km runs up hill and down dale wherever I happened to be living. The real race is always the one against yourself. It’s the personal challenge that you have to surmount. It isn’t always easy, but the rewards for getting out of your comfort zone and doing it are always far ahead of wasting life away as a couch potato.
This is one of my own poems (for the rest see my main site, thormay.net ). “Tiger in the Night” tries to capture some of Korea’s spirit, ancient and modern. There’s a lot to this place, for those who care to look, but without the magic key of Korea’s own language we are apt to hear just our own voices, see just our own footprints, and perilously forget the tiger on the mountain tracks.