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Share Health Care in Engineering Terms
2016-12-17 10:50
I don for a moment my engineering hat, that I wore for more than fifteen years before hanging it up to become a globe-trotting teacher. Fundamentally, there are 2 types of maintenance: preventive and corrective. Corrective maintenance occurs when a system suffers what is called catastrophic failure. Machines cannot run, buildings cannot be occupied and roads cannot be driven on in that condition. Workers/technicians are deployed to effectuate repairs, and they stay on the job ...
1974 views|4 comments Popularity 2
Share What is Rude?
2016-12-10 09:10
Early morning, my neighbor clatters down the stairs. Just about when he hits the first landing, right by my apartment door, he makes a great honking sound, snorts, and spits a wad as he descends the last few steps to the foyer. I can hear 'floop!' as he ejects his mucous and the 'splat' as it hits the floor. A few buildings away, another man engages in a sneezing fit. It seems to be a ritual for him. I can hear him every morning. He does nothing to muffle his affliction. ...
5147 views|26 comments Popularity 12
Share The 'Face' Effect
2016-11-27 11:04
Giving 'face' is a Chinese expression for respect and civility. In everyday society, it is common to 'give face' to people, even those you don't like or respect – not exactly fawning, but courteous: frosty but polite, one could say. Face-giving is essential in business relationships, where a single act of disingenuousness can cost years of relationship-building effort. When you break it down, giving face equals not saying what you really feel. Recently, in Am ...
4222 views|44 comments Popularity 6
Share Like I Ever Had a Dog or a Cat
2016-11-12 09:12
Like I Ever Had a Dog or a Cat
“I love you so much! I love you! I love you like I ever had a dog, or a cat! I LOVE YOU!!!” I roared with laughter at this declaration of love from my 7-year old granddaughter, Katherine. No longer should we say 'I love you so much'; there is now a more profound way to express love. And, it can be amplified: 'I love you like I ever had 7 dogs and 5 cats!', for example. Besides, 'I love you so much' is grammatically incorrect. There is no comparative ...
6324 views|37 comments Popularity 7
Share The Top Five
2016-10-21 20:09
With no set curriculum to teach and no mandatory assignments to give out, I have the latitude to talk about anything that strikes our fancy in class. This is a privilege I am ever grateful for. Now, well entrenched into my 7 th year of teaching, I pause to think about the Top Five most appreciated/engaging lessons that are a part of the standard teaching toolbox I have built over the years. These lessons are chosen as 'prime' based on participation and student enthusiasm. ...
5524 views|6 comments Popularity 6
Share Do You Have an English Name?
2016-10-1 08:56
T'is the season, again, for freshmen to hit the classrooms. Tanned from their 2-week military stint, they eagerly await their foreign teacher's dispensations: of tales from the west, of ways to learn English better, of a name they can proudly boast. One of the most common questions my freshly minted students ask: “Can you give me an English name?” I most certainly can, but the range of names that originate in England or other English speaking nations is pretty small. Cons ...
8109 views|36 comments Popularity 12
Share For Andrew: Notes on Germany
2016-9-7 14:59
For Andrew: Notes on Germany
As I prepare to leave clean air and cool weather, I reflect on what makes Germany so unique and desirable a place to live, compared to other countries. Not just China, but for refugees from all over. Organization: Germany seems to run like a well-oiled machine. From large societal concerns like transportation to smaller, local customs, there seems to be no discord – unlike the cacophony of China. Seldom did I hear any horns honking for their right of way in Germ ...
6612 views|13 comments Popularity 5
Share The Food
2016-9-1 10:06
The Food
I don't think I need to write long narratives about the food in Germany, just an explanation of the pictures... right? For my 3-day stay in Frankfurt, I opted to shop for typical components of a traditional German 'abendbrot' ('evening bread', AKA dinner): bread, meat, cheese, a buttery spread, some fruit and a sweet for dessert. It was the first time I had ever eaten lemon flavored chocolate. If possible, it won't be the last time: it was delicious! It is ...
4426 views|9 comments Popularity 3
Share Berlin
2016-8-26 18:24
Berlin
I've been strangely apposed in writing about Berlin, probably because the tsunami of feeling I washed away in (and I am still swimming in). It is easy for me to step back and be objective about other locations but when the houses I grew up in, the school I graduated from, the places I worked at are still standing, after all these years, and I'm standing in front of them, awed at how time seems to be playing on 2 levels – the past and the present... Berlin blew me away. ...
4731 views|3 comments Popularity 1
Share China V. Germany
2016-8-16 10:57
China V. Germany
I think it inevitable, as I wander around here, that I would compare my adopted home (China) to my former one. Here is how they stack up so far. Cleanliness: a tie. Although Germany has cleaner air and bluer skies, there are so many cigarette butts and gum wads and so much trash on the ground! I have a new appreciation for the street sweepers in China, and for the people who meticulously scrape gum off the sidewalk. In the week I've been here, I've seen ...
5967 views|13 comments Popularity 5
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Recent comments
  • The 'Face' Effect 2017-3-6 06:09

    Newtown: So which one is that 'one true god' ? What is his /her /its name ?
    Truth.

  • The 'Face' Effect 2017-3-6 05:31

    teamkrejados: In Zhang Yimou's movie 活着 - To Live, Gong Li gives what I believe is the classic example of Chinese 'face': the man who murdered her son turns up on ...
    The difference is that a Chinese person - like many from other Asian countries such as India - will seek to maintain 'face' in the face (!) of all evidence against what that person has said or done. For example, it a person stole a sum of money they would argue to the ends of the earth that this was not the case, no matter what objective proof was but before them. If eventually they did admit to their fault then they would say that you should not remind them of this act because that would be akin to 'beating them over the head with a stick' - i.e making them lose face once more.

    In such situations these people do not want to take responsibility for their actions. If you asked them 'why?' they did or did not do this - such as in the case of the employer you describe - they would reply 'no why'.

    A western person would more readily admit their responsibility, account for what has happened, and seek to move on in the light of their admissions. e.g. learn from one's mistakes instead of repeating or ignoring them.

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