The first time I heard the word career was in a high school business class. “You want to make sure you choose the right career, something you are really passionate in,” she said. “If you choose the wrong career, you may later come to regret that decision.” At the time I was sixteen years old. For years, I had been traveling with my parents to Amway conventions; most of these adventures I spent a majority of my time in the hotel room watching movies, swimming in the pool, or exploring the hotel for any secrets it might hold, but in recent years I had begun to attend the actual seminars, and when I turned 16 I bought my first IBO[…]

I am attempting… to re-construct several of my stories into the world they were meant to be. The process has been a longtime coming, and I am not sure if/when the completed project will be finished, but I have started on the basic skeleton. If I can find enough threads in the stories so far I may add to it, but I will also need to do some rethinking and rewriting. All just takes time. Twine is a new program that is used to create hypertext stories, although I believe the more important value may be in constructing hypertext novels. Most hypertext stories are very short, taking the reader through short moments and highly programmed. The hypertext novel is just[…]

Lecture Goal: Give a broad view of contemporary American fantasy literature and where the ideas came from   1. Sword and sorcery in the 30s-60s, based on Weird Tales and Lord of the Rings Weird Tales in the 1920s, born from Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft (Cthulhu) Fantasy, horror, myth, and swordplay – Conan the Barbarian, Robert E. Howard Fritz Leiber, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, and the idea of true adventure, from Conan   2. Heroic fantasy and dark magic in the 70s, 80s and 90s, based on Dungeons and Dragons (1975) Michael Moorcock, Elric of Melnibone, combination of heroic myth and popular fantasy Roger Zelazny, the Chronicles of Amber, and castles, dungeons, monsters and sorcerors Tanith Lee,[…]

The Prodigal Son of Jixian is a play I wrote back in 2008, for a show my then-school (New Century Language and Culture Center) put on to showcase student talent in speaking the Chinese language. I wrote this basic script, and then each student performing in the play took his or her lines and translated those lines into Chinese, and then our troupe performed the play for the school. This play is roughly based off of the Biblical parable, “the prodigal son,” although deviates a bit as this story takes place around the turn of the new millennium in China.   The Prodigal Son of Jixian Characters Narrator: (8 parts) Father: (26 lines) Older Daughter: (15 lines) Younger Son: (21[…]

I admire Lu Xun. Not for his timidness, which he was not; not for his resolve, which faltered often; not for his calculating mind, which carried the burdens of a man blinded with inhibited sorrow; and not for his kindness, which crossed blades with his cruelty so often he might have been his own doppelganger; rather, I admire his perspicacity with words, his transparency of soul, and his exuberant passion in the movement of ideas through the vehicles of people and systems. Once a teacher myself at Peking University, Lu Xun exhibits ideals I wish I had but also showcases the dangers of adorning the armor of a hundred ideals, each engaged in civil strife. “The present passes step by[…]

Gareth Morgan’s book, Images of Organization, is a challenging look into how organized groups of people can be understood in terms of eight different categories of thinking. These categories or images are tools that Morgan uses to identify, medicate, and reorganize thinking about organizational structure. The example story written in sectional intervals is an example of all eight images in motion (machine, organism, brain, culture, political system, psychic prison, transformation, and domination; in that order) and will serve as an analogy as I go through each of the eight images and explain how Morgan introduces these topics. The eight images Morgan uses in his book are not only methods for understanding current organizational models, but also tools in which the[…]

2:30 in the morning. I am sitting at the desk, the light burning, the sounds of snores coming from the bedroom, the sour taste of coffee burrowing into my throat, my eyes bulging with caffeine, and my drive never further from the end. 70 unique essay topics based on 16 different team subjects, composed of students from forty different majors and disciplines: my goal is to give each student a unique topic, which combines not only with their team subject, but also offers a special personal challenge only he or she could complete. The task sounds insane, but the summer before I read through The Medici Effect, a book by Frans Johannson, which ensured me that with a combination of[…]

Once upon a time, there was a banana tree. It was a very large banana tree, so large that her shadows crept across the whole earth. Her roots reached down into the bottom of the earth, and her trunk found solace in the sky, among the clouds. It is said that if you walked among the roots, bananas would fall from the sky like raindrops, sweet-smelling and fragrant tears of their loving mother in the sky. All across the earth were her children, sharing their fruit among a world at war with itself; full of shadows and disease, but among all of these, the banana trees stood, beautifying the earth and giving food to the hopeless, remembering their mother in[…]

Mindfulness and mission. My task was simple, or so I thought: to put together a book of magazine articles from nature magazines and short stories from old textbooks. My hands were sticky with glue, and ever since the fifteenth article the joints of my fingers had ached from the constant use of the old pair of scissors which when I started were not broken. Most schools allowed teachers to use books from well-known publishers, but no, I had chosen to teach in China where university departments have no budget for purchasing textbooks (Lin-Liu & Bollag, 2004). In the face of ancient grammar books and 1970 conversational English texts, I chose to create my own textbook with stories relevant to not[…]