Tag Archives: teaching

Some Things Will Change… Some Won’t…

As an academic, some things will change my end. Like I won’t be able to take a train when I want to from now. (Teaching commitments!) And I can’t spam you guys any more about my Subway adventures on Twitter.

But many things won’t. I’m no acadsnob. I’ll be a very different kind of academic. Like… (Read on for more…)

• I’ll still be tweeting and be posting on Facebook.
• I’ll still just ask you to call me David. (I’m thinking if I should throw letters address to an eventual “Prof Dr Feng” in the bin. Na-ah. But I don’t put on airs for the heck of it.)
• I’ll still have this thing for trains. It’s permanent. One big fat Beijing traffic jam did it for me.
• I’ll still be travelling — if not to libraries and universities, then overseas. There’s a whole African continent I’ve yet to set foot on, if you want an example of why.
• I’ll still be blogging and doing tech.
• I’ll still be doing media shows.
• I’ll still be doing Chinglish.
• I’ll still be writing books.
• I’ll still be emailing friends and getting back when I can to emails from total strangers.
• I’ll still be speaking at schools and at events.
• I’ll still be attending tweet ups.
• I’ll still kiss my wife good night every day.

I’m sure I haven’t exhausted this list…

That’s as I gratefully accept a job offer from the Communication University of China as foreign education expert (teacher) in English, Western culture, and media, beginning September 2012. I’m expected to be a Lecturer (Assistant Professor in the US).

A Firm Vow to Educate and to Inspire

Just about two hours ago at the spa, two men entered the changing room — one smoking — and unleashed some pretty tough and foul language upon clients that they didn’t like dealing with. My first thought that flashed through me: these guys are biz people.

Biz people aren’t evil, I swear. My Dad majored in economics, and he had some super cool academics guide him through his “econ work”, as was referred to by my teachers in high school. As long as you realise that money isn’t everything, then it’s no sin to do biz.

But what’s most fearful about these people is that some care only about the cash. Worse, there are horror stories that a “successful man” today must be one with not “just” one million in the bank, but also more than one wife. This has been a huge problem in especially East Asia, and more so in the Sinosphere. Worse still, talent these days are either flowing overseas (throw money at, say, Canada, and you’ll get naturalised!) or going into huge “biz things” where the only thing that’s of concern is the bottom line. There’s also a bit of money to be made — albeit illegally — in government: corruption is nothing new here in China, but lately, it has just gotten far worse. Former rail minister Liu Zhijun’s corruption is but the tip of the iceberg. Ultimately, it’s about the money, be the involvement more .com or more .gov.

Very few people actually care to educate and inspire the kids of the future. China’s population peak has yet to be reached: there’ll be more kids out on the streets. They’ll sadly come out with perverted and twisted views — such as “Money, Money Über Alles” — or that infidelity is OK. Unless education makes a major abrupt-turn and kids are told what is correctly correct, this country with five millennia of civilisation is headed at high speeds on tracks leading it to an ultimately painful collision with a moral and civics iceberg — and then it might really hurt.

As of late, for those of you who’ve been keeping tabs on social media, something pretty unpleasant has happened my end, but that’s not enough to get me out of “edu mode”. My firm vow to educate and to inspire the kids of the future will continue no matter what happens. It’s not just China that needs a fixer-upper of sorts to get people away from Money, Money, Money. Look at the London Olympics. It’s a disaster right now just days before it’s underway. It’s about the Games being totally commercialised (Barcelona 1992 was the last “good” Olympics). Look at the US, now in Deep Doo-Doo Mode because of that 1980s quip — “Greed is Good”. Even Switzerland’s in it now. The country’s no longer the one that I could spend a lifetime in since the unsightly 2009 institution of the anti-humanity “minaret ban”. It’s not about putting on ice a mere religious symbol. It’s the latent danger that this restriction on your conscience (religion’s a big thing!) could spread to your other liberties. Imagine if you got arrested in Bern (out of all places!) just because you tweeted stuff like BLOODY GOVERNMENT NEVER CONSULTS WITH THE CITIZENRY BEFORE MAKING DUMB DECISIONS. It’s a slippery slope that could very well happen!

The only way to save all of this from happening is to inform and educate the masses. I don’t know what my next edu gig will be, but I’m confident that it’s going to be in the edu world. I’m sold that I can do my bit to save us from this sad state of affairs. There’s no more time for inaction. It’s time to be in action.