Showing posts from September, 2016


About a week ago, I read a blog post by a friend of a friend from Geneva.  She began it with a poem by Warsan Shire, and it’s been stuck in my mind since. “later that night i held an atlas in my lap ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered where does it hurt? it answered  everywhere everywhere everywhere.” I thought about these words — everywhere, everywhere, everywhere — as I finished reading Visions of Vocation by Steve Garber, and thought with him about what it looks like to answer the question, “Can you know the world and love the world?”  As I taught last week’s class to about 200 university sophomores and gave them a question to ponder — how do you want to be remembered? — and space and time to begin crafting an answer, as I brought them two pieces of wisdom from Jon Foreman — first a question, “How can we be ourselves/when we don’t know who we are?” and then an answer, “This is the meaning of life/you were born for the dance, n

Beautiful Things

School is in full swing. Which is to say, we've already had one break (Mid-Autumn Festival, aka "the mooncake one") and have another one coming up (National Holiday aka October Holiday aka "you are crazy if you travel during this week.")  Things are (sort of) settling into routines, I'm starting to recognize my students when I see them on campus rather than going wholly based on which ones wave and giggle when they see me, and I'm starting to know some of their names.  So that's cool. We had an excellent training/retreat time with the larger city team during the holiday, spending some time learning together and also relaxing.  It's a beautiful thing to be part of a team that has a shared vision and heart for the specific area of the country where we're living -- an area that was devastated by the Sichuan earthquake in 2008.  That tragedy and the overwhelming number of deaths, particularly of schoolchildren, has shaped the stories of this

Greetings from ChuanWai!

I've been here for a little over two weeks; in some ways it feels much longer.  It's been really lovely to finally get to settle into a place and not be worried about packing up to head somewhere else any time soon.  We just finished teaching our first week of classes; I have 7 sections of the same class (sophomore oral English) and don't teach at all on Monday, which is a really nice schedule!  I only have about 200 students this time, so hopefully I'll learn their names very quickly..... Anyway. There are a lot of pros and cons to the new school, often because of the exact same factors.  For example, we're pretty remote.  In good news, this means clean air, which is a happy thing every single day.  In bad news, this means that going shopping or getting together with people requires planning and a lot of conscious effort.  I really do like the school, and I'm hoping that this will be a great year of building relationships and that we'll have a few more