This section deals with my year of teaching in an English language school in Seoul, Korea in 1988-89. It includes some comparison with my experience at Xiamen University in China, 1984-86.
I’d expected to undergo a lot of reverse culture shock in 1986 when I returned to the US from China, but the transition was fairly easy. I freaked out over the US discussions of mandatory drug testing, which reminded me of the police raid for homosexuality at the nearby Buddhist monastery. I was appalled by the waste—the woman in line in front of me spending $80 on doll clothes, … Read More
I was finishing up my first year of teaching English as a Second Language and studying linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh when a job offer came from a company whose task it was to supply foreign experts in developing countries—mostly for building bridges or drainage ditches with the occasional gunfire overhead. The year before, when I was unemployed, I’d applied for an opening teaching German at a university in Nigeria. Now, in the summer of 1984, the company was offering me a gig teaching English at a university in China. I saw it as an opportunity to find out … Read More