We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. - T.S. Eliot


Monday, February 14, 2011

China, China, China...

I will admit it … I’m obsessed. I’m completely obsessed with China. I think, study, read, breath and sleep China. While those who know me well fully understand what I mean when I say obsessed, others may think it’s expected and even anticipated considering the circumstances. In any case, this is definitely not the time for my compulsions to take over. Yes we are moving to China in five months, but I am completely besieged in the US NOW. I am restructuring my dissertation, giving evening professional development sessions, trying to focus on my job, taking an extremely time-consuming course on current issues in education and another in advanced statistics. Let me expound a bit further on that last tid bit.
Me, in all my wisdom, decide that instead of making up the statistics course I missed, last summer while on my Fulbright, before taking the subsequent advanced statistics course, I would just skip it and make it up in June. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that taking Advanced Statistics before Statistics isn’t the greatest of ideas. However, it does take a genius to pass Advanced Statics without having Statistics. So, while I stay up until the wee hours of the morning soaking in everything China, “Statistics for Dummies” awaits me on Amazon. To expound a bit further…
Guess where my advanced stats professor is from! Yep, China! Yep, the Sichuan province in southwestern China! So either God is playing some kind of sick joke on me or I’m fully being tested. I mean really, it’s kind of like an insatiable force propelling my China delirium, a free pass to procrastinate statistics. It’s a sign! Actually, I think the reason people like me develop these unquenchable obsessions is because people like me reason their obsessions, giving themselves permission to indulge.
Not only are there 1.3 billion people in China, compared to a mere 300 million in the United States, but Chinese students are known for their brilliance in math. All things considered, I guess it’s not too much of a leap to have a Chinese advanced stats professor. Ironically enough, just Saturday my friend Jamey said to me, after my outburst, “It’s a sign!” “Oh, you’re one of those people.” Yes, I’m one of those people… completely, insanely obsessive compulsive.


  1. Best wishes on your adventure in China. I lived there from February 2001 - February 2005 and then again from September 2006 - September 2007. I unfortunately never made it to Sichuan or Chengdu. I taught in Hebei Province and Beijing. Somewhere along the way I met my wife Yuehong. We came to Portland (where I grew up) in 2005 where I was hired to become the first editor of The Portland Progressive. When my wife became pregnant we returned to China for a year. Our daughter Elena was born in Shenyang, in my wife's home province of Liaoning. The Internet censorship is annoying. You may have to figure out a proxy that will allow you to continue posting on Blogspot. I signed up with Blogspot about the time SARS hit and it was blocked shortly after that. Another option is to sign up with your own online account with a personal URL and use WordPress or Movable Type. If you have any questions about life or living in China you can write me.

  2. Brian- I would love to gain any insight or advice you could share. Do you have an e-mail address I could contact you at? Of course I have many questions, but I'm sure you have answers I haven't even developed questions for yet! I would love to talk with you!