Saturday, March 11, 2017

End of spring break review

My spring break is almost over--classes will start again on Monday. Ironically, perhaps, there's a possibility that we'll have a snow day on Wednesday due to a Nor'easter that's supposed to hit Tuesday. (I know, I know, Garrison Keillor would say, "Snow is soft!" Well, not when it's being blown into your face by heavy winds.)

I got a few things done over the vacation, though. I finished grading some assignments that I had put on hold because of a couple of lectures that I had to prepare for in late February. One was an invited talk for my friend and former Tunghai colleague John Shufelt, who's teaching a course on American writings about Taiwan at Brown; the other was a talk at a 70th anniversary commemoration of 228 run by the Taiwanese American Association of New York. (Here's an article about the meeting, written by Grace Jackson.) It was a challenge, but a good experience, to take what I had written about Kerr and Sneider and recast it for different kinds of audiences--in the first case, undergraduates, and in the second, survivors of the White Terror and their descendants.

In addition to getting the grading done, I finished my reflective self-criticismevaluation that is required of us every year. Here's an image I used in the document, based on a comment from a student evaluation.



(As you can see, these self-evaluations are not expected to be excessively formal documents. At least I hope they're not!)

I also started reading 一個家族。三個時代:吳拜和子女們, which is looking to be a very interesting book. I hope to write something about it here once I get it done. (Which might take some time--it's over 400 pages. The language isn't too difficult, though, at least so far.) Lately on Facebook I've been seeing a lot of books mentioned that I'd like to read, including a proposed 9-volume set of the writings of 張炎憲, whose oral history about Taiwanese graduate students in the US was very useful for me in my research (see the post below)--if it weren't for that book, I might not have ever known about the debate (I prefer to call it the "battle of the pens") at KSU back in the 1960s between the pro-independence Taiwanese students and their pro-KMT counterparts and the role Formosa Betrayed played in that debate.

Well, now that the break is ending, I have to get back into teaching mode, so much of this will have to go on the back burner until May.