Monday, March 28, 2005

Finding new audiences for the former native speaker

I've been thinking about how I might expand my audience base beyond personal friends, family, and people googling for donuts. (Not that I'm at all unhappy with you folks!) But, I wondered, what could I do to ensure a connection with the savvy erudite group that I hope to reach? Then it hit me. The problem with this blog is that it just hasn't been discussed enough at scholarly conferences. In an attempt to help out would-be "former native speaker" scholars, I provide the following titles (courtesy of the amazing ... PoMo English Title Generator):
  • Appropriation and Nationalism in Notes of a Former Native Speaker: Jonathan Benda Desiring Political Power
  • The Borders of Subjectivity and the Seductive in Jonathan Benda's Notes of a Former Native Speaker
  • The Labor of Womanhood and the Transformational in Jonathan Benda's Notes of a Former Native Speaker
  • Fragments as Subject: Hybridizing Historicist Dis-ease in Jonathan
    Benda's Notes of a Former Native Speaker
  • The Murder of Intercourse and the Erotic in Jonathan Benda's Notes of a Former Native Speaker
  • Advocating Ethnocentrism: Primal Autobiography in Jonathan Benda's Notes of a Former Native Speaker
  • Male Transgression and the Transgression of Animal Mythos in Jonathan Benda's Notes of a Former Native Speaker
  • The Self of Labor and the Peripheral in Jonathan Benda's Notes of a Former Native Speaker
  • Transforming the Patriarchal Politics in Jonathan Benda: Notes of a Former Native Speaker and Alterity
  • Performing the Orgasmic Influence in Jonathan Benda: Notes of a Former Native Speaker and Labor
  • The Resistant Assimilating The Marginalized: Jonathan Benda, Notes of a Former Native Speaker and Tyranny
  • The Supplement of Autobiography and the Convicted in Jonathan Benda's Notes of a Former Native Speaker
  • Community and Danger in Notes of a Former Native Speaker: Jonathan Benda Dismembering Neocolonialist Vision

Remember, this is a win-win situation--I'll get publicity, and you can get a line on your CV!

This has got to be a joke

I got this e-mail message today:
D‮ae‬r Ba‮syalcr‬ Me‮ebm‬r,

T‮sih‬ e‮am‬il was se‮tn‬ by the B‮yalcra‬s s‮re‬ver to v‮re‬ify y‮ruo‬ em‮lia‬ ad‮sserd‬. You m‮su‬t c‮pmo‬lete t‮sih‬ pr‮sseco‬ by cl‮ikci‬ng on the l‮kni‬ bel‮wo‬ and ent‮gnire‬ in the s‮llam‬ w‮dni‬ow yo‮ru‬ Barcla‮sy‬ Member‮hs‬ip numb‮re‬, p‮edocssa‬ and m‮rome‬able w‮ro‬d.

Th‮si‬ is d‮eno‬ for y‮ruo‬ protec‮it‬on - b‮suace‬e s‮emo‬ of our memb‮re‬s no lon‮eg‬r h‮eva‬ acc‮sse‬ to the‮ri‬ e‮am‬il a‮serdd‬ses and we m‮tsu‬ ver‮yfi‬ it. To v‮ire‬fy y‮uo‬r e‮liam‬ a‮erdd‬ss and acc‮sse‬ y‮uo‬r b‮na‬k a‮occ‬unt , b‮na‬k a‮occ‬unt , clikc on the lnik bolew: ...
I've gotten some bad spam before, but this is ridiculous...

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Donut update

Stopped by Waili Donuts again the other evening and was pleasantly surprised to find a jelly donut filled with blueberry ... uh... jelly! This made me a little more hopeful about the future of my relationship with this institution.

On the other hand, Poagao reports that he found red bean paste-filled donuts at the Mr. Donut in Taipei. I guess this is one of those "glocalization" examples I can mention in my ICC class next semester.

By the way, I was interested (but a little disappointed) to see that one of the most frequently used search terms that led people to this blog was "donuts" (including "Mr. Donut" and "taiwan donuts"). I'd like to think I have more to offer than commentary on donuts, but I guess it's a surfer's market. And "donuts" is a better fitting search term than another one I noticed: "Who cares. Taiwan is a mess anyway."

Sunday, March 20, 2005

A year older, none the wiser

Well... "the former native speaker" is a year old(er) today. A lot has happened in the past year (most of which, unfortunately, I can't talk about in this forum). One thing that hasn't changed, though, is that Lien Chan and the KMT aren't giving up on their search for "the truth" about President Chen and V-P Lu's shooting (even the pro-pan-blue China Post puts quotes around "the truth"!). But at least PFP Chairman James Soong had the sense to stay home from yesterday's protest march.

[Update: this is what I get for trying to be clever--my own brother (who knows my bd is in January) e-mailed me to ask if I'd changed my birthday and thinks I'm talking about "my" birthday and not the blog's birthday... (I'll resist getting into any mumbo-jumbo about mediated selfhood... for now... and just say "thanks" on behalf of the blog to those who wished us/it/me a happy birthday!) And now I've added quotation marks to "the former native speaker" which will probably make it clearer (or perhaps even more confusing...).]

Thursday, March 10, 2005

"...false friendships, deals, grudges, acts of political sabotage, indecorous alliances, favoritism"

"V. S. Ravens" writes about "The Limits of Tenure" at her large public university in the U.S. What strikes me is that her description depiction of dirty campus politics in the U.S. is remarkably similar to the way some folks describe depict university life in Taiwan. Which is to say, to quote Erma Bombeck, "the grass is always greener over the septic tank". (Gotta remind myself of this sometimes...)

(I should also note that I'm not particularly sympathetic regarding her attempt at what she admits was a "political deal" to remove "the department's ineffectual staff member". It comes off sounding both underhanded and politically naive at the same time.)

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Hmmm... don't think they asked anyone around here...

According to a BBC World Service poll, most people see the PRC's influence in the world as positive rather than negative.

The small print that accompanies the graph, though, notes that the margin of error for this poll is + or - 2.5%-45%...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Hu Shih and public speaking

I was looking through Two Self-Portraits: Liang Ch'i-Ch'ao and Hu Shih and came across Hu Shih's description of how he learned how to be a public speaker in English. He was a student at Cornell when he first took a course in public speaking in 1912. As he describes the experience,
My professor, Professor Everett, was a very good teacher. Summer school began in July, and the first time that I was called upon to make a speech, I actually trembled. I had made some speeches before, but this was the first time that I had had to get up and speak in a class of public speaking. Though it was a hot July day, I felt so cold that my feet trembled, and I had to hold on to the small table while I tried to think of what I had prepared to speak. Professor Everett noticed that I held on to the table, so the next time he took away the table and I was forced to think of my subject unaided. In thinking of the subject I forgot my cold feet, so I did not tremble, and that was the beginning of my career as a trained public speaker. (216)
I want to mention this to the students in my FENM class on Friday--I think the Chinese majors in particular will appreciate it...

[3/6/05 Update: At first I thought the "Professor Everett" Hu Shih mentioned was Everett Lee Hunt, one of the early members of the "Cornell School of Rhetoric," according to Thomas W. Benson. But Benson says it wasn't until 1913 that Hunt graduated from Huron College in Huron, South Dakota, "whereupon he was immediately hired [by Cornell] as an instructor in Oratory and Debate" (5). Perhaps, however, Hu Shih was mistaken about the year he took the public speaking course.

Work Cited: Benson, Thomas W. "The Cornell School of Rhetoric: Idiom and Institution." Communication Quarterly 51.1 (2003): 1-56.]


Here it is only March 2 and it's already rained for about 300 days this month...

Today we did an impromptu speaking activity in FENM (Freshman English for Nonmajors) class. (I always feel like an enormous fraud conducting this kind of activity because I'm about the worst impromptu speaker on the planet... er... well, come to think of it, there's always GWB to make me look good.) In her speech, a student expressed her preference for Taichung because it's not as rainy and windy in the winter as Taipei. It's hard for me to believe that right now, given the rain and wind that have been pounding our apartment this evening, but I suppose it's possible that it's even worse in Taipei right now.

And I just bought a Lonely Planet guide to Belgium that suggests I take an umbrella with me because April is a rainy month...