Monday, October 24, 2016

Upcoming Academic Plan meeting

I volunteered (?) to go to a "Town Hall" meeting this coming Wednesday on the Academic Plan. We'll see how that goes. They're expecting "a robust discussion." I don't know if I'll say anything, but I'll try to take notes on the discussion. Not sure if I'll post them here or just make them available to my colleagues.

I think the last time I posted notes here on a university-related meeting was back in 2006! It wasn't exactly the same thing, but it was a meeting that led to the development of Tunghai's English Language Center.

More on this later...?

In the meantime, I just reread a note that I posted back in 2004 about Applied English departments in Taiwan. It looks as though back then I was also wondering about the relationship between humanities education and the marketplace. This was from the perspective, though, of someone who was more involved in the English major than I am here. Anyway, it was an interesting trip down memory lane...

[Update, 11/1/16: Here's a link to a news story about the town hall meeting. It didn't go as I had expected/hoped. There wasn't really a chance to ask about what some faculty (like me) had questions about: What would the curriculum look like in 10 years? What kinds of new responsibilities would faculty members have? Will we still be teaching classes or will our job descriptions be very different? The Academic Plan refers to "'Just-for you' learning with curated content and resources matched to individual learning goals. Learning modules and 'stackable' credentialing will add customization." What will that look like in practice? So far I haven't heard anything specific about this.]

Friday, October 14, 2016

Two new books in the former native speaker's library

Not sure why I'm still calling myself "the former native speaker." The way my Chinese ability is going, I should call myself "the former non-native speaker." No, that's not right. Maybe "the former Chinese speaker..."

Anyway, I've gotten something of an urge to read some fiction from Taiwan (in translation, of course--and I don't even have time to read that, much less read a novel in Chinese). I'm currently reading Rose, Rose, I Love You by Wang Chen-ho, which I bought a while back but never got around to reading. Then I decided to pick up a couple more books from that series, so I bought

Who knows when I'll actually get around to reading them. These are all from the Columbia UP series, "Modern Chinese Literature from Taiwan." Interestingly, it appears that this series was originally called "Modern Literature from Taiwan" (at least I think so). I've read Wu Zhuoliu's Orphan of Asia, which is also in that series, and I have to wonder about its place in the series "Modern Chinese Literature from Taiwan" when it was originally written in Japanese. Anyway, it looks like an interesting series, and I might use it to introduce me to some literature that I can then read in Chinese (probably when I retire...).

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New writing group begins its work

As my faithful reader(s?) might remember, I joined a writing group at my school last year that had its ups and downs. And (tentative) ups again. Well, I've joined a new writing group for this semester. As with the last year's group, we had a bit of a rocky start, partly because of differing ideas about what we'd do at the meetings. So we ended up meeting today with three people (including me). I am going to do my best to go to the meetings this semester, but I guess I'll have to see how my workload goes.

I've continued to think about what I was writing about last year regarding the kinds of writing I should be doing. As I mentioned before, as a non-tenure track person, I don't have to limit myself to writing things that will contribute to getting me tenure. So I'm trying to work on something that I can pitch to a more popular publication. My partners, who are more experienced than I am in writing for more general audiences, are helping me a lot with the process. (Including how to use words like "pitch" properly!) My first project for myself is to start writing a pitch for an article idea I have. We'll see how that goes. It's pretty exciting to be learning something new about writing!

[Update, 11/29/16: Well, that didn't go very far. I only made it to that first meeting, and then it seemed that life conspired to prevent me from attending any other meetings. So... not much success this time with the writing group. Maybe it's not meant to be for me.]

Saturday, October 01, 2016

A couple of posts related to Yang Kui

I don't have time to think about this right now, but here are two links I want to think about at some point: