“What does freedom mean to you?” / One Month in Taiwan

“What does freedom mean to you?” This question, asked by a renowned journalist from Hong Kong, came during the keynote presentation of the country-wide orientation for my new teaching position.  As a newcomer to the island, I feel a lot of individual freedom in Taiwan. It’s obvious why one-year grantees end up staying here for… Continue reading “What does freedom mean to you?” / One Month in Taiwan

Why I Left West Africa: A Prologue

Mont-Korhogo, Côte d’Ivoire

I’m not happy here in West Africa.  In 2016, I spent a summer as an independent researcher in Guinea. It was my first time traveling alone to another continent, and it turned out to be everything I didn’t expect. It was jarring. It was psychologically and physically challenging. At least for me, it was (if… Continue reading Why I Left West Africa: A Prologue

Doing the Distance DELTA: My Yearlong Journey to Power-Up my Teaching Practice

I haven’t had much time to write here recently, and part of that is due to the Distance DELTA. Just this past month, I’ve gone to the moon and back with teacher development. I video-recorded three of my lessons for feedback from a teacher trainer; submitted detailed lesson plans including aims, objectives, and assessments; wrote… Continue reading Doing the Distance DELTA: My Yearlong Journey to Power-Up my Teaching Practice

Linguacultural Lessons from the Jula of Odienné: Exploring Côte d’Ivoire’s Northwest

Lesson #1: I jatigi ye jɔn ye? Who is your host? There were two major reasons I traveled to the north, and neither of them involved getting stranded in a dirt field.  As I looked down at my map, I realized I had miscalculated. Odienné’s tiny airport was about an hour’s walk to the city… Continue reading Linguacultural Lessons from the Jula of Odienné: Exploring Côte d’Ivoire’s Northwest

That One Time I Got Arrested in West Africa (and my first experiences of culture shock)

I. Silence Speaks Louder than Words It is 2AM and I am sitting barefoot in a white plastic chair. Behind me, two men, armed with shotguns, tower in silence. An old man sits across from me. He stares at my face, then at the items on the table, and then he stares back at me… Continue reading That One Time I Got Arrested in West Africa (and my first experiences of culture shock)