News from Paul:

October 1, 2012

Classes of this semester are off to a great start. During first period I’m teaching Americana, a class that looks at many types of American stories from fairytales to biographies, from theater to cinema. The class is designed for international students who have fairly good language ability and need to work more on their reading and writing skills. This week we’re telling, reading, and writing stories about the summer. Next week we’ll be moving on to look at ‘rags to riches’ stories like that of Cinderella.
My other morning class is Cultural Arts of China and Tibet. Four years ago I taught Cultural Arts of East Asia, but this year I wanted to break it up and spend the fall semester studying China and Tibet, the spring semester Korea and Japan. We’re beginning the class with a look at some of the geography of China, everything from the booming cities of Beijing and Shanghai to the rice paddies along the Yangtze and the mountains and deserts of the west. Next we’ll turn to the beginnings of language in China, starting with the oracle bone fragments and early divination practices. From there we’ll move on to Confucius, Taoism, Buddhism, and more.
The rest of my mornings have been spent working with the seniors on their projects. Overall, I am very pleased with the ambition, diversity, and preparedness of the projects. Although we won’t know until they actually happen, students are planning trips as far afield as Russia, South Africa, France, and Italy, and they are planning on doing everything from cosmetology to economics. Wish them luck as they prepare to transition from Harmony School to the next steps in their lives.

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