Showing posts from March, 2013


I note that there's this strange tendency for many posts on this blog to be about rain.  That shouldn't deceive anyone into thinking it rains constantly -- although that will be the case when the monsoons hit come summer.  And I've been told they hit hard around here.

This post is a brief one, and takes the form of a sort of prose poem.  Wasn't trying to be all literary or anything, it just... I don't know, seemed like the only way to capture the feeling.


Writing with the students

Hello again.

I've spent most of this week trying to acquaint my students with an effective writing process.  I've tried to follow the prescribed curriculum, but I keep running into the inevitable fact that it seems to be written for students who speak English as a first language and who have been writing in English all their lives. Well - they have been writing in English, but they've been writing in English like I wrote in French in high school.  It's one thing to learn how to write a sentence, another entirely to learn how to write with a readable and consistent voice.

One example - for our first assigned essay, the advice was to begin by having students paraphrase the essay.  Fair enough.  Then we were advised to move on to other activities during the first class. (I should explain -- there's a national curriculum in Bhutan that all teachers are expected to follow, and along with it there's a "teacher's guide" that gives fairly precise suggesti…

Archived post

Well hello again!

It seems like a lifetime has passed since I left Thimphu and the relative ease of internet access at the Dragon Roots Hotel.  It seems like several lifetimes have passed since I left the worlds of London and the US that, honestly, seem so distant that they feel like dream worlds, impossible lands of simplicity and plenty, where I didn't need to go knock on my neighbour's door every morning for help getting dressed, or keep the pot constantly on the boil for water either to purify or with which to bathe.  But all of these challenges have been a pleasure, a good form of weight lifting for the soul.

The internet saga was not.  Not a pleasure, not gratifying, not beneficial.  But last night, at about 6:30, as I sat there huddled in my chair, insulating myself against another day's false hope, the roadblock on the information superhighway was finally suspended and, hallelujah, I was back in touch with the world.

I think often here about small pleasures, how mu…