(no subject)

Lend me your minds a moment - I'm trying to come up with a title for a freshman seminar course I'll be teaching next semester via our Political Science department. Should be broad enough to cover all the random soundbites I'll be covering in the class (call it a pointillist portrait of China), but register soundly under the umbrella of political science.

Actual Topic: Everything I think America's little white kids should know about China that they wouldn't be exposed to otherwise.
Actual Content: Whatever the hell I want, once a week.

Course Titles In The Running:
The Political Environment of Modern China
Culture and Politics in Contemporary China

Titles That Actually Draw Enrollees:

Crowd-Raising Titles I Haven't Yet Thought Of:

So. I'm sort of serious here, although the crazier your suggestions, the higher my likelihood of running into something that hasn't yet crossed my mind.




(no subject)

It's been a while, hasn't it?

All is well, if a bit quiet. A bit of baking, some ceramics, enough exercise to break a sweat as often as I can fit it in. It's been a good semester, too--discovered another gem of a teacher.

How 'bout some news? You like that?
First and foremost, two days ago I got pegged squarely in the eye by a badminton bird.
Three weeks ago, I got weaseled into my first-ever legitimate job and now have my own office with a giant glass wall overlooking downtown Phoenix. There are, on average, four planes visible from my window at any one time.
No, I haven't finished those papers yet. Yes, I understand that they're constructing a new ring a couple slots down from Purgatory for me.

I'm growing a tree from scratch (seed), and it's hibernating in my refrigerator. On March sixth I'll take it out and put it in a warm spot. Theoretically the seed will be fooled into thinking it's time to sprout, and it'll come up for mama in another three weeks' time.

Really, there isn't much else to say, except that I am content to live out my current changes without recording them online. Life is sometimes brighter without a camera.

In the meantime, I've been enjoying the company of my wise and huggable sister; after a year of tormented introversion, peace comes strangely from collapsing unreservedly into ridiculous bouts of tear-streaming laughter with someone you'd pick your nose in front of.


(no subject)

It's been a while. I finished my second semester in Nanjing a few weeks ago and will be returning to the States on the first of August after traveling around Asia for a bit. In the meantime, should you wish to find me, you could look here:

field site #1

where I am assisting in field research until mid-July. The research may or may not have to do with this small, elusive, but pervasive creature (which seems to have made its way into the foreground of the above photo):


My long absence (both in person and on this site) has not been without gain, and I'd say more, but I must now make like that pika and flee to my hidey hole in the Tibetan section of town. The elevation's made me a temporary insomniac and if loose ends were coin I'd be a rich lass indeed.

If you were one who had occasion to wonder -- I do miss you. :) Truly.

(no subject)

It's high time that I fulfill the promise I made in January, but before your eyes glaze over from the flood of ocular input soon to come, I just wanted to say-

This is my favorite. :)

Kimberly's 18th birthday at my grandparents' house in Taipei. Darling. I miss my folks so much. :(


(no subject)

Indicative of life as it is in my grandparents' house in Taipei:

Me: Alright, I'm leaving now..

Sister: Wait! What? But you're our only fillable stomach!

Grandma: [in Chinese] EAT! Eat before you go!


I must now leave the geckos in this room to chirp on their own, but I promise a lengthier update, and soon.

(no subject)

Leaving for Beijing at eight tomorrow morning!

I won't be back in the States until July or August of next year; I'll be spending the winter in Taiwan and possibly Japan, then flying to Shanghai for the spring semester. If you'd care for a letter, write me first and I'll send a reply. ;) I doled out so many postcards this summer that I'm famished for some two-way conversation.

LeeAnne Shaffer
CIEE Students
Shaoyuan #2-107
Peking University
Beijing 100871
People's Republic of China

Note: Anything confidential should be written in code. Or really, REALLY tiny.

I'm still waiting to recover some Ireland/Scotland pictures (unwisely) uploaded onto a friend's laptop in Europe and not otherwise saved; without them my collection remains naggingly incomplete. Hopefully I'll retrieve them before I jet off, but in the meantime, here are some pictures from the two weeks I spent visiting family in El Salvador last month.


Remember PowerRangers and Transformers? You know how the villains used to be gigantic
gruesome-looking clumsy monsters or machines with tiny heads? Well, take a look at this spider from underneath:
(Unless you're Esther, in which case please cover the screen and skip to the next picture.)

Collapse )

(no subject)

It's 2am and I really should be either sleeping or packing for El Salvador, but Dora's Europe post has inspired me and if I don't do this soon, I'll be backlogged with pictures from three continents. So while I torture my tired eyes a few minutes more, here are some pictures to give you a taste of where I went and what I saw while romping about in the UK.

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

(no subject)

By the way, if any of you are familiar with traveling in Europe, I could definitely use some advice about railpasses, buses, and the like.
How does one best (and least expensively) get from place to place?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com