Showing posts from 2011

Waiting on an airplane!

I'm in the New Orleans Airport, waiting with Donna and Pearl to return to Oklahoma. Our original return flight was canceled (thanks American), and we missed the early morning flight. Now we're booked for the 7 pm flight, with standby for earlier connections. It doesn't look promising that we'll be on them. Remind me NOT to fly American in the future!

We spent the past 4 days here. I attended the National Communication Association's annual Convention. I spent time with them sightseeing when not attending convention events. We've had an enjoyable time in the Big Easy. Among the many experiences I found enjoyable, was to see how many trumpet players there are on the streets of NO! As someone who played for many years, this has inspired me to get my chops back in shape. I could come here and earn my keep. In the day I was better than any of the trumpet players I heard. But it's cool to see that in the home of Louis Armstrong, the trumpet is king!

On a more seriou…

To Macau!

It's official. This morning I received the official offer. It was approved by human resources and I received news of the terms that I was negotiating. My reply, with some hesitation, was to accept the offer. Many people have congratulated me, and knowing my interests and strengths, see it as a good move. One person, whom I respect greatly, said that if I turned it down, he believes that in the future I would look back and regret not taking this step. He said that it is more important than any money I could get, and going to Macau will bring me satisfaction and a challenge that is valuable. So while he for personal reasons he does not want me to go, he believes this is the right step. (He didn't say these things to me until after I'd made my decision.)
I've made this decision the very week I've started a new semester. It's a very busy time of new beginnings with teaching and other things. But while I am starting some things, at the same time I have to look ahead …

Wondering what to do

While I was in China this past June I went to the University of Macau. It was my third visit as I went there twice in 2008 while living in Taiwan. This time the purpose of my visit was a job interview.

I greatly enjoyed my time there. The facilities at the university were great, the faculty interesting and friendly, and Macau as a place is exciting and invigorating. I received an offer to join their faculty this Monday, and a counter offer from my current position at the University of Oklahoma was made today. I plan to make a final decision on Monday.

We had a family talk and my wife and children all want me to take the offer. While Donna is the only other person to have visited Macau, they have been to Taiwan many times, and both Pearl and Sarah have been to mainland China. To them, China, Taiwan, and Asia in general is a much more interesting place to be. I agree. I fear that it would be difficult on the family. My mother and father do not want me to go. But with the ability to call…

Decline of the US?

On the day after S & P downgrades the US credit rating, in the week after the great "compromise" on US debt, it is hard to have much hope for the United States and its future. Sure, the US has gone through greater difficulties in its past, Civil War, the Great Depression, WWII, but it feels different this time around. The eight years of the Bush Jr. administration were ones of squandered opportunities. Instead of investing in infrastructure, paying down debts, and laying the foundation for the future, very little was done. The country lived off the prosperity and hard work of previous generations. Then everything blew up in 2007 and 2008, due to the greed of the overgrown Financial Industry. (I highly recommend reading The Big Short by Michael Lewis.) The corrections made by the Obama administration, while noble in intent, have not gone far enough. Then the election of 2010, in which a minority of Americans participated, when those opposed to Obama were motivated and his…

A Fair Deal

Like many observers of the chaos in Washington DC, I am disheartened, disillusioned, disappointed, and discouraged. Why would people run for elected office if they do not want to build up the country? Instead we are seeing people acting according the maxims spelled out by Jared Diamond in his book, Collapse, who explains why societies choose to fail or survive: individuals act in their own interest, which most often leads to destruction and decline. For instance, if you use trees for fuel, it is in your best interest to cut down the forests and use them, even if it results in the destruction of the forest, because if you don't do it, someone else will. The only way to counter destructive practices for the society as a whole is to have enlightened leadership that can see the big picture and understand how and why it is important to save the forests.

It seems that the American political system, namely the Republican Party, has been overtaken by destructive individualists who want to …

Study Abroad

We're recruiting participants for a study of how students on a study abroad program use social media and technology such as Skype, Facebook, QQ, etc. If you are a student on a study abroad program, preparing for such a program, or have completed one within the last five years, please contact me:

Snowed In

Today we are experiencing another snow storm, the second in two weeks. Fortunately the amount of snow is not as great as the last storm, and hopefully, the roads will be clear by tomorrow. These days off are making havoc with the schedule.

I've been working on a paper about the Taiwan data collected 2007-08 and have been struck by similarities between so-called minor marriages (sim-pua) of the past and today's "waiji xinniang" or brokered marriages. There are economic and cultural reasons supporting each.