Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Ann Arbor


AF had just moved.
I was looking at the Wikipedia entry and also the official website.
The ambience seems excellent. I am missing libraries and frost and gloves and coats and restaurants where the food is safe and it isn't just McDonalds or Pizza Hut or Dunkin' Donuts. I miss not having to go out with a scowl on my face all the time so I won’t be bothered by children – and grown-ups – treating me like a circus animal. I miss not having to put in ear plugs every time I go to the supermarket or mall. I miss not having to wake up at 4:30 every morning to turn on the 1812 Overture to drown out Wailing Willie. I miss concerts. I miss being invisible.
But I also enjoy fighting the idiocy here with letters to The Jakarta Post. I enjoy the time I have to think and to feel angry and write about it. I am also enjoying teaching the young Chinese students. It is good to see small signs of rebellion and to see glimpses of light in their minds.
I am getting so fed up with people asking me to ‘correct’ the grammar of their theses and papers that I am exploring the idea of starting a course to teach people how to do literature searches, write papers and reports and how to make presentations that are not boring. I am thinking of making the course of such a standard that we can approach western universities to give exemption from their own ‘academic methods’ modules.
Please find out if the University of Michigan has a food safety department and whether there are any useful contacts there. Ann Arbor does seem so attractive. That is the strange ambivalence about the US. There are pockets of intelligence amid all the red-necked razzmatazz. What about the cost of living and the ‘corporate bureaucrazy’? Is it as bad as the UK? Can I manage to enter the country without getting in a flaming row with immigration and ending up under arrest? You know what a grumpy old sod I am.