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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global issues.
"I am from Kansas so I also use the pseudonym 'Kansas' and 'alone' when I write and publish.- I-keep two blogs--one with BLOGGER and one with WORDPRESS.- My writings range from reviews to editorials or to travel observations.- I also make recommendations related to policy--having both a-strong background in teaching foreign languages and degrees in teaching in history and the social sciences.--As a Midwesterner, I also write on religion and living out ones faith whether it be as a Christian, Muslim or Buddhist perspective."
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 Memory from Nazi Germany and Images of the Trial of Bradley Manning (3 comments)
Nazi-led Total War (1943-1945) under Goebbels and Hitler brought only further starvation and destruction to his homeland--even after Thoelking had been thrown in the brig and he had been threatened with charges of aiding and abetting the cause of the enemy. Why should not a soldier (Manning) speak the truth about war to his comrades and the powerful military brass in such an instance? Likewise, why should soldiers be prohi
Thursday, May 30, 2013 Collective Occlusion: American Narratives and Silencing of Important Cultural Memories (4 comments)
Each of us grows up in a home with a distinct history and a distinct perspective on the meaning of larger historical events. Our parents' stories shape our historical consciousness, as do the stories of the ethnic, racial, and religious groups that number us as members. We attend churches, dubs, and neighborhood associations that further mold our collective and individual historical selves.
Monday, April 22, 2013 How to Help your Employees, Administrators, and Students Understand What Unites Them - and What Makes Them Unique (22 comments)
Too many countries, especially those here in the Middle East, are focusing on high-stakes exams instead of making the classroom reflect more of what we experience in the real world. In this paper the author encourages colleagues, trainers, and teachers across two continents to strive to use simulations and simulation games in class and in training sessions. He focuses on on well-known simulation on culture: BARNGA.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 My Octogenarian Taxi Driver and finding Insights into Oman
In no other country have I learnt more from indigenous Taxi drivers than I have in Oman. (I have been to over 100 lands.) I suggest you probe your taxi driver to find out what is going on when you travel here. I have heard that even the Sultan sometimes drives a taxi to get the pulse of his nation, too. So, take advantage of this opportunity for insight when in Oman.
Monday, July 2, 2012 Attendance Reforms Still Needed in Schools & Universities of the Arab World (8 comments)
The issue of "dumbing down" the curricula has been a worry for educators , students, and families for generations.But the government can do better when it allocates resources, so that "dumbing down" is not demanded of a curriculum.This article makes a proposal concerning student allowances and bonuses to promote good learning behaviors and models, especially in Middle Eastern classrooms.Unemployability is already a big issue
Friday, June 1, 2012 Culture Shock Oman: Modesty in the LR (2 comments)
I want to share the following anecdote not-because the incident in-itself is all that profound--, but rather, it is how I responded and began to search for explanation behind the "culture shock" or how I sought to recover from it which provide a model for what I suggest you follow when living and working abroad, especially in the Arab world.
Monday, May 7, 2012 MISSING CLASSES--What to do when Motivating Lessons are not Enough: Notes from Developing Lands
Over 25 years ago, when I first studies international development, I was told to not allow a lot of cultural baggage to get in the way of development. We were told to not judge nor impose. However, I have come to one of those junctions where the society is developing adversely and a spade needs to be called a spade. Learning does not take place in a vacuum. I am talking about issues of absenteeism, truancy and time.
Saturday, April 28, 2012 Group Evaluations that Support and Clarify Professional Practices and Soft Skills for Students (1 comments)
In the Arab world, there have sometimes been discrepancies between the training offered at the tertiary levels and the present (& future) needs of the labor market, many students, teachers and integrate themselves as individuals in a successful group, office, or team. Evaluation practices that support students and society well in terms of both improving individual achievement in the academic- and professional worlds.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 How important is Classroom Attendance for University Students? (4 comments)
On the one hand, American university students are forced to have high attendance in the classroom. In contrast, universities in other lands are often not too concerned at all about attendance. Only recently in India and the Middle East have schools even begun to consider actual attendance in courses to be of concern. This is because they are test -driven societies. The test is more important than time in the class.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 Jeff Quinn's "Man On The Scene: Kaliu"--Insights into Taiwan and East Asia (1 comments)
In a way, this sort of confusion at what it means to live and travel in a globally integrated world are revealed both in Jeff's reflections in Kaliu and in the reality of the confusing geo-political hotspot--which we all still-know as the Two-China Policy reality that U.N. member states and their citizens have been confronting for 4 decades now
Sunday, February 12, 2012 "SUBCONTRACTING" and Teaching Word-Wide (5 comments)
Have you worked as a subcontractor? How have you been treated ? how secure have you felt? This article looks at the topic of subcontracting and education--world-wide.
Monday, January 23, 2012 (Part 2) Two Large Scale English Teacher Exchange Programs Compared in Japan and Taiwan (2 comments)
East Asian states are turning to foreign language education and foreign language teachers from abroad to empower their students. This second article, which focuses on the issue of grassroots and the need to empower local stakeholders early on, is part of a series of pieces comparing large-scale teacher exchange programs.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 Part 3: Teaching and Contrasting Cultures "Blowin' in the Wind" (1 comments)
In short, most of the class of Taiwanes students focused on the straining and stoic momentum expressed in the text, "Blowin' in the Wind". Well over the majority did not interpret it as a hopeful, marching, protest song.
In short, these students would concur with Bob Dylan himself, who had said, " "This here ain't no protest song or anything like that"."
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 End the 21st Century "Shoganaism" American-style--"Yes, We Can!"
America fought a WWII in order to set new standards and get rid of the dominate world paradigm. We created a Different World order with Nuremberg Trials, Geneva convention, Declaration of Human Rights. Over the past decades we have become like the Germans and Japanese of the 1930s-1940s who said "Shoganai" or "I couldn't do otherwise. I was just following orders or the status quo."
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 A Society without Orientation[s]
How does being a high-context culture make it hard for you to understand the need for having employee orientations and other orientation get-togethers? This is the third part in a series of articles contrasting how Westerners and East Asians handle relationship building. Special focus is made on Taiwanese and Chinese exceptionalism versus how the Japanese have adapted much better to embracing positive attributes of the West
Monday, June 20, 2011 It's About Face! (6 comments)
Many westerners have observed that Asians--as a whole--are very very concerned about "mianzi" [ - 子] or face. However, it is too rarely ever explained what sort of totality lies behind the concept of face. Liu notes, " Everything you do is about "face' here in Taiwan! How you give and save it for yourself and for others is extremely important, both professionally and socially."
Sunday, June 12, 2011 Is there a Rise of American Stoicism, American " Inshallah", and possibly American "Shoganai" (2 comments)
As an American, what do you expect of yourself, your destiny, your society? Are your choices limited, such as Middle Eastern and East Asian societies? How has America been changed by its decades of wars since WWII have we adapted limiting world views or will we fall back on the old German "Dolchstoss" stabbed in the back mentality when we bail out of the next two wars. What will be the new dominant typical American view?
Sunday, June 5, 2011 Calling for a National Holiday in Recognition of Whistle Blowers and Profiles in Courage! (8 comments)
Taiwan, China, and several governments around the world technically have a national holiday to promote the region's most honorable civil servant, Chu Yuan,who was also a poet and whistle-blower some 2300 years ago. His legend is part of tomorrow's DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL and legend--which is even celebrated in Washington, D.C. I would like to use this occasion to encourage America to recognize its real profiles in courage, too.
Sunday, June 5, 2011 Building Connections and Gaining International Perspectives in Taiwan and East Asia (1 comments)
Amy C. Liu does a great job in defining on pages 84 & 85 of your book.In TAWAIN A TO Z: The Essential Cultural Guide, she writes that guanxi (----係) is "[f]undamental to doing business with the locals." i believe this to be a more universal case of building connections and relationships. The Taiwanese and East Asian cultures are not really that different than others--just simply more closed to foreigners or wall-building.
Sunday, May 22, 2011 Continued Lack of Testing Partnerships in East Asia as decades roll on
Shouldn't language teachers in Taiwan, therefore, demand that tests--and contests--more appropriately support good learning habits, good teaching, and good language acquisition and langugage practices? Of course, teachers need to be involved in such advocacy all of the time.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011 Americans, it is High Time to Repeal the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (2 comments)
Why should these banks and ill-run financiers--and the firms they trade our debt with-around-the-clock ¡Xbe allowed to continue to harrass Americans with penalties while they were bailed out in the trillions of dollars by the USA government with our tax money over the past 4 years?It is insanely unfair not to grant reprieves to the Americans suffering under the thumbs of these goliaths.
Monday, April 25, 2011 Comparison of Two Large Foreign English Teacher and Internationalization Projects in East Asia
In the 1980s--in order to improve Japanese foreign relaions and image in the world, Japan set out to create the world's largest teachers exchange project, a project largely focused on goals of related to improving international communication. Now, Taiwan is on such a journey--having recently created a modest Foreign English Teacher project. The author has been involved in both projects.
Sunday, April 24, 2011 Sense of Safety here in Taiwan (4 comments)
I hope that back in the USA, there are still some parts of the country which provide similar senses of safety for indidividuals and crimes.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 Could a better focus on TONE improve our (U.S.A.) international relations with Asian states? (2 comments)
Westerners working in the East have to be attuned to the spoken tone used. In contrast, Eastern and Southeastern Asians need to be aware of vocal tone--and the fact that it is often ignored or used differently by many Western speakers. Moreover, they will have to put more weight on the meaning of the spoken word than on the tone or context in which it might be used.
Monday, April 4, 2011 April 4 as children's or our children's-future day? (3 comments)
For Jim Wallis, this is a time to fast for America. For Maya Angelou, it was her birthday. For MLK, it was a pair of bookends to a traumatic year. For Buchenwald, it meant liberation. For Taiwan, it means a celebration of children. What does April 4 mean to you and how do you celebrate it?
Friday, March 25, 2011 What's a Filipino? What's a Revolution? What's a Filipino Revolution? (1 comments)
Cruz explains that when the Spaniards first came to colonize the Philippines over 400 years ago, the children of the Spaniards who were born on the archipelago, newly named after a King of Spain, Felipe II, were called "Filipinos". In Mexico or Latin America the term would have been "criollos" for such children of direct Spanish descent. In contrast, "the Spanish called the natives of the island "indios'".
Thursday, March 24, 2011 Are You Gamed Enough? (1 comments)
Another way that movies are almost fully reflecting our world or reality comes from Gerald Butler's GAMER, FOX Corp., the USA military and the American military and prison complexes.
Monday, March 21, 2011 HBO GETS IT, DO YOU--AMERICA??? GOTTA BE A REVOLUTION (12 comments)
HBO seems to have gotten the spirit of the age. It decided to show the film, TAKING WOODSTOCK, this March while most of the country is fixated on the abuses on "American Working and Poor Peoples' that newly elected state legislatures in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio have been carrying out in the name of the Koch Brothers and the GOP this 2011.
Thursday, March 17, 2011 Mitigation of Tsunami's and Earthquakes--Has JAPAN DONE ENOUGH?
This means that if Asian countries continue to reclaim land from the sea in their ocean side construction projects, as Japan does, they need to do so while respecting the other ecologically sound demands of our more natural ecosystem. For example, contractors also need to develop or create (and maintain where possible) natural barriers, such as coral reefs and mangroves.
Monday, March 7, 2011 5 things that EVERY TAXPAYER IN AMERICA NEEDS TO COMPREHEND (1 comments)
Governor, today liberals are demonstrating all over the country in what CBS has called a liberal version of the Tea Party. Their main complaint is that a lot of corporations aren't paying their fair share. For example, Bank of America in 2009 paid nothing in corporate income taxes.
Monday, March 7, 2011 The Bourne Ultimatum and What the World is Wanting (Looking for) from America
President Obama continues to permit assasination units target both Non-American and Americans around the globe. The director of the Bourne Ultimatum got it right. The world is tiring of this sort of American super-patriot garbage. Viewers around the world expect such junk in action films but not as official USA foreign policy. I too, as an American, am against these rogue elements having sanction from America. Aren't U?
Thursday, March 3, 2011 More on Blue Butterflies and Teaching Kids
As I watched the first minutes of the film, I could hardly believe that the tale was even vaguely based upon a true story, but I was wrong. Apparently, the film is, indeed, based on the life of a the Quebec-born, David Marenger, who at the age of six was diagnosed with cancer and given only a few months to live.
Thursday, March 3, 2011 2-28 Day in Taiwan (Formosa)
During the prior decade, the date 2-28 began to be commemorated in Taiwan, but sadly most Taiwanese residents do not openly take this date to reflect on what there fore-fathers faced in terms of the erasing of Formosan memories from the 1950s onwards.
Meanwhile, thousands of statues and busts of the so-called founding father of the KMT--Chiang Kai Shek--remain throughout the country.
Saturday, February 26, 2011 STOP THE APPEASEMENT OF THE LIBYAN HITLER, EUROPE
Europe has watched a bloodbath going on across the Mediterranean for far too long. In fact, over the past decade, European nations and the European Union had even cozied up to the Ghadaffi Regime. Enough is enough Europe. Start helping the victims of Ghadaffi's dictatorship before a lot mor people get killed.