I'm older than James Bond, but nobody seems to believe it until they get to know me and hear all my stories. I "wasted" a great many years wandering the Earth accumulating experiences instead of money, so I'm largely unaffected by the recent loss of "wealth" that is worrying everyone else. My wealth is in my head, so I'm OK until I succumb to Alzheimer's or fall off my motorbike and land on my head.
I have spent the last seven years 'by the board" in Taiwan, starting as a high-school EFL teacher and progressing to freelance silver bullet. I tend to get hired these days as the solution, not to provide a solution, and interviews are along the lines as "we have these students who ....," or "we need ........," followed by "so can you take care of it?"
Most of my work revolves around attitude adjustment, ie leadership. Most of my students are adults, many are mid/high-level professionals and they are seeking ways to develop their careers. Aside from the mundane stuff like presentation and report-writing skills, I spend most of my time coaching people on team-building, process, developing marketing strategies, process, advising on cross-cultural issues, process, long-term career planning, process and process!
There are huge fundamental differences in the basic assumptions on which western and Asian people build their strategies. Very often, western-style university education tries to overlay alien practises on people who don't really understand the spirit of what is being taught, resulting in compliance without commitment. My job is to obtain commitment, which starts with me developing a deeper understanding of my customers' world picture.
In my spare time I sail, cook, and am making a really poor job of learning Taiji. My poor co-ordination is adding weight to the theory that I may have Asperger's, but at least Sun Tzu is starting to sound like he might be understandable one day. Another 20 years, maybe.
Better ways of doing things. Everything. I want to live in a clean, low-threat environment, which means changing the way the world does just about everything. Start with language, our primary tool.
the idea you don't have to wait for someone else to solve your problems
1. The relationship between The Art of War, Leonardo daVinci, and improvised comedy.
2. Fixing Taiwan
4. Pretty much anything else, especially sailing.
thinking of answers to strange questions.
TEDSOL - TED for speakers of other languages
I teach English to people who have studied, but failed to internalise, all the rules of grammar and more vocabulary than they will ever need. They need interesting, stimulating material to read, listen to and build activities around.
I would love to share TED with them, but conversations between native-speakers are too difficult to follow. Aside from language, there are too many cultural references that they just won't get.
I'm currently contemplating making some short videos with associated written material, based on selected TED speeches. These would present the information using language that makes the ideas accessible to students of English, particularly Asian students.
Step one: join TED. Done.
Step two: find time........