Time and Tides at Sea Pines

Time and Tides at Sea Pines This morning we walked Murphy on the beach. January at Hilton Head is “low season,” so the beach was almost deserted. It was also low tide, but with bright sun and warm air. A few people strolled between the remnant dunes and winter ocean and we even let the dog off the leash. In high season Murphy would only be welcome early morning and late evening on the Hilton Head beach, the heat of the day...

The Big Global Dance

Four weeks ago in my first column about my trip to China I wrote how I hoped to encounter China’s “cultural core,” its Confucian “root,” and experience it. During my two weeks in China I did encounter what I might call China’s ancient core a few times-in a ceremonial smudging outside a Buddhist temple and the timeless view across West Lake in Hangzhou, in the...

Wilderness in the Balance as China Climbs

A friend wrote today in an email and said “Save the Earth” at the end of her note. I’ll admit I’ve thought about the problems of “saving the earth” a great deal since we touched down in Shanghai. The pressures on the planet here are seriously extreme already, and it’s obvious they will mount in the next few decades. The scholars who have lectured us have...

First Dispatch from Tomorrow

This sets my personal record for distance learning. I’m half-way around the world in China’s largest city, Shanghai. It’s Day Three of the Wofford Milliken Faculty Development seminar. I think it’s yesterday where you are, or maybe it’s yesterday here, and today there. Time is just the first of my concepts under renovation. This morning the only thing I know for...

Leaping Dragon, Perching Eagle

I’m headed to China for two weeks on a Wofford College faculty study trip. At first I wasn’t very excited about going. I’m not a city boy, and our whole 14-day excursion would mostly take place in vast Shanghai, a coastal city of over 20 million people, China’s New York, a pulsing vortex of trade, commerce and consumerism. As my guidebook begins, “Shanghai is the...

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