May 20, 2017 Mao

Even though I had been in the US for quite a few years now, there seemed to never be a shortage of funny cultural moments with my girlfriend Sara. Especially when we first started dating I was quite fresh-off-boat still. Whether we are simply hanging out or eating at a restaurant, to meeting family members and traveling the world, there’s always some lol moments due to our different cultural backgrounds. Sara grew up in the typical suburbia America where people wave at each other in the cars. Her family is very conservative but Sara turned out to be very liberal (funny…

May 19, 2017 Mao

I get asked a lot of questions when traveling the world as an American. Some funny, some rude and some are just completely out of the blue. America has such a big influence on the world, whether it’s politics or Hollywood, people are often curious and need a reality check. For the most part, the questions are driven by TV shows or movies that they have seen, or whatever that’s going on in the news at the time. It’s no surprise that people tend to generalize and stereotype things. I am always happy to chat with people about America as…

May 8, 2017 Mao

Have you ever wandered what is it like to be teaching English in China? Perhaps it’s the culture that fascinates you, or you simply want to make a change and try something different. Whatever your reason may be, China is certainly a very interesting place. The country has advanced so much in the past two to three decades, but at the same time it is still a developing country, which may be difficult at times to adjust. Hopefully by learning more about the good, the bad, and the ugly of teaching in China, it can help with your planning. It…

May 2, 2017 Mao

The first day when I landed in Los Angeles, couple of girls in the back seat of another car were waving and smiling at me as my aunt was driving me to her house. I waved back and I could see one of the girls giggling. “This country is awesome, people are so friendly and it’s just like all the Hollywood movies! Or perhaps that one girl was giving me a pass?” I thought to my naive self. If only life were this easy. Little did my fresh-off-boat self know there are a lot of cultural differences and norms that…

April 20, 2017 Mao

Despite with whatever’s that’s going in the news, the new president, and countless of other issues, I truly believe America is still pretty awesome! Is America perfect? Absolutely not. It has many of its own issues that could probably never be sorted out and many areas that are lacking compared to other countries. But overall, it is the most accepting, welcoming and progressive country I know.   My Fresh Off Boat Journey: During my college summer break in 2009, the year after I volunteered and watched court-side gymnastics in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I bought a round-trip ticket to visit my sister in the…

April 6, 2017 Mao

You often hear about how the west (specifically the United States) is falling behind Asian countries on all sorts of international standardized tests. And then follows the question, “What is wrong with the US education system and how can we catch up with Asian schools?” Having grown up and gone to school in Taiwan, studied at an international school (which followed the US school system) in China, and attended colleges both in China and in the US, I’d say I have a good understanding of both school systems and teaching methods. So is the Asian school system better? I’d say no. It’s a simply a matter…