China Diary:

Some might wonder what became of the residents of the Nan Yuan Guest House, to my Fellow Fulbrighters, or to my Fudan friends, colleagues, and students from that memorable 1998-1999 year we all shared. As should be expected, while I did manage to meet several, I really did not kept in touch with most of them and only occasionally exchange e-mails with some. Below are updates about what happened to many of them.

Kathleen returned to Baltimore to teach again at Notre Dame College of Maryland after a seven-year hiatus. The Sister Kathleen International Center opened in September 2001. In honor of its former president’s international vision, it is charged with the task of transforming society by building the global community.

Maurice finally completed his linguistics Ph.D. at Columbia University last Summer 2001, moved to Princeton, and took a job at a subsidiary of the Educational Testing Service in New Jersey helping to make a standardized test of English (Test of English for International Communication) which will be offered in China for the first time soon. He also published two books that he was working on while at Fudan: Twelve American Voices (Yale University Press, 2002) is an ESL textbook, and Linguistics for English Learners (Shanghai Foreign Languages Press, 2001) was a collaboration with his friend at Nanjing University.

Mark enrolled in the University of Denver’s English literature Ph.D. program and will finish soon, looking for a tenure-track teaching position beginning Fall 2002 after he finishes his Fulbright teaching assistantship in Turkey. Savannah finished an MA in Education Psychology at the University of Colorado at Denver and might also go on for her Ph.D. Mark taught at Drake for a few years, and wound up at a SUNY school not to far from Albany.

Renny married AJ, and he is pursuing an MA in Asian Studies (focusing on, you guessed it, China) at the University of Hawaii. He has a fellowship to attend the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for 2002-2003, and so they will be living in Nanjing for that academic year. AJ is considering applying to several MA programs over the next year, and is still narrowing down her choices.

Jade, my former waiban, completed the MPA at Albany and entered London Business School’s Ph.D. program in Fall 2001. She later transferred to Duke and got married.

Marci, our lawyer friend who was teaching English for an Australian university in Shanghai, enrolled in the Master’s in Environmental Management program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, across the river from Albany, then got a fellowship to Vanderbilt’s Center for Environmental Management Studies Ph.D. program for Fall 2002.

David returned to Shanghai and began his own Internet business.

June began her own successful English school, and even had my son Marc teach for her for a month during Spring 2001. She got married a few years later.

Yoshi finally sent me some e-mails.

Jackie, my former T.A., is completing his Ph.D. at Fudan in International Business, and we continue to work together and remain fast friends. He and Amy have a baby boy. He left Fudan to be the spokesperson for Shanda Entertainment in Shanghai.

Fenwick, my former student, is in Boston studying at MIT for his Ph.D. in System Engineering, within range of Albany. We met in Shanghai briefly in the Summer of 2001 and I was able to help expedite his visa to return to the U.S. He is working for Morgan Stanley in East Asia.

Francisco, my other former student and sometime basketball teammate, has a company that exports sanitaryware products and furnitures to Europe, Mideast Asia, Canada, and South America. They have not yet exported any product to the U.S. We continue to be fast friends and try to play ball when I am in town. He got married shortly after I left Fudan.

On a sadder note, you might remember Gay from Norway, the large fellow who came every few months and played some basketball. We exchanged emails often and got pretty close, although we did not have a chance to meet again. A few years younger than I am, he passed away in December 2001.

And me? I still play basketball a few times a week, and continue to ride bicycles none of which are made in China. I’ve also returned to China several times: The year following my Fulbright, I was invited to attend a US/China National Science Foundation conference, was funded by my university to conduct research in China during the Summer 2000, and taught in a joint Fudan/Norwegian School of Management program in the Fall. I returned again the next Summer 2001 to teach in this same joint program. (Want to know about travel in China?) Jackie worked with me on many of these occasions, and I try to see my other friends as well. Besides China, I have traveled through many parts of Asia with my kids Debbie and Marc and have recently begun taking an interest in Latin America and the Caribbean as well. Debbie graduated from SUNY at Albany in Spring 2001 and (after having just traveled cross-country with a friend) was a Peace Corps volunteer to Samoa. She returned to Albany, where she entered the MSW program. Marc majored in Chinese Studies here at Albany and studied abroad at Fudan. After graduating, he taught english in Japan for a few months before getting a job in Shanghai. Dad is proud.


Copyright 2002 Paul Miesing. All rights reserved. Please do not use without permission unless in the People’s Republic of China which does not enforce intellectual property rights. Revised on August 30, 2007.