Top 5 Things to do in Japan: stuff only the locals know about

The holidays are almost here. Have no doubt – I’m more excited about the winter vacation than my students. Oh yes. Remember when we were kids and our elders used to say things like ‘One Day You’ll Understand’? They were right. I finally do understand. I’m escaping the daily grind and going overseas (yay!) for…

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The Clock is Ticking…

“For what?” Charmaine Yam says. “Reproduction? Death? People who tell me that the clock is ticking are ignorant people. Their priorities are not my priorities. Especially if they don’t know me. Your kids are going to have Down Syndrome if you don’t have kids before you’re 30. Are you feeling the pressure?”

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Postgrad Student Life in Berlin

An international city with lots of culture. Startups alongside traditional institutions. An education in English. Great student benefits regardless of nationality. Is Berlin the next great destination for higher education?

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We’ve Made ‘It’

Marriage. Mortgage. Money. Babies. If you can do that, you’ve made ‘it’. If you’re a woman – the whole marriage and babies thing is probably higher on society’s definition of making ‘it’. If you’re a man – it’s money and a house. If you can accomplish that, you’ve made ‘it’. But what exactly is ‘it’?  Charmaine Yam and…

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What it Takes to Teach

“If the teacher isn’t happy, you can’t teach anything,” Eddy Yaw tells me over Facebook chat after a one year hiatus. “We are not just teachers, but people children look up to. And if we are not happy we cannot have any positive impact. Students don’t learn anything from teachers they don’t admire.” And I…

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The Little Boy and the Grown Man

“For men, life is a series of separations and disidentifications, beginning with mother, whom they must leave and whom they must not be like. Expected to be little men, who do not cry, they go to kindergarten and from there, year after year, have two cultures to cope with. Inside the classroom, the world –…

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The Educator’s Biggest Challenge

Salman Khan of the Khan Academy says it best. People learn at different rates. Some people seem to catch on to things in quick bursts of intuition; others grunt and grind their way toward comprehension. Quicker isn’t necessarily smarter and slower definitely isn’t dumber. Further, catching on quickly isn’t the same as understanding thoroughly. So…

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