May You Teach in Interesting Times

ridge-khridge-kh (Posted by) Level 4
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As I have been gearing up to teach Global and Historical Studies courses again (China and the Islamic Middle East this semester and South Asian Civilizations the next), I’ve been reminded of the alleged Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” It was mentioned in an audiobook I was listening to about Confucius. It turns out that the saying is yet another apocryphal one that cannot be traced back to its supposed original source or context. But it is nonetheless interesting to reflect on the blessing/curse to teach in interesting times. In some ways, there is nothing more helpful to getting students engaged with a topic than for it to be in the news regularly, and that is certainly true of China, in particular Hong Kong, and also South Asia, with what has been happening in Kashmir. These are certainly interesting times in which to be teaching about these parts of the world.

But this blessing is also a curse. Keeping up with the news can be challenging, and one may go to class with a plan only to have students share...
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