Post-Covid reflections

BEIJING: I was teaching English at Liaoning University in Shenyang, capital of the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning, in 1998, my first year in the country. It was a formative experience for me and my career has been connected to China in one way or another ever since. I’d already worked as a public health officer for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and spent time around the world at that point, including completing my master’s research at a Bangladeshi cholera hospital. My time in Shenyang convinced me that China had figured something out that was eluding other developing countries—and developed ones as well. This would lead my doctoral studies that aimed to discover what precisely China knew, even if what it knew wasn’t quite clear to the Chinese themselves just yet. But my real point here is to say I had a lot of new students that year, all of them Chinese, all of them with fake English names, which I found hard to keep straight. Walking across campus one morning, a student greeted me enthusiastically and I responded by calling out her name, “Jojo!” “My name’s not Jojo,” she protested.
–The Daily Mail-Beijing Review news excahnge item