Last June I went to Shanghai to teach at the University of Shanghai for a couple of weeks. I found the place so fascinating that I just had to write about it. I hope you enjoy Shanghaied.
Here is where I get in touch with my more creative side. When I was completing my Bachelor of Education degree, I mistakenly enrolled in a Education Psychology course on Psychosomatic Psychology. I should have taken Education Policy Studies, but got mixed up by the acronyms used for the courses: EDPY and EDPS – an honest mistake. Incidentally, my error meant that I had to take an extra Education Policy Studies class, which I took as an individualised reading course with the legendary David Wangler, with whom I also played basketball. Dave is among the most inspiring people on the planet and without his encouragement and enthusiasm, I would certainly not have gone to graduate school. Anyway, the professor for the Psychosomatic course didn’t inspire me all that much – doing yoga breathing to start our seminars just made me feel short of breath – but a meeting with him towards the end of the course proved to be influential in a different way. I had missed a couple classes because our dog, Clyde, had died, and I was scrambling to get my other coursework done. He sympathised, told me that I had earned a good mark on my essay, and then said, ‘You’re the type of person who needs a creative outlet. Ever try acting?’
Well, my acting career never took off, but here’s my crack at some creative writing. What follows is the journal of my cycle trip from Lands End to John o’Groats, which I did after I finished my PhD. It’s meant to be part comedy, part action/adventure, and a wee bit of a love letter to where I now call home.