2011 Archive

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I've stopped updating this website, though it's pages will remain for a while. See "current update" for details.

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(▲ Links to the pages at the same level as this page. If you can't see the label, put your mouse over a button and look at the bottom of your browser.)

Jan/Feb/Mar 2011

Mar/Apr 2011               May 2011

Jun 2011

Jul/Aug 2011

Sep/Oct 2011

Nov/Dec 2011

Note: various links or other references may be mentioned below that no longer apply. Sorry for the inconvenience.


January update (Jan 15, 2011)      


     We enjoyed being grandparents in South Carolina for over a week at the end of December, though our holiday was dampened by the unexpected death of Vivian's brother. When tragedy strikes, it is nice to be able to hold a baby; it sort feels like "this is God's promise that life should go on." You can see our daughter's cute baby girl by clicking here.

     In a few days I begin the new term, teaching English to international students at the University of Akron (a public university with 29,000 students). As I type, I'm looking forward to meeting my new students. I'll have two "basic writing" classes, which meet for an hour every afternoon. (Click here to see a 2011 video ad for the University of Akron.)

     Meanwhile, Vivian is busy working on the family tax and financial reports that will help us apply for scholarships for Andrew. He has been accepted at all four universities he's applied to--now it is up to their financial aid offices to help us decide where Andrew will spend the next four years, training to become a professional graphic designer.

     In early January, Michael helped his mom and dad drive to Florida, where they traditionally spend the winter (they actually met while going to high school together in south Florida). So, Vivian, Andrew and I are left to face Ohio's cold winter alone.

     With my classes starting in a few days, I need to get to work with all the preparations! But check the "what's new" section below often to see what I have time to add or change on this website.


Enjoying our first year back in the US,

Michael for the family


PS: If you are new to www.krigline.com, we have been "teaching and learning" in China since 2000, but are spending 2010-11 in the US, mainly so that our son Andrew can get used to America (he has grown up in China) before going to college (2011). We are also spending time to catch up with friends and relatives, and getting to know our first grandchild (in South Carolina)! Michael is currently looking for a full-time teaching position starting fall 2011, preferably in Asia but we will also consider openings in the US.


Wishing you a Happy Chinese New Year,

Michael Krigline for the family   (back to top) 


In February, on the day after Chinese New Year, Michael and Vivian got the chance to talk to about 60 second graders about China! They were students at Orchard Hill Elementary in North Canton, Ohio. The students were very attentive and we all had a good time. I told someone about how we cut up old Christmas cards in China, letting our students create greeting cards for their friends. Well, these kids collected a huge box full of cards for us to take back to China, so that they can help others learn about American culture!

March/April update (April 16, 2011)


March note: The TESOL (Teachers of English as a Second or Other Language) convention was held in New Orleans in March. I spent an exhausting, exhilarating three days running between dozens of seminars, plenary sessions and workshops, learning about everything from linguistics to new technology for the classroom. (Photo: me beside the Mississippi River, in New Orleans)


April update

        With our new grand-daughter in South Carolina, and us in Ohio (about 12 hours apart by car), we don't get to see her often, but in late March Vivian needed to be in the South for a few days so she took advantage of the opportunity. In fact, my parents decided to detour over through Columbia at the same time so they could meet their newest great-grandchild, and we even got Vivian's mom to join this rare multi-generation extended family celebration.

        Since our last update we've also attended a Chinese New Year party in Akron and got to teach some local second graders about China (see photos). In addition, I took an evening class to learn how to use Dreamweaver software. I also attended the international convention for Teachers of English as a Second or Other Language (TESOL)--a 5000-participate gathering full of useful seminars and lectures.

        Meanwhile, my real work has been teaching English writing to international students at the University of Akron  (click for more details). Vivian stays busy with scrapbooking and volunteering. Andrew has been active with the Theater Tech crew at Hoover High, and with the newspaper staff. In fact, he recently won first place in the recent Ohio Scholastic Media Association competition at Kent State University. (His award was for "Day-of Newsmagazine Design"--meaning that his design was judged better than dozens of other high school students, who were all competing to create news graphics within a few hours under controlled circumstances)

       We are also keeping an eye toward the autumn, when Andrew will begin his studies at the University of Akron (studying graphic design). Our own plans are less certain, but we are currently in touch with several universities in Asia, looking for a full time teaching position. Between now and then, we will keep helping internationals perfect their English, and keep talking to friends (and sometimes strangers!) about our work in China! Oh, and of course we also plan to sneak off to see Christy in South Carolina whenever we get the chance!


Enjoying the US, but also missing China,

Michael for the family    (back to top) 


May     (back to top)  

June         (back to top)  

July update (July 22, 2011)


        We are about a month away from our return to China. On one hand, we can't wait! We miss the food, the classes and especially the chance to be around China's bright young people! I enjoyed teaching at the University of Akron while in the US, but (believe it or not) I had better classroom equipment in China! Furthermore, I was able to teach almost all of my classes in the same classroom in China (which meant that I could post interesting articles and English-learning resources in "my" classroom). At Akron U, my ten classes were in three different rooms each week, so my students missed out on these nice "extras."

       However, we also know that there is a tremendous amount of preparation and packing to do in the next four weeks. I'm already working late into the night to get as much done as possible. We will also be speaking about China a few more times, answering questions about this distant land and trying to find more teachers who will join us there. We will also be in the car a lot, for we plan to spend one or two weeks in South Carolina to be with our daughter and granddaughter one more time.

       Shakespeare said, "Parting is such sweet sorrow," and that truth will also make our final month in the US difficult. First, we will have to say goodbye to many new and old friends. As if that weren't enough, we'll be saying goodbye to our son, who will stay in the US to attend the University of Akron, and also saying goodbye to our new granddaughter (born in December). We fear that these will be the toughest goodbyes!

       But when we think about what is ahead, we get excited again. I will be teaching at one of the best universities in China! We will be making lots of new friends, and even being reunited with some old friends. I love teaching, and can't wait to get back into the classroom! Vivian isn't quite sure how different her life will be (compared to life in Kunming), but she will probably need the first few months to make our new apartment "home," and figure out where to buy what we need in this huge city.

       I doubt that I'll have time to update this page for some time, so please be patient as we travel, move in, set up our home, and get into the work that lies ahead. Well, just talking about it is building my anticipation again! It will be SO good to be back in Xiamen again!


Always looking forward,

Michael Krigline     (back to top) 


When Michael studied Mandarin at Xiamen University from 1985-87, he never dreamed that he would one day serve on the faculty of this prestigious university, but classes begin in September! (Actually, I'll be teaching on a branch campus, not this main campus; but I don't have photos of the branch campus.) Back in 1985, the city of Xiamen had about a million people; the 2010 census reported a population of 3.5 million. While this is far smaller than any of the other Chinese cities we've lived in (click here for info), it is still huge by American standards (the state of South Carolina has only 4.5 mil and Ohio has about 11.5 mil).


PS: If you are new to www.krigline.com, we have been "teaching and learning" in China since 2000, but spent 2010-11 in the US, mainly so that our son Andrew could get used to America (he has grown up in China) before going to college (2011). We also enjoyed the chance to spend time with friends and relatives, and getting to know our first grandchild (in South Carolina)! Michael taught international students in 2011 at the University of Akron.



October update (Sunday, Oct 8, 2011)


One of my favorite "updates" was written in early November of 2003:

        Sorry this update is late. I had planned to work on it yesterday (Saturday), but on Friday our university moved tomorrow to yesterday, so I had to teach. This afternoon (while I was teaching Tuesday's class on Sunday), they told us that tomorrow would be yesterday, giving us two days to prepare for our Wednesday classes. But about an hour later they called to say that tomorrow would be Wednesday and yesterday had moved to Thursday. Of course, the good news about this is that we get four days off next weekend, since Thursday and Friday will be last Saturday and Sunday, followed by next Saturday and Sunday--IF nothing else changes. If this doesn't make sense to you, you have obviously never lived or worked in China. (There REALLY are good reasons for all of this, but it would take too long to explain!)

        Similarly, yesterday (Saturday) I taught Thursday's classes, and today (Sunday) is Friday. Fortunately, I don't teach on Friday, so I can pretend that it is still Sunday. Yesterday I taught classes 1 and 2, which are my second and third classes each week. Class 3 is my first class, but since the first day of the term was a holiday, Class 3 got behind Classes 1 & 2. And since this week has an extra Thursday, but no extra Monday or Wednesday, Classes 1 and 2 have now had two more classes than Class 3, which is why I decided to give 1 & 2 a bonus class about American history via the film American Tail (Class 3 students will have to watch the film on their own time, since tomorrow they will have the class Classes 1 & 2 got Thursday-a-week-ago, before the holiday that created this particular rearrangement).

         Perhaps the strangest thing is that the above changes don't seem strange anymore. I remember how confused I felt back in 2003 when I wrote the above "update," but now it is just part of life here.

        As for "what is going on," we have been in Xiamen/ Zhangzhou for over a month now, and we are really enjoying every contact with my bright sophomores. I have about 120 students, split into three classes which meet twice a week. Above a dozen students have joined Vivian and I for dinner, which has been great (as you recall, Vivian missed this treat last year when Kunming Medical University moved the students to a branch campus an hour away from our home).  In fact, this is one of the main reasons we have chosen to live in Zhangzhou instead of with the other teachers in Xiamen, who commute to class from the old campus via two buses and a boat (see the map).

        Our apartment is becoming "home." The first task was to spray and stomp the cockroaches away; then we bought a washer, fridge and air conditioner (which we still need occasionally in October! Xiamen has a tropical climate). A few days after we moved in, our boxes arrived from Kunming, and Vivian has slowly sorted through them, putting books in our new bookcase, clothes in our wardrobe (or suitcases to await the proper season), kitchen stuff in our cabinet-less kitchen, etc. Some heirlooms were crushed on route, but that story will have to wait for another time (you can read about previous moving experiences here; the new company may get its own page someday!).

        Well, since today will be Sunday when the sun comes up (I couldn't sleep), I'm going to close and prepare for

our weekly trip to Xiamen to go to the International Church (a highlight of our week). While shopping "downtown" a few weeks ago, we also stumbled onto a beautiful church that bore the sign "First Protestant Church in China." I was amazed because I'd never seen this historic structure during the two years I studied here (1985-87). Back then, China was just starting to reopen churches, most of which had been closed during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), and this one was well-hidden among the city's winding streets. Actually, it is a gorgeous building, and some officials are now rightly proud of the fact that Xiamen is the birthplace of Protestantism in China. This place has come a long way since my first visit, and I'm enjoying the chance to explore it all over again!


Teaching and learning in Xiamen,

Michael Krigline


captions: After spending two days at the beach in early August, we had to say goodbye to our granddaughter (and her parents!) at this restaurant in Columbia, SC. The hardest part of living in China is being away from our family, but we're already looking forward to the chance to introduce Christy to Mickey Mouse in Hong Kong (or Shanghai?) someday.


This map shows our location in SE China's coastal Fujian Province. "A" is the old Xiamen University Campus, which is about 100 km (60 miles) from "B," the new campus, by road. That would take about two hours, or more. But the dotted green line is the ferry that allows most teachers to make the trip in 50 minutes on a specially-arranged bus/ferry/bus link. However, we have rented an apartment about five-minutes-walk from the new campus' North Gate.              (back to top)  


November/December 2011

This is just a brief note to explain the problems we are having, and thus why krigline.com is out of date. We are living in a small town (Zhangzhou Development Zone), connected by ferry to the huge city of Xiamen (see map above). The Internet connection at our home is slow, and for an unknown reason our access to upload krigline.com is blocked. Sometimes, access to email accounts is also blocked. However, if you are reading this it means that I found a way to update the html code (not my specialty) or otherwise got this page to upload via other means--or perhaps dragged my old computer to Hong Kong and found a better Net connection! Obviously, this is not a permanent solution, but I hope it explains some of the incomplete pages, broken links (and repeated menu bar), etc. All of this to say, "please be patient" with www.krigline.com!

I am, however, sometimes able to upload www.krigline.com.cn from Zhangzhou, so you may find newer information there (normally add ".cn" to the page you want to see--but you should see our "use policy" page for more info). However, I'm just too busy to be more than a "part-time" web master. Someday, I hope to learn how to use newer software (Microsoft stopped updating FrontPage in 2003, and it doesn't even work on my Windows 7 laptop), but don't hold your breath--again, there are lots of other things on my priority list! Sorry for the inconvenience. --Michael   
 (back to top)  


Don't forget that Vivian has a photo scrapbook website, too. She has a lot more time to play with fun things than I do, and she frequently adds a page or two. Her pages are more elaborate than the simple photo pages on krigline.com, so they load slowly in China, but you might enjoy seeing her nice pictures. Click here to start your journey: www.scrapbookflair.com/China_Doll      

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