We are all guilty here

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Language is a force.
Language names, and by naming, it calls into being. This is how social reality is constructed and maintained. I think it is an effect of quantum mechanics, but smarter minds than mine are needed to make the connections in a compelling scientific manner.
Last fall I wrote a post on some dynamics Read more...

playing with the lesbians

“Are you speaking English?” asked the marine biologist. (I get that a lot.) NGO told me about dynamic semiotics while The Woman from Ghent provided commentary on the group’s unique social interaction – not to mention demonstrating the lesbian walk. Several times! Meanwhile, Irish informed me she’s “not really a tight bitch.” (I didn’t know that … Read more...

barefoot on Belgian soil


The park is magical. As are all the public, cultivated spaces here: I’m given the sense of a holodeck – programmed to appear wild but the evidence of human design remains.

06 lamppost.jpg
Doesn’t that remind you of the lamppost on the other side of the wardrobe in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe? (I have refrained from watching … Read more...

“What now?”

Hoboken (Anvers), Belgium
regarding “Paris”

Luiza could not believe her ears. “We’re on the grounds of Fontainebleau!”

the grounds.jpg

“What now” is a question I borrow from curricular design, social justice style. First cover the what, then the so what, and finally now what. What is the subject matter? Why should we care about it? How are we going … Read more...

Cotton ’round the brain


“Are you blogging?!”
Patricia busted me right in the middle of Nederlands 1.2; I was taking notes on the confusion, even in the official language course, between languages. We are not being taught the local Flemish dialect, although Flemish versions sometimes appear in the midst of the officially-sanctioned Dutch. A French word had appeared on a worksheet instead of … Read more...

Underwater handshakes

British Airways:
Mumbai to London

I left Mumbai pretty much as I arrived: pressed in a sea of people. I boarded my flight (departure 13:35) at 13:32. The long lines for security screening before and after each stop (check-in, immigration, boarding) reminded me of the bureaucracy in Belgium, in which you think you’re on the last step only to discover … Read more...



The first view out the airplane window was of a massive rock formation, then an expanse of land interspersed with building complexes, and then the low-lying shanties with their grey-brown roofs and liberal patches of blue tarp.
I started grinning as I walked off the plane, and continued to feel good, even as my fellow passengers surged to the … Read more...

Het verbazen!

“Mahmoud is een wonder!” Anne teased him at the moment when comprehension dawned: the lightbulb went off and Mahmoud got it: heel goed! I can tell you that I need a few more miracles if I am going to pass de examen in Januari.
I agree with Amin, who said “remembering” when we were discussing our various challenges with … Read more...