Haiku and Limericks, Geopolitical Thrillers, Scholarly Articles about Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies
I’m currently writing the second novel in my The Peace Road trilogy. It focuses on the Middle East and ways to resolve ancient conflicts between Jews, Muslims, and Christians. These three religions all trace their physical heritage to the Biblical character of Abraham. The tentative title is The Peace Road: Three Brothers under Abraham.
I joined Southwest Writers in 1993 when I started my doctoral program at the University of New Mexico. I took a class in creative writing, wrote a few short stories, and submitted them to the annual SWW contest. I didn’t win anything, but learned a lot from feedback from the judges. In 2000, my wife and I moved to Connecticut and taught at the University of Bridgeport until 2003.
I lived and taught in South Korea for a total of eight years. My wife and I went there at the time of the Seoul Olympics in 1988. We taught international middle school students there until 1992. In 2003 we came back to South Korea with our son and taught at Sun Moon University for three years.
I’ve lived and taught in various cities in America: Los Angeles, New York City, Upstate New York (Dutchess County), Connecticut, and Albuquerque. I taught at two charter schools, but most of my time was in Albuquerque Public Schools. I taught ESL, World History, English Language Arts and, most rewarding, taught at eCADEMY High School, working with full-time students in a (BlendED) program. Students learned online at home, and worked at school, each with their own laptop on all different courses. This way, they were able to work at their own pace, and when they finished one course they could start another. Getting off the “seat time” requirement is, in my opinion, almost always a plus.
I’m excited to have published my first novel and have learned so much from SWW.
Title: The Peace Road: A high-stakes geopolitical thriller
Published: August 2023
North Korea launches an unsuccessful hypersonic missile attack against Los Angeles. The president calls on Ric O’Malley, leading Sandia National Laboratory physicist and military hero, to fully weaponize a quantum computer capable of hacking into and disabling enemy ICBMs. Naval battles erupt in the western Pacific. China deploys the world’s largest navy and takes total control over the South China Sea. They also send a land force to threaten Europe. Tanks race westward over China’s “New Silk Peace Road.” In North Korea, Ric finds an anti-communist group trying to overthrow the dictatorship. Their revolutionary plan is to build a “Peace Road” from Pyongyang to the democratic South. This road will connect with a “Peace Tunnel” being built between Japan and South Korea. China’s Politburo launches a nuclear missile toward Japan. Will Ric’s weaponized quantum computer be enough to save Tokyo? And is a “Peace Road” even possible in Northeast Asia?
Available for Sale
Essay/Article Collection: Educational Change
Sub-title: A Journal of Role Analysis and Institutional Change
“Teaching Japanese Students a Second Language”
Japanese students, because of their linguistic background, have more difficulty learning to speak Korean than either American or European students. Japanese are some of the world’s best readers. By the 4th grade, only 0.4% of children have trouble learning Kanji (漢字) Chinese characters. The average sixth grader has mastered 1,000 Kanji. The other alphabet Japanese use is Hiragana, a phonetic alphabet that 99% of all children entering first grade can read. The spoken Japanese language, however, is surprisingly limited. There are only five vowels; English has more than twenty, and Korean has 21. The Japanese language is also missing some consonants found in English. “McDonald’s” will come out as “Makudonarudo.” Even worse, Japanese schools teach English using the grammar-translation method; learning grammatical rules and then using them to translate English passages into Japanese. As we have discovered, the grammar-translation method of language learning has serious deficiencies.