• About Julie

    NJ native without the accent or the big hair. Currently residing in Beijing. Teaching English. Absorbing all things China. Exploring SE Asia.

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    Feel free to drop me a message: juliekhull at gmail

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Update: back in America to stay

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I thought I’d write a quick update to let you know what I’ve been up to.

First, I need to mention how awesome it is that I’m wearing a hoodie on August 27 because it hasn’t reached 70 degrees yet!  2002 was my last fall season in NJ and I’m looking forward to autumn this year.  What can I say… Ohio and Beijing just aren’t the same.  I do hear more of summer and its 90-degree weather are around the corner for this weekend so I’ll have to wait a little longer for fall to arrive.

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Challenging your ideas about the Red Dragon

I wrote this on Friday:

We hear a lot of rumors, and rumors of rumors, about China in the US.  Some of them are true, some of them are half-truths, and some of them aren’t valid at all.

1888 Itcho Hanabuso wood print: blind monks examining an elephant

China isn’t everything the mainstream media in the US cracks it up to be.  I said the other day that trying to describe China is like asking “What’s the weather like in the United States?”  Perhaps a more accurate version of that question is the classic story of the blind men describing an elephant.  If I’m in China, how do I know what mainstream media is saying about the Middle Kingdom?  1) When I’m tuned into it during a visit to the States, 2) When I read online news, 3) The biases/assumptions that come through when people ask me questions/make comments about China.

Coming off my comments above, which weren’t the main point of my thoughts the other day, I hit a gold mine in this article from the Columbia Journalism Review.  This paragraph made my head go up and down like the bobble-head doll it talks about.

We’d just note that once a meta-press-narrative gets rolling, it tends to take on a life of its own, for a lot of reasons. Intra-newsroom dynamics play a role. It’s just easier to get a story in the paper that fits the meta-narrative than one that pushes against it. The former are the kinds of stories that, once pitched, make an editor’s head nod up and down like a bobble-head doll. Continue reading

Pompton Plains/Rt 23 flood

view from Rt 23 of the Pompton Plains/Wayne A&P

bye bye Beemer.

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Adios USA

Zai jian, USA!  I’m on a direct flight back to Beijing right now.  I’ll land in thirteen hours, returning just in time for the new school term to start on Tuesday.  In my last semester as a teacher I’m teaching 10th grade history, the international students, and an after-school elective in business management.

It’s hard to believe how an intial 10-month commitment slipped into life in Beijing for 36 months, and it seems like I arrived just yesterday.  But as I contemplate the close of this time, there’s one thing I just can’t Continue reading

Party in the USA

Miley’s got it all wrong.  The USA isn’t all about Jay Z or Britney; it’s all about soft beds, warm running water, heat, uncensored internet (we are, after all, in full support of “non-censorship“), electric mixers, and shoes in my size.  These things have become some of the finer things of life for me, and I’ve been enjoying them since I arrived back in the States.  Here are some of the things keeping me busy while I’m vacationing in NJ: Continue reading

En route to NJ, USA

This is a scheduled post because right now as you are reading this I am on a plane bound for Newark, New Jersey!  I’m looking forward to seeing the New York City skyline in 13 hours, and even driving on the Turnpike and Rt. 80 (yep, I’ve been in China too long!).  Five weeks of HEAT, bagels, a soft bed, clean(er) air, no grading, a language I understand, more hot water than I could use in one shower, Emergence, and family here I come! Continue reading

Happy 223rd birthday, USA!

We’ve been traveling far
Without a home
But not without a star

We want to be free
He huddle close
Hang on to a dream

On the boats and on the planes
They’re coming to America
Never looking back again
They’re coming to America

Home, don’t it seem so far away
Oh, we’re traveling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home, to a new and a shiny place
Make our bed, and we’ll say our grace
Freedom’s light burning warm
Freedom’s light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They’re coming to America
Every time that flag’s unfurled
They’re coming to America

Got a dream to take them there
They’re coming to America
Got a dream they’ve come to share
They’re coming to America

My country ’tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
Of thee I sing
Of thee I sing