Cloudcroft and Hiking the Mexican Canyon Trestle Trail

A village in the clouds – sounds romantic, no? Cloudcroft, an old English word meaning covered or shrouded in clouds, is a sleepy little town nestled in the high alpine region of the Sacramento Mountains. It played an important role in expanding the rail line during the early 1900s, and still remains a popular summer and winter getaway today.

In this post, I take a short look into Cloudcroft’s history and how the nearby Mexican Canyon Trestle Trail came to be.

A Tale of Two Pistachio Farms

Many people are familiar with Hatch Green Chiles, but did you know that the area around the Southern New Mexico town of Alamogordo is prime farmland for pistachios?

Of course, what would be a small town crop in the USA without a modest feud to go with it?

15 Great Nonfiction Audiobooks

Whether you’re a fast or slow reader, it really doesn’t matter! I encourage everyone to push themselves to read more. Even if you finish just one book out of the entire year, that’s still one more book that you can say you’ve read, and audiobooks sure do count! Here’s a bit about how I got out of my reading slump and some of my top recommendations from the audiobooks I’ve listened to so far this year.

There’s an Alien in My Houseplant!

Aren’t plants great? With minimal care, they can brighten up a room and provide a calm, relaxing atmosphere – that is, until you notice a little yellow tendril that shouldn’t be there!

A Journey in Self-Care

In American culture, I feel there’s more of an openness over the past decade to addressing mental health, but it’s still an ongoing struggle for it to be taken seriously in Asian cultures. In my case, being mixed and first generation, I tend to be ping-ponged between the two. In an effort to take some of the weight off my chest, I’m writing to share a bit about my background and struggles on this self-care journey. Hopefully, there’s someone out there can gain something positive out of my story, even if that is just to know that you’re not alone.

Why Wearing a Green Hat Symbolizes Infidelity in China (戴绿帽子)

No other class on a Western holiday elicits such a visceral reaction from my students, and not for reasons you might assume! It is due to green hats being the unofficial symbol for infidelity in China. What scandal started this taboo? How does it affect China today? Is St. Paddy’s Day celebrated at all in China? Read my post for answers to these questions and more!

Living in Limbo

My last blog post, back in October of 2020, saw me packed and mentally gearing myself up for the 14 day quarantine in Shanghai and +7 day stay in a hotel outside my school in Beijing before I’d be allowed back into my dorm and classrooms. At the time, I was optimistic to finally be returning to China. I had the necessary visa and plane ticket. Everything was good to go…Until it wasn’t.

Countdown to Beijing

In what feels like a lifetime and countless cups of late-night coffee later, I’m now set to return to China on the first of November barring I don’t test positive for Covid three days before my flight!

The Importance of Teaching Stories to ESL Students

In my experience, I’ve learned the hard way that kids NEED lots of visuals and physical movement, which, when incorporated by the teacher into a lesson plan, can be used to one’s advantage in teaching basic English. Stories, especially story-telling and story-making, all provide a plethora of great options for familiarizing early learners with English sounds, words, and basic sentence structures. Stories also give young children a much-needed outlet for creativity and cross-cultural learning in addition to building their English language listening skills.