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Me, my blog

Who am I and why do I have a blog? (standard answer)

I currently am completing three years of teaching in the English Department, Faculty of Arts and Sciences at American University of Beirut.  Before coming to AUB, I taught English at Illinois Central College in the USA.  Prior to that, I was the Director of IT Services at a K-12 school in central Illinois.  I also previously taught English at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, and at the American University in Cairo (Egypt).  I also received a MA in TEFL from AUC.

In the fall I will be starting a PhD program in English Studies at Illinois State University.  I will also be teaching freshman English courses there.  My professional interests include: efficient and effective response to student writing; effective peer review of writing; best use of group and team work; and intercultural and interfaith relations and dialog.  Other interests and hobies include philosophy, theology, the Middle East, reading, hiking, camping, swimming, and photography.

I also have a great family.

There are two reasons why I have this blog – to inform and to interact.  I want to let my friends, family, students, colleagues, and acquaintances know a bit about me and my ideas.  But I also want to have a conversation with them – to hear what they think about my ideas.

Thank you for your interest and taking time to explore my blog!  Would love to hear what you think – either via posted comments or email (john AT mac6 D0T org).

Who am I and why do I have a blog? (more exploratory answer – in progress)

Who am I?  I am, or seek to be, an English teacher, a husband and father, a thinker, a person of faith, a cross-cultural explorer, a communicator, a peacemaker, and other things.  There are also many rather diverse things that I have done – tower-rigging, radio announcing, managing IT, studying Arabic, living and teaching in three Middle Eastern countries, learning to fly a plane, riding a bicycle around Zanzibar, hiking in Greenland, chatting with Liberians about shamans, exploring Kenya with my good Indian/Kenyan friend Sunil in his ancient Fiat, . . .

Thinking about this can be both satisfying and challenging.  I genuinely enjoy / have enjoyed the diversity and variety.  It has been great fun (most of the time), and, more importantly, I really like who I have been able to become as a result.  At the same time, because it has not been a straight track, I have not “gotten as far” as many of my friends.

To do:

finish above – wanting to “pull it all together”

why mac6 name

blog picture

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Nelson Schroeder permalink
    28 Jun 2010 6:52 am


    I’ve been perusing your site and I am very impressed with where you are and what you are doing. Like Tom, I found my way to you through Brad Bradlee. I’m interested to read and hear more about you and your family.

    Currently I live with my family in Northeastern Colorado teaching high school History and Advanced Placement Courses as well as Teacher Education courses for Colorado Christian University out of Denver. I also work for the College Board (ETS) scoring student essays for the Advanced Placement US History Exam.

    God to catch up and read about you. Will you return to the states in the fall for your Ph.d program?

    Nelson Schroeder
    DC Class of 1980

    • 25 Jul 2010 9:29 pm

      Hi Nelson,

      Great to hear from you. We are now in the USA – I start at ISU in a couple weeks.

      Sounds like you are doing well – living in the Middle East, I wish I knew more about the history of the place – while I have pretty good basic idea, I am sure there is a lot more to know. My (now former) neighbor at AUB did his PhD (in Political Science or something like that) on Lebanese – Syrian relations. It is interesting to ply him with questions. He works for the UN there in Beirut. It would be interesting to chat with you about history here too. What part of history do you focus on?

      I will also email you.



  2. Tom Little permalink
    27 Jun 2010 7:25 pm

    John, I finally tracked you down! Found you thru Brad Bradlee. Great to hear you are in Beirut. What a great city. I have not been there since 2004. I spent some time on the AUB campus. I also stayed with some friends up in Tripoli. Plus you also lived in Cairo and went to AUC. I would like to see the new AUC campus, as the last time I was in Cairo we were at the city campus. Living in Saudi twice made it very easy to get around the Middle East. Plus my sister and her husband live in Cyprus, which my family uses as a hub. My younger son Matthew is in Nicosia right now.

    I retired from the Army in 2004 and work as a civilian for the Army, still doing my international and diplomatic work. I travel alot and in fact I was in Antalya Turkey last month.

    I keep trying to get back to Lebanon and inshallah will someday. So you guys are leaving soon?

    Tom Little
    DC Class of 1980

    • 25 Jul 2010 9:41 pm

      Hey Tom,

      Great to hear from you. So you have been all around the ME too I see. Hopefully our paths will cross sometime – but it will have to wait 2 years to happen there – we hope to return to Beirut (teach again at AUB) after my PhD coursework.

      I visited the new AUC campus a couple months ago. It was nice, but it does lose something by not being downtown in the 3az of the dawsha.

      So what is Matthew doing in Cyprus?

      All the best!


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