By Jeff J. Brown
Pictured above: we are moving next door for a year.
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Live from the streets of China, Jeff
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April is always a time of deep reflection for me. First, there is Qingming (Chinese Tomb Sweeping) and thoughts about the past. Then, I turn another year older and ponder the future. This month I will be 65, a symbolically important age in one’s life.
My original goal was to keep working at Professor Brown (the school company we opened last year), until June 2020, when I will receive full social security retirement benefits and can live, not lavishly, but comfortably. However, for professional writing reasons, I have decided to move that up one year. I am halfway through editing and publishing my fourth book on China, but have not had the time to finish it, since starting Professor Brown, on top of writing, interviewing guests on my show and podcasting two articles a week on my website, China Rising Radio Sinoland. This fourth book’s working title is, “Faster than a Speeding Bullet – the Chinese People’s Unstoppable Socialist Dream for Global Leadership into the 22nd Century”. It will be published for worldwide distribution in 2020.
My last day at Professor Brown will be June 13. After two months in France for summer vacation, my wife Florence and I will be moving to Chiang Mai, Thailand for one year, where I will co-write another book with a fellow China author, who is based there. Its working title is, “Worker–Peasant-Soldier-Teacher: a Biography of Mao Zedong – The Man Behind the Myths through the Eyes of China’s 99%”. It will be published in 2021.
I will continue to teach students online, but at a slower pace. I have also been asked by an education media company in Beijing to create scripts and act in audio– and visual lessons, via live streaming and virtual classes, using artificial intelligence (AI). This is very exciting and something I can do at my leisure, while writing, hosting my show and podcasting.
Chiang Mai has a big Confucius Institute, linked to Yunnan University, therefore I can keep up with my Mandarin studies and make new Chinese friends there. Direct flights from Chiang Mai to China are dirt cheap, so with no more “got to go to work today”, I can come back for visits whenever I feel like it.
I have lived and worked in China for sixteen years, 1990-1997 and 2010-2019. Through all these unforgettable experiences, the Chinese people have totally transformed me and my outlook on humanity – for the better – much better. Though my remaining time on Earth is considerably shorter than the past, I am excited for the best years of my life going forward. China’s people and their 5,000 year-old civilization – past, present and future, will continue to be central to my existence. To quote two celebrated lines from the science fiction blockbuster movie, Terminator,
“I’ll be back! Hasta la vista, baby”!
Jeff J. Brown
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Why and How China works: With a Mirror to Our Own History
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