Over 500 posts and five (5) years of relative online freedom of speech after four (4) years of working for an employer that had a pre-approval policy for its employees’ outside writing and speaking activities.
Coincidentally (?), my first post on 16 November 2009 was about a book chapter I co-authored entitled “Developing Globally Competent Citizens: The Contrasting Cases of the United States and Vietnam,” which appeared in The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence, edited by Darla Deardorff. (The contributors to this book, including the editor, are some of most outstanding scholars and practitioners in the field of intercultural communication in the world.)
This chapter was mildly censored by my former employer, whose slogan, ironically, is Opening Minds to the World. That process gave me additional insights into the control of information and knowledge by an organization with close US government ties in a country that pays lip service to the constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of speech. Sadly, post 9/11 America is not your grandfather’s (or grandmother’s) America.
As a side note, I have continued to grapple with issues related to nationalism/patriotism and intercultural competence/global competence both here and offline. They are what I call the elephant in the room of the international education profession in the US. To ignore them, especially in the US context, is to ignore what is arguably the most daunting barrier to the development of global competence and citizenship.
I began writing An International Educator in Vietnam for myself – writing as sharing, writing as advocacy, writing as therapy – but it has since become a resource for people who have an interest in international education in Vietnam, US-Vietnam educational exchange and/or Vietnam. It has been a labor of love and, I believe, has lived up to its three “Is” subtitle. Thanks, dear readers and followers, for your interest and your feedback. Raise your glasses to another five years of Information, Insights & (Occasionally) Intrigue!