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Foreign Teacher Dodie

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Dorene Doreothy Johston (Dodie) comes from California, USA. She is a social worker in the States, working as school consultant and counselor. Since she first came to Hwa Nan in the year of 2000, she has come and taught in Hwa Nan for eight different times in the past dozen years.
 How does Dodie get to know about Hwa Nan? It traced back to the 90s, when she read an article from a school psychologist journal by a former Hwa Nan foreign teacher Dr. Betts Rivet about encouraging psychologists who are interested in China to teach in Hwa Nan. After retirement in 2000, Dodie decided to come and teach in Hwa Nan with full of expectations.
Dodie loves teaching and does her best at her work. During her eighth trip to Hwa Nan in the Autumn of 2016, she actively involved herself in hosting teaching salon and instructing faculty on teaching and research. She used the theory of Bell curve to make analysis on the importance of teaching students in accordance with their aptitude, inspiring teachers to pay attention to students’ aptitude and think over issues easily neglected in teaching. She also started from the art of asking questions in class and explained the importance of asking questions, how to ask questions, purpose and functions of various types of questions. She brought faculty new ideas and resources of pedagogy to enhance their teaching ability and increase their personal charm.
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Dodie has a lot of vim and vigor, full of enthusiasm for life which is never withered with age. Close to the end of the interview, we took a walk with her on campus. She has a lean and athletic body and walked very fast, though it is hard for her to sit with her legs crossed because of pin in her legs. When she talked about the pain in her legs, it sounds like a petty happening in her life.  I am deeply impressed by her vitality and her sonorous voice . She gave me a green notebook as a gift, telling me she makes records of impressive life story every day and wishing me record my life and enjoy my life.. 
Dodie is full of curiosity and humor, lovely and cute like a child. When Hwa Nan faculty Huang Fei visited the States, Dodie met her at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco during Christmas, 2015. After she arrived, she found nowhere to park except one reserved for hotel employees. She was desperate and anxious to meet Huang Fei who had been waiting for her for some time already. Therefore, she came up an idea of putting a note on her car for police, explaining the reason and asking for the mercy. She wrote “I will be back in 15 minutes. As a Christmas gift for me please don’t tow my car.” Later on, she told us that she believed if we showed our kindness and humor, most people including law enforcers have empathy and like to be amused after boring work.” She taught us a lively lesson of life.
Old as one is, one still sticks to one's dream. Though aging, Dodie is still energetic. She likes China and loves Chinese culture. She is full of curiosity trying to explore China to make it clear to her. In her book How Was China, she cited a lot of sayings from Laozi and Confucius. She knows very well about Chinese history. words like Quotations of Chairman Mao or Reform and Opening up are handy words for her. She likes to explore Fuzhou lanes and alleys and knows very well about local delicacies. One time as a judge in an English speaking contest, one student in her English writings used a Chinese punctuation to mark the book titles. When other Chinese judges didn’t approve of using Chinese punctuation, Dodie said it is ok to do it in Chinese way.
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Everytime when Dodie came to Hwa Nan, she is inevitably asked a question whether she is coming back again. There is no exception for this year, but she answered differently. She said, “I don’t know. I have said farewell to Hwa Nan many times, but I won’t this time.” We are all looking forward to her coming back early. She is like beautiful summer flowers with outstanding characteristics, making us feel the beauty of life and understand that life is precious and irreplaceable.