Went to the Berkeley city library. All the contemporary books on Vietnam trade unions are “unavailable,” even using Link+. However, I was able to order three books by Le Duan (1907-1986) written in 1960s-1970s.  My access to the U of Illinois library is all set up, thanks to a lot of help from people there, but I won’t be able to actually get hard copy books from them, just what is available on line. I intend to re-up my full access to the UC Berkeley library system. I’ll do that after June 4, when we get back from Iowa.

I’ve started writing my class. The syllabus I was sent had 9 units, or chapters, so I’m laying out a 9 unit set. For each set, I begin with a story. The story reveals something about the problems or demands of leadership. These are not necessarily stories about unions or even about work. One, for example, tells how King Lear threw away all the tools of leadership, one after the other — his crown, his lands, his role as father, and finally his sanity. Another tells the story of a leader of a team of firefighters trapped in a forest fire and asks why none of the team members followed the leader’s example, which saved his life. Another one is from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, which is apparently for sale in airports in Asia. In this story, John D. Rockefeller “makes friends out of enemies” by talking in a friendly way to representatives (it doesn’t say exactly who) of miners, after the Ludlow Massacre.  Actually, I’m not sure if I can use that one. Teaching “against the text” in a cross-cultural situation may not work. Another is from Machiavelli’s The Prince. The stories are short, one or two pages, and should be translatable. They are followed by discussion questions. I intend to wrap this up as soon as I can and send it to our contacts at Ton Duc Thong to see if this is anything like what they have in mind.

Joe thinks that stories are not necessarily the most accessible rhetorical form for teaching cross-culturally. He has been reading a book about Buddhism and says that he thinks that a rhetorical form that would carry across cultures is a list. As in, “The Five Points of XXX, ” or “The Ten Steps of XXX”. I think he may be right.

I am going on the assumption that our students will be undergraduates.

I have now read two of the books that have been suggested for use by Ton Duc Thong in their curriculum. They are the sort of book that might be used in a business school, in a marketing class.