User:Jim Nightshade

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Who wields me, wields the world!

My real name is David Pendery. I was awarded my Ph.D. in English Literature and cultural studies from National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan in June 2010. I live in Taipei with my Taiwanese wife, and our beloved Tabby, Loudmouth. I am currently an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Foreign Languages and Literature at National Taipei College of Business in Taipei.

I have been editing on Wikipedia since about August 2006. I try to write with an academic/professional attitude on Wikipedia. I think I have made some good additions, and I always try to follow the rules strictly, and contribute well-written pieces. Currently I don't have the time to contribute regularly to Wikipedia, but as recently as a few days ago I was adding to the entry about narrative, a favorite topic of mine, and the thesis of my dissertation.

My first edit was on Richard Rodriguez, while I was teaching a high-school student here, and we were reading one of Rodriguez's stories. Later I was doing some research for a paper I was working on, and I edited Philosophy of History. Since then I have provided many additions and edits to a variety of topics, generally focusing on literature and drama, history, some philosophy, and adding details to the entries on various academics. I am very interested in what Wikidpedia is doing, and strongly believe in the value of this approach to learning and organizing information. In August 2007 I gave two presentations at the Wikipedia international conference in Taipei, one entitled "Wikipedia and Taiwanese Students: A Good Mix," focusing on the value of Wikipedia for Asian students studying English. The second, a theoretical discussion and model about the "structure" of Wikipedia, was entitled "Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: The Mind of Wikipedia." I tried to show that the “mind” (structure) of Wikipedia mirrors the structure of human consciousness, which is a key reason that Wikipedia works as well and as fluently as it does. The title and content of this presentation was taken from a book of the same name by Dr. Gerald Edelman, a Nobel Prize winner in Medicine and expert in human consciousness studies.

My favorite Wikipedia story occurred when a university classmate of mine was giving a presentation on the American playwright, David Mamet. In her background information she included some text about the playwright’s style—which I immediately recognized as something I had written in one of my edits on Wikipedia! That text, analyzing a passage from Mamet's Glengarry, Glen Ross can be found to this day on Wikipedia.

I am a serious student, scholar and writer, and I have published numerous popular and scholarly works. I recently published an opinion and analysis about Taiwanese history, entitled On a more apt history of Taiwan and published in the Taipei Times, the leading English-language newspaper in Taiwan. The Taipei Times has also published other pieces I have written, and a number of letter. Poetry I have written is also being published in The Aroostook Review of the University of Maine, Kent, in summer 2010.