bio

Zachary the textbook writer:

A Canadian by birth, Zachary holds a BA in International Relations from York University in Toronto and an MA in Chinese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, UK. His guiding principle in life is a passion for learning, and this trait led him to Taiwan where he worked as an English teacher and began writing and editing textbooks for ESL students. Apart from his extensive experience as a freelance writer and translator, Zachary has also worked as the Managing Editor for a politics website and a consultant for one of the world’s largest finance companies.

Zachary the analyst:

Zachary holds a BA in International Relations from York University in Toronto, Canada and an MA in Chinese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, England. Zachary’s primary area of expertise is Chinese foreign policy, particularly in regards to how nationalist issues affect Chinese policy. He has lived and worked extensively in Asia and speaks Mandarin.

Zachary the translator:

Zachary holds a BA in International Relations from York University in Toronto, Canada and an MA in Chinese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, England. He is the current Managing Editor of the Geopoliticalmonitor.com. Having lived in Taiwan for over three years, Zachary had the opportunity to complete the Mandarin Training Program at the Taiwan Normal University. Since then, he has worked on translation projects (Mandarin to English) involving online video games, highly technical essays and dissertations, and market research materials regarding China. In all, Zachary has logged well over 150,000 characters of translated content.

Zachary the idiot:

The day of Zachary’s arrival into this world was marked by the mysterious appearance of several rainbows over St. Mike’s hospital. A product of sexual intercourse- though he’s particularly averse to visualizing it- Zachary discovered at a very young age that he was blessed with cat-like analytic faculties. Armed with these faculties, he could identify and rebel against power structures that he deemed to be oppressive, which during the early years was just about everything. In the end, this skill was short on blessing and long on curse, as it often had him sitting under a neon burn while waiting to be seen by this or that principal.

Many years later, Zachary discovered that the free thinking that clashed so markedly with public school authority was a boon in the university setting. And so it came to pass that he thrived in university, mostly based on a series of negotiated exchanges that involved his own notes on readings being swapped for the lecture notes of some other student who actually showed up to class. During the course of his studies, he even got a few scholarships thrown his way and attended a research trip to India on the government’s dole. By the time the sun had finally set on those soused days of discovery, Zachary was the proud owner of a paper representation of four years of his life.

For the sake of continuity, let’s pretend that a setting sun in Canada gives way to a rising one in England, which is precisely where Zachary next found himself in pursuit of another, far better piece of paper. Curry, Mandarin, football, Chinese foreign relations, pints, incredibly cheap travel deals, incident boards warning of neighborhood anti-social behavior, and weekly lectures on Taiwanese politics made up the eclectic mix of themes during those years. When it was all over, Zachary was the proud owner of a paper representation of tens of thousands of dollars.

Now came the hard part. Having sharpened his analytic skills (arguing, pretending to listen, arguing) to the width of one-atom-thick and having filled his brain with all the secrets of international society, how best could he put his talents to work? The obvious answer, of course, would be to get a job at the Second Cup, so that’s exactly what he did. Zachary threw his entire being behind his new role as barista, squeezing out caramel in the shape of clovers and nodding vigorously, some might even say violently, in affable response to any customer opinion on offer. Yet despite his passion for brewing, he could not help but get the feeling that his talents were being under-utilized. This feeling didn’t plague him for long however, as he was soon approved for a scholarship to study Mandarin in Taipei. Zachary burned his Second Cup polo shirt and donated his oppressively tight black slacks to Goodwill. It was time to start a new life in Asia.

It turns out that life in Asia wasn’t all that new; in fact, it shared a lot in common with the old. Booze was cheap, work had to be done, and vocabulary had to be studied. One important difference however was the fact that living in Taipei afforded an opportunity to travel through Asia, which allowed Zachary to color in some of the vague outlines that had been sketched in charcoal during the course of his studies.

Upon his triumphant return to Canada, Zachary decided to become a freelance writer. It wasn’t long before he failed, so he decided to go back to Taiwan and finish his Mandarin education. More Chinese words were studied, and Zachary began to write short stories and English textbooks. When he left Taiwan for the second time, he left it as a wiser, leaner, and more robust Zachary; a Zachary 2.0.

And everyone knows where the people who have pulled it all together go: Berlin, right?

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