Mr. RG Meade is a history teacher at Berkshire School, and this year he is reintroducing the course Modern East Asia. This course was last taught in 2008 and is now available to students again because of the increasingly prominent role that East Asia plays in our world today.
Meade has always had a strong passion for learning about the intricate dynamic that the United States has with Asia. He explained in an interview how ten years ago, the United States was allied with most of Asia and working toward a positive relationship with China, whereas now, relationships between among the countries, including China, Japan, and South Korea, are much more contentious.
Our school is so lucky to have such a passionate and qualified teacher share his vast knowledge with our students at Berkshire. Meade focused his graduate studies on the culture, philosophy, and religion of East Asia. As a member of the Peace Corps, he also spent time serving in Korea.
When asked about why he enjoys teaching this class so much, Meade mentioned that “Chinese culture happens to be one of the oldest in the world.” Meade likes the smaller class size but wants to expand the program in the future to include more students. Meade does, however, want to utilize this small class size to conduct excursions outside of the classroom that he can integrate into the subject.
When asked what sparked his interests in Modern Asian Studies, Meade said it was the fact that he had not had exposure to the subject prior to college. “When I was in school,” he said, “we learned mainly about the United States and marginally Europe. I learned even less about Asia, but what I did learn sparked my interest immensely. It’s also the time I decided I wanted to be a history teacher.”
Meade has spoken Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and German in his past years; his son is currently teaching English at a school in southwest China. Meade’s students have expressed immense interest in the course, and based on this year’s response, there will most likely be even more participants in upcoming years.