Lauren Kasman is no stranger to blogging. Over the last eight years, she's been typing away in her room and jotting down her thoughts for friends to read. When she moved to Washington, D.C., for college, she wanted to connect with others outside of her social circle.
"I felt like no one was listening. And with a blog the whole point is to have someone on the other end," she says. "Otherwise, you know, it's like placing a phone call to no one."
This month, NPR is examining the many ways China is expanding its reach in the world — through investments, infrastructure, military power and more. In this installment, a tale of two Chinatowns in very different circumstances — one in Nigeria and the other in the Italian town of Prato.
For many teachers, job uncertainty is one of the biggest downsides of their profession.
Recent estimates from the American Association of School Administrators show that about a quarter-million educators could face layoffs in the coming year as states cut education spending in an effort to balance their budgets. That has left many teachers wondering where their next paycheck will come from.
Two of those teachers facing uncertainty are in Los Angeles, where as many as 1,600 teachers and staff may lose their jobs this summer.
In her trip through China's Suining County in Jiangsu province, journalist Mara Hvistendahl saw plenty of familiar signs of economic growth. But she also saw something at an elementary school that startled her: There were far more boys in the classrooms than girls.