Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving (American Style)

I didn't have the opportunity to celebrate much on Canadian Thanksgiving except for a phone call home where I got passed around to a bunch of family members. Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in Taiwan, but around the American date, more Thanksgiving-y stuff becomes available at places like Costco which sell turkey. On Thursday, Sylvia, a coworker who I work with at one of my schools, invited me to her church. They were having a Thanksgiving service/outreach event with a turkey dinner afterward. The service was good, but quite long, with a number of testimonies from different people in the church. The dinner included turkey, tofu, sushi rolls, red bean cakes, you get the idea... but it was a fun time and I got to meet the members of Sylvia's small group, which holds its meetings in English! Here are some pictures taken by others to give you a taste of my celebrations.



But the celebrations weren't over there! On Saturday a bunch of us gathered at a co-worker's house for a Thanksgiving potluck! There were around 25 people there! After eating some we had a sharing time.


This is about 1/3 of the spead. There was sooo much food there! I made apple crisp!


Me with Lisa (one of my roommates), and Linda.


Some things I'm thankful for:
* English worship opportunities
* Friends and family in Canada (or elsewhere) who haven't forgotten about me yet!
* Friendly Taiwanese people
* Students who make my job enjoyable
* Two good legs
* Fresh, cheap fruit all year round
* Hugs
* MSN and other ways to keep in touch


Thursday, November 22, 2007

More Great Student Lines

In case you couldn't tell, I love my job!
Here are some highlights from the semester:

Teacher, it's raining inside. (Water from the air conditioner was dripping onto his desk)

When students were supposed to do a writing task, some hadn't quite gotten started yet, so I'd pick up their pen for them and put in their hand as a gentle reminder to get a move on! Of course I'll put it into their right hand since 90% of students are right handed and not lefties like me. Once I did this and the student asked... "Umm, can I write with my left hand?" which got a lot of laughs from the students around, and from me. Maybe it was one of those 'you had to be there' things.

Practicing the past tense...
"Before class today did you go to the bank?"
- Yes, I robbed it!

"Before class today did you put on makeup?"
- No, because I'm a NATURAL BEAUTY!

And finally, during a game I've been playing lately, known by some as "psychiatrist" where students must say what they would do if they had a certain problem, and one student tries to guess (they go out of the room and the class decides on a problem together). At the end of the game, I usually go outside and let them make up a problem for me. So far, they've come up with
"You were on a cruise and the boat sunk"
"Prince William asked to marry you"
and
"You were the only person in the world who could speak English"

It's a great game, you should try it sometime!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A New Look

Well, with Christmas only 32 days away, I thought it would be a good time to adopt a more wintry theme. Let me know if you have any problems viewing it!
I received a package from my parents last week with some Christmas gifts in it! My mom wrapped them so I'll have something to open on Christmas. Isn't that sweet?
Oh that reminds me, I should be putting my package together pretty quick too.

Tonight I went to a new English fellowship that's starting up here in Yilan. It was really cool. It's held every Sunday night and really had the feel of a house church, though it had a number of seekers too. I had an interesting conversation with someone who said he didn't believe the Bible because he's a vegetarian...

Anyways, another busy week coming up, i need to finish up my Thanksgiving lesson before bed!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Night Live!

I'm on my way to an English Bible study I teach at every week along with some other teachers. It's actually a really big event with over 300 students each week. It starts with a warm-up, music, and drama before being split into small classes for the second hour. I teach one of the small classes and a couple of weeks ago, I took part in the drama - even though my acting was a little rusty! It was our rendition of 'The Parable of the Lowest Seat at the Feast'. Hazel and I were two clueless ladies who sat at the head table because we thought we were VIP's!


The "bride" and "groom" are outraged when we suggest that we can squish! "We don't mind"


And finally, after we get kicked out, worrying about where we'll sit.... last words: I want my red envelope back! (Red envelopes are gifts of money given at weddings in Taiwan instead of actually buying gifts for a couple.)

Thanks to Phil for the photos!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What a Weekend!

I can't believe it's Wednesday already! Time has flown by, and it's almost the weekend again.
I had a good time at ETA and had lots of inspiring ideas, though I had to sift through a lot of other stuff to get them.
I enjoyed the conference as my first since my last year in college. I was excited to go to the workshops, but found that some of the workshops were not exactly what was promised. There were a few that were more advertisement for a certain textbook than teaching tips, some that were grad students presenting their papers, and one that was only peripherally related to the title. But there were also some excellent presenters, and some extremely academic ones. I think I need to relearn some of the TESOL lingo before going next year! I took tons of notes though, I almost felt like I was back in college.
I got to hang out with my friends from Yuli, Robert and Michelle, and they came to Friday Night Live too! I haven't seen them for ages. On Saturday night I met up with some wonderful ladies from other Taiwan blogs and we had dinner, braved the Shi-Lin night market before having coffee and conversation. Sandy and Cahleen have already blogged about it and posted a group picture of the three of us and Amanda. It was a great MIRL! It's neat to make connections like this, and it probably won't be the last time we get to hang out!

After a full weekend, Monday was even more packed since there were rallies in two of the schools in Yilan. The team came down from Taipei, much to the excitement of my students! I can't even describe how pumped up the girls were at the high school. They loved seeing the teachers they see on TV and getting pictures and photos. More on that later, and hopefully some pictures!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Headline!

Iverson breaks arm playing basketball!

Ok, so it's not huge sports news, since it's the 16 year old "Iverson" in my class, whose chosen name implies his love for the sport. But having broken a bone in the last year, my heart goes out to anyone in a wheelchair, cast, sling, or on crutches. So best wishes to Iverson, who really did break his arm playing basketball... poor kid!

And since I was going to take a nap, but keep coughing (which is why I'm blogging instead), here is a summary of some of the English verb tenses I was teaching today.

Simple Present
I am sick.

Simple Past
I got a cold one week ago.

Simple Future
I will still be sick tomorrow.

Present Continuous
I am coughing a lot.

Present Perfect
I have had a sore throat all week.

Present Perfect Continuous
I have been coughing all day.

Present Perfect
I have been sick since last week.

Past Perfect
I had taken some medicine before class, but it stopped working halfway through.

Future Perfect
By tomorrow I will have been sick for over a week.


okok, enough feeling sorry for myself!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Special Guests and this weekend

Sniffle.. I'm slugging through my yearly cold this week, and the constant rain is not helping much (actually it's one of the suspects), I've been extremely thankful for microphones in class this week!

I was about 15 minutes into my class last night when two tall, white people walked in and sat down! It was very unexpected since it's an English Bible study for ESL learners... later I discovered that they're friends of the pastor who were visiting Yilan. Turns out they're missionaries from Finland who are working down in Southern Taiwan. I don't have any pictures unfortunately, but it was really neat to have them in my class, and the rest of the students were really eager to chat with them. They were really interesting. In Taiwan for 18 years, then went back to Finland, and spent 2 years doing Chinese ministry in Israel, and are now back in Taiwan!

I'll have a chance to chat with more teachers this weekend as I head over to the ETA (English Teacher Association) Conference! I'll be attending workshops on Fri-Sunday and hanging out with lots of cool people, including some of my co-workers, Michelle and some teachers from Yuli, and some other Christian bloggers!