Showing posts from January, 2008

The Favor of God

Maybe you're wondering why the urge to blog has come upon me so much this week.... well look at my to do list: clean apartment, go out in rain to mail letters, write lesson plans and test questions.... blogging has never looked so attractive!

I received a book for Christmas from a very well-meaning friend. It's a book by megachurch leader Joel Osteen called Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential

If you know me well, you'll know that I'm the kind of person that will deliberately NOT read or watch something, just because everyone else is doing it...
Anyways, I saw smilin' Joel on Larry King Live a couple weeks ago, and their church services are broadcast in Taiwan on the Christian channel.. so I did a little google 'research' which tells me what I kinda suspected just from reading the title of the book.... they lean a little (or a lot depending on the source) toward the "health and wealth" gospel.

But I figured, since I have the b…

Spring __________

Despite reports of -40 to -50 windchills back home, I must say that spring is coming here. I spruced up blog a little and hopefully will spruce up my house soon....

Spring Cleaning this week I have no classes, so I need to do a number of things, including putting away my Christmas decorations, cleaning my house, and getting organized for next semester

Spring Festival Chinese New Year is also called Spring Festival. It's also Chinese tradition to clean one's house this time of year, and buy new clothes (like I ever need an excuse for that!) . I'm going to decorate my house a little. All of Taiwan is on holiday (except poor 7-11 workers I guess) from Feb 7-11. I'll share my plans for the holiday later. Also I'm trying to send out some Chinese New Year cards or other mailings that I should have sent at Christmas (sorry). If you want a card and you're not sure I have your address send me an email or a note on Facebook!

Spring Flowers The picture above is plum blossom…

Happy Birthday dear Zak-O!

Today is my "baby" brother's birthday! This year he is 14 years I ever feel old!

Zak was born when I was in grade 6, and was in kindergarten the year I graduated from high school! We've always had a special bond, maybe because I changed so many of his diapers, or maybe because he's a lot like me ;)
We had a baby we could play with and later on a slave we could send on missions (Zaaak... go tickle ______ (insert name of target sibling), weren't we awful! But he's a very cute and affectionate kid.

Last year Zak came to Taiwan with my parents for a visit, and he got to celebrate his 13th birthday here! My first birthday overseas was my 22nd (in Brazil) so he's doing pretty darn good!

Zak made lots of Taiwanese friends when he was here, and discovered (or reaffirmed) his love for instant noodles. I think he'd move here just so he could eat instant noodles every day!

He also loved the little basketball machines they have everwhere here that let yo…

Charlotte's speech translated into English with footnotes for those who don't know much about politics in Taiwan

Hello everyone! I'm the next president of Taiwan! Our slogan for this year is "Make Taiwan Lovable"1 (literally cute). This of course needs to start with the Taiwanese government, so my first act in office is to move the Parliament (I know I'm using Canadian terms) to Hualian, because Hualian is the most beautiful place in Taiwan. Then we can invite Hu Jintao (the leader of Mainland China) to come and see Hualian's beautiful scenery and fresh air, taste it's specialty food, go to Taroko Gorge, and watch fantastic aboriginal performances. He'll be so touched that he'll immediately cancel all plans to bomb Taiwan with missiles!2

Even though the government is in Hualian, the president won't forget the needs of the rest of Taiwan. Here's my plan. The most important is to finish the MRT system, taking it even to more remote centers on the east coast like Jilong,3 Hualian, and Taidong. Then I can go on vacation whenever, wherever I want! no n…

"I saw you on TV!"

Ok here I am writing in my house coat, and comfy pajama pants (which I got for Christmas), because I've got stomach flu, and let me tell you, it's not fun. I can't remember the last time I was sick like this, must be high school.
I went to class this morning for the first two hours but had to go home early b/c i was throwing up in the bathroom... but enough gory details, what you really want to know is how the speech competition went!
Well let's start with last week... I spent a few days racking my brain about how to fill my remaining 2 minutes, and was a little worried about remembering it all. On Friday night I was feeling like I needed one more day to prepare (last the week the competition was on Sunday morning this week, Saturday), but I had to focus on bible study. Interestingly, the topic of the class was "The Trap of Perfection" about halfway through the singing our leaders got the idea that it would be really fitting for me to give my speech then, so wi…

The speech contest.....

My speech went fei chang hao! REALLY WELL!
When I arrived, I drew number 42 to give my speech, meaning it would be a long wait and a long morning. Fortunately, I had some great people to wait with who came to support me. There were 46 entries total, though a number of them didn't come, so I'd guess there were around 35 speeches in all. There were lots of good speeches, and some people who really impressed me with their language ability. I was soooo nervous when I was about to go up, despite the fact that I teach my students not to be nervous...... my heart was beating so fast as I went up. Fortunately, I wrote my key points on my "prop" so I had them just in case I forgot everything. Also, every time I practiced my speech in front of others the previous days I kept forgetting my transitions. But the speech went quite well! Above is a video.
At the end we had to wait a looong time for the results, but I was chosen as one of 15 finalists to compete again next week! (If…

What's New?

One of my 11th grade classes.

Sorry all, I've been mang de bu de liao....crazy busy for the last 2 weeks!
Since the calendar changed, I've been:
Finishing all my classes for the semesterGiving and grading testsCalculating final gradesTrying to figure out schedules and plans for next semesterFinding out I'm doing a mini-camp on the 21-24Hanging out with friends I haven't seen for awhileWriting and practicing a speech for a Chinese speech competitionAnyways, my last class of the semester (except aforementioned camp) was on Thursday!! I finally felt like I could take a big breath. I love teaching, but there's a reason we have summer and winter vacation!

Tomorrow (Sunday morning) I'm going to take part in a speech contest!!
There have been flyers for the competition floating around the office and a few people encouraged me to enter. But the topic was one that I didn't think I'd be able to write about: If I were the president of Taiwan.
Personally I try to stay ou…

2007 in Review!

Happy New Year everyone! 2008 is chilly so far!! It's gotten down to about 8 or 9 degrees which you really start to feel when you're doing something that doesn't require much movement, such as using a computer! I went to my new friends Wendy, Thomas, Beatrice and Seraphine's house for new years eve. We watched a movie, prayed and had Hungarian beef soup at 1am! Wendy and Thomas are missionaries here. He's from Germany. I've been getting to know them and their two daughters recently because they've started up an English fellowship at their house. It was a fun night. On Jan 1 I did something I haven't done nearly enough of this semester: I took the train to Hualian! I spent the day with some of my favorite people: the Yu's (Amy and Jack) and Ariel and Richard. Today was back to classes as usual....

Anyways, I want to share some highlights of 2007. I was going to do one picture, or the first sentence from each month, but I think I'll just do it in …