A few random thoughts since it's been a while since my last update:
You might recall my comment a few weeks ago about how hard parents push their children in school. I had a new student who (in my opinion) should be in a class lower than the ones I teach. Nevertheless, the first few times she came with him, dutifully sat outside the class waiting for him, and then departed at the end of class. Now that a few classes has gone by she no longer does this. In class a few days ago I asked my students what the most annoying sound was. Some of them said "nails on a chalkboard", others said babies crying on international flights, etc. When it came his turn he said, "My mom talking to me." Everyone burst out laughing, but I found it rather sad. I hope he was not serious, but perhaps she pushes him so much that indeed he cannot stand her voice. I do not know. A local expat magazine had an interesting article on the subject of parents in Taiwan and the drive for education [Click here
, and scroll to pages 7 and 8 of the PDF file].
Last week I had the chance to go to a ceremony to celebrate the life of Confucius as it was his birthday. The elaborate ceremony is held once a year and last 2 hours. It was rather hot at 6 in the morning and halfway through the ceremony a few of the student dancers and others passed out from the heat. There was criticism of the ceremony from the opposition political party because rather than the "normal" dance, the dancers performed a special dance because (according to them) the President of Taiwan was there. It should be noted that the Temple had been closed for over a year and this was, in affect, its grand re-opening. This reason prompted the "special dance". I find this explanation quite plausible.
I have weathered 2 Typhoons since the last update. One drenching the moon festival festivities, and other other simply ruining another weekend. It would be nice if they came during the week and canceled school and work, but then I wouldn't get paid. So, weekend Typhoons while bothersome are much preferred for me.
I am battling a cold today. I hope that tomorrow it will be gone. My grades this quarter have been the best so far in my study of Chinese. I am quite pleased with this. It is owed to the fact that I do not speak English, but only Chinese with my classmates. I have also made further efforts to practice outside of class as well as redoubled my study efforts. All I think are paying off.