May 5, 2012


Happy birthday, didi!

For those that don’t know, didi is the term Taiwan people call their little brother.  My little brother is Scott.  When I went home in September 2010 for a visit, I decided to call him didi.  I just felt that it was a way for us to connect as brothers.  He is several years my junior, as I am the eldest in the family.  Unfortunately, from the time he was a baby, he has never known me to live in the family house.  I was already working and living on my own.

By the time he was in school, I was already living in another city.  All through his life, he has only seen me during family get-togethers, the odd holiday, and previous to my trip home a couple of years ago, it had been over 10 years since we saw or talked to each other.

I never had the opportunity to see him grow up, to help him with his homework, to spend any time together with him.  It was wonderful getting to know him a bit more.  It takes a lot longer than a couple of weeks to get to know anyone well, and even though there is a family tie between us, we are both somewhat, still strangers to each other.

I had the opportunity to spend a lot more time with him at the close of my vacation.  I stayed with him and his family, and got to know his wife and my niece and nephew.  He was a great partner in euchre, and the piece de resistance, in my opinion, the time we spent together on the final day.  He agreed to drive me to the airport in Detroit.

Goodbyes are never a pleasant time, and for me, this was one of the most wonderful, bonding experiences I have had with anyone.  I was just getting to know my baby brother, someone I’ve barely seen in 30+ years, and now we were saying goodbye.  Whether he knows it or not, he is and will always be, one of the most special people in my life!  I love you, didi!

I think is going to be another busy sort of week.  Perhaps busy isn’t quite the word – more ‘shaken up’.  This week’s schedule is shuffled a bit to accommodate the Giraffe Storytelling school finals this Friday.  I’ve had a couple of the students ask me for help on their stories.  Unfortunately, this is not possible at this time.

As with years past, not only was I honoured to be a judge for the class competitions, but I am equally as honoured to judge the school finals.  As I’m not a judge, or at least have never been asked to judge for the Regionals or Nationals, my task as adjudicator will be finished this Friday, and then I can get cracking on helping the winners.

When I look over the students who are competing, I feel happy for them.  I know that for a couple of them, if they don’t win, it will be an upset.  The school has set up the judging in a way, that each of the four judges will basically have an equal vote.  Being one of the judges, and knowing each of these students, I think I will be the toughest judge.  I know what each students’ capabilities are.  I have been their teacher for a few years.  I know them, and I know what I want to see from them.

With the class competition a couple of weeks ago, I was actually impressed.  There were a few students that really did well.  Quite honestly, they surprised me.  Then again, there were others that, didn’t raise their bars, so-to-speak.  I was expecting a lot from them based on class time, and they surprised me by not performing to a level I would have expected.  Then again, my mark is only one of four.

I wish each and every one them, the best of luck!  No matter who wins, I am confident that each of them will do their best.  For those competing again, they know what is and will be expected of them.  They know that there will be late nights and lots of practicing.  For the newcomers, I think they will be in for a big surprise.

However, as the days, months and the year is quickly zipping by, it won’t be long before the regional competition, and the nationals.  It may seem like a long way off, but it’s only about 3 months or so.

Good luck everyone!!

That’s it, that’s all… for now!

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