July 25, 2012

Here we are, end of month 7.

The 2012 Olympics begin in a couple of days in London, England.  Thank goodness for the Internet now, otherwise I wouldn’t know a lot of anything going on outside Taiwan.  All the news I know of the world is through Yahoo.ca.

As well, in a couple of weeks, my students will be competing in Taipei.  May, Marcus, Nadia, and Elva will each competing in their categories for the Giraffe National Storytelling Competition.  Our regional reps have been by for the past three weeks, we’ve been practicing with the students for the past couple of months total, and I think they’re ready.

The only student I’m a bit worried about, is Marcus.  He’s been away at camp in England for about three weeks, and I’m a worried that he hasn’t practiced his story while he’s been away.  I haven’t heard from him or even about him from his parents, since he left.  He’s back this week sometime.  I hope he’s ready for some intensive practice time.

I’m actually looking forward to the trip to Taipei this year.  Partly because I’m looking forward to a couple of days away from Tainan.  Summer time and schools and bushibans are still running strong.  I’m a little vague on how the elementary system works, but the junior highs and higher are still in session.

One student told me that the reason they still go to junior high is to prepare for the classes that will be taught in the new school year.  Now, I may not fully understand, but this is what I gather:  during the summer, the students go to school, to learn what they WILL learn beginning in August or September (whenever the new school year begins).

When I was younger, summer time was exactly that – summer time!  No school.  Then again, we had other activities to keep us busy.  There were camping trips with the cubs or scouts, the local parks would have activities, the local swimming pools were open for swim team practice in the mornings, and leisure swimming in the afternoon, and once we got a little older, there were lots of summer jobs available.

Here in Taiwan, things are a lot different.  The idea of a young person working, unless it’s in a tea shop or for their parents’ business, is unheard of… or at least I’ve never heard of it.  As long as child is attending school, they live at home and the parents pay everything.  I always say that in some ways, I wish I could turn back the hands of time, and grow up in Taiwan.  Then I give my head a shake, and realize that the choices and life I lived has made me the person I am today.

I think I have to get moving on the remainder of the renovating.  I’m getting fed up living like I just moved in.  The biggest hurdle I’m facing is finding time.  It seems like I’m especially busy this year, than in former years.  Then again, in former years, I wasn’t trying to redecorate or paint a home.

So I’ve decided that Sundays, since those are my ‘no class’ days, will be devoted to getting this apartment straightened out.  I’ve gone through room by room, and written down what needs to be done.  And the list is far from short!

Here’s the short list:  painting walls and ceilings, hanging artwork, arranging shelves in storage room, clean and straighten out kitchen (which has yet to be used!), paint all furniture black…

So an invitation goes out to anyone who’s bored…  you want something to do, and don’t know what to do, come on over!  All the coffee, water, and dinner is on me!  Unfortunately, I can’t cover the cost of airline tickets!

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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