August 13, 2012


The day after, and I’m still riding high.  It will be a couple of days before I come back to Earth and get back into the flow of things.

This year, at the national competition, there were 45 competitors.  Giraffe gives trophies to the top seven competitors in each category.  As the Kindergarten and Junior High (Level IV) levels have less than seven competitors, each receive a trophy.  For the other three categories, there will be, unfortunately, some students who go home disappointed.

These next three video links, were recorded at the CPC Building in Taipei, where the competition was held.  The first, is a short video of the preparation beginning in our group.  Some people eating lunch, others having make-up applied, sets being assembled.  The second video is the “Parade of Competitors”.  The students are paraded on stage, and introduced before the competition begins.  The final video is an introduction that Giraffe puts together of the various regions and the invitees photos.  It’s kind of cool, because our region (South Region) is the first region displayed, and Elva is the first student shown on the video!  We did, after all, have four FIRST PLACE winners at the regions!

Parade of Competitors

Preparation Time

Introduction to Competition

This is the array of trophies our students came home with this year.  It’s great that, of the four competitors we entered this year, all four received something.  For the national competition, the awards are printed in English.  At least I can understand the award and know which award belongs to which student.

I call this level, KINDERGARTEN.  I suppose I should try to use the proper category title:  PRE-SCHOOL LEVEL.  This was the level Elva competed in.  The award on the left is the national award, and the the one on the right is the regional award.  Both are FIRST PLACE (or CHAMPION) awards.  One of the points during the national awards that I was happy with, was seeing her mother with tears of joy in her eyes.  Last year, their son Jonas, did the same thing.  This year was Elva’s turn.  I hope they both (Elva and Jonas) compete next year.

This video is the final dress rehearsal before the competition.  This was recorded on August 10th, at Giraffe-Nanmen.

ELVA’s REHEARSAL

I call this level, LEVEL I, but as you can see it is actually called BASIC LEVEL.  These are Nadia’s awards for this year.  On the right is her FIRST PLACE award for the regionals, and the one on the left is the FOURTH PLACE award.  At the nationals, places 4 through 7 also receive trophies, but they give the trophies specific titles.  In this case, FOURTH PLACE is actually called BEST SPIRIT AWARD.  I do hope that Nadia participates again next year.

This video is the final dress rehearsal before the competition.  This was recorded on August 10th, at Giraffe-Nanmen.

NADIA’s REHEARSAL

LEVEL III or ADVANCED LEVEL.  These are Marcus’s awards.  First place in the regional (right) and second place (or first runner-up) in the nationals.  Marcus was having a bad day on Sunday.  He wasn’t able to tell me, mostly because of language, but after a bit of chatting, encouragement, and a tickle or two, and he was back to normal.  I had him practice his performance, gave him a hug and told him to have fun.  I know his mom and dad are very eager to see him succeed, but perhaps they are just a little too eager.  We’ve all heard the term ‘soccer mom’, or ‘hockey dad’ in North America.  Well, his parents are the equivalent here.  Considering that this level is very competitive, I would have been happy if he had received THIRD PLACE.  As it was, he got SECOND, so I’m am happy and thrilled.

This video is the final dress rehearsal before the competition.  This was recorded on August 10th, at Giraffe-Nanmen.

MARCUS’s REHEARSAL

LEVEL IV or JUNIOR HIGH LEVEL.  May.  May has been competing in Giraffe’s story telling competitions for the past 4 or 5 years.  Ever since the first time she competed, she has always won a trophy… except for last year.  The competition was held in Taichung rather than Taipei.  But that is all water under the bridge now.  This year, at the regionals (right) and the nationals (left), May received CHAMPION status (First Place) at both.  I always find it interesting with May, that in class, or when there is a local teacher around, she understands about half of what I say to her.  When it is just the two of us chatting, she is very good in English.  She understands.

May should feel extremely proud of herself for the years she’s been involved in the story telling competition.  She is an inspiration to the younger students at our school.  She is also a very friendly and likable student.  She talks to younger kids, and I’ve seen her helping them, and encouraging them.  If any of our future students were to look to someone as a mentor, May would be the one to follow.

It has been an extreme pleasure working with May and seeing her excel.  She’s easy to work with, takes criticism well, and is willing to do what it takes to succeed.  It may seem easy to give direction and expect results, but with someone like May, it’s wonderful to see that she takes direction, produces results, and then to be recognized locally and nationally, is wonderful for both her and the school.  If I’m not mistaken, if she is willing, next year she can still compete at this level.  I’m hoping that she will!

This video is the final dress rehearsal before the competition.  This was recorded on August 10th, at Giraffe-Nanmen.

MAY’s REHEARSAL

That’s it, that’s all… for now!

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