Few news stories carry the potential to galvanize the far flung academic and student community of Taiwan like our recent tragedy in Japan.
I've never been to Yankee Stadium or to a Broadway play. I've never seen the White House in person or done the museum thing in D.C. I haven't been to Disney World or the Grand Canyon. Many of my students have had these experiences.
If you are the type of reader who likes to sink your teeth into surprising or odd statistics, you've parked your eyes in the right place. If you've no stomach for dollar signs, percentages and figures, you should abandon this column at the end of this sentence.
Two interesting but very different events occurred last week that highlight the importance and, sometimes, the potential dangers of humor. For me, these events more or less hint at first the bitter in life, and then the sweet.
2011/12/25, 1 Comment
We often make errors we could avoid because we miss important details. This seems to be happening more frequently to me as I grow older. I know, however, that even younger friends may also face this problem.
Forgive me for opening today with a sensitive and personal reference. I hope my decision to be so personal (especially at the beginning here) is the right one. I am doing this to draw readers and possibly hold them here for a few minutes of conversation.
The results that the Mercer 2011 Quality of Living survey announced this week appear clear enough. Among 221 cities around the world, our beloved Taipei ranked 85th (CP 12-1-11, p. 20). How to interpret that finding, and what to do with it, are logical questions that come to mind.
Local government officials and ordinary citizens alike were no doubt shocked in recent days at the courtroom treatment of the director-general of the Taipei Economic and Culture Office in Kansas City. She had been charged with violation of laws related to human trafficking and labor practices. Who could have imagined such a scenario? Director-general Jacqueline Liu appeared in court dressed in an orange prison uniform, her hands and feet shackled (TT 11-20-11 p. 2).
My department chair telephoned me one day in late January of 1989. It was the thick of the Chinese New Year break, and I was drowning in final homework assignments, exams, and the entire end of semester rigmarole that we call “grading.”
University communities and their friends all over Taiwan are mourning the passing of sophomore student Feng Shu-hui at China University of Technology in Hsinchu this past week. Ms. Feng suffered a fatal injury eight days ago after a cheerleading maneuver called a basket toss went awry. The 19 year old died of head injuries in a local hospital on Monday.