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Willie Nelson and his colleagues in the entertainment industry have sung songs about cowboys for many years. One of those songs I especially like contains the verse, "My heroes have always been cowboys." That line brings to mind some advice Willie offers in still another song: "Mamas, don't let your children grow up to be cowboys."
I make an effort to stay in touch with a number of my students after they graduate and enter the job market. The world of work out there is a tough world. All too often, simply to survive and earn a living is a true accomplishment. Keeping ties fresh with recent graduates particularly, I say to myself, is a way to be there, if necessary, to offer a word of encouragement in times of need.
The words to come are about stereotyping, and the dignity of all work.
For several reasons, reports in two local English newspapers on a press conference this week interested me. The parley with the press was on the subject of possible legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage in Taiwan. I care about how society and individuals treat gays and lesbians.
The China Post brought news last week that two Colorado Democrats lost closely observed recall elections in the state senate, clear victims of gun-rights activists.
I taught "professional ethics" for several years at my university, and in my classrooms made no bones about a fundamental truth, which is that the line between professional and personal ethics may be very thin.
I have been interested in robots, if only mildly so, for quite some time. I've seen photos of these machines, just as you have.
A former graduate student of mine insisted on spoiling me at a popular local dumpling restaurant the other day. We ate and ate and, in the end, she paid the bill. In the middle of the meal, anticipating her refusal to let me pick up the tab that was to come, and wanting to show my appreciation, I asked her an innocent question.
I can imagine asking my students this question: Whom do you like the best, singer Kelly Clarkson, or 19th century British author Jane Austen?
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All sorts of important news stories broke last week here in Taiwan. They include the passing of a much admired physician, a massive protest march before the presidential palace, monumental changes in the military judicial system, and Manila's eagerly awaited publication of its report on the May 9 incident.
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