Just because a fellow is sharp and respected enough to win a second term as president of the United States does not mean he is immune to an occasional goof. Just mention the name of California attorney general Kamala Harris to Barack Obama these days, and ask how someone with his perspicacity could have stumbled so badly.
The topic of alcohol and drinking came up in one of my General English (GE) classes on Wednesday. The next day, a local newspaper ran these headlines on news stories: "'Two-hour' alcohol ban at Kenting Music Festival" (TT 4-4-13 p. 2) and "Lawmaker slams commission's 'drinking program'" (p. 3).
News this week about a guitar-playing elementary school principal who moonlights as a street performer has me thinking about the meaning of education. Education is a gradual process. Education is not so much about fulfilling a specific goal or arriving at a destination. Education is a long and often unpredictable journey. This I truly believe.
A Catholic activist group called Bishop Accountability said this week that newly installed Pope Francis should take swift and public responsibility for mishandling sex abuse crises in his former archdiocese of Buenos Aires while he served as head of the Argentine Bishop's Conference from 2005 to 2011.
Some may argue that enough is enough, and it is now more than time to let go of the fuss over last week's revelation that Taiwan's first family has enjoyed a wedding it more or less did not want us to know about.
I made the following casual observation in an email to a friend in the United States this week: "Not much new to report. The new semester is fairly routine thus far, if anything can be 'routine' about my last semester in 27 years in teaching."
News this week of still another shocking student suicide in Taiwan should do more than only sadden and frustrate us. This is a story that parents and educators should jump on and seize for its educative potential.
We were close to the eve of Chinese New Year here when a shocking report of a cheating scandal at Harvard University made international headlines, thanks to an article in the New York Times on Feb. 1, 2013.
As I tap out this first sentence, my head is aching, my eyes are sore, and my back hurts. I describe a condition common these days to thousands of educators all over the country. We in the teaching profession are in the waning hours of the semester, and everybody wants something from us, and they all want it at the same time, and, actually, it was all promised and due a week or more ago.
Last week I focused on a published interview with the author of "Taiwan Could be Better," a new book (in Chinese) by a Taiwan National University graduate student from China, Fu Tzun-fong. Much of that column was political in nature.