An article this past week in The China Post about an early graduation ceremony at Taipei Japanese School coincided with thoughts I've had for some time about what students might consider doing in the last weeks of their college careers.
As we contemplate the recent shot in the foot that the government of the People's Republic of China gave itself, it is useful to remember how the scourge of prejudice appears in nearly every culture under the sun.
The recent toppling and desecration of a 3-meters-tall statue of Sun Yat-sen, founder of the Republic of China, may have occurred deep in the south, far from bustling, sophisticated Taipei, and in a relatively tiny, tucked-away niche of the country at that, but the crudity and symbolism of the act were enough to provoke concern for thoughtful citizens everywhere.
Professors all over Taiwan are busy these new semester days introducing students to literature courses of all sorts.
One of my heroes in Taiwan is a priest ("shen-fu") from the Netherlands, the country we once called Holland. This special fellow would blush and half-seriously scowl at me if I were to drop his name here, so I won't do that.
I've been contemplating the fact that social network Facebook (FB) is celebrating its 10th birthday these days. As everyone knows, it's virtually impossible to speak of FB without confronting scads of statistics.
I don't know how readers of this column think about the uncles they may have in life, but I know how I feel about the uncles I have in mine. Perhaps for reasons special for my family, the uncles my siblings and I shared were and, I like to imagine, still are very significant people for us.
Several weeks ago, a journalism professor at a Taipei university invited me to speak with her students about the highs and lows of writing a weekly newspaper column. To quote my dear Dad, invitations like that are "about as rare as hen's teeth." I of course eagerly accepted her offer.
First, allow me to say I am carrying my own basket of questions about the visit of our 18 year-old "native son" from Brazil, Iruan Ergui Wu. The questions began the minute I read news reports months ago that the Taiwan Catholic Mission Foundation was helping to bring young Mr. Wu, his adoptive mother, and others close to him to Taiwan for a 17 day stay.
This is the time of year when people talk, often quite glibly, of New Year's resolutions and new beginnings, both personally and professionally. I am like everyone else on this score.