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.
The headlines about the topic in the local English press this past week easily captured attention. They also spelled out the issue in colorful phrasings.
We may well wonder what will happen over time to the recent incredible story of the 2-year-old Chinese child named Yueyue.
Several weeks ago, in the midst of a crowd that had to exceed 120 people, I stood outside a restaurant that calls itself a coffee shop. I stood, and I stood. I stood in a line that snaked ahead of me for what seemed to be half a city block. I stood for an hour and 35 minutes.
Local professor Hung Lan did many of us in higher education a huge favor last year when she squawked publicly about a lack of feeling among some of our student population for courtesy in our classrooms.
Every once in a while a news story comes along that is so strange and shocking that it causes us to shake our heads in near disbelief. We don't know whether to laugh or cry.
2011/10/9, 3 Comments