March 31, 2005

Virus Attack

People visiting my Website during the night may have found that sometimes they couldn't open the site as it may display a message like "Unable to find the Web pages". After checking with the company who hosts my Web site in their server, I was told that my computer must have been infected by certain virus like Troy or the alike. I can't understand why my computer would have been contracted by viruses, because I use the anti-virus program like PC-Cillin to safeguard my computer all the time. I think the most possible reason for it due to my BLOG. So, from now on, I will do away with some unnecessary parts on my BLOG and use a simpler template for it. Hopefully doing so, the problem will be completely resolved.

March 29, 2005

After-school center

Having been teaching at an after-school center for long in Taipei, I am getting more and more reluctant to work there any longer. In my view, kids can't help but stay there immediately following their school classes, because their parents can offer no time with them. They consequently end up there on a daily basis.
I have also noticed that a number of the teachers at the after-school centers are very impatient and strict with the kids. Generally speaking, their best solutions to stop the kids playing around or making noises is punishment. They often shout at the kids or even verbally criticize them with an insulting tone. I view this as an abnormal phenomenon in our education environment. I feel sorry but I can do nothing about it. If possible, I will never let my kids go to any after-school centers. Moreover, I will try taking care of my kid on my own.

after-school center 安親班
be reluctant to 勉強去...
can't help but + 原形Verb 不得不...
offer + (time) 空出時間
end up 結果造成
generally speaking 一般來說

March 28, 2005

At my wit's end

From time to time when people got nothing in their mind to share with others, they are usually at their wit's end-- pretty similar to what I am up on right now.
All joking aside, though. Another thing I 'd like to say is, while I tried using the on-line ordering system to book a train ticket to Xinzhu for this coming Saturday, the tickets available were nonetheless all booked up. It occurred to that this coming weekend will be a hectic one for Tomb Sweeping Day. No wonder I couldn't get the ticket. Can anyone give me a lift? :)

at ones' wit's end 腸枯思竭
up on something 正從事某事
all joking aside 玩笑歸玩笑
nonetheless/ nevertheless 但是
it occurred to me 正好想到
Tomb Sweeping Day 清明節
give someone a lift 載一程

March 25, 2005

Real-life stories

Yesterday afternoon we were sharing real-life stories form each one of us in the class. Some stories were fun, and some other were depressing or scary. My story was about how I met an important friend of mine who saved me from living from hand to mouth. If it hadn't been for Bruce's help, I wouldn't have been so luck being a teacher here. Leo told us one of his friends got a car accident and the guy who bumped into his friend's car tried to hit and run but his license plate number had been taken down. I forgot what Aileen had said about her story, but another story of hers couldn't stop me from laughing until now. On one Fool's day, she gift-wrapped a chocolate-like soap and gave it to her roommate. Her roommate happily accepted it and ate the "chocolate" with no doubt. You can imagine how had become of her. Emily told us a story about his pass-away grandpa returning home one day. That was a horrible one. As for Marsha, hmm.....She said she almost drowned many years ago when she was a little girl playing with her sister near a fishing pool.
Would you like to tell us your real-life story?

Real-life 真實的
live from hand to mouth 勉強糊口
if it weren't for + n. 要不是因為(現在事實相反)
if it hadn't been for + n. 要不是因為(過去事實相反)
hit and run 肇事逃逸
take down 記下
license plate number 車牌號碼

March 23, 2005

Dear Extensionists

Dear Extensionists,

Last week's article is very difficult. My thinking was: There are people who understand the article, why would I be the one who don't? Then I thought: Wouldn't it be nice if people can understand it?

Wouldn't it be nice if we can break out of the shell and enjoy the fresh air sometimes? Wouldn't it be nicer if we can ALWAYS have that fresh air?

Of course you will learn something from this English reading session. But I think learning something from it is less important -- a few weeks' learning means quite little. What matters more is whether you can keep your motors rolling, rolling, and rolling without being told from now on. Wanting to learn should be a human nature. Why are so many people losing that human trait?

The first two articles we read are entertaining. This week's article, Free the Children, is serious – it is about education. It is one of the most important short essays I have ever read. Let's read it together on Thursday.


March 22, 2005

Broken this, broken that.

English learners in Taiwan always tend to tell foreigners that their English is "poor" and "broken". In my view, if they really think that's how they are in terms of learning a language, they will be like that forever. So, I will suggest them use a different expression, for instance, they can say "My English is functional, but not fluent yet." in place of saying "I can't speak English well" or "I am not good in English".
Don't sell yourselves short and be more self-assured.

in terms of 就...而言
functional 有起作用的
in place of 取代
don't sell oneself short 看輕自己
self-assured 自信

March 21, 2005

People flood

Before last weekend, people wondered when the weather would become warmer for the reason that the cold weather had been lasting for many weeks. Fortunately, the temperature went high again all of a sudden over the weekend. So, I decided to take my family out on a short tour to Yangming mountain.
Not until we got there had we found out that there were so many people who got the same travel plan as we did. The whole park was flooded with tourists; it was even harder to move an inch at some spots. We decided to get out of there and kept driving down the Yangjing road toward Jingshan.
We had a great time right at the beach after arriving in Jingshan, but none of us dared play in the water because it still felt a little cold now. When we got back home, we ran into a terrible traffic-- the entire road was congested-- a bumper-to-bumper situation. It took us 2 hours to get home from there. What the heck.

for the reason that 因為
not until ..... had + subject + p.p 直到...才
be flooded with 被...所淹沒
dare + verb 敢去...
2) 車險的全險(從前保險桿保到後險桿, 不叫全險嗎?)
what the heck 搞什麼飛機

March 19, 2005

Hard question, easy answer

I have been asked countless times about this:
How do I improve my English?
How come I can't write well?
Is there any faster way to learn English?
How can I know all the vocabulary I have read by heart?
Why can't I catch the meaning of conversation played in the CDs?
All in all, I don't think I am quite an eligible person to answer all the questions--I am a learner as well.
However, what I know is, if I don't give upon it, I will get myself improved little by little, each and every day.
The crash courses offered from the cram school can't fully guarantee you to the proficiency of the language, but you are always expected to get more interest in it. If they eventually works for you, it is a good start though.
Keep on the right track, my friends. Give yourselves some credit, and consequently you will be no longer afraid of it.

know something by heart 記下某事
crash courses 密集課程
cram school 補習班
on the right track 在正確的途徑
give someone credit 相信某人

March 17, 2005

Sign up for a member

If you want your name to appear on this BLOG, please inform me by leaving your comment here. When I see it, I will send you an invitation mail for the necessary arrangement. One of the benefits of being a member is that you can post your own articles here in stead of leaving comments only. That is, you can have more opportunities to make yourselves exposed to others. It is the era of marketing, isn't it?

Eke out a living

In my GEPT writing class, either for intermediate or high-intermediate level, I always write down on the whiteboard the finer points on part I which has to do with how to convert the sentences in Chinese into English.

In tonight's class, one of the sentences was "勉強糊口" which had to be converted into English. This really tasked most of the students' brain. So, I gave two possible answers to it:

* to live from hand to mouth
He lives from hand to mouth by being a teacher.

* to merely make (both) ends meet in one's life
He merely makes ends meet in his life by being a teacher.

Here I have another one to share with you:

*To eke [ik] out a living
He ekes out a living by being a teacher.
He ekes out an income by working two jobs.

finer point 細節
task one's brain 傷腦筋

March 15, 2005

Apology to Priscilla

Sorry, Priscilla,
I did not mean to offend you today in the class but I should have known where the cut-off point to my joke is. I think including Leo, Aileen, and I, we all hope that you will get over the enough trouble you are encountering now. So, whatever prayer you have said with your fellow people in the church, all you have to do is put your mind to it. Being a teacher of this class, I regret I must have irritated you while playing pranks on you. Next time I will watch out for that when I am at it.

cut-off point 拿捏的分寸
get over 克服
enough trouble 麻煩的事
prayer 禱告
fellow people 夥伴
put one's mind to something用心實踐
play pranks on someone 開玩笑
be at something 正在做某事

Secret Worlds: The Universe Within

See how tiny you are in this universe. Click here.

Shell out a few bucks

I think the most reluctant thing I will do is spending money on food. I would rather buy things that are tangible and able to be preserved for long than eat a luxury meal and flush the toilet with it next morning. What a waste.
The other day I was heading to Carrefour to buy some groceries. There I found the shoe department was still on the clearance sale. Some genuine shoes like a pair of leather-made ones were even sold for 320 NTD compared to its original 1100 NTD- that's 70% off. What a steal! I will never shell out a few bucks for these bargains. Everything must go, so go for them now!!

tangible 可觸摸的
what a steal 很便宜
shell out a few buck for 不情願買....

March 13, 2005

Road rage

You can probably identify with my problem. Why do I call it a problem? It is for the reason that when I met bad drivers driving down the roads, I usually tend to lose my head at times. People call that "Road rage". Do you often get pissed off by them? You can speak up your mind here.

identify with 認同, 體會
for the reason that = because
lose one's head 失去控制
at times 有時候
road rage 在公路上發飆
be pissed off 生氣


____ is better than God.
____ is worse than Evil.
If you eat ____, you will die.(三個空格必須是同一個字) 沒有人答得出來

∴ x屬於空集合
∴ x=nothing
answer :nothing is better than God.(沒有什麼比上帝更好。)
nothing is worse than Evil. (也沒有什麼比惡魔更壞。)
If you eat nothing, you will die(如果你什麼也沒有吃,那麼你就會死!)

March 11, 2005

Think it through

I read recently that a lawyer's husband who was once a drug addict tried injuring his parents in-law by using some weapon and made his escape straight after. The lawyer used to help her client, who later became her significant other, fight against the lawsuit. After the case settled they soon became an item. The average people would be surprised by their story, however, couple should always think it through before they get married.

drug addict 有毒癮的人
significant other 另一半
average people 一般人
think it through 仔細考慮

What works best for you?

There are different ways to learn a language, but learners should find the one that best works for them. Some like to do lots of readings and some are in favor of watching movies. A talkative person may think about taking part in a language club to practice communication skills. In any case, finding a right way that works best to learn can keep us working on it for long.

in favor of 支持, 喜歡
take part in 參加
in any case 無論如何

March 09, 2005

A good Website to visit.

Someone forwarded me this Web address which introduces an English club who is inviting you to be their member. Like I said before, club English is among the best methods of learning. So, if you are interested please go to their Web site to find out more about how to join them.

Who can help me?

Could anybody help me solve this problem?

My English teacher(at school) told us that one of her friends who's an American said to her that we should use "drive" for scooter instead of "ride". "Americans use "drive" for everything with engine." he said. Is that right?

Albert's GEPT Tutoring Service

Hello, my friends,

After several day's hard work, I have finally finished building the Website of my tutoring class. You may go check it out and place your comments by clicking on the "discussion area" section.
I will be grateful to you if you can refer this information to your friends who need this service.
Web address:



March 08, 2005

Bye, my friends.

This coming Thursday night will be an important moment for me; I am going to teach the final class for Xindian GV. Having been there as a teacher for such a long period of time, frankly speaking, I hate to say good bye but it is high time I did so. So much to do, so little time. All I can say is that I will never forget those who ever kept me company in class. I have gained lots of experience all because of your participation. I will still be around since then, so if I can be of any help please don't hesitate to contact me. I will keep all your faces by heart.

Thanks and take care...


Dear Extensionists,

My name is Weijen. I am sure you'd be wondering what the reading club is about. There is nothing fancy about the club; it does only one thing - reading. I will get some good articles from the Internet and we will read them together and hope you will develop the habit of reading from then on. We will also discuss words, grammar, cultural allusions through reading. Don't worry about your English proficiency; learning is a very basic human right, not some kind of privilege enjoyed by the few.

I think we are living in a world full of ironies. The more books we have, the less we read; the more "skills" are invented to learn English, the less we know English. Now, we have the Internet, and logically, students should learn more through it considering that 80% of the information on the Net is in English, yet this is not the case. What's going on? Do people spend time reading English?

The name Extension came out naturally because English is supposed to be the extension of our senses. In the word "extension," the root "tens" is from Latin. It means "stretch." "Ex" is a prefix meaning "out" – thus "stretch out." We live in a small island, and it is very important (and interesting) to reach out to the outside world through English (think globalization). Unfortunately, for many students, English becomes the obstacle for them to feel the world. Do so many tests and so many English language schools help? Your books are piling up and what have you read? Have you ever experienced the beauty the English language delivers? What do you do when you open your eyes? When I see students memorizing words, phrases, or grammatical points, I don't feel that they are stretching their perception. Rather, they are stuffing their memories with tons of English signs; they are not yet stretching their senses to know more about this world through English. Read, will you?

Don't expect your English will be better after the 3-month course, but I hope that you will love to read English as much as I do. I also hope your perception of the world can become infinite because of English. Make it a tool in your life; don't make it a burden from the endless English tests you will take.

Email me if you have any questions about the course.


Sorry for the delay.

People who come visiting here may have noticed that recently I don't publish as many articles as I always did. Part of the reason is that I have been working hard on the preparation for my tutoring class. There are lots of things that need to be taken care of. At this point, for example, I am working on developing the website of the class that will have been accomplished by this Wednesday. In addition to that, some flyers will have to be created and sent out. Again, sorry for the delay but please come back frequently for checking out new stuff here. I will keep you posted from time to time as well.

March 06, 2005

OK. This is the wrap-up. I think I have shown you all the pictures I took during our trip to Miaoli for our new year vacation. How do you like them? Please feel free to speak up your mind.

wrap-up 結尾, 結局
feel free to 不要客氣
speak up one's mind 說出某人的想法

Here comes another shot.
One of the views in the mountains
I hope I can move to a place like this one over here when I am over the hill someday.

over the hill 不再年輕

Hey! Wait up! Wait for me! Don't leave me behind.

wait up 等一下
leave someone behind 留下某人而離開

Our next stop, but I can't recall the name of this place. We will take a hike in the mountains later.

recall 回想

March 04, 2005

Our breakfast derives from here. The owner of the lodge grows these vegetables just right in their back yard. Amazing! I can even smell the freshness of these green leaves.

derive from 起源於

March 03, 2005

You will never get this quiet in Taipei.
We stayed in Nanzhuang for one night at a cozy bed-and-breakfast. I took this picture after I woke up next morning. The date printed on the photo isn't correct.

cozy 溫暖的, 舒適的
bed-and-breakfast 民宿

March 02, 2005

To my friends...--contributed by Jonathan

To My Friends Who Are...........SINGLE
Love is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it eludes you.
But if you just let it fly, it will come to you when you least expect it.

Love can make you happy but often it hurts, but love's only special when you give it
to someone who is really worth it.

So take your time and choose the best.


To My Friends Who Are............NOT SO SINGLE

Love isn't about becoming somebody else's 'perfect person.'
It's about finding someone who helps you become the best person you can be.

To My Friends Who Are............PLAYBOY/GIRL TYPE

Never say 'I love you' if you don't care. Never talk about feelings if they aren't there. 如果你不在乎,不要說'我愛你'。如果他們不在時,不要討論自已的感受
Never touch a life if you mean to break a heart.
Never look in the eye when all you do is lie.
The cruelest thing a guy can do to a girl is to let her fall in love when he doesn't intend to catch her fall and it works both ways...

To My Friends Who Are............MARRIED

Love is not about 'it's your fault', but 'I'm sorry.' 不要老是說'這是你的錯',何不說說'對不起'。
Not 'where are you', but 'I'm right here.' 不要老是問'你去哪裡了',何不說說'我就在這兒等著你'。

Not 'how could you', but 'I understand.'
Not 'I wish you were', but 'I'm thankful you are.'

To My Friends Who Are............ENGAGED
The true measure of compatibility is not the years spent together but how good you are for each other.

To My Friends Who Are............HEARTBROKEN
Heartbreaks last as long as you want and cut as deep as you allow them to go.
The challenge is not how to survive heartbreaks but to learn from them.

To My Friends Who Are............NAIVE

How to be in love: Fall but don't stumble, be consistent but not too persistent, share and never be unfair, understand and try not to demand, and get hurt but never keep the pain.

To My Friends Who Are............POSSESSIVE
It breaks your heart to see the one you love happy with someone else but it's more painful to know that the one you love is unhappy with you.

To My Friends Who Are............AFRAID TO CONFESS
Love hurts when you break up with someone.
It hurts even more when someone breaks up with you. 當他/她和你分手時,更是傷痛
But love hurts the most when the person you love has no idea how you feel.

To My Friends Who Are............STILL HOLDING ON
A sad thing about life is when you meet someone and fall in love, only to find out in the end that it was never meant to be and that you have wasted years on someone who wasn't worth it.
If he isn't worth it now he's not going to be worth it a year or 10 years from now. '

Let go.....


My wish for you is a man/women whose love is honest, strong, mature, never-changing, uplifting, protective, encouraging, rewarding and unselfish.

Chinese tongue twister 繞口令

This is a good practice....
Be careful to pronounce it correctly...
In order to know how good you are in speaking Chinese.................
過國過果 郭國過國國 果國過郭國國 國國國過果國
All right. You did a good job!!
It is the year of chicken.
You seem to have no problem talking to a cock (公雞) now.
Happy Chinese New Year.
Looking at the river from its bank, I think the course of the river looks waterless. However, I can imagine how torrential it will become of when typhoon comes.

course 河道
torrential 湍急的

If memory serves, this is Nanzhuang country of Miaoli county, another pretty point of interest for tourists. Here visitors can go for a bicycle ride in the fruit farms. We will go to the river side by the rental bikes later.

if memory serves 如果沒記錯
point of interest 景點

Try not to rush into things.

He plans on running a business on his own more often than not. A crash course for cramming for the GEPT isn't a bad idea. He just hopes his career life will be on the up-and-up this year. But he told himself to try not to rush into things or he may screw up everything.

more often than not 常常
crash course 密集課程
cram for 短時間密集學習
up-and-up 越來越好
try not to rush into things 匆促行事
screw up搞砸