September 30, 2005

Stuck between a rock and a hard place

My contract with some cram school is going to be due at the turn of next month. Considering that I have been teaching at the the same place for 2 years already, I decide not to renew it. Hence, starting next month, I will have all the time in the world and more like a houseman with my family except for the Tuesday and Thursday classes at Global Village. Meanwhile I must start to think of the next move I am going about. Should I stick to the teaching field or switch to a different one? Recently I have got lots of advices from my friends who gave me different suggestions.

One of my students said I should run a English cram school to teach kids English because it is kind of like an easy money to make. Another friend of mine wants me to stay put until he is ready to run his business and he will ask me to cooperate with him. I even heard from one student that I should think of myself the luckiest guy in the world for the reason that I spend more time with my kid from now on, which is most parents' desire in Taipei. Well, what else should I ask for? I also met Amber yesterday who suggested me get more classes at Global Village because doing business in Taiwan is rather risky. I don't seem to be a good businessman-to-be.

I am thankful to all their comments and at this point I just want to take a short rest and start to prepare myself for the upcoming English test which I will partake next month. I will see what I can do then.

September 28, 2005

Poem Reading #4

Dear all,

I found that you can gradually read those poems smoothly. Remember, knowing how to pronounce those sounds is not enough; you must do. Please see the following:

- Hui Ping

With good basics, sweet and clear voice, Hui Ping sounds like a pleasing teacher. Good interpretation.

- Yao Hwan

A bit nervous; voice quality good. A few mispronounced words that can be easily improved.

- Michelle

Knows how to take her time to get into the reading. Assertive. There are highs and lows, and there is life.

- Nancy

Voice shaking. Admirable courage nevertheless. Emotional poem reading.

Many people are nervous when standing on stage reading poems. It’s plain to me that they will do a much better job if given a second chance. The first time is often the most difficult. It will be easier to do the same thing in the future.


September 26, 2005

Con arts in Taiwan

Here I would like to tell you Julie's story. She used to be one of my students and has a wonderful family and life. Just months ago before she emigrated to the U.S., she received a phone call from someone who pretended to be from a credit card company. She was told by the swindler on the phone that her credit card account has been stolen and someone had used it to made several purchases. She needed to call the number provided by the "bank" to the police authority in order not to get in more trouble. She felt so scared and immediately dialed the number....

I guess most of you must have known the outcome of this true story. Julie eventually lost a big fortune because she was totally taken in by the swindler's old hat. She was talked into transferring her money in the bank to a so-called "saver account" which actually belonged to that confidence man.

In recent years, there have been cases of fraud and deception happening over and over again on this island. There are always people taking the bait prepared by the criminal syndicates. In any case, we should be more on guard ourselves and suspicious about these telephone scams. Once you got swindled sum of money out of your bank account, you will be a goner.

Don't get suckered in, please.

September 25, 2005

Website update notification

I have updated my personal Web page at Please take a look at it and learn new phrases and sentences from there.

September 21, 2005

Voluntary worker

My wife joined in the first parents' day at our son's school this weekend. I was unable to take part in that event because of my weekend job. When I went home, she told me that we must afford sometime in the morning to act as a voluntary worker for helping the schools kids safely cross the road on their way to school. I think this is a fine idea for parents who can do something about giving the school a hand.

Moreover, I was given another duty which is to teach English in my son's class. Starting this week, I have to do this non-paid job on every Wednesday, 8 through 8:30 in the morning, because the teacher has to go to the meeting on a weekly basis during then. Taking this job seems no challenge to me at all since I used to teach kids English at some after-school centers. I sure have the confidence completing the task well, but there is only one thing that makes me concern about--what will my son think about it? Will he feel bashful? We'll see.

September 18, 2005

Poem Reading #3 -- by Bruce Lin

So, there goes the same old story: students had no problem to pronounce certain sounds, but when those sounds are placed in words, they start to pronounce in their old ways. Old habits die hard. But you will kick those old habits if you practice 10 minutes every day. Please see the following comment on students’ poem readings:

Poem reading of “There Is No Frigate Like a Book”

Shou Tien

He sounded like having an iron mouth, but it’s getting softer as he progressed his reading. Somehow students would pronounce hard to pronounce well, but they end up pronouncing hard in their Chinese Ways. We can make progress through repeated imitation. Our goal is to pronounce well and comfortably.

Shu Fen

She read the poem well. Although a bit nervous, she could definitely do a better job if she has the chance to read for others many times. Nervousness can be overcome by numbness.

Ai Wei

Ai Wei did a good job. I don’t know whether this was because she practiced a lot or she was basically good. Anyway, every word was clear and her voice was soothing. Of course, it’s time for her to add music freely to her reading. (or her English speaking)

Poem reading of “The Eagle”

Chen Bun

Like Shou Tien, Chen Bun has iron mouth. The way we speak Mandarin is developed through many years. It can't be changed overnight to sound like English, but it can be changed with time. However, his pronunciation was clear. Foreigners should have no problem understanding him.

Duan Hung

Duan Hung's has sonorous voice. The poem was effortless rendered and his voice traveled far. He's done a great work, and he has a great talent.

Yi Tien

Yi Tien's poem reading was unlike any other. It's good and it's bad. If we took his reading as seeing a picture, the picture showed us an Eagle flying, prancing, attacking… -- his Eagle was much livelier than others'. But if we used a magnifying glass to see the details of the picture, we would find that he blurred many sounds – especially consonants. After all, English is not our language; westerners do not need to consciously learn how to pronounce, but we do. We need to learn so many tiny pieces of knowledge here, and though practice – only through practice – can we make those pieces our own.


September 16, 2005

Our new guest writer

I am now to make a significant announcemnet for this BLOG. It is my great honor to invite an acquaintance of mine, Mr. Steve Pan, to be the guest writer of our BLOG here. Steve used to work together with me in the same company in Fremont, California. He has been working there for several years and has become the most dependable and diligent hard worker in this company. Due to his great performance and excellent writing skills, I wrote a letter to him the other day asking him to spare his busy time and do some writings for us. Therefore, we can sooner or later get to know what an American people's life like Steve's is really going on. Does this sound great to you all?

We are so keen on sharing his precious experience in the U.S. with us. Back to you! Steve.

September 14, 2005

My computer finally worked.

After suffering from living without Internet, my computer finally got back to work. While it really cost me a lot to get it fixed, I think all the money I shelled out is worthy when I see you all waiting to catch me on line. Talk to you later!

September 13, 2005

Problem found!!

I thought it was the spyware which leaded to my computer's crash, but actually it was not. The guy from the computer store called and told me that he had tried to troubleshoot my computer's problem and eventually he found it was due to the motherboard malfunction. No wonder I couldn't figure out the problem on my own, which also means I must cost a fortune to rehabilitate my computer: a 512 MB DDR RAM, a new ASUS motherboard, as well as the reinstallation of the operating system plus some inspecting fees. Holy cow! I may get a new computer with the money I will have to pay.

September 12, 2005

Still hanging...

I've still got problem with my computer which can't let me surf the internet as I usually do in my free time. I have tried to ask some people how to get over with the trouble, but it was still to no avail. Any anti-virus software doesn't seem to work on my computer, though I believe most of the spy ware bugs must have been inspected and removed from it. However, it still ended up with invalid connection. If the problem remains, I will have any computer store technician take a look at it and that may be the quickest solution to the problem.

Poem Reading #2 -- by Bruce Lin

English pronunciation is something from another world – new rules or movements for your lips. All we need is time and consistency to get used to those few new rules and it does not take hard work. You can’t alter your way to pronounce overnight, but you can improve if you spend a few minutes practicing every day

I hope we can use poem reading to understand that English conversation is not as hard as we thought. I want to remind you again that when you practice, read those words or sounds slowly. The following are my suggestions on their readings of the second poem, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings:

-- Kuo Yao

Kuo Yao read very well. There were a few tiny flaws (mispronounce some consonants or vowels) but mostly he got the gist; he can correct himself if he reads often. In other words, his word pronunciation was clear, and it’s time to add life to the poem.

-- Chen Chien

Maybe Chen Chien was very busy. He did not practice frequent enough. Remember, only 10 minutes a day. The course is almost useless if one does not have out-of-class practice. The only way to read well is read more. Developing a good relationship with a language takes time. Give English a chance, and also give ourselves a chance.

-- Chieh Chung

Chieh Chung was pretty good. His voice and English was clear. The pace was good. Good intimacy with the poem. But I don’t know why he was gradually turning down his voice through the reading. No need to do so.


September 10, 2005

He's got a promotion.

One of my friends in the US sent me an email telling all his friends that he had got a promotion. Let's see how he expresses his feeling about it.

Hi all:

I would like to announce a great news to you all... last Friday at 6pm I got a generational promotion. I have been given a lifelong position that requires continuous commitment and should expect no rewards. This lifetime long membership also requires 24/7 attention and devotion.

It is not a paid position. In fact, I just realized it costs me quite a lot. Plus, there is no "team" member for me to lead, only orders to follow ...

Wait a minute, this is a demotion! Attached you will find my new boss Jeremy's pictures. He is very little but very mean. When he screams, you'd think your eardrum would break!


I can't go online now.

This is weird, and I have never encountered problem like this before. I could go online but just couldn't open any Web pages. I tried calling Chunghwa Telecom and explaning to them the pain in the ass. They eventually didn't seem to find out the problem either. One thing for sure is, my computer has been attacked by some sort of virus which uses up my system resource, it whereas doesn't allow me to use the Web browser but itself. However, I can still see the status window that shows the bandwidth of my ADSL connection still being occupied by the spy program hidden in my computer. Shoot!! I shouldn't have let my son play the game downloaded from internet earlier, or it wouldn't have been this bad now. Someone helps?

September 09, 2005

Weekly Reminder

I have updated my personal Web site on the daily learning section as well as the front page news. One of the issue about me is I am going to open a new class next week. For detail, please check that out.

September 05, 2005

Be a star

Leon is a student of mine and he told me that he once went to an audition held by a modeling agency for being a runway model. He eventually failed it and lost the chance to get parts in that line of work. But, he said he might not want to give it another shot because he will be joining in the army next month or two.

Another case regards Klein who is also my student in another class. Compared to Leon, this young man is more craving to become a star, and he is more like a singer material. He has a good-looking face, playing music instruments in his free time, even attending the school that specializes in training people to break into the record industry.

You could be in luck if a scout found you on the street asking for your a head shot. It could end up being be a scam to you so you would be required to pay for an expensive portfolio of photos or there would be some hidden fees. Whatsoever, there are hundreds of ways you can do to get ahead in your life. Go for anything you want, and I hope everything you are doing will pan out.

modeling agency 模特兒經紀
runway model 伸展台模特兒
get parts in 加入
be craving to 渴望去...
singer material 歌者的料
specializes in 專長於
break into the record industry 打入唱片界
scout 星探
head shot 大頭照
end up 結果變成
scam 騙局
hidden fees 隱藏費用
get ahead 出頭
pan out 成功