Sunday, November 06, 2016

Sense of Taipei / 台北感


週五聽了李明璁教授的演講,他提到每個地方都應該有其特殊的文化氛圍,台北的特色是什麼呢?去象山健行的時候,得到了有趣的答案。

I listened to a talk by Prof. Lee Ming-tsung two days ago on how every place should have its own particular sense, i.e. culture and atmosphere. What is the sense of Taipei? I found extremely intriguing answers on a hike to Xiangshan (Elephant Mountain) yesterday. 

        現在的象山非常國際化,有國內國外的旅人,每個佇足點也都有強烈的特色,例如說,我們到巨石公園時,被排隊的人潮嚇了一跳,這裡又不是信義區的百貨公司,究竟在排什麼?原來大家想爬到石頭上拍照,有人認真研究如何爬上去,有人為了避開人潮,盤算著登上其他顆石頭,我強烈感受到大家征服石頭的欲望。而且這裡的旅人穿著打扮很多和逛信義區的人群沒兩樣,還有穿著小紅鞋來登石頭的女孩呢!我本來只是在遮蔭處發呆,後來忍不住記錄這個驚奇的畫面。

     Amazingly,  Xiangshan is a rather international tourist spot now. There are much more foreign travelers than imagined. Every stop in the mountain is unique in its own way. For example, upon reaching the Giant Rock Park, we were stunned by the queue. What were people lining up for? It turns out that they would like to take a picture upon one of the rocks. It was amusing to eavesdrop   people's talk about how to climb the rock or how to avoid the crowd by going up on another rock. I could feel their strong desire to conquer the rocks! Besides, most people would be mistaken as the shoppers in Xin-yi District since their wear was no different. In fact, it's important to look fashionable for the photo on the rock. In the beginning I was just watching people in the shade, but I couldn't help sketching the super interesting image later on. 



        往前走到逸賢亭,亭子前有做操的民眾,亭子裡有大叔拉著手風琴,旁邊還有舉重的男孩,大寶說這是象山上的World Gym!因為再度覺得很驚奇,我又拿出速寫本,想不到右下角的阿伯跑來讓我點歌,接著「何日君再來」,我只能想到「甜蜜蜜」,大叔演奏完還來教護心操,好和樂融融啊!

     As we moved ahead to one pavilion, in front of it were the locals doing exercise, and in the pavilion there were other stories going on. An old man played the accordion while a young man was lifting weight next to him. This is the mountain version of World Gym! Feeling amazed again, I took out my sketchbook immediately. The half-naked uncle in the lower right corner was eager to have me request a song. Since the previous one is a classic by the famous singer Teresa Teng, I had no choice but to request another song of hers. After the performance, the accordion musician came to teach me how to massage my hands. What a harmonious afternoon! 

        台北是個什麼元素都可以找到的地方,而且完全無違和感,可說處處有驚喜!

     The sense of Taipei lies in a wide mix of all the cultural elements, whether local or foreign. Strangely, nothing feels out of place here and there are always surprises to look forward to! 

Saturday, November 05, 2016

The magnifying glass / 顯微鏡下


這學期和另一班的幾個孩子們一起修「造紙」的選修課,包涵了生物、物理、化學和藝術的內容,在生物方面長了很多見識,不過還有令我意想不到的大收穫,那就是當我變成孩子們的同學時,看到了只站在講台上看不到的風景。

I am taking a course on "how to make paper" along with some students this year. The course covers biology, physics, chemistry and art. I have learned a lot in science, but what I didn't expect is that when I become the classmate of my fifteen-year-old students, I've got an opportunity to a bigger world. 



        首先,孩子們會罩生物很不靈光的我,因為感受到學習上的障礙,我常常有「啊,原來跟不上的感覺是這樣啊!」這個經驗讓我變得比較能夠設身處地為小朋友著想。變成了同學之後,孩子們會問我:「你下週會來上課嗎?」在課堂上做實驗或手作時,就像和同齡的朋友什麼也沒有忌諱地和我閒聊。

     For starters, the girls will help me since I have difficulty learning biology. Now that I experience the frustration of learning something I am not good at, it often hits on me that I should be more understanding toward the kids that struggle. Often, the girls will ask me, "Will you come to class next week?" When we are doing experiments or making handicrafts, they will chat with me like I am their peer without being reserved at all. 



        更重要的是,在我突然又覺得自己像新手的時候,我的好朋友每一週都和我分享學習的挫折和進步的喜悅,以及多麼多麼喜歡我。例如她們大方地拿出帥哥老師的照片給我看,可是當我問:「你喜歡帥哥平淡的講課還是有趣的老奶奶?」又毫不遲疑地回答:「還是老奶奶好了!」這讓我開始對教到六十歲有點期待了。

     What's more important, when I suddenly lose confidence in myself, my good friends will share with me their progress in learning and how much they like me. For example, once they didn't hesitate to show me the photo of a handsome young teacher, but when I asked them, "Do you prefer him or an interesting granny?" I got a surprising answer, "It would be the granny!" This makes me start to look forward to having to teach until I am 60. 

        原來,放在顯微鏡下的心情是愛和鼓勵啊!

So what I get to see under the magnifying class is love and encouragement. 



後記:生物不好的我,只記得第一張圖美女的名字了:是紫背萬年青。

P.S.: I can only remember the name of the first plant: Oyster Plant. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Another kind of life / 另一種人生


帶孩子們去電視台錄節目,我也得到好多刺激,原來電視台的人生是這樣啊! 

Today I take the girls to a TV station for recording a program. I'm so inspired by everything I see! 



        本來沒有打算速寫,但是攝影棚裡太多好玩的東西,我在當觀眾時忍不住記錄了起來!

     I didn't intend to sketch, but I can't miss out on so many interesting gadgets. Don't worry, while my hand is busy, my ears are paying attention as well to the host, the writer, and the student guests. 



        我非常喜歡攝影棚裡黑色機器和亮橘色燈光的強烈對比,這位攝影師大哥發現我在速寫! 也許做不了其他工作,但是能有機會去別人的工作崗位體驗一下,真的很不賴! 

     I really LOVE the contrast between the black boxes everywhere and the fluorescent orange lights. Only the photographer in the above picture notices that I am sketching. 

     I might not have the courage to try another job, but it's so nice to experience something totally different! 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Then, / 然後,


做了同樣工作十五年是什麼感覺呢?我還是很喜歡這個工作,也喜歡遇到的孩子們,但是對於自己的工作意義有很多矛盾的想法,就像每個工作一樣,有理想的目標,同時也有現實的挑戰。

How does it feel to do the same job for fifteen years? Undeniably, I still like the job and the kids that I have spent time with along the way. However, I have to deal with more and more contradictory feelings in myself. As with every profession, it is essential to strike a balance between ideals and the reality.



        有一天楷維出門去上英文課之前,阿公公問了他:楷維,腦袋有戴著嗎?
他答:放在冰箱裡。

     One day before Kai went to English class, Grandpa asked him, "Kai, do you have your head with you?" 

     He answered, "It's in the fridge." 



        思維升上五年級之後,功課變多了,前天寫到十一點四十五分才睡覺。以前他總是每天早上帶著明亮的笑容對我說:上學很好玩啊!現在他就只是累累地微笑。

     This fall since Von was in fifth grade, he has much more homework than before. He didn't hit the sack until 11:45 p.m. two days ago. He used to greet me with a bright grin in the morning, saying, "It's fun to go to school." Now, he just squeezes a weary smile. 

        我說:那麼我們今天不要帶腦袋出去好了,身體走出去就好,腦子放在家裡,想像我們躺在沙發上一整個早上聊天。

     I say, "Then, let's go to school without our heads. We'll go with just our bodies and leave our heads home. Let's imagine lying on the sofa and chatting the whole morning." 

        還好他笑了。

     Fortunately, he laughs. 



        楷維嘻嘻笑地說:老師問我腦袋在哪,我就說要回家拿! 
        我說:然後老師就氣到炸掉了!

     Kai giggles, "The teacher will ask me where my head is, and I will say I need to go home to get it." 

     I reply, "Then the teacher explodes with anger!" 



        然後,這世界上就再也沒有老師,也沒有功課了!

        我們三個帶著這樣愉悅的心情出門去。我又接著去給學生出更多的功課‧‧‧‧‧‧

     "Then, there won't be any teacher, thus, NO HOMEWORK! Hooray!"

     We three go out in a pleasant mood in the end. Finally, I go to work and give my students more homework...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Rainy face / 下雨的臉


週六的植標館活動,來了一位令人印象深刻的陸配媽媽,和女兒們一起玩,也問了我們很多個人的問題。

媽媽:你沒有自己的小孩嗎?
我:沒有,所以來這裡和別人的孩子玩。
媽媽:我剛來的時候,整天在家裡帶孩子,邊帶邊哭。

媽媽說這話的時候,外面的雨下得好大,好像是她全身上下的寂寞,怎麼倒也倒不完。

On Saturday afternoon in the herbarium, a Chinese immigrant mom brings her daughters to the workshop, but she is more enthusiastic about the lesson. She also asks us many questions on the personal level. 

Mom: Do you have your own children? 
I: No, that's why I am here to play with others' kids. 
Mom: When I first came, I had to take care of the girls on my own. I cried all the time. 

When she says these words, it is raining hard outside. It feels like she can never cease discarding her soaking-wet loneliness... 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Yes, you may. / 可以喔!


班上的孩子真的很有趣,說的話很有後座力,我常常當下沒有仔細感受,但之後再回想,總是會忍不住會心一笑。

My new kids always surprise me with really cool ideas. Their words often trigger backlash in me. I might not feel the power in the moment, but whenever I think about their responses later, I never fail to smile or laugh out loud. 

        這星期大家為了爭取交換學生的名額,為了能否讓他校的學生來住自己家,著實想破了頭。其中最可愛的想法是搖一搖妹妹,她很認真地問我:交換同學來的時候,我們可以抱在一起睡嗎?我當時只覺得:哇!真是可愛,但今天再想一下,才感覺到力道,是要多沒有心防的人才說得出這樣的話呢? 

      This week the girls racked their brains hard to figure out how to accommodate the exchange students. One of the most amazing solutions came from Shakira. She asked me very seriously, "When my exchange partner comes, could I hold her when we sleep?" I was of course amused, but it is not until today that I see through what lies behind her words. I mean, how un-reserved can one be to come up with such an idea? 

        雖然我沒有辦法替交換同學回答這個問題,不過身為一輩子有著銅牆鐵壁的人,這次我願意說:好的,你可以。

      I can't answer for her partner, but as a very reserved person all my life, I am willing to say, "Yes, you may." this time. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Too much beef / 牛啊,對不起!


下雨天最棒的享受之一是吃涮涮鍋,可是我對牛非常不好,連續吃了三天的牛肉鍋,是地球暖化的罪魁禍首。

One of the luxuries on rainy days is to eat hot pot, but I went for the beef for three days consecutively. Well, I feel very guilty about causing global warming to worsen...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Gifts on a rainy day / 下雨天的禮物



是無限的想像力!

Is endless IMAGINATION!




Happy Big Bear 

Big Bear loves rainy days, 
when there are traffic jams,
when he can sleep on the trams.

Big Bear has honey in his bag; 
not to hear his teachers nag,
Big Bear decides to skip school
because he wants to try the cool 
picnic in the rain 
with his honey mixed with the rain 





還有來自倫敦超級酷的禮物!

And this super cool gift from London! 



戴著它,下雨天也閃亮無比!

I feel my rainy days are extremely shiny when I wear it! 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Constipated roads / 便秘的道路


下雨天,道路飽受便秘之苦,車輛也開始有了自己的想像。

The roads suffer from constipation on rainy days. The cars can do nothing but revel in their own imagination.