"It Goes Like This…"

Tuesday November 5th, 2013

“It Goes Like This…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4keD5Qvya4

This morning I could have really used a hug. Sitting at the bus stop in the misty air waiting to board…Went to Hsinchu City this morning to make a hair appointment. The hairdresser- who speaks English as he studied and went to hair school in Canada- took my name and time. After, I headed to a cafe down an alleyway. No joke, the name of this place was: Marijuana Coffee Bar. (Like really?!) Sometimes I really do wonder about the definition and use of English words in appropriate contexts. The girl at the front spoke fluent Chinese to me; I don’t mean to, but I tend to give the most confused blank look, because as much as I try to decipher, I really have no clue as to what she is saying…and I really do try to fake it sometimes. Apparently I look Taiwanese. And this is the second time this has happened in a week! Two guys at the gym gave me thumbs up and started speaking to me like I knew what they were saying and I smile and nod and then they ask a question and I blank stare it again. And one of them pipes up….”ohhh…you no Taiwan? no Chinese? Me think you Taiwanese.” Umm…Thank you? My blending in skills are working, but in no way does this do me any good when questions are asked and the other person is waiting for a response. Fail. But hey at 6 a.m. when I’m lifting weights, I’ll take the thumbs up. Back to the Cafe…it was really quaint inside and had a nice patio to sit and loft away the garbage smell by inhaling the person next to me’s cigarette. (Which triggers this thought…there is a song called Coffee and Cigarettes by Augustana, now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a smoker, but there’s something about jazzy sounds blended with the rich aroma of my coffee and swirled with the faint smell of tobacco smoke that’s well…cozy…comforting…I just can’t put my finger on it.) The coffee was delightful though and it’s always nice to listen to the rain. The girl was super sweet and ended up speaking English quite well. The cafe opens about 8 for breakfast and she hopes to see me soon! Aww. Went into school for a one on one lesson for a girl in level 7 then spent some extra time prepping for my USA class…the unit is on Food and there are so many activities I can do!

When I looked at my desk there was a note written in Chinese…and the English translation next to it…

One of my new favorite songs!!! Lady Antebellum- “Compass” What a fun song and I love the lyrics…
“No Matter What You’ll Never Be Alone.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30PDGF1_jNo

FYI: I am officially a resident of Taiwan! I got my ARC this week.

Wednesday November 6th

Starbucks has red cups here. AND Christmas decorations. So even under the 80 degrees heavy humid rainy air this makes me incredibly happy! (Though my favorite holiday moment is walking under city lights with a light snow falling and a cup of coffee….) My little place of Christmas cheer. Thank you Taiwan Starbucks! #sharejoy.

Went to Chinese Dancing Yoga again tonight…I love the music mix…and the flowy moves…ya know like dancing.
headstand with my instructor…
so nerve-racking, I couldn’t concentrate very well!

Thursday November 7th

I started the day off catching up with a couple friends, then headed to the track for a workout. The track.was.empty. You know how freeing it is to run on an open track with no one in your way or heavy breathing or pounding of feet behind you? Just great.

Bright and Sunshiny Day!

After my workout, I came back to my apartment to find a Mad Lib birthday card (a game on a birthday card? genius!!!) and goodies from my dear friend Lori…a Husker shirt, caramel dove chocolate and peanut butter dove chocolate and the coolest water bottle ever!!! She’s so sweet! 🙂

Went to school, planned, then went to the local grocery store a couple blocks away to pick up chips for my upper level students because I had made my own “reward system” for them that motivates them better than the stamp goodies case. I got the chips…and discovered blueberries and strawberries. Ok. You must first understand that I have to go to the next town over (about a half hour local expressway train then take another local bus to the supermarket that sells berries.) for specialty items. I was SO excited! I think I may have squealed. YAY!!!

The day went well…on a reoccurring basis the kids tend to jump off chairs and tell me “Teacher, I can fly like an angry bird, look!” (Student collapses to the ground.) The kids also figured out that if they jump high enough they can touch my head…they proceed to tell me…”Teacher, you is is very short…my mom she is eh eh eh very taller than you…” I need to remember to not say to one class “my kids in the xyz class are learning about xyz…” because then I get “Teacher, you have kids? how many? are you married?” Oh snap. “No, I don’t have kids and I’m not married…” “But, why Teacher?” “Because I’m here teaching you…”Oh Teacher…Whhhhyyyy… don’t you say my kids???” Uhh…

Saturday November 9th

Friday at work, my co-teacher Zoe, and I decided to randomly to go to Taipei for a Night Market food dinner tonight. My favorite. We went to Shida Night Market, located just right out of the Taipower Building Subway stop. I love market shopping…the shopkeepers, the signs, the lights, the smells, the tastes…even though I walk outta there with a pounding headache of sensory overload from language, noise, and dodging people left and right I love being there and taking it all in for a little while. Freshly BBQ’d meat and veggies, fresh juices, handmade purses, jewelry, unique shops filled with odd things, and…American merchandise from Bath and Body Works and Victoria’s Secret…gotta appreciate the randomness. The guy that owned that shop has a friend in the states who ships the goods to him.

picking out my own cookies!

rockin’ that Husker red!
brilliant…a sign letting you know which stalls are free…


yay again!

Sunday November 10th

sunrise today…

Woke up this morning kinda early…but decided to just take it easy; catch up on The Journey’s sermons, and drink my coffee with my cookies from the market last night. It was a relaxing morning and I’m glad I didn’t rush out the door today. Mom sent fall photos from our backyard…I really miss Nebraska during the fall….here are some photos…just beautiful.

When listening to the sermons, then reading my devotion, and also contemplating recent conversations with my sisters and friends, I begin to challenge myself with these thoughts. How can reach a higher level of teaching instruction? I feel that I am taking the easy route out sometimes. Yes, living in another country is challenging in itself. But the actual job? Maybe I’m not being challenged. Yes, I am working on classroom management…I must answer the questions, How can I be a better teacher? How can I keep the motivation and energy high for the students to keep the learning environment positive? Am I finding the job easy and rewarding because I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and spiritually I know I’m on the right path so I feel a sort of peace and confidence when I’m in the classroom? Is leaving the international teaching room my next step to venture into the United States curriculum? My own country is a different world. Especially in the classroom. So many rules and regulations have been implemented since I was a student. Am I ready for this reality check? Am I ready for this challenge? Is this the right decision to make or is my life’s work supposed to be living abroad and going from contract to contract, country to country? Do you ever feel like something is so great that something bad is going to happen or change, that maybe the matter won’t be so great anymore and your perception of a place or plan will be altered? My fear is that I will take the easy way out and will become lackadaisical in my teaching and goals. 
getting new packages of post its= organized once again!
who knew? already ripened avocados are cheaper.
I’ll take it!
Tuesday November 12th
two of my dearest friends are coming to visit me for Lunar New Year…words cannot describe how ecstatic and blessed I feel…this gesture of friendship means the world to me… to those friends who have kept in touch, sent notes and scheduled time to talk….I cannot express how grateful I am to you either. Love love love to all of you. I am one lucky girl to have such amazing people in my life!
Went back to Marijuana Coffee Bar for breakfast and coffee before my hair appointment. I got my hair cut and dyed today at K-Mod Hair in Hsinchu. I decided to go back to a dark color. I love it. Walked around the city for a bit…it was kind of a cloudy chilly…chilly for here… day. Came home and made Grain-Free Brownie Bites. Great Tuesday. Off to Hatha Yoga this evening… 
caramel macciato

breakfast bagel with chicken and mushroom

my  awesome hair stylist
new hair for my birthday splurge


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