Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Some pictures from the last day of school.

Dustin dressed up as Santa Claus for Morning Kindergarten, and the kids were amazed, mystified, and confused by this strange old man in a red suit. They loved him.
Rex and Cooper (below) had no idea who Santa was, and both were very confused/scared of him. It must've been his long white beard. ^_^

I did the Kitchen rotation for the Christmas activities for Morning Kindergarten. It was a lot of fun. Jessica had made over 100 ginger bread cookies the night before and we decorated them. The kids loved it. They especially loved eating the different body parts, laughing gleefully when they ate the gingerbread man's head, legs, or arms. Kids are vicious. Below is Cooper, saying his favorite phrase, "oh no!" as he ate the gingerbread man's nose.Kbr and their gingerbread men.
Below is Sharlene "reading" to Cooper and Cindy from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.Megan and me after our performance with Afternoon Kindergarten.Megan and her student on the last day of classes.Lindsey and Jasper, the child she believes is half vampire.Sharon. In real life, she's a tank. But she's absolutely beautiful.
Julia and Nathalie. They both are adorable. Julia is Santa, and Nathalie is Rudolph. ^_^
Jerry is a very photogenic child. ^_^
Jemmy, playing "the Grinch!"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas part 1

We survived the Christmas Program! I'll have to post details and pictures later (I'm heading for Singapore in a few hours), but I really wanted to show a little bit of the program. The first video is of Afternoon kindergarten. Yes, that's me in the frumpy Ms. Claus suit...just ignore me. The kids are too darn cute. Watch the little girl on the far left...she'll do the splits at the end of the second song. lol. Megan (the one in a santa hat and green shirt) and I didn't notice until we watched the video for it. They did a great job, they were so cute!

Okay, this next video is amazing. This is Miss Lindsey's class. She's a dancer, and she worked miracles with these kids and their dance routine. They did an amazing job.

Sorry this post is so short! More to come!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Here Comes Santa Claus

Ah, the last week of school.

I feel like a kid again, counting down the days until the holiday break. Only three more days until the last day of school. Only two more days until we do our Christmas Program. (An adorable picture of Dream below, she looks like an angel, but is quite sassy in real life) For me, it'll be the last three days I have to teach Morning Kindergarten five days a week. Yay! But I am going to be head teaching Morning and Afternoon Kindergarten next semester, so I'll probably be up in the morning anyways planning (at least that's what I tell myself ^_^).
I just realized the Dinosaur group -- pictured above -- is going to be leaving Morning Kindergarten and most of them are graduating into KbR (Kindergarten Basic Reading) next semester. I'm really going to miss them. (Left to Right: Owen, Aden, Louie (jumping in the background), Weslia, (front row) Jenny, Brandon, Corey). *sigh. They are all very smart, and most of them have been in the program for almost two years. They grow up way too fast.This is John, as Rudolph today. He is the newest student we have, but is hilarious. He's very sharp, even though he giggles a lot and speaks mostly in Chinese.

This is Jemmy being very goofy as he "ho-ho's". Dream also got into the act and started doing some martial arts as Santa...all WAAAY too cute. Stanley and Felena look on. I love this group. They are the Dolphins group, and for a while, each one wanted a new name. Jemmy wanted to be called "Dinosaur!" and Dream wanted to be "Dora," Felena wanted to be "Boots" and Stanley wanted to be "Diego," Cast of "Dora the Explorer" anyone? ^o^ Well, of course, except for Jemmy, who is, in all awesomeness, just Jemmy.
This is Stanley, I believe he's in the middle of a "ho-ho" in this picture. He was very intent on being a good Santa...and so when we made a make-believe "sleigh," he wanted to make sure all the Santas KNEW they had to say "hi-yah" to make the reindeer go.This is the Cars group in their "sleigh." Cooper is in the front, Cindy and Sharon in the second row, and Jerry and Sharlene as Santas. I had to give all the reindeers red noses, otherwise they'd throw a fit. So now I'm pretty sure they think all reindeers have red noses.This is Jennica in the Santa hat. How big the hat is on her just goes to show how little these kids are, even as they're already learning their second language.And of course, itty-bitty Jemmy in the Santa hat. He is an adorable kid. Always puts on a good show. ^_^

This is the Cars group singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Okay, Okay, it's actually mostly me singing, but that's just because they're our youngest group (just try to ignore my voice). They're trying to sing, but I think they were distracted by smiling for the camera... ;) ...just because they know they're adorable...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lukang, Birthdays, & Jingle Bells

This past Saturday, we traveled to Lukang for a very quick visit. We went into a lantern shop and we were able to meet the National Treasure of Taiwan, who has painted lanterns for the President (current) and also for us ^_^. He was very nice and very cute.

Outside the shop there were tons of lanterns hanging, displaying the artwork of the master. Lish, Erin and I got lanterns of landscapes and flowers, and we also ordered elongated circle lanterns with goldfish on them. I'm very excited to see how they'll turn out (they're sending them to us).

Lukang was a fishing town in Taiwan, and has been relatively left untouched by more of the modern advances because of it's hard-to-get-to location, so there were many of the older shops that are still there.

Being the fishing town, and having the availability of seafood, we again ate the barbecued squid on sticks, and we even tried the famous oyster pancakes that everyone from Taiwan said we had to try. They were interesting...lol. We thought they'd be more "pancake-y" than they were. But they were very good. They were very rice-noodle-y-pancake-y.

On Thursday, it was Dustin's b-day, so we celebrated by going out to eat at a very cheap sushi restaurant. It was only about $1 USD a plate (that you pulled off a conveyor belt), and was delicious! I tried to eat as much as I could...I felt like a weak version of Kobayashi, only faring poorly at 6 plates. :(

Their sashimi was excellent though, it's been a long time since I had good raw fish. ^_^

I wasn't supposed to take a picture inside the restaurant...but I snuck one in anyways. Ooops. It was just a fabulous place, I couldn't help myself. ^_^ Anyways, this will definitely make one of my favorite places to eat here in Taiwan. It's amazing how well you can eat on a very tight budget.

Oh, my dad reminded me of another thing in an email he sent me; the standard of living in Taiwan for teachers is much better than for others in different professions here. As teachers, we get paid a little more than the average Taiwanese, which is pretty hard to grasp. I feel much less educated than the average Taiwanese, yet I get paid more, just because I was born in an English speaking country. Besides the fact that in the states, teachers get paid very poorly, but here in this country, because education is valued so much, they pay them pretty well. It reminded me of how my grandma used to tell me how lucky I was to go to school every time I complained about having to go everyday. I'm definitely seeing my privileged upbringing living in the states.

I'm considering graduate school in London...but I'm sure quite yet. My undergraduate GPA is a barely respectable 3.5, and I wish I had done better so I could get into any graduate program I want. But I'm very excited about the prospects. I started a language exchange with a Chinese speaker here, but realizing my lack of speaking abilities, I'm considering taking an adult course at the university, just to get caught up in the language. Tai Chi has become a little more difficult because I am going to the more advanced classes now, so it's all in Chinese...I need to learn the language.

We are preparing for the Christmas Program. In my Afternoon Kindergarten, we are doing two song and dance numbers...trying to control fifteen 6-7 year-olds is a lot of fun...and a lot of chaos...we haven't been able to do the entire number yet without stopping. I hope by this Friday (the performance day) we'll get it done!!!

I've been teaching Morning Kindergarten Christmas songs too. Luckily, we don't have to do a performace with them, so I taught them to just find a partner and dance, dance around! ^o^

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving in Taiwan

I know this blog is really, really late, but I thought I should put it up before we began another holiday. Christmas is going to be insane later this week, the Christmas program will be uploaded in all it's chaotic glory. ^_^

We had Thanksgiving here in Taiwan, we had an actual turkey (which was hard to get), and we had to travel by train to get where we wanted. The girls from the other school came, and there were many church members there.

(In this picture: Shannon, Megan, Erin--carrying our Thanksgiving Day feast)The food! Salads, yams, homemade cranberry sauce (thanks to Sister Dowse, half of the couple missionaries here), mashed potatoes, wontons....lol.The crowded kitchen before the feast.Erin and Courtney playing on the piano before the dinner.Beautiful drinks that Megan made, they were really good. We also had some rockin' egg nog. ^_^Courtney and Britta, two really cool girls from the Maryland school. They kept me company while I ate.

I apologize for getting this on here so late, and I'm sorry for all the typos that I'm sure made their way into this blog. ^_^ All in all, it was fun celebrating Thanksgiving here in Taiwan.