Posted by: atarimonos | December 2, 2008


I have been in Taiwan for nearly 3 months. In that time I’ve learned a few things, and forgotten a lot more. The final month of 2008 is upon us and my mind turns to pre-New Years self-reflection. Two questions rear their (ugly?) heads: Where were you? and Where are you going?

Three months ago I enjoyed a relaxed lifestyle in Michigan. Since that time, I’ve acquainted myself with Taiwanese cuisine, culture, and education. My work here is rewarding and frustrating, unfortunately not in equal measure. The ability to teach children and have fun while learning is awesome. However, the basis for my employment, the acting and the lies, are mine scruples that put a dent on an otherwise enjoyable experience. Teaching is difficult. I have over 200 students and it gives me perspective on Teacher’s attempts at remembering names. Are you WinWin or Top? (Yes, those are two of my students’ names). Work has evolved into routine. No longer do I share the same enthusiasm for every class. As I’ve come to classes, I’ve also begun to dread certain classes, a side-affect ‘Teacher’s favoritism’. 

Off the topic of work, this week past noted the passing of Thanksgiving. As the foreign teachers here worked on Thursday, we made up for the whole affair by having our own Thanksgiving dinner on November thirtieth. You would be amazed how hard it is to find a turkey in Taiwan. We did find one, only 12 pounds, and preparations were begun: we baked pies the night before, green beans, casserole, soup, stuffing, and cooked the Turkey on sunday proper. Two days of home-style cooking in a tiny oven we created a really good dinner. It is was a nice taste of home (I think it odd that America really does have a specific style of cooking). After a good evening of revelry work called for us all the next day. Routine reasserted its dominance. 

All that answers the “where I’ve been” question. As to “where I’ll be”, in the foreseeable future I’ll be in Taiwan for nine more months. After that, a little travel, return to the states, and finish Grad school applications (?). I’m tired of predictions … permit me this: I’ll be where I’ll be when I’m there. For now, that includes teaching and studying Chinese. It’ll be interesting to see where I go from there …



  1. I am doing this same thing! Where have I been, where am I going? Do you know the Roman god Janus? Where we get the word “January?” Well, it has 2 heads, one facing forward and one facing backwards…I LOVE that idea!

    I am glad you are having a good time in Taiwan! I am making the same kind of decisions here…and have already decided I will not be in Mobile in 6 months! Crazy! (still hush hush until end of dec….even though I’m posting it on your blog…ha..only hush to some church people!)

    So ya, if you have ideas for the facing forward head, let me know! Maybe I’ll go teach abroad…that’d be fun!

    Take Care!


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