Just before we get outta town for a 2-day jaunt down the East Coast of Taiwan (mmm, beaches and hot springs, hoping for good weather!) here's a little update on what's been going on.
I've been doing all sorts of odd English-related jobs, like recording IELTS tests in a real sound-studio, editing legalese documents as well as Taiwanese tourist info, and this past Thursday went to a gorgeous mountain campus of a high school to test students' listening/speaking ability. That on top of the usual writing, teaching, conversation classes. Keeps it all interesting.
Been jumping on opportunities to actually see more of this beautiful island, widen the ol' horizons. Explored Keelung's (North coast) seafood night market and Heping Island's funky seaside rock formations; attended a friend's co-directed production of the Vagina Monologues as part of the global V-Day movement raising money for violence against women in Taichung on the West coast. And we hope to get as far down as Taidong this weekend, basking in the ocean's salty air and drinking in the scenery.
I've handed in my application for a 4(!)-year degree at Taiwan's nationally-run ShiDa University to study Chinese Language and Culture. At the end of the program I should be able to work as a translator or a Chinese language teacher, with a solid understanding of ancient and modern Chinese culture. It was a very informative process to collect all the info needed to apply, as I had to write a study plan as well as biography and it helped me see where I've come from and where I'd like to go. Chinese Mandarin is by far the most widely-spoken language in the world today by sheer numbers of its users and I think that's only increasing. So in a shaky economy it seems like a pretty solid pursuit, not to mention I find it incredibly interesting.
Last, but not least, it's time for PHOTOS! Slowly, I've sorted through nearly 1.5 years of our time while in Taiwan. Please enjoy.