It has been way too long since I have written any type of update- 3 months to be exact!!!!!
I have done a variety of interesting in the last several months, but if I were to write about all of them in depth I have the feeling it will never be read. I think this is the case because I have recently noticed a major shift in on how I read and process information electronically that might unfortunately becoming a universal phenomenon. Recently when browsing I don't finish or even start long articles of text despite them being of interesting content and decently written instead I am drawn to lists :( You know what I am talking about the buzzfeed "articles" style with catchy titles that seem super relevant and funny memes to support each point - top 10...., the 5 ways you know... I have to say that I feel kind of guilty about this revelation of shift in reading style and attention span. But despite the guilt I have decided to give you all an update of some things that have happened over the last 3 months in a style you might actually read.
1. Cross Straits Research Workshop
In March I attended a Research workshop where all of the Fulbright scholars and fellows from China, Macau and Taiwan came together for a conference here in Taipei. It was really interesting to talk to a variety of grantees in the region about their research topics and Fulbright experience. The most notable mention was that we had an audience with the President of Taiwan where he spoke to us and answered question we came up with.
2. Taiwanese Baseball Game
One of the most culturally interesting events that I have attended is a a Taiwanese baseball game where the Lamigo Monkeys played the Brother Elephants. Being a baseball fan or attendee in Taiwan is a very aerobic experience. At least 1/2 of the time you are on your feet doing choreographed dances and cheering/singing for your team. Chopsticks required for some ballpark food, and of course a vacuum gifted to the games MVP.
3. Israeli Embassy Party
I was so lucky to be invited to a very special event to celebrate the birthday of Israel's nationhood. Audrey my dear friend and Chinese teacher invited me to accompany her. It was hosted in a very swanky hotel, with delicious Israeli inspired food.
Picture with Audrey from the photobooth
Event space with a really cool ceiling
4. Fulong bike trip
I went on a beautiful bike trip along the Ocean, and got to ride through a cool tunnel. Beautiful scenery and people (Sarah, Vic, Heidi). The only downside is a Merman grazed my leg with a trident, and left me a memorial scar.
5. Future/fortune teller
I was introduced to and had a reading by spiritual leader/ Fortune teller. The most interesting thing that was reveled that might be of interest to you is that I do indeed have a soul-mate out there. He was described as a teacher, 6 years older then me, tall, with brown hair and blue eyes. So if you meet/know him I would be eternally grateful for an introduction,
I have gone to a variety of intersting concerts, movies, and performances. I went to a modern dance performance yesterday at the National Theater. AIT hosted a concert for Carolyn Malachi that I volunteered at which was great.
7. Family trip
It is traditional in Taiwan for companies or business to take an annual trip with the staff. FSE recently took ours to Yilan. It was fun to be with everyone. We ate famous Cherry Duck, were able to stay at a lovely hotel and had a reflective staff meeting.
The FSE family
8. Farewell party
Because the grant year will soon be coming to an end, a formal Farewell party was held where all of the ETAs, scholars, and fellow got together. It was great to see all of my advises and check in with them. It is really sad to think that in a short time all of these people that I have gotten to know will disperse all over the world.
One of my favorite things about Taiwan is how popular badminton is. I am in my 3rd session of badminton classes. I also have been invited to play with another great group of people weekly, by an LET (Local English Teacher). I even bought badminton shoes here ;) Playing makes me really happy, and everyone I have played with have been incredibly patient with my poor skills, and lack of Chinese to communicate.
10. Work stuff update-
I have completed all of the observations. I saw a huge improvement with the majority of ETAs which was very encouraging.
I have finished all of my instructional workshops, and all I have left is wrap up workshops. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of this grant. I really enjoyed delivering workshops.
Sarah and I recently were recorded for a video explaining our grant and our work here. I hope that I can share it soon, and that I don't look and sound crazy ;)
If you haven't read the article I wrote for the Fulbright Journal here is the link
Bonus photos- from an amazing temple in Gandu
Taitung mini fieldtrip
baby pineapple so cute
Hope you are well. I will back stateside in no time. My flight is officially booked and I will be flying into Chicago on July 15th!!!!!!!!