Well, I'm a month more behind on updating, but if anyone is still reading, here's a teaser reaching back to Christmas. My Winter Break has arrived as well, and the family come and (sadly) gone, and so I promise an update or more soon.
Christmas is heavily celebrated here, and while most of it revolves around kitsch, there are more than a few valid signs of the spirit of the season.
I will post a couple on my Christmas activities, but here are some samples of work from the the 3rd graders. Our school put colored sparkling tinsel and rope up in the form of a Christmas tree and decorated it with these: Old Cds and DVDs brought by the kids and decorated with their Christmas wishes. Decorating day was a mess of glue and glitter and stickers and scissors (I was inhaling golden sparkle dust all morning), but these are the products. I think some of the wishes are telling of some of the values around here.
****A handful of CD********Merry Christmas: I wish everyone to be at peace****
****Merry Christmas: I hope to eventually attend National Taiwan University (Taiwan's top - remember, 3rd grade aspirations)****
****Merry Christmas: can you gife me a toy? (our school tried to honor a few select attainable wishes, like the gifing of a yo-yo)****
****Dear Santa, may I have a MP3? Love, Jim (these guys are outside on the faux tree)****
****Merry Christmas: I wish I could see my mother and my father everyday. (I don't know if s/he can't or only hopes that daily sightings will continue indefinitely. Regardless, family love was abound in these wishes)****
****Merry Christmas: I wish that my little brother and I can get 100's on our tests. (Strong emphasis placed on education here, not just education, but 1st place, 100th percentile education)****
****Merry Christmas: I wish my dad, mom and lil' brother can be healthy and happy****
There were a lot more about wishing for family members to get well soon, remain healthy, have prosperous business, place 1st on tests, get into good universities, and spread mp3 players around the nation.