Category Archives: Socialization

The Elderly Book Club, Life After Retirement

A group of mutual friends, reading together, sharing their adventures of travels with each other, connecting regularly, establishing that social support during the elderly years, translated…

Awhile ago, due to the outbreak, our “Book & Coffee Book Club” stopped for three whole months, and, every one of us, members started, getting bored, the host, Bi who was responsible for the month of May started the LINE book club meets, and assigned “Long as the River” by the writer, Yin-Tai Long.  And so, those of us who’d bought the book, bought them, those of us who’d, borrowed the volume from the libraries, borrowed them, I was, especially nervous, past eighty, of this book club meet, the gathering online was supposed to start at ten, I sat in front of my desk at 9:30 that day.

Recalling back in May of 2016, we’d, begun this book club on an article from the UDN News, we’d, read a book a month, and shared our thoughts on it, the group of us, ladies had, taken turns, hosting these gatherings, and, split up the costs, but the sponsors were all willing and able to, provide the snacks, the drinks, the fruits, and this is, our book club’s, fifth year.  And, the reason why we’d, operated well is that we don’t, limited ourselves, to reading books only, other than reading, we also, included, the movies to watch together too, and to go to places that we’d read up on, and share our own findings, our thoughts, and our feelings of these journeys.  And every time these meetings were held, everybody got all dressed up, and gotten passionate in our discussions, while in the luncheons or afternoon teas afterwards, we’d, shared with each other, the goings on of our lives, and, in the chit-chat, the bond we’d established became, stronger as ever.

like this???查看來源圖片a small, intimate gathering, of friends who’d shared a hobby: the love of reading…photo from online

And, in over four years, we’d, read over twenty books together, what I remembered the most were Yin-Tai Long’s “Listen”, the director, Zhang’s “Knowing the Artifacts”, the traveling writer, Hsieh’s “Walking Down This Path to My Dreams”, Yen’s “Finding My Self on This Map of the World”, and “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight.  A world in a book, it’d, allowed my group and I, to see what the writers experienced, and the wisdoms they acquired from their lives’ experiences, ahhhhhhhhhh!  Reading is, such, a wonderful thing.

Movies are also, an amazing thing too, what I remembered the most was “Me Before You”, and “Hidden Figures”.  The former was a romance, but the subject matter was euthanasia, it’d made us all cry; the latter was biographical, on three African American women who’d, made their great contributions to NASA, and we were, all in awe of them.  Because al of us, girlfriends used the public resources, the public digital libraries, the photo exhibits, along with the exhibition of Picasso, we’d not added to our knowledge, we also, stayed, young at heart.  Duan-Duan who’s an owner of a preschool provided us with the space, she was, the pillar of this book club of ours.

The most amazing, were the two girlfriends of our group, sharing their travels with us.  Huei-Huei went on a self-help thirty day trip to Central America, including Iguazu Falls and Easter Island; while Bi went from Western to Eastern U.S. for fifty days she’d trekked through the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, Niagara Falls, and New York, and on her way, she’d, visited a pen pal from the States.  As she’d shown us the footages she’d captured of the trip, it felt like we’d, gone to those places ourselves too.

illustration from UDN.com圖/喜花如

Time rolled by, it’d been, four years since the start of this, book club of ours, and we’re still, all here.  And, I hope that we all have, amazing stories to tell, and I hope, that we will, age, slowly too, to do right by the creed of the silvery gray community.  As I got lost in thought, my cell phone sounded off, time to log on, and thus, begin, our, online, book club meet!

And so, this, is how you age gracefully, by finding a group of friends who share the same or at least, similar interest, like for this group, they’d started with the books, and, extended to the movies, and, shared their travel adventures with each other, enriching one another’s lives, adding more color to their lives after the retirement.

 

 

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Connections, Life, Old Age, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Social Awareness, Socialization

Fountain Pen

Memories of those younger years of life, that stayed…translated…

My house is two streets away from my aunt’s.

Every morning, my mother would ride her bicycle to my aunt’s to do her laundry.  My aunt was the older sister of my mother, in order to help with our household finances, she’d hired my mother as a laundrymaid for over a decade now.

Although we lived only two streets apart, and both our families had the mansions, with the families of fours, but, everything in my aunt’s house had that scent of elegance to it.  In the daytime before I was school age, I’d gone on discovery trips at my aunt’s home, and that house that was built like a palace became as familiar as the back of my hand.

查看來源圖片with the ink level showing here…photo from online

First, the high-end sedan parked outside, that was one of the things my mother told me not to touch.  The fur draped over on the couch in the living room, the wine cabinets by the T.V., with the assortments of souvenirs from all over the world, the high-end chinaware, dinnerware on the dining tables in the kitchens.  Other than the marble floors, the staircases of the three-stories were all lined with carpeting, although later on, I’d realized, that it’s no fun, cleaning up the carpets, but it’d still showed how appearances were important in my aunt’s home.

And, of these places in the house, the den kept my interests the most.  There was a shelf that lined the walls, with the heavy volumes of encyclopedia, and the volumes that my uncle needed to flip through for his work, and there was also a family photo of my aunt on vacation abroad.  The other wall became a closet, with the name brand purse, bags, and elegant clothing stored inside, and my mother had been in awe, at how well my aunt had, kept her figure all these years.  On the other side of the study was my older cousin’s piano and my uncle’s desk, with the thick volumes of sheet music, and the documents, and they gave off that sense of elegance that was, beyond my grasp.  On the tea stand by the desk, was the projector and films that my uncle needed for his work, each of the film, after the colors were, extracted out, all became those weird, but attractive picture, a micro sort of mysteries of images.

What made the den even more elegant, was that window that faced out, in the daytime, the sun passed through the thick burgundy-colored drapes, the sapphire colored carpet became, deeper, and thicker, the silent piano keys showed the black and white contrast of the ivories, like they’re, lost in deep, meditation.

The place where my mother did the laundry was the add-on of the rooftop, where a healthy-coated, agile looking Shetland sheepdog was kept.  When I’d not explored downstairs, I’s sat quiet, as my mother did the laundry loads.  The umbrella, the penguin, the crocodile, my mother pointed out each and every one of the brand logos out to me, even the dirty socks, and soiled underwear that my older cousin wore, my mother washed them until they’re, completely, whitened with her two hands.

There were several times when I’d gone to eat the meals at my aunt’s, because of how serious and quiet my uncle was, along with how excellent my two older male cousins were, it’d made me feel, very, out-of-place, I’d hated to go home quickly.  After the meals, my older cousins never watched those shows that were for entertainments, but those science programs, I’d watched, but never understood what I was watching.

One day after the meals, my cousin led us into his father’s den, pulled out the drawer of the desk, and, took out a white pen mysteriously.  The pen was chubby, looked like a fountain pen, actually, on the other side, there was a blonde in a bathing suit, with the perfect curves.  We saw my cousin smiled that cunning smile, he’d, turned the pen upside down, and, the ink level declined, and, the woman’s swimsuit was, also gone with it, she was, nude.

Ever since I knew this secret, I’d often wait until my aunt and her family was away, took out the fountain pen from the drawers, and, turned the pen up and down repeatedly, like the grains of sand falling in an hourglass, so the woman can put on and take off her bathing suit repeatedly, to pass the long mornings.

And so, you’d, discovered this “secret” that your uncle had, and, I’m sure, that to your uncle, that pen is NOT just for the sake of writing, it fed into his need to see a nude woman, without your aunt’s knowing it…

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Filed under Awareness, Being Exposed, Early Exposures, Getting Exposed Too Young, Growing Up Too Fast, Life, Nowhere Is Safe, Observations, Properties of Life, Socialization, White Picket Fence

Traumatized, Between a Parent & a Child

The adults’ careless words that impacted a child into the adulthood years, this showed the extent of your words, and their effects in your children’s lives, translated…

When I was five, I’d always, slept, with upside down on my parents’, bed, they couldn’t understand why I’d needed to sleep with them, and, they couldn’t, get me to stop climbing in next to them in the middle of the nights, but, because I’d, adjusted my sleeping postures soon enough, they’d, allowed me to sleep with them, and they’d, forgotten this, tiny interlude of my, childhood years.

But I still remember something that upset me during this period of time. 

Late one night, I suddenly woke, heard my parents in conversation, I’d not moved an inch, I’d not wanted to listen in on their conversations, just wanted to, fall back to sleep again, but, a sentence that’s stayed with me came into my ear canals, ‘if my daughter was so-and-so that would be wonderful!”

The person my parents were referring to was my older female cousin, very well-behaved, did excellent academically too, it’s only natural, that the adults, loved her so, but, am I, really, that awful?  I’d started, to cry in the darkness, until my parents finished their conversations, fell asleep, I’d, still, stayed, wide awake, shocked, at this “secret” I’d heard.

“So, mom and dad don’t love me”, this thought started, rooting itself down inside of my young mind, and after this long, even though, the vines that entangled me in were, already, cut off almost, completely, but, I couldn’t, uproot this thought one bit.

The adults may think, that children can’t understand, or that they forget easily, and sometimes, their, careless words, blurted out, had caused the traumas in your young’s mind forever.

And this is precisely W-H-Y, you FUCKING (don’t pardon me here!!!) adults need to WATCH what you say in front of your kids, because even IF you think they’re not listening, their eyes are still, watching G-O-D, with their ears, tuned IN to your words, so, DO take this into consideration, the next time you want to blurt something out, even IF you don’t mean it so seriously, your young will, take it to heart, ‘cuz that’s, what we, children, ALL do!!!

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Filed under Abandonment of Children, Awareness, Bad Behaviors, Being Exposed, Carelessness of Adults, Childhood, Cost of Living, Early Exposures, Getting Exposed Too Young, Growing Up Too Fast, Lessons, Life, Negligence, Observations, Parenting/Parenthood, Socialization

Helping Someone in Need in Times of the Outbreak

Helping some random stranger in need out, in times of, the “plague” here, teaching a very important lesson to your own young here, translated…

Seeing that man who’d fallen down, with blood covering over his face, I’d, tightened my hands on my twins’ hands, and the hesitation, gone in a, split second, I’d, walked up quickly towards him………

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, the springtime sun shone just right, I’d, decided, to take my kids out to the Youth Parks, to see the turtles, to see how many squirrels we can spot, to throw the Frisbees, to let my children who’d been kept, indoors, in their boredom, to run and to, play a little.  They got tired of running, and we’d, walked to the local shops, planned to find something to eat, at this time, an elderly man not far from where I was, fell down.

First, he’d, lost his, foothold, then, fell hard to the ground, he’d, instinctively, tried to get back up, but, didn’t steady himself and, tripped, fell harder.  I’d, screamed loud, as the elderly man, barely, sat back up, as he’d, lifted his head towards me, I saw blood coming from his head, he’d, started, making sounds, that I couldn’t, quite understand.  Some of the passersby instinctively, dodged his way, there were even more people, who’d, just, stood by, and watched the elderly man bleeding, like they were, watching a street performer.

like this???  Photo from online

A father with a child, came up to the elderly man, handed him a tissue, signaled him to press it onto his head to stop the bleeding, I’d, had my children wait for me right where they were, rushed forward, and, dialed emergency, for the, very first time in my life.  On the other end of the line came, a steady and stable voice, other than having me make sure of the elderly man’s consciousness and his willingness, the individual also reminded me, to wear a mask, to protect myself.  I’d, subconsciously, pressed down on the edges of my surgical mask, to make sure that my face is, sealed underneath it, lifted my head toward my twins who were, about two meters away, and I’d be lying, if I say I wasn’t, the least bit, worried.

The ambulance rushed over shortly enough, after the call I’d made, and, in the basic first-aid measures being taken, the paramedics also checked the elder’s glucose and temperature— “he’s feverish!”, these words, made a ripple inside my mind, suddenly, the crowd that gathered had, vanished, I took out the alcohol I had to sanitize myself, and tried to remember if there were, any open wounds on either one of us when we’d interacted?

“Mommy, will the man get better?”, my daughter pulled on my shirt.  “Yes he will, because we both helped him out.”, I’d, squeezed my twins’ hands tightly, told them I was so proud of them.  Life may be fragile and unexpected, but I believe that humans are, innately, good, that we’re all, working, to make this world a better place, I hope that my twin daughters can, remember this very moment, that no matter what the circumstances, we should all, try to, help someone who’s in need out.  This unsettling time is, a test for human nature, and love, is the answer to all of these, trials of, all our lives.

And so, this, is quite, altruistic, because you saw someone in need, and, you’d, not thought twice, because the elderly man had fallen down, and was in need of assistance, and, you’d not allowed, the bystander effect, the diffusion of responsibility, to prevent you from helping the elderly man out, and, you’d, also show by example, to your twin young children, how important it was, to offer someone a helping hand too.

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Filed under Awareness, Helping Behaviors, Interactions Shared with the World, Kindness Shown, Lending a Helping Hand, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Social Awareness, Socialization, White Picket Fence

The Air, My Friend

The column by Jimmi Liao, on the calming words of reassurance, offered to a young child, translated by me…

The Cloud Rocked Me in its Arms,

Hummed that Lullaby,

Don’t Worry Little Baby, Fret Not Little Baby

The Clouds are Light, the Wind Gentle, Everything Will be, All Right………

the artwork of Jimmi Liao, off of UDN.com圖/幾米

We are all in need, of this sort of a reassurance right now, especially with this whole world currently going crazy, and, the safest place we can find is here, inside our minds, for in our own minds, we are, able to, live on freely, without any worries or fears!

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Filed under Because of Love, Childhood, Creative Writing, Kindness Shown, Life, Parent-Child Interactions, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, The Education of Children, Translated Work, Values

The Air, My Friend

The column by Jimmi Liao, translated…

The Wind Started Blowing, the Hat Flew Off

The Wind Stopped, the Hat, Dropped into the Water

The Wind Got Angry, Why is Everything Blamed on it?

artwork of Jimmi Liao, off of UDN.com幾米

This is scapegoating, because instead of making sure that that hat is, SECURE on your heads, you’d, blamed it on the wind because it’s, much, much easier than, to take responsibilities for what you failed to do in the first place, this happens, quite a lot, if you can believe it!

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Filed under Being Exposed, Belief in a Just World, Cause & Effect, Children in Mindset, Everyone Else's Fault, Excuses, Lessons, Observations, Scapegoating, Socialization

A Different Life

With the assistance given to these families by the foundation, these families can finally, have some sense of, normalcy in their, functioning, translated…

In the meetings that day, the senior early childhood intervention educator, Mrs. Shih told everybody, there was a student’s mother whom she’d lost contact with that’s gotten reconnected with her on FB, told her that her twins who were, helped by the center from before, who’d, received the early intervention helps are, in the universities now.

Mrs. Shih said, as the mother told her how her children were doing, it’d, deeply impacted her, because as the twins were sent to the early intervention center, they had troubles, feeding themselves, and yet, Mrs. Shih wasn’t as experienced as she is now, she’d, become, too nervous when looking after the twins, worried, that she may, injure the twin if she weren’t, careful enough; but, over a decade later, the twins had the abilities to take the entrance exams for college, and, they’d, both gotten into the public universities too.

I’d once heard other coworkers, sharing the tales of success.  The person in the story was, Shen, he’d lost his parents, and lacked that secure attachment, he’d, needed to hug everybody he saw, and in the end, he was called, the “sexual predator”; but, as he’d been sent to the foundation for placement, he’d, learned to express his insecurity in an alternative method, and because of the company he had from his teachers, his peers, he’d, changed his manners from being timid as he’d come to the center, to now, being able to, laugh out loud.

There was, also, the younger brother of a guy, that he’d, felt like an older brother to his own older brother, because his older brother needed to get taken care of more.  Thankfully, after the older brother received job trainings, he’d, started working, not only was he making his own way, he’d no longer needed to, be watched over staying at home, and he finally had the time, to do what he wanted to do, and felt the burdens, lifted from his shoulders now.

If the early interventions didn’t happen, then, the twins may still need someone else to help them at meal time, let alone how they’d, taken the college entrance exams; had the teachers not helped Shen adjust his behavior problems, he would now still be, misunderstood, as a “sex predator”; if the older brother didn’t get the job training he needed, the younger brother would still be, carrying that burden of taking care of him, and NOT had a life of his own, the life that he’d, wanted; and, those families that were, torn apart, because of the children’s conditions, after the children were, placed in the early intervention programs, the atmospheres at home became much better; and, the aging parents, who could, no longer look after their own young, and after they’d asked the First Welfare Foundation for assistance, they’d now, found time to breathe, for themselves…………

Every time I’d heard these stories, it’d, moved me very much, the teachers at the First Welfare Foundation, had originally, just wanted to, help the needed to have a better, a more comfortable life, but, their work had, touched the families as well, helped these families, changed for the better, giving a higher quality of life, of the family members.

Reason why I’d started this column, is because, I want the world to know, how extraordinary these teachers are, how they’re, using their, professionalism, their passions, persistence, and love, to help turn the families they’d helped, around, giving the families, new hope, so they can, keep on, hoping for, a better, a brighter future for themselves.

And so, this, is considered the fishing pole program, because this foundation had helped those who are, mentally decapacitated to have a skill set, to train them to take care of themselves, so, their families no longer need to worry about them all the time, and, this is an amazing program, and we should have more of these, social welfare foundations that are, doing this sort of work in the world.

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Filed under Awareness, Child Development/Education of Children, Childhood, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Cost of Living, Education, Expectations, Kindness Shown, Lessons, Overcoming Obstacles, Social Awareness, Social Issues, Socialization

The Air, My Friend

The column by Jimmi Liao, on what’s instinctive to someone, may not be instinctive to another, and we shouldn’t, judge one another based off of what we know!  Translated…

Can’t believe they’re, learning to swim, what do they learn in learning to swim, isn’t that supposed to be, instinct?

Nope.

the artwork that came with the passage, off of UDN.com

Not at all.

By this “conversation”, we can tell, how we lacked respect for what each other has, that we make judgments of one another based off of our personal experiences, and the thing is, everybody has different experiences in life, just because it’s something you know, that doesn’t mean, that everybody knows it too…

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Filed under Awareness, Cost of Living, Expectations, Lessons, Nature vs. Nurture, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Socialization, The Observer Effect, Values

Regarding the Extracurricular & the Camps

Getting involved, in non-school related activities here, translated…

My youngest was headed out early in the morn, because the camp from her major was starting, as a freshman, she is very enthusiastic of all the activities hosted by her major.  I remembered, that, we’d, headed out before light for her last thing too, in the nearly zero degree icy cold floor of the CKS Memorial Hall, rolled around on the floorboards, it was her salsa club of her high school, she was responsible for coordinating a “recital of her younger schoolmates.”

My youngest started dancing from her kindergarten years to date, dance had become, her favorite.  It’s just, that her school teachers mentioned how if she’d worked too hard on her “hobby”, it may, cause her grades to slip, but she’d, asked us, not to worry, “the extracurriculars are important rites of passage, just let them give it all they got for this!”  but, I’d, found my daughter, with that lack, of enthusiasm, turned out, she had, dropped her activities, because she’s still, trying to figure out what she’s good at academically, she’d told us, “I’m more than certain about dance, and anything else, is not good enough for me.”  Until her final year in high school, she’d, transferred from the sciences, to the social sciences, and now, she’s, in the major she has great interests in, communications, and, she’d, danced every day, and now, she’d, gone out early in the morn, for her summer camp activities.

查看來源圖片the assortments of activities, not related to the academic…photo from online

My eldest and I, were both into the extracurriculars in our high school years, I’d, gotten involved in two groups, one was for vanity, the band, the other, school paper.  Being in band, I’d, played the trumpet, without much talent, just so I can, put on that marching uniform that made me shine on flag day, and, walking across the podium before the President’s Office.  As for the school paper, it was, where my heart lies, I’d, let my own, writing talents, poured out.  I’d recalled, how hard it’d been that I had, worked, on every topic, how I’d, gone to the shopping marts, to find the old photos, to do the interviews, and published my not-mature-enough writings, wanted to pour all of my doubts of the world, my feeling lost for my future, along with my dissatisfaction toward school, all out in the open.

I can no longer recall how the periodical had, turned out, but, my grades, slipped, and, that became, a F-A-C-T.

I’d found a university that I really don’t hate to study in, but the major I was in, it wasn’t anywhere near my interest profile.  And, by then, editing the periodicals, no longer, satisfied my mind, maybe back then, love was, taken up half of my mind.

And yet, because I’d, lost love, I’d, decided, to go for the president of the club, to let myself, embrace this major I’d, found myself to be in, tired, to learn to be a, leader.  And so, the memories of my college years, were revolved around the freshmen orientations, the camps, the seminars, the book fairs, the competitions.  I recalled all the guest lecturers I’d invited, remembered all the shows we’d put on for the freshmen orientations, recalling that freshman ball we hosted, remembered the singing and skit competition I’d, set up, remembering being in the trainees of the officers of the clubs of the school too, along with how I continued being the team counselor as I went into my senior year.

I’d once not wanted to graduate, because I loved being a student too much.  And, the best memories of being a student, are from, the extracurricular activities, as we’d, entered into the groups on our own, there’s, too many connections there.  Like how I watched my eldest get too excited as she’d, started, editing the footage, like how I imagined my youngest happily, leading the freshmen, because she’s, finally, a sophomore.

查看來源圖片volunteer counts too!  Photo from online

Some had found their significant others in the extracurricular groups, like my eldest brother and sister-in-law.  A lot of people found what they truly loved, like my youngest and I.  Recently, I’d, edited a periodical of a bookstore, and, I’d, found my passions there, and that, was when I’d, recalled, this, was what I loved, doing back then.

And so, these extracurricular activities in college, they’d not, only enriched our schooling careers, but it may also, point us, toward the directions of our, future jobs too, and so, don’t be too worried, when your own young got too involved in their extracurricular activities, besides, the university years aren’t about making the grades, it’s about, discovering, who we are!!!

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Filed under Choices, College Life, Connections, Friendships, Hobbies/Pasttimes, Lessons, Life, Memories Shared, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Story-Telling

The Air, My Friend

The column by Jimi Liao, translated…

Because I can’t keep my self all the time, keep maintaining that bright happy smile,

So, I’d made an enormous sculpture, to tell myself: be happy, smile more!

the artwork of Jimi Liao, from UDN.com…

This is just odd, and, it’s so sad to see, that there are still, adults “educating” their own young like this: that they can’t be unhappy, they need to be happy, and you DO realize, how this, is considered as a sort of emotional NEGLECT, right???

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Filed under Being Exposed, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Expectations, Life, Messed Up Values, Negligence, Observations, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization