Category Archives: Teaching by Example

Don’t Let the Kids Grow Up on the Edge of the Society, Start Helping Them From Education

Written by the honorary lecturer of Chinghwa University, Lee, translated…

After the six inmates took hostages in the penitentiary of Kaohsiung, they’d killed themselves.  We all felt relieved, because no harm came to the hostages, but, to all who still had a heart of mercy, the six suicides are considered as tragedies too, after all, they are, the citizens of this country, born and grown up here, and, became the borderline people, and ended up so tragically.

We all hoped, that there are no people on the edge of the society, and, a lot of people believed, that this should be instilled in the minds of students in schools, and so, we’d written out so many texts, encouraging the kids to be better.  But to tell the truth, this, is of NO use to those children who came from poverty stricken family backgrounds.

If we go to the prisons to visit once, then, we’d come to realize, that a most of the inmates are poorly educated, with many that came from lower income households.  For instance, most children who performed well in school can understand in class, and are usually more self-confident about their futures, and even though, they came from poverty stricken backgrounds, the children knew that they can continue their education, and will have a certain level of competitiveness, therefore, they will have no problems in life.  But if a child can’t even catch up to the rest of the class, and in class, s/he can’t understand what the teachers are saying, and did poorly on the examinations, even if this child continues on toward a higher path of education, it would prove to be of no use.   At this time, if s/he got involved with the wrong crowds, and s/he can easily be taken, and fall to the borderline of the society easily.  And, no matter how we’d assigned moral values, give them talks on moral responsibilities, it won’t be of any help to them.

What we should all pay attention to is, the children’s homework problems.  So long as they can catch up to the rest of the class, even though, they’re not the top scorers, they’d know, that at least, they can find a decent job later on in life, with a sizable income to suffice her/his own livelihood.  And, whether or not this child is from a poverty stricken family, s/he would have a lesser chance, of becoming one of those who lived on the borderlines.  I’d met a lot of instructors, whom, upon discovery, that there are kids in the classes who not only didn’t study hard, but started disrupting the rest of the class, these good teachers usually didn’t give the kids talk of moral responsibilities, but instead, the teachers helped the kids to improve their skills, so they could better understand in class.  Once the kids start to get the lessons, they no longer disrupted the classes.  And so, allowing the kids to have a fundamental basis of knowledge, knowing where s/he is academically speaking, and which direction s/he could go, the kids would naturally find a goal, and work toward that.  Once the kids have confidence about the future, a lot of the bad things, they no longer wanted to do, and would stay away from the bad peer influences too.

We’d often seen on the news that the mafia is infiltrating the schools, but, those attracted to the mobsters are those kids who lacked care and concerns, and, most of them didn’t do well academically.  If those kids, on the way to learning, had someone with them, accompanying them, instructing them how to do their homework assignments, so they can feel the expectations from their adult counterparts, naturally, when the mafia tries to reach out to them, they wouldn’t get attracted.

Of course, we’d hoped that the 12-years’ of continued education can force ALL the kids to go to high school or technical high school to continue learning, that they couldn’t drop out, but, what’s more important, is still teaching the kids the most basic of skills, and work hard, to show cares and concerns toward them, to help them out.

In order to ensure that the level of understanding is not too low, naturally, the entire nation MUST put into the hard work, this, is not a hard-to-accomplish task, but a very good investment.

This, is very idealistic, because kids in the middle and high school levels are prone to get affected by peer pressures, after all, that, is a time when friends are way MORE important than the adults in the kids’ lives, and, education is needed, indeed, but, you can’t just rely on education to help steer these kids that are slowly going off the grid into the right directions, the help must come from all the realms, in order for kids to be prepared for life…

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Filed under Education, Issues of the Society, Lending a Helping Hand, Reforms in Education, Social Awareness, Social Issues, Socialization, Teaching by Example

The Gift for Mom’s Growth, on Parent-Child Interactions

Translated…

As I’d become a mother, I’d started saving up every penny, most of my expenses are spent on my children, and, the clothes that looked pretty I’d worn, were mailed over to me by my own mom who lives away.

Last autumn, however, I’d paid for the almost $6,000N.T. tuition for myself, that, was the classes held by an artist I’d admired for a very long time, even though, I couldn’t draw, but I’d secretly hoped I could get a chance, to visit her studios.  As the classes started, it’d opened up my creativity sense, slowly, my artistic skills improved, and I’d even gotten praises too.

I’d usually used the time my son was off in kindergarten to work on my drawing, after he’d come home from school, I’d focused on accompanying him.  One time he was watching cartoons, I picked up my sketch book, and started sketching quietly next to him, he accidentally saw how I’d draw mice out of leaves, he was so excited, told me, “Mommy, I know how to draw mice too.”

From before, as he’d gone on to the second year of kindergarten, he was still in the stage of picking up and doodling.  Seeing how excited he became, I thought he’d copied me, after his few simple strokes, there came a mouse, who glanced upward, it was so full of creativity, I was somewhat, shocked by him.

Later on, he started drawing concrete objects—trains, clouds, people.  I was shocked, that he’d only seen me draw and sketch twice and was able to make such a change.

Later on, there were two constant images in my mind: a mom pushing a child to move forward; a mother walking a step forward, as the child modeled after the mother, took a huge leap forward.  If I didn’t see my son draw, maybe, my parenting style would have stayed stagnant in the first scene.

And so, ever since, when I’d wanted to learn something, I’d set aside the budgets and the time.  And maybe, it was because of how I’d taken up courses in subjects of education and talents, after awhile, what I’d learned, I’d seen it, on my child, it’d enriched our interactions.  Seeing how my son is slowly growing and changing, I feel, that all of it, comes from a sort of a gift, from my own growth.

That, is how close the parents and the children are, because the children still modeled after the adults’ behaviors, and, this mom accidentally discovered that her son would be interested in what she was doing, and, she started setting a good example for him to follow.

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Filed under Hobbies/Pasttimes, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Teaching by Example

Dad Finally Smiled, with a Demented Elderly at Home

We are now, realizing, HOW important, aging GRACEFULLY is these days now, aren’t we???  Translated…

It’s been a long time since I’d seen my former colleague, Juan-Juan, I took the liberty, to visit her on the weekends.

That day, I’d arrived to her house, I saw her covered with sweat. I’d asked her what she’d been up to, she’d told me, that her father had a stroke, and was showing signs of dementia from time to time, he’d treated the living room as his bathroom now; she’d cleaned for over an hour’s time, then, bathed him, changed him into clean clothes.

She said, as she walked close, to her father, who’s sitting close by the shelves, bent down, pinched her father’s face, asked him, “Dad, does this feel better?”, her father smiled at her.

She said, when her father was lucid, he’d asked to see his grandchildren who lived close by, and can take care of himself in daily life. And when he’d lost his memories from time to time, he couldn’t recall anything, would forget where he’d placed his dentures, where the bathroom is in the house.  But, under any circumstances, after he was given his baht, and was asked, if he felt well, he’d start giggling with glee like a baby.  Juan-Juan believed that being able to make her parents smile is her biggest responsibility, and the most heartfelt time.

Thirty years ago, four years after she was wed, because her husband had an affair, she’d ended her marriage. She’d taken along her four-month old daughter and went home, thankfully, her parents disregarded her older brother and sister-in-law’s comments, and took her in, and she’d found a place to call home.

And, just like so, her parents looked after her daughter, so she can get work and make some money to raise her own daughter up. In these couple of years, the aging parents’ health started showing problems, and so, she could only quit her job, and poured her heart and soul out on taking care of her elderly parents.  Even though, her mother was overcome with an assortment of illnesses, she could still walk with her cane, to the park nearby her house.

Her father’s condition was not at all stable, sometimes, it would be better, sometimes, worse. When he’s at home, everything is under control, but, if she’d taken them out, the parents would become very nervous.  Juan-Juan told me, that one time, she’d gone downstairs, and the moment her father saw the car, his legs went limp, and fell to the ground, she didn’t have the time to react, plus her father is tall and heavyset, she couldn’t manage to get him back on his feet again, because of how stressed out she was.

At which time, her younger brother who passed by saw, and, instead of helping her with their father, he’d screamed at her, “The elder had fallen, what’s WRONG with you!”

This, was the very first time she felt helpless, over her father’s illness, and she’d started to cry, but thankfully, there was a male student with the uniforms from “Banciao High School” who’d passed by, and helped her get her father back on his feet again.

Ever since then, she’d found time, to go to seminars on how to care for the elderly, hoping to take good care of her aging parents, so they could enjoy their elderly years.

Juan-Juan believed, that her parents’ smiles is the biggest wealth of her life, because that meant they’re happy and healthy.

So, this still shows the hardships of having to care for one’s ailing parents, especially when the parents are overcome with problems of the elderly years, and yet, the daughter still feels satisfied, when her father started smiling, because that meant that he’s comfortable, and, keeping him comfortable and healthy is the primary goal here.

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Filed under Aging Gracefully, Awareness, Because of Love, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Dementia/Deterioration of the Mind, Family Matters, Issues of the Society, Life, Mental Health Issues, Moral Responsibilities, Old Age, Parent-Child Interactions, Perspectives, Social Issues, Teaching by Example, Values

Getting Out from Being Discriminated Against, They’re All Shining Brightly Now

From the Front Page Sections, translated…

“Everything I’d worked so very hard for, it’s for my kids, to grow up in a safe and kind environment toward the newly migrated.”  The Vietnamese teacher, Phoenix Chen had been living in Taiwan for thirteen years now, and she was the figure who helped push forth the merging of the cultures in Southeast Asia, and the dignities of the migrated women.  This, was a long and hard battle, to help both sides gain understanding of each other, it’s a love that’s from the mother to the child, the deepest kind of love.

When Being Discriminated Against, it Does NOT Feel Good at All

The Decisions to Step Outside the Family and Give Back to the Society

Phoenix Chen and her husband, Chih-Rong Chien met in Vietnam, after they married, they lived in Vietnam, originally, they were a more-than-ordinary family, but, all that changed after they moved back to Taiwan in 2001.

As she’d stepped into Taiwan, she’d felt the unfriendly gazes from all around, a ton of her newly migrated “sisters” would ask her, “How much do you mail back home a month?”  “How much did your husband spend, on buying you?”, and, there were a TON of ads on the streets that objectified women and marriage that made her really uncomfortable.  Later, she saw a news story, about a young Vietnamese mother who had communication troubles that took her young child, leapt off of a building and committed suicide, it shocked her.

Deciding to Step Outside, Started Volunteering at a Foundation

Phoenix Chen decided to step outside of the family, and started volunteering at Eden Social Welfare, and she’d made a TON of calls, showing cares and concerns for her new “sisters”, but, her calls would often get blocked by the ladies’ in-laws on the other end of the line.  Then, she’d transferred to the women and children’s hospital, and started the face-to-face interactions with her newly immigrated sisters, here, she’d come to discover, that the language and cultural barriers are the keys to causing conflicts in the homes, and slowly, that led her onto the road to instructing Vietnamese.

Phoenix Huang started a class, teaching Chinese to newly migrated spouses, and opened up a Vietnamese class for people in Taiwan too.  At first, this class was directed toward those who married the Vietnamese women, and the in-laws, she’d gotten a horrendous reply from all around, those who are retired, and in business, all fought, to sign up for her course, and she’d started teaching Vietnamese at local government office and industries too.

On the Television Vietnamese Teaching Sessions, She’d Always Appeared as a Guest

There were letters, written to her by the public, and those in jail, sighing on how they wanted to take up Vietnamese, but didn’t have the resources to.  She’d fought hard, for funding, and started hosting the Vietnamese Education Program on television, started with the basics of communications, President Am, the former director of the Internal Affairs, Hong-Yuan Lee, the former director of the Immigrations Offices, Li-Gong Hsieh, were also guests who appeared on her program.

For the Sake of the Children, Hoping to Add to Their Understanding and Acceptance

Recalling the hardships she’d weathered through, Phoenix Chen and Chih-Rong Chien said, that they’d never had too much hopes, and that it was simply “for the sake of our children”, they hope that they could help the children to learn to respect the multiple cultures, and grow up in an environment, where every single culture is accepted, to NOT allow their interracial union become a marker for the children’s heart, they wouldn’t want the discriminations they’d weathered through, to happen to their own offspring either.

For over a decade, Chien had supported his wife is speaking up and out for the women from Vietnam, he’d chauffeured her to and from the airports, help her with scheduling, help out with the odds and ends, “I’d encouraged her to do it, I didn’t expect it to be so well set up.”, in that plain and simple statement, there was a TON of pride and assertions hidden.

And so, it is, with her husband’s support, that this woman had been able to set forth, to help others who are similar to her, and, she’d focused on her children’s education, realized how important it is, for the kids to become culturally aware, as we ARE marching into a world without boundaries here.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Being Alone, Cause & Effect, Child Development/Education of Children, Connections, Current Events, Discriminations, Education, Expectations, Helping Behaviors, Issues of the Society, Legislature, Lessons, Life, Moral Responsibilities, News Stories, Observations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Professional Opinions, Properties of Life, Racism, Self-Images, Social Awareness, Social Issues, Socialization, Story-Telling, Teaching by Example, Values

I’m Going to My Younger Brother’s House, on Filial Relations

Translated…

Since my parents passed away, the road “home” to me, is filled with this heaviness, and too distant too.  I feared, that if I’d gone home and saw the things that my father left behind, I’ll feel that strong sense of loss all over again.

And still, I must accompany my mother who’d lost her mate, I must head home often, to accompany her, hoping that I can distract her from missing dad too much.

My mother is ninety-two years old now, she’s still quite capable and healthy, and she’d stay at my three younger brothers’ place consecutively.  Which means, that every time I’d gone home to see mom, it wouldn’t necessarily be in the same house.  But, no matter whose house I went to, I felt like I had gone back to visit at my dad’s house.

At meals, my younger brother did the best they could, to prepare the food that my father enjoyed, and would keep sending the foods into both my mom’s and my bowl, and asked us, “Does it taste well?”, “Is it soft enough?”, and asked if my mother loved it, as if fearing that they’d not done a good job as the hosts.

Seeing how my younger brothers would put the food into my mother’s bowl, along with the tone of voice that gentleness that they used, it’d reminded me of how we’d all eaten when my father was still alive.  Still recalled, that every meal, he’d made sure that he’d put the items into my mother’s bowl, then, for his daughters-in-law and daughter too.  He believed, that the daughters-in-law are married to his sons, and that their parents are not there to care for them, and so, the in-laws must care for them more.

And now, seeing how my younger brothers took after my father, I was so very moved.  Every time, I’d smiled and gotten intoxicated in the atmosphere of eating together with them.  My younger brothers often told, “Dad is really kind, when we’d gotten married, he’d told us, that when we have our separate houses, we must treat the sisters who come back to visit with kindness, to let them feel, that it’s a happiness to come back home.”  They’d understood my father’s kindness, ands so now, even if my father had passed on, they’d still used the same ways, to allow us sisters who are married off, to be as happy as we were just like when my father was still here.

Hearing my younger brothers, I’m truly grateful toward my father’s heart, he’d utilized his own wisdom, and given us the most treasured kind of education; in his words and behaviors, it showed that blood is thicker than water, along with the preciousness of parent-child interactions.

And now, I’d expected the days I would visit my younger brothers, because I saw on them, my father’s kindness, his wisdom, and the depth of his love for his children; I’m also thankful toward my younger brothers, sisters-in-law, for taking good care of my elderly mother, to allow her to live happily, to the end of her life.

And so, this still just shows how important the education in the family is, because the lessons you were taught by your parents will carry through to the next generations, and you will use it for the rest of your lives.

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Family Dynamics, Family Matters, Kindness Shown, Life, Moods, Emotions, & Feelings, Parent-Child Interactions, Parenting/Parenthood, Teaching by Example, Translated Work, Values

The Life of a Candle Artist, the Features of a Woman

Translated…

“What, you used to be a registered nurse?”  Then, how come you’re a sculptor here, teaching kids to make candles?”

One morning, we’d gone with the online references, took the kids to a “candle factory” to have some DIY experiences.  My husband started chatting with the owner of the shop, who also acted as a tour guide, everybody wanted to know, what, had caused this former “registered nurse” to turn into a “candle making artist”? The shop owner who’s over age sixty slowly told us her story, of how interesting and colorful her life had been.  The owner of the shop said, that since she was a kid, she’d loved needle work, and back in high school, when she was filling out her preference major card, she’d wanted to put down home ec, but her father wouldn’t allow her to, believed that if she’d majored in home ec, it would cause a lot of money, that she would be better off as a nurse, and she would have a set income, without a doubt.

Later, as she worked as a nurse, she felt that getting the meds, administering shots, wasn’t what she wanted to do for the rest of her life, and so, she went behind her father’s back, and took up sewing, making clothes, and cross-stitches after work, anything that she can make with her own two hands, she wanted to try it out.

Later, through the introductions of her friends, she’d married her husband who’d worked as a manager at a art selling agency.  Everyday after work, she’d helped her husband make some handicrafts.  One day, a draft of a sales slip needed to be completed in three short days, and, the designer just happened to have gone abroad, and, there was NO one who could finish the designs, and so, she’d stepped up, and asked her husband, if she could try, drawing out the designs.  And, this small “try” of hers, had beaten thousands of entries from the world, and the husband’s company became famous too.

And so, the shop owner now had the confidences, and worked even harder, in her favorite field, and she’d drawn designs, fixed the drawings, made the samples, and manufactured the samples on a day-to-day basis, and, she’d done everything herself, and, would stay up all night long and worked until dawn’s light.

The woman recalled, “back then, I’d told my husband, that so long as I have a lamp light, and I’m allowed to do what I enjoyed, no matter how hard, I am willing!”

When we were working on the Do-It-Yourself candles, the woman used the time, to wait for the cooling of the wax, to show off her new models she was working on.  The over-hundreds of candles, and the sheets, she’d made herself, with her heart.

The shop owner said, that back then her father was totally against her in doing this, but in the end, she’d still chosen her own path, and she’d gotten more and more zest, doing what she loved.  She gave us her heartfelt advice, “Don’t be afraid that your children won’t be able to feed themselves, just allow them to find what they’re most interested in doing, and to use their own interests, that way, they would NOT only be happy, and will forever find joys in what they’re doing!”

Because this woman had gone through it all on her own, firsthand, and so, she’s now, giving advice to the parents, and she is right, that parents should NOT force their kids to do something that’s of NO interests to them, but, parents held on tightly to the thoughts of “I’m doing this for your benefit”, which makes the parents too BLIND to see that they’re actually IMPOSING on their kids, instead of helping them dream.

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Filed under Cause & Effect, Child Development/Education of Children, Cost of Living, Education, Lessons, Life, Nonconformity, Observations, Occupational Outlook, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Teaching by Example, Translated Work, Values, Wake Up Calls

Cultural Blindness, False Equality, Are Everywhere…

On the instructions of biracial children born to foreign hired helpers who married people here, on the Front Page Sections, translated…

The First Step to Teaching, Face the Differences

How the teachers should do it: 1. Talk about the Prejudices with Children in Depth, 2. Get Out of One’s Own Comfort Zones, 3. Pay More Attention to Multiple Talents

The professor of the Taiwan Teacher University of the Department of Education, Liu said, that if there are children from foreign hired help in the class, the instructors must see the difference, and give them “Active Differential Treatments”; intentionally dodging the topics, to NOT touch up on the issue of race, is the actions of a classic “Culturally Blind Person”, and yet, “treating all children equally”, and making them feel like they’re equals, is JUST as dangerous.  But she’d sighed, ‘these culturally blinded instructors” are all over in Taiwan.

She’d made an example, the foreigners, those with a lighter shade of skin are “foreigner”, those with a darker are considered “laborers”, and the everyday language that hinted the discriminations had subconsciously gotten passed down to the next generations.  The classrooms can NO longer stay at “Thai food is delicious, Vietnamese traditional outfits are beautiful”, this sort of appearances, they should get more in depth, after introducing the kids to the varied cultures, and start an in-depth discussion on “why is there prejudice?  Where it came from, along with the effects of discrimination on our lives.”

Facing this sharp conflict with honesty, is the first step to helping form a classroom of empathy.

The cultures of the foreign hired help are ignored by how there are only articles introducing the cultures of Asians, but it’d lacked the Vietnamese, the Thai, Indonesian, along with other southeastern countries in Asia, the editors of textbooks are often standing on the side of the “dominant culture”, and not mentioning the minorities, or, added documents regarding as attachments, and used for the purpose of comparisons.

For instance on the discussion of architecture, the textbooks had the two photographs of the 101, and the caves of an offshore island, and the kids are bound to believe that “tall buildings are signs of civilization and caves are not”, and develop an off value.  Liu said, that the methods of teaching should be “Replying to the Cultures”, in the texts, they must teach them, using their mothers’ methods, so the kids can come to know that mom and dad are from different cultures, but their cultures are equally important.”

And, the differences in the countries can cause learning roadblocks, the instructors should step outside the box, to understand the cultures of the children from these biracial families, and to offer remedial help to them.

And so, this, is one person’s take on how we can slowly get everybody onto the same page, and, she is right, but, there’s a mainstream culture, just as when we first arrived in the States, they didn’t teach us using our native language, Chinese, instead, we MUST learn English, and, it’s kinda like the same deal with these children who were born to foreign mothers.

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Filed under Awareness, Child Development/Education of Children, Education, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Teaching by Example, Values, Wake Up Calls