Category Archives: Translated Work

You’re No. 1 in My Mind, from the Mind of a Teacher

Translated…

“Although you’re ranked LAST of your class, but, the attitude you took, to handling everything, you’re actually TOP of the class in my point of view!”

Early this morning, Jun-Ren from the First Class of the Sixth grade took out his year book, handed it to me, wanted me to write something that can give him the encouragements, without a second thought, I’d written those words down, tapped him on the shoulders, showed that I’d believed, how hard he’d worked.

Jun-Ren lives with his sixty-year-old grandmother, just the two of them, early every morning, he’d gone to recycle with his grandma, after 6:30 when the shifts were finished, he’d still must make breakfasts for his grandma, then, head to school for class; after school, he’d returned home to help his grandmother pick up the recycling materials, and wouldn’t get home until late at night.

“Jen is a very well-behaved and understanding boy, back when his parents divorced, they’d handed him to me, for the sake of making a living for the both of us, I’d started picking up recycling materials; I’d felt, that this, is shameful work, and so, I’d worn my face mask when I’d made my rounds, but, Ren told me, that we’d not robbed anybody, nor did we steal, there’s nothing to feel ashamed of doing what we did for a living.”  As Jun-Ren’s grandma talked of these events, her eyes started getting watery, “Ren is a very amazing kid, every day, he’d helped me on my recycling rounds, caused him to not have enough time to study, and he’d never complained about it.”

True, Jun-Ren was not only well-behaved, he was willing and able, to handle the public affairs for the class.  Last semester, as I’d assigned the cleaning areas, there were still two individuals needed for the fourth floor restrooms.  I knew, that there are NO students willing to do this sort of dirty and smelly job, but, as the disciplinary office’s director asked who’d wanted this job at the early morning gatherings, Jun-Ren raised his hands up first, and, invited his best friends to work alongside him.

And, as he’d cleaned up the restrooms, he’d rolled up his pants and sleeves, worked hard, to scrub the toilets clean; even in the cold winters when the water temperatures are freezing, he’d not slacked off either, he’d sweated it all out working the restrooms, giving this brand new aromatic scent to the restroom areas, which was originally wreaking of this rancid smell, he’d even gotten the excellent remarks each and every month by given by the schools too.

Actually, it isn’t that Jun-Ren hated studying, it’s because after his chores, he’d gotten too tired to do anything else.  But, his hard-working attitude awes us all, nobody in his class can compare.  And so, he’s ranked at number one in my mind, I will be giving him a certificate of achievement as well as a “first place for hard working mannerism” prize, to give him blessings for his future.

And so, the reason why this kid isn’t doing well is still NOT because he doesn’t study, but because he couldn’t find the time to study, because he had to help his grandmother work, to provide for them both, and, the teacher understood it, and, gave him the commends, and hopefully, this boy will take the teacher’s heart, and keep working, with his hard working mannerisms.

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Filed under Attitude, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Growing Up Too Fast, Life, Observations, Translated Work, Work Ethics

Treat Yourselves Better

Call it, an understanding from life if you will, translated…

As I’d marched past my half-way marker, I’d finally managed, to find a dozen of my elementary school classmates.  We hadn’t seen one another for forty years, and, we were all very surprised and moved as we met back up again.

Huei-Huei, who had her heart set on never marrying, in the end, still marched into the marriage, and, because she’d had her children late, they’re at their teenage years, the time when kids give their parents the headaches; and, she’d had to take care of her husband’s business, she couldn’t make the time as she lived in the middle parts of the island.  From the gatherings we’d had before, she could only watch the photos through her cell phone screen.

And, two years later, on this day, Huei-Huei took the opportunity that her daughter attended a conference in Taipei, and accompanied her daughter and gathered with us again.

But, I saw how stressed out she was, of the members of the family as she was with us, it truly made my heart ache.  I’d told her, “you’re here now, just go with the flow”, she’d rarely made trips, and so, she needed not worry about the goings on of her house, learned to relax herself a bit, and NOT carrying everything upon her two shoulders.

After all, we’re no longer young, nobody knows when life will end, so, we must live in the moment, take advantage of the now.

Seeing my other classmate, Pam, she’s outgoing too, also married late, without any kids, she is very good, at mastering her own life.  Wherever there are goings on, she could be found there, she’d lived her days to the fullest, and had the word, “happy” written all over her face, and, she’d looked younger and energetic.

Because of work, I’d needed to go into the hotels for conference meetings, and, would come across a ton of fashionable ladies there, they’d eaten together, and carried on in conversations in a relaxed manner, they looked leisurely.

I think, that the pressures modern day women face is way more than those who came before us, other than working hard to make a living, we’d also must take care of, raise our children, be good to our in-laws, and, we all had heavy loads we needed to carry; if we can’t find a way to de-stress, and learn to treat ourselves with kindness, then, we may have missed out on a lot of the good stuff in our lifetimes.

And so, this, is treating yourselves kindness, as a woman, because we women are giving to our families, pouring our hearts and souls out at work, and, after we’d come home, we’d still had to, take care of everything else that’s happening there, and, we run around the clocks, 24/7, and, if we don’t treat ourselves kindly, then, nobody’s gonna!

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Filed under Attitude, Cost of Living, Expectations, Interpersonal Relations, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Story-Telling, Translated Work, Women's Issues

The Math Class for the Special Needs Students

From the observations of a school teacher, translated…

From before, when I’d worked in a regular high school, I didn’t know what “Combined Occupational Training” is, until fate stepped in, and took me to another new school to teach, that, was when I’d gotten into contact with this group of amazing kids.  In the morning, when most of the students entered into the gates of the school, with their heads lowered, and a lack of facial expression, this group of kids would always use the most upbeat voice to greet me, giving me a good start of my day.

Later on, I’d attended a special educations seminar in the summer, there was a lecturer, who’d told us, “the culture in Taiwan awards the students who performed well, and in the end, there may be half of those kids who grow up, and go abroad to work, but, our group of kids will work and give back to the communities here indefinitely, and so, we must do EVERYTHING we can, to help them grow up.”, those words, they got into my heart, made me think, other than showing my passions toward them, and saying hi in the mornings, what ELSE can I do?

And so, I’d told the manager of student affairs, I’d wanted to teach the occupational math courses.  The manager of student affairs opened up his eyes wide, asked me, “Principal, are you SURE, you want to teach their class?”  I’d nodded, persistently, and that, was how my affinities with this group of kids started.

At first, when I’d started, I didn’t get ANY feedback from the students, after I’d explored awhile, I’d come to realize, that by having a lot of knowledge in the mathematics, still wasn’t enough, to teach the course to them.  For them, I’d written individualized education plans that tailored to their needs, and, I’d found, that the material must be able to be applied in real life situations for them.

On a practice exam, a student raised her hands, asked me if they could use calculators?  Without much thought, I’d told, if they can not use it, then, they don’t use it.  But, when I saw how she’d counted, using her fingers, I’d felt so awful, and, I’d immediately had her take out her calculator—and later on, I’d told her, that she could use ANYTHING, so long as she can manage solve the math problems.  Contemplating on the matters further, as teachers, we’d often use our own standards, to expect the students to perform well, did we use more empathy, and more patience, to make the learning process more student-focused?

At the end of the semester, as the students got out of their final class session, a student followed behind me quickly.  “Principal, this, is sausage with fish eggs, I’d made it with my mom at home, it’s for you, and, I’m only giving it to you!”, he’d stated.

“Thank you.  And, calculate for me, if a single sausage is sold for $15N.T.s, and, you buy one for all of the fifteen students in the class, how much would it be totally?  Tell me your answer, at the start of next semester.”  I’d replied to him with a smile, and, accepted this gift.

This, is the practical side of education, this principal worked with this group of kids with special needs, to help them have the basic abilities to make it on their own, and, although the lessons are simple, to normal people, it’d taken these kids a lot of time and energy to understand the subjects, and, being an instructor of special needs children, it takes patience, and compassion.

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Filed under Child Development/Education of Children, Children with Rare Conditions & Special Needs, Education, Interpersonal Relations, Lessons, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Socialization, Translated Work

Dinny Loves to Read, the United Nation of Friends

Translated…

Linking the two terms “happiness” and “hardship” together, Dinny was having troubles, reading aloud, but, it seemed that she loved the sentence so very much, stressed it several times…

Dinny sat, quietly, in a corner in the bookstore, flipping through the volumes of Indonesian books.  I couldn’t help, but called out to her, she lifted her head to look, and I’d took a photo of her, smiling at the camera.

My friends and I opened up a bookstore, with the theme of Southeast Asia called, “Radiant Times”, it had books in languages from Southeast Asia, including Indonesian.  All of these books, are prepared for the sakes of people like Dinny, who are from other countries who loved to read.

Dropped Out of School, Because of the Difficulties from Her Family

Dinny, who was from Cirebon in Java, Indonesia, had been outstanding in school since she was very young, always the top of her class.  But, unfortunately, after she’d graduated high school, something happened in her family, she’d had to give up on furthering her education and started working.

She’d worked in Jakarta for two years, at age twenty, Dinny, and her friends applied to Taiwan.  It’s work all the same, and she’d rather come here, where it’d paid more.  But, over millions of Indonesians came overseas to work, and, compared to areas such as Malaysia, or the Middle East with Islamic beliefs, Taiwan, with only a little over two hundred thousand Indonesian workers, is still the minority.

Dinny told me, that Middle East is very scary, there were often, female Indonesia workers who were murdered, and, the Indonesian government had already announced that they were going to stop sending female workers to Middle East in May already.  And, Malaysia, which shared the same culture with Indonesia, pays a lot less, compared to Taiwan, and, they’re not as friendly to the migrant workers either.

Although, Taiwan was often called, “the island of ghosts” by the online community, but, comparing Taiwan on the international front, it surely isn’t.

The Tastes She Kept Commending Nonstop

Suhartini, is Dini’s Indonesian name, as she’d arrived to Taiwan, a Indonesian-Chinese gave her a new name, “Dini”, the name is easy to pronounce, and write, and, everybody in the household that hired her called her that, only the demented elderly grandma called her, “Miss”.

Dini is intelligent and quick to learn, taking care of grandma is no problem for her, the only problem she faces is being too bored.  Normally, it was only Dini and the silent grandma, staring at one another, living on the hillside of Hsintien, and, even though, her boss encouraged Dini to ask her friends over, but, because of how distant the house was, nobody came.  So, for Dini, the best time was on the weekends, on this day, grandma’s ten children and grandchildren all came home, with Dini as the cook.

It’s a banquet!  I’d mumbled to myself, this doesn’t fit the rules.  The caretakers receives $15,840 N.T. a month, and their areas of work is restricted to helping the elderly they’re hired to look after.

“It must be hard, cooking for so many people then?”, I’d asked her.

Before she’d come overseas, Dini had never cooked once.  After she’d come here, every time she’d cooked, it was the third aunt who’d hired Dini, buying the raw produces, and she’d taught Dini how to prepare the items.  And still, nine years had passed, now, Dini can cook foods that impressed the third aunt, can recall what everybody likes to eat, what they don’t enjoy, even IF Dini didn’t eat pork, she’d still followed the steps to cooking, and make the pork dishes that impressed her family in Taiwan.

“Cooking for the family is NOT grueling at all, it’s actually very happy for me”, Dinny opened up her eyes wide, to rebut me.

“Happiness” and “Hardship”, these two words, linked together, Dinny was having difficulties, prouncing, but, apparently, she’d liked this sentence, stressed it to me a couple of times.

Coming to Taiwan as a College Student

The reason why Dinny could read so leisurelyl in the “Radiant Times” was because the ninety-three year-old grandma passed away two months ago.  After grandma passed away, Dinny was ready to head home.  But, her journey to Taiwan isn’t necessarily over.

These years, working in Taiwan, Dinny bought a house, rented out the house, and, gave the money from the rent to her parents who are farm workers. S he’d also saved up some money, to be given to her fifteen year-old younger brother’s education.  And, right after grandma passed away, Dinny also broke up with the childhood sweetheart, after all, going long-distance for nine years had made them understand, that they no longer shared the same views of the world anymore.  Dinny said, “I might have been influenced by you, Taiwanese people.”

Although Dinny is a great cook, took good care of others, but, studying is what she does best.  A few years ago, she’d signed up for the distant education on the university track, she’s still the first in her class.  This time, returning to Indonesia, she’d wanted to use a student visa to come here, as a college student.  As the family who treated Dinny as one of their own heard, they’re all very happy about it.  Yeah sure!  The house we have on the hill will be yours to stay in!

Before Dinny returned back to her home country, I’d invited her to come to my radio show, Dinny’s family in Taiwan: third aunt, second aunt, youngest aunt, all entered the recording studio with this shared happiness.  The youngest aunt who loved to sing changed the lyrics of the late Feng Fei-Fei, “I Wish You Happiness”, dedicating it to Dinny, “Giving you a gift of love, I wish you happiness.  No matter you’re in Taiwan, or in Indonesia, don’t forget about my blessings to you.”

And so, this just shows how connected you can be, with someone you’d hired to help take care of your aging elderly family members, and this woman is studious, and, she’s now, living her own dreams, fulfilling her own dreams, of not being able to go to school when she was younger, and, she’s making it all happen by herself!

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Filed under A Cycle of Kindness, Family Matters, Friendships, Kindness Shown, Life, Observations, Perspectives, Properties of Life, Socialization, Story-Telling, Translated Work

Not Winning Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You Lost

Thoughts, from observations here, translated…

One day, I’d gone with a good friend, to take her emergency rescuer test, she’d really hoped she could pass and get chosen, because when her mother was hospitalized, she’d received a ton of assistance from the volunteers at the hospital; my friend believed, that one day, after she’s retired, she hoped, to become a volunteer who can also help others.  And so, the examinations on that day is very important to her.

At the end of the exams, I saw her come out of the testing room, with her head, hung downward, looking upset, I guessed, that she may not have done as well as she would’ve hoped to.  On the drive back, I’d inquired: did you lose, or, did you just, not win?  She’d replied: what’s the difference?  I’d continued asking: are you going to take the examinations after this one?  She’d replied, “Of course!”  And so, I’d congratulated her, today, she just didn’t win, she didn’t lose at all.  Because, “not winning” was exactly what’d happened today, but, “losing” is completely negating one’s own abilities from one’s own minds.  My friend smiled and nodded in agreement, and gave me a hug.

The test that came a month later, at the same place, I’d still gone with her to take it, and, this time, she’d hugged me, this time, she’d passed her examinations successfully.  She said, “Not winning doesn’t mean losing”, will be the motto she will keep on living by.

And so, this woman had helped her friend get her confidence from not passing that exam that first time, and, that still just shows, how easy, you can change your losing attitude to a winning one, with JUST one thought, and the way you see things, are often the main determinants of whether or not you’re successful in life.

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Filed under Attitude, Behavior Modifications, Coping Mechanisms, Expectations, Interactions Shared with the World, Lessons, Life, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Story-Telling, Translated Work, Values

Trading in the Used Books for Chinese Buns, the Ins & Outs of Life

The observations from life, translated…

Worked until the afternoon, I’d often needed to get some fresh air outside, I’d always had a book with me, and, coincidentally, a lot of people are like me, with a book in their hands too, and, we’d exchanged knowing smiles with each other, it’d added some scholarly feel to the entire street.  We’re all waiting for an elderly man.

At four, a blue pick up showed, with several bamboo steaming baskets.  The elderly man walked out of the car, and, everybody rushed up to him, to buy the aromatic buns, and, those who got their hands on the buns, all smiled so radiantly.  This elderly from Sandong, has a different way of doing business compared to others, he’d allowed the customers to trade in an old book, for a bun; everybody is allowed one book, one bun, on one day, and, he’d only given out ten buns every single day, as for the types of books traded for the food, there’s no specifications of what kind.

The way he’d given the buns out quickly spread, it’d made the employees sort through the old books.  After all, trading the old books for the buns, is much better than taking the old books to the recycling stations for money.

Why would the elderly trade the buns for the books?  Turns out, when he was growing up, he was impoverished, didn’t have the opportunities to get an education, he’d taken the advantage to learn now, in the evenings, he’d gone to the elementary school to make up for the lack of education, started with the basics of the Chinese phonetic spellings; during the day time, he’d utilized the skills in making the buns from back home, and peddled the buns.  After several years of hard work, he’d gotten the equivalency degree for elementary school graduate, and had a high interest for reading, but because he didn’t have the extra money to buy the books, he’d used the tit-for-tat to get more books, for his buns.

He’d read any and everything, even the hardest texts on the subjects of physics too, if he couldn’t understand it, he’d asked the school instructors.  And, year after year, he’d managed, to accumulate a ton of knowledge, and can carry on in conversation with his customers on various subjects.

He said, that reading is really useful, he’d once received a volume of books on investments, and after he’d read it, it’d sparked his interests in the finances, he’d started investing in the stock markets, and, found a way to make profits after trial and error.  Now, although he looked ordinary, but, he has two properties, and sizeable savings, and, selling the buns became something he did for the sake of exercises.

He’d accredited everything he has to the old books.  From the elderly, I deeply saw the concept of “reading is knowledge”, he has this eternal love for learning, something I can take after.

And so, because this elderly didn’t have the money for school when he was younger, he’d gotten his alternative education, and, this, is by feeding to his own interests in reading.  This also shows, how there IS that house of gold in books!

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Filed under Cause & Effect, Education, Life, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Socialization, Translated Work

Stepping into a New Place of Work, Stepping OUT of the Comfort Zones, the Growth of a Woman

Translated…

My close friend, Yun recently left the public facility she’d worked for for over ten years, and entered into a completely unfamiliar realm of medical technologies.  The different environments caused her to feel stressed, naturally, especially entering into the top three pharmaceutical company of the country to work, she needed to come into contact with English contracts, and endless number of medications; and she needed to listen to the coworkers, using English, to explain the purposes of the medications, the side effects, etc., etc., etc., at first, she felt she wasn’t up to the job at all.

But, in order to adapt quickly, other than asking other senior workers from her department, she’d also gone to the research lab of her company to read often, to find out about the related matters, to up her skills needed for work.

After she’d changed tracks, Yun worked hard every day, as if she’s constantly engaged into wars, the regular overtimes had become norm now.  Sometimes, during her hour-long lunch, she’d still reviewed the terms of the contracts; other than the endless small and big meetings, she also needed to handle a lot of the executive suits, and related matters, this cycle happens every single day, but, Yun is more than glad, willing, to take on the various challenges that her workforce give to her, to take responsibilities for her own ability and the development of her own careers.

Recently, she’d beaten the group of outstanding coworkers in a training, and earned herself a set of silver coins that were made, to commemorate the company becoming publicly traded.  Yun was extremely happy, felt that all of her hard work, had finally paid off; and she’d also proved to herself, that her views of “not getting tied down by a certain format of work”, and “get interactive with people from various backgrounds, it’ll help you grow”, was correct.

She told me, because she is new in the medical industry, she’d constantly told herself, that she must put in more time, more energy, slowly, develop the skills she needed for work.  Because, so long as she has the professionalisms of the area, it doesn’t matter what sort of challenges will come her way.

I saw on Yun, not just a woman with the ability to withstand great amounts of pressure, but also someone who was willing to learn new things; and, I’m also in awe at how she was able to get out of her comfort zone with so much courage too.

And so, we can attribute this woman’s success to her ability to adapt, to make changes, and her attitude to learning, and that, is what the companies are looking for, someone who’s not afraid to get involved with something new, someone who’s hard working, that, is why this woman was able to succeed in her career.

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Filed under Attitude, Cause & Effect, In the Workplace, Interactions Shared with the World, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Planning for the Future, Translated Work, Values, Work Ethics