By the time you read this I'll have finished week 15 out of the 20 weeks that comprise the fall semester. I have two more weeks of classes to plan, and after that I'm testing the students in grades 3-6 in both of the schools where I work. During weeks 19 and 20 I'll have a lot more freedom in terms of what I teach, and lessons during the last two weeks of any semester are usually interrupted or postponed by whatever school activities are planned for that time. 當你讀到這裡的時候, 我已經完成第一學期的第十五周了. 這個學期總共有二十周. 我還要寫兩個禮拜的課程計畫, 之後要為兩所學校的三到六年級學生測驗. 第十九跟第二十周我比較自由, 除了上課內容比較自由外. 每個學期的最後兩個禮拜學校也會舉辦活動, 我的課應該會變少.
Then, my friends, Chinese New Year vacation is imminent. Can you feel it? Can you feel the nearness of that many days off? Ah, it's glorious, I tell you. Glorious! 朋友們, 知道嗎? 寒假也即將來臨了. 感覺到了嗎? 那麼多天不用上班! 真是美好的事. 好棒!
With all of the above in mind I thought I'd talk about where I am, what I'm doing, how I'm doing, and what the near future might hold for me.. 知道這些事之後, 我想說說自己住的地方, 最近做的事, 心態和可能的未來.
I. My House 我的房子
As stated elsewhere, we're renting an old house in Shin Kai Village, Fangliao Township. It's about 30 minutes by bike from my main school, and 40 minutes by bike from my second school. The paint is peeling off the walls, and we have no use for the third floor, but the house is in (relatively) good condition and the landlord is nice. 我已經在其他文章說了, 我們在枋寮鄉新開村租了一棟房子. 這棟房子離我的基地學校騎單車30分鐘, 離衛星學校騎單車40分鐘. 雖然牆壁上的油漆慢慢剝落, 我們也沒有使用到三樓, 可是房子的現況還不錯, 房東也很親切.
If I have a complaint regarding that house it's the noise. My neighbors tend to have really loud conversations, and they seem generally unaware of when to use their indoor voices. They also get up early, and the rumble of their farm machinery forces me to get up early too. On the weekends they sing KTV so loudly it rattles the windows in our house. 我對那棟房子不滿意的部分是噪音. 我鄰居們大聲聊天, 不在乎室內音量跟戶外音量的差異. 他們都很早起床, 也很早開始使用農機. 周末的時候他們大聲唱KTV, 聲音大到我們窗戶的玻璃會動.
II. My Cats 我的貓
I have five cats now. We still have the three we brought over from Taitung, plus two kittens we found in a graveyard near one of my schools. We were pretty sure the kittens were going to die when we found them, but I'm happy to say that three weeks later they're doing fine. We named the orange one Mango and the white one Milky. They still need to drink milk from a bottle, but they'll be moving on to solid food soon. 我們現在養了五隻貓. 除了從台東帶過來的三隻, 再加上在墓地撿到兩隻貓寶寶. 我們發現那兩隻的時候都認為牠們快要上天堂了, 我現在很高興地說經過了三個禮拜牠們還活著. 我們叫白色的那隻Milky, 橘色的那隻Mango. 牠們還需要喝奶粉, 可是快要轉換吃固體貓食了.
III. My Family in Taiwan 我台籍的家人
I haven't seen any of my Taiwanese in-laws for a while. I'm really not sure how they're doing. 我很久沒有跟我太太的家人見面, 不知道他們最近怎樣.
IV. My Family in the States 我美籍的家人
My sister's going to have a baby. It'll be her first. I'm very happy about that. 我妹妹要生了. 這是她第一個寶寶. 這件事讓我很開心.
I haven't talked my brother in a while. As he is a performing musician and nearly all concerts in the U.S. have been cancelled due to COVID, he's probably doing some other kind of work to make ends meet. 我很久沒有跟我的弟弟聯絡了. 在美國, 因為病毒的關係, 不可以舉辦音樂會, 所以彈吉他的他應該正做著其他的工作.
My mom seems to be having difficulty hearing. Phone conversations with her can be hard. Otherwise she seems fine. 我媽的聽力好像變差了. 打電話給她很困難. 除了這件事, 她好像沒有問題.
My dad is doing better. He was suffering from severe depression the last time I saw him - for completely understandable reasons - but he sounds very upbeat on the phone now. 我爸最近比較好. 我上次見到他時他很傷心 -- 大家可以了解的理由 -- 可是最近和他通話, 他聽起來比較開心.
V. My Job 我的工作
As said above I work at two schools, one in Fangliao Township and one in Jiadong Township. I spend three days of every week at Fangliao, and two days at Jiadong. I have a similar number of classes at both schools. 我各在枋寮和佳冬的兩所學校上班. 我每個禮拜三天在枋寮, 兩天在佳冬. 我在這兩所學校上的課數差不多.
I can't go into too much detail about either school because a) it will get me into trouble, and b) it violates the terms of my contract. I will say, however, that I like one school MUCH more than the other. Staff in both schools have been very friendly and welcoming, and I've never been made to feel like my presence in either school was extraneous. The students in south Pingtung County seem to have more family issues than what I encountered in Taitung City, and the schools in the area have fewer resources, but on the whole my job here isn't that different from what I was doing in Taitung. 我沒辦法很仔細地討論這兩所學校, 因為: a) 這麼做我會自找麻煩, b) 我的合約也不允許我這麼做. 我可以說其中的一所比較適合我. 這兩所學校的工作人員都很親切, 我也覺得這兩所學校都想要我這種外師. 我這邊的工作跟台東的工作差不多.但是屏東南部的孩子好像比台東市區的孩子有家庭的問題, 學校的資源也比較缺.
VI. The Pingtung County Government 屏東縣政府
In the course of doing my job I sometimes have to deal with the Pingtung County Government. Comparing Pingtung County to Taitung County, and also Pingtung City to Taitung City, I'd say that Taitung City has an enormous advantage in that it's located in the center of Taitung County. The Pingtung County Government is located in Pingtung City, far from the southern end of the county, and this makes administration more of a challenge. 我工作的小部分需要跟屏東縣政府交流. 以屏東縣跟台東縣比, 和屏東市與台東市比, 我覺得台東市的位置在台東縣中心這一點比較好. 屏東縣政府在屏東市區, 但是離屏東縣南端很遠. 這樣子縣政府管理比較偏鄉的事務時很麻煩.
I had a hell of a time getting correct information about meetings when I started here. The communication between the folks in Pingtung City and most of the foreign teachers was really bad. Over the past three months communication has slowly improved, but I still feel that teachers (and by this I mean all teachers) could be better informed about upcoming meetings, guidelines, and other things pertaining to their jobs. 我剛開始在這裡工作時, 覺得收到正確的研習資訊及其他的工作訊息很難, 屏東縣的外籍教師間的溝通不是很好. 雖然這幾個月溝通的部分慢慢改善了, 可是我還是覺得縣府傳給外師的研習資料和工作上的相關資訊還有改進的空間.
As it is I try to add important people on Line whenever possible. This has worked for me so far. 我碰到新同事的時候就加他們的Line. 這樣子對我來說比較有幫助.
VII. Pingtung in General 屏東縣
For a while I was suffering from gout. Too many new foods and too much eating out. I've had problems with gout for years, but around the end of October it got REALLY bad. I've had to be more careful about what I eat, but I've been fine for the past month or so. 有一段時間我有痛風. 太多外食和飲食種類的改變 我有痛風的問題好幾年了, 可是今年十月底真的是很嚴重. 我只好更小心我的飲食, 還好上個月至今這問題都沒有再發生,
Pingtung is fine in general. It's very poor in places, the population is shrinking and it has about it an air of faded glory. When we really want to "go out" for dinner we go to either Chaojhou to the north or Donggang to the west. Both places have more of restaurants, though I have to say I find Donggang far more interesting. 屏東很好. 有的地方很貧窮, 人口也在減少, 還給人發展日漸落沒的感覺. 我們想去比較遠的地方吃飯的時候會去潮州或是東港. 這兩鎮的餐廳比較多. 我覺得東港比較有趣.
When we want to go somewhere even further away we head to Pingtung City or Kaohsiung. There are some surprisingly good restaurants in Pingtung City, and the presence of Carrefour, department stores and movie theaters in that sainted metropolis are also incentives to go there. We went to Kaohsiung A LOT when we first moved to Pingtung, but the drive from our house into downtown Kaohsiung is exhausting. 再遠就去屏東市或是高雄. 屏東市有些很不錯的餐廳, 也有家樂福, 百貨公司跟電影院. 我們剛搬到屏東的時候去高雄好幾次, 可是從我們家開車到高雄市區很累.
I've been to Hengchun and Manjhou a handful of times since moving here. I really like Manjhou. 我搬到屏東之後去過恆春, 滿州幾次. 我很喜歡滿州.
Due to my gout I haven't biked around the county as much as I'd intended to, but now that I'm better I'm able to do that again. I rode to Sandimen up the Mountainside Highway last weekend. It was as beautiful and interesting as anything in Taitung. 因為痛風的關係, 我不像以前常常騎單車. 現在身體變好後就可以騎了. 我上個周末騎沿山公路到三地門. 風景和景點跟台東一樣好.
VIII. Taiwan 台灣
And Taiwan? How's Taiwan doing? I think that I can say that most people here - at least in relative terms - are doing fine. People aren't dying by the thousands from COVID, China hasn't invaded yet, and the economy has been oddly buoyant since the pandemic started. 台灣呢? 台灣怎麼樣? 我應該可以說在台灣大部分的人沒事. 武漢病毒沒有傷害那麼多人, 大陸沒有入侵台灣, 經濟也不錯.
If I remember correctly, the most recent news concerned the importation of American pork. Those who raise pigs in Taiwan are worried about unfair competition, and the public is worried about chemicals present in American pork. Considering that pork is much more of a staple food in Taiwan, I believe that these concerns are valid. My personal opinion? Knowing the American FDA, I'd rather eat Taiwanese pork. 如果沒有記錯的話, 最近的新聞主要關於美國豬肉的輸入. 台灣的養豬農民擔心經濟上的不公平競爭. 一般的人民擔心美國豬肉裡的萊克多巴胺. 台灣的豬肉食用量大, 我想大家擔心是有道理的. 我認為美國的FDA不是好的政府部門, 也覺得台灣的豬肉比較安全.
IX. The World 我們的地球
Well, Biden's going to the White House, so that's something to be optimistic about. It's nice having a President I can bear listening to. To be perfectly honest, I voted for Trump in the election - I thought he'd be better for Taiwan - but I'll admit I was relieved when Biden won. 比登被選上, 這是大家可以放心的. 他的演講我可以聽得下去. 說實話, 我投川普的票. 對台灣來說, 我覺得川普的政策比較好, 可是我一知道比登被選上後鬆了一口氣.
And there's a COVID vaccine on the horizon. Will you or I be receiving this vaccine soon? Not likely, but it's encouraging just the same. At this point in history anything that points toward people working together and solving problems makes me happy. We might not colonize Mars by next Friday, but by God we'll get there one day soon. 冠狀病毒疫苗也出現了. 我們可以很快的打疫苗嗎? 大概不會, 可是這還是很鼓舞人心. 這歷史性的一刻, 人們互相合作解決問題這一點讓我很開心. 雖然我們下禮拜五前不會殖民火星, 但總會有做到的一天.
Related Entries 相關的文章: