2016/17 The Next Page All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any forms including photocopying or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the permission of FJU English Department. For permission requests, write to our email. email@example.com engthenextpage.weebly.com Printed in Taiwan The next page
FJU English Department Responsible Institution No.510 Zhong Zheng Rd. XinZhuang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan Address Professor Donna Tong Magazine Project Tutor Zhoe Zhang Editor-in-Chief Candy Li News Editor Zhoe Zhang & Candy Li Campus Life Editors Cindy Peng & Alice Huang Art & Lifestyle Editors Zhoe Zhang Travel Editor Autumn Tsai & Clare You Fiction & Poetry Editors Matt Tsai, Eling Liu, Claire Liu, Vanessa Huang, ShinMinkyung, Annie Bi Contributors Alyson Wang, Avery Lin, Angela Ko, Tina Wu, Annie Liu, Jenny Zhuang, Connie Shao, Melody Fu, Eve Cheng, Tina Chang, Daniel Ruberto, Bechsgaard, Jess Huang, Jason Huang, Peggy Lee, Ruth Chang, Phoebe Hemsley, Shara West, James Tseng, Ivy Liu, Father Bauer
Proofreaders Professor Donna Tong, Professor Joseph Murphy, Professor John Basourakos Print Design Zhoe Zhang & Autumn Tsai Web Design Sue Tang Web Editors Sue Tang, Zhoe Zhang, Candy Li, Cindy Peng, Alice Huang, Clare You, Autumn Tsai Printing 志揚影印 Publishing Date June 1, 2017 Price 200NTD Sponsors 無名女孩的餐廳 , 淨欣素食小吃 , 黑傑克原味炭烤牛排 , 天地素齋 , 菩提子思食舖 , 喫飽早午餐 ( 建中店 ), 新時代物業管理股份有限公司
p. 12-19 News In Taiwan Marriage Equality, Grandma Nanny, The Effects of Japanâ€™s Nuclear Crisis on Taiwan, Taobao Online Shopping p. 20-28 News Around the World Internet Celebrity in China, Haze in China, Korean Peace Protest
p. 8-11 News in Review: 2016
ART AND 03 LIFESTYLE
p. 52-59 Flexitarian, Restaurants, DIY Recipes p. 60-61 Fair Trade Coffee p. 62-66 Exhibition Reviews on Pixar & DreamWorks p. 67-69 Commentary on Nobel Price Winner: Bob Dylan p. 70-75 TIFA Commentary & Interview p. 76-78 Interview with Taiwanese Young Artist: Alice Ku
p. 37-45 Future Careers Beyond Traditional Jobs for English Dept. Students, Internship: Fashion Magazine Editor & Primary School Teacher
p. 80-85 Best Summer Getaways p. 86-96 Travel Stories Los Angeles, Sweden, Israel, Taiwan p. 97-98 Booking the Cheapest Airline Tickets p. 99-102 10 Best Destinations for Graduation Trip p. 104-109 Story from Father Bauer p. 110-127 Fictions Drowning Fire The Song of the Sky One of Our Own p. 128-143 Poetry
FICTION AND 05 POETRY
p. 46-50 Campus Call-in
CAMPUS 02 LIFE
p. 30-36 Professors' Favorite: Books, Movies, and Songs
Alice Huang To make the Student Magazine is like to take t h e " C C â…Ł " in the senior year. No more appreciation to my team members, Dr. Donna, all the writers, and people who have supported us.
Clare You Relating to the world through fiction and poetry; escaping from the world through fiction and poetry.
Candy Li Bacon said, "Reading maketh a full man." In T h e N e x t P a g e , we write, we read; we make ever ything impossible possible, and become a better self.
Autumn Tsai "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." â€” Pablo Picasso.
Zhoe Zhang Finally, I found a place to express my passion for magazine production. Thanks for your support! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Cindy Peng Life is dark and white. O n ly w h e n yo u h av e colors in mind will it be colorful, and so does a story. Enjoy our work!
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Tsai Ing-wen is ﬁrst female president of Taiwan
A 6.4 magnitude Earthquake Struck Tainan
Obama’s Historic Trip to Cuba
Tsai Ing-wen, candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) became the first female president in Taiwan following the 2016 election. President Tsai’s election is the third peaceful election of the oppositional party in Taiwan’s history.
On the morning of February 6, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit souther n Taiwan and caused severe damage. According to the Central Weather Bureau, there were at least four 3.8 magnitude a f t e r s h o ck s i n a b o u t 3 0 minutes after the initial quake. The earthquake caused 2 buildings to collapse in Tainan, including 17-floor Wei Guan Golden Dragon Tower. After investigation, the Tainan gover nment's legal affairs secretary said that the building toppled due to the negligence during c o n s t r u c t i o n , a n d t h re e former executives involved in constructing the building were arrested.
President Obama made the first visit to Cuba by a U.S. president since 1928. Obama was criticized by Republicans for making the trip, but he argued that it was time to begin normalizing relations.
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China Airlines Crew Strike
57-year-old pop superstar, Rogers Nelson, known only as Prince, died on April 21 at home in suburban Minnesota. The cause of death is overdose of opioid fentanyl according to his autopsy report. His death shocked the music industry and his fans.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament that the UK would take in more unaccompanied Syrian child refugees from Europe, reversing its earlier stance on the issue. The UK has taken in some children from refugee camps in the Middle East, but had refused to accept any who had made it to Europe.
Led by China Airlinesâ€™ union, hundreds of China Airlines employees went on strike. A demonstration was held because the employees were dissatisfied with the companyâ€™s poor working conditions such as long work hours and low pay on holiday shifts. The strike stranded many passengers strand, but China Airlines agreed to negotiate with the union. Brexit The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum on June 23. After losing the referendum, Prime Minister David C a m e ro n a n n o u n c e d h i s resignation, and Theresa May, former home secretary took up the position.
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words by Candy Li
Rio Olympic Games
Recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Collaborating with The Pokemon Company, Niantic launched an augmented-reality smartphone game, Pokemon Go!, on July 6 in the U.S. Pokemon Go! became an instant hit after its release, and was launched in Taiwan in August.
The summer Olympics were held in Rio, Brazil, with the opening ceremony on August 5. T he local gover nment of Rio was busy preparing for the big event, including mass transportation and the different arenas.
Several incidents involving explosion of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 have been reported around the world. After investigation, the battery seems to be the main cause. Samsung has recalled all Galaxy Note 7 phones, and the phones are banned on airplanes.
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Bob Dylan win Nobel Prize in Literature
Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage in Taiwan
“One Fixed Day off and One Flexible Rest Day Policy”
Long considered by many to be the people’s poet laureate, Bob Dylan officially became such in October when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, redefining the nature of the prize just as he redefined American music and culture. But while the world gasped, Dylan remained Dylan; the day after winning, he played Vegas and subsequently announced he would not be attending the December awards ceremony.
At the end of 2016, the le galization of same-sex marriage is one of the most controversial issues in Taiwan. Parliament has been discussing whether the bill of same-sex marriage should be passed. People who suppor t and oppose the bill assembled to demonstrate.
To protect labors’ rights, the Taiwanese government finally passed the Labor Standards Act amendments. The new “one fixed day off and one flexible rest day policy” was enacted on December 23. The government guaranteed that the new regulation will lead to improvements on working conditions.
Trump wins 45th U.S. Presidential Election Donald Trump won the 45th U.S. presidential election against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. This unexpected result leads to unsureness about the future of the U.S. and international relations.
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Marriage Equality: The Contradiction between Religion and Values in Fu Jen Catholic University words & photo by Matt Tsai
n a sea of posters with slogans of antigay marriage and rainbow flags, people of two opposing ideologies groups squared off on the issue of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan recently. Taiwan has been on the way to achieve marriage equality for a long time; however, the interference of advocates for religious and traditional values has led to unexpected turns. For Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, Queer/Questioning groups ( LGBTQ), the legalization of same-sex marriage has been on their agendas for more than a decade. After the DPP government took office in 2016, LGBTQ groups finally seem to have narrowed the gap to seeing their rights and dignity protected by law. However, the sensitive issue of marriage equality seems to touch Christians’ bottom line because it offends their religious belief and values of marriage and family. In order to stop the legalization of marriage equality, anti-gay groups went to Ketagalan
Boulevard and protested. They appealed to the government and the general public to respect their family values and to withdraw the act. However, they deployed lies, rumors, and hate speech to accuse LGBTQ people of destroying Taiwanese society. Unfortunately, their strategies did work somehow. People not familiar with the issue and uncertain about same-sex marriage’s influence, started to hesitate to favor the legalization. K, student who studies in Fu Jen University, thinks that same-sex marriage seems to be a very sensitive topic. Fu Jen University is a catholic university, which has its own religious views about same-sex marriage. Four people in Fu Jen University were interviewed, discussing the old and new values of this controversial issue. As a Christian, student K said that she has been struggling with this issue for a while: “I do have some concerns about the effects of gay marriage. I admit that my
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religion does affect me a bit. For Christians, the meaning of marriage should be pure and divine, which should be based on the union of a husband and a wife, while same-sex marriage completely breaks this concept of marriage in Christianity. It is really a longtime tradition and religious value. However, for me, I am not sure if gay and lesbian orientations are instinctive or learned. Therefore, I am a bit afraid that if same-sex marriage is legalized, it may affect the next generations.” K also believes that a child needs to have a father and a mother. According to K, there is something masculine or feminine that a child cannot learn from same-sex parents. K acknowledges that, “I do know the pain that gay people are suffering from now. They are not treated equally. What if I were a lesbian? How should I react or respond to other people’s hate speech?” She understands that LGBTQ people want more than just marriage: “If I
were really a lesbian, I would probably want to get married, too. Not only just because I want to get married, but also because I want to be treated equally.” She continues, “I understand gay people’s situation, and I believe that God loves every human being equally. That’s why I sometimes feel there is a contradiction.”
“I do know the pain that gay people are suffering from now. They are not treated equally. What if I were a lesbian? How should I react or respond to other people’s hate speech?”
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believe God treats every spirit equally, and no one should be harmed because of sexual orientation. We have to know the fact that gay marriage will not deprive anyone of their rights. It just protects a minority group with the guarantee of law.” “For me, same-sex marriage is a very tricky and tough issue, and it also bothers me due to my religious background,” she said. “But I fully support that everyone should fight for what they want as long as it doesn’t hurt others.” S t a f f m e m b e r J t a ke s F u Je n University as an example: “Pay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar—and God what belongs to God.” She has been on the staff of Fu Jen University for decades, and also an advocate of marriage equality. “My best friend is also gay, and I have known him since senior high school,” she says. When questioned about whether the school’s official stance on same-sex marriage, she replied, “ Actually, the whole school administration system is quite neutral. Fu Jen University makes things pretty clear. Even though it is a Catholic school, the school system will never force students to accept its religious values.” But, staff member J also pointed out the reason why Fu Jen University is considered an anti-gay school: because it is still a Catholic school, and the Vatican has a certain jurisdiction over it. As a result, because of religion, they have no choice but to take a stand discouraging the support of gay marriage. However, as an educational facility, the school still treats students and
staff the same. They don’t judge their sexual orientations. “But there is a boundary there,” staff member J emphasized. “We don’t talk about marriage equality with other teachers or staff who are also church members. Even though you think and believe marriage equality is the right thing to do, and no one should stop it, you still have to respect these church members’ stands and opinions, because it is their faith. The point is to respect each other. Same as the government. Administration should take care of all different groups, and it cannot be affected by religions only to protect certain people’s values and profits.” Another Fu Jen student, student J, who is Christian but also gay, encountered many collisions of in his life. He said, “Sometimes when church members are opposed to gay rights, I feel frustrated." Nevertheless, student J confessed that he understood why Fu Jen University doesn’t show its support for same-sex marriage: “because it will offend the longtime traditional and religious values, like the same situations I am facing now.” However, he suggested that people should embrace the things they are not familiar with and respect one another.
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Grandma Nanny: Should Grandparents Take Lessons before Babysitting their Grandchildren? words & photos by Candy Li
With the development of society, females nowadays have better education, and therefore, they have more chances to enter the workforce. Based on analysis of the Statistical Bureau in Taiwan, the employment rate of women has increased 5.4% in the last 20 years, and it shows that the employment rate of women rose to 50.74% in 2015. The next page
According to the Department of Household and Registration, Ministry of the Interior, the average age of women giving birth is between 30-34 years old. However, when or if these employed women start a family, double-income families will face a problem: who can take care of the babies? Since both parents have jobs, they are unable to look after their children all the time; as a result, more and more parents nowadays tend to hire nannies to mind their children while they are at work. In one case, a baby girl died at her nanny’s house. Mr. Kuo, a 32-year-old engineer and his wife, are married for six years. They had their first son a year after they got married, and two years later, they had a twin sisters. Since both Mr. Kuo and Mrs. Kuo had to work, they were unable to personally take care of the three children during the daytime. As a result, they hired a nanny, Mrs. Lin, to take care of the three children, Jacky, Monica, and Jessica. However, everything changed on a Wednesday morning. “I got a phone call from the nanny, and she told me that she was in the hospital because Jessica stopped breathing after she was fed,” Mr. Kuo said with a trembling voice. Unfortunately, Jessica died that morning. Mr. and Mrs. Kuo rushed to the hospital. Jessica’s autopsy report revealed that her death was an accident: she had choked on milk and suffocated. Despite the tragedy, Mr. and Mrs. Kuo continued to have Mrs. Lin look after Jacky and Monica. They completely placed their trust in her. I asked them about their continuing faith in her. Mr. Kuo replied, “Actually, we have been struggling; we have no choice but to hire a nanny, since my parents still have their
own business, and my wife’s parents live too far from us.” Mrs. Kuo added, “But we chose to trust Mrs. Lin again because I’ve seen how she interacted with my children. They have a great time with her.” In fact, there are plenty of similar cases about accidents happening to infants when they are under the nannies’ care. No matter whether the nanny intentionally mistreats or abuses the baby, or there are real accidents, the situation is indeed a concern for parents. Therefore, many couples nowadays choose to let their parents, that is, the child’s grandparents take care of their babies. They think that family is more trustworthy than non-related people, and that grandparents love their grandchildren without a doubt. To be better prepared to take care of infants, many people take nanny classes recently. Held by the Department of Social Welfare with the support of Sunny Social
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“Of course. It’s funny; you will know tons of new things. This makes me realize that taking care of infants is really not an easy task. It’s professional, and requires infinite love, patience and care.” Welfare Association, a non-governmental organization, nanny class is now very popular among people who want to become professional babysitters and those who are about to take care of their own children or grandchildren. M r s . Ya n g , a s i x t y - y e a r - o l d housewife, has just received her certificate from nanny lessons, and is now taking care of her six-month-old grandson, Happy. Mrs. Yang has raised three children on her own. It is not a new thing for her to take care of babies, so why did she take the course? “The main reason why I took part in the class is that I want my grandchild to have the best care,” Mrs. Yang replied. Her daughter, Happy’s mother, added, “I trust my mother more than other nannies, so my husband and I paid for the nanny class for her.” To be qualified to receive the certificate, the members need to take 126 hours of classes, including 7 credits of different courses. The content of the nanny course is diverse: Development of Infants, Introduction to Children and Youth Welfare Act, Designing Environment and Activities for Infants, Introduction to Babysitting and Professional Ethics, Parenting Education etc. There were 50 members in Mrs. Yang’s class. One-third of them were grandparents like her, and the others were young parents and people who wanted to be professional babysitters.
According to Mrs. Yang, they have plenty of in-class activities and practice, like how to hold the babies in the right way, how to wash the babies’ hair, how to feed them milk, chest care after feeding etc. There are also exams to make sure that they really learn what is necessary. She also pointed out, “as long as citizens take the nanny lessons and look after their own children, they can apply for the babysitting allowance the local government offers.” Her daughter added, ”the money helps subsidize our expenses for Happy. It costs more than we expected to raise a child.” In the end, I asked Mrs. Yang whether she recommended the nanny class or not. She answered firmly, “Of course. It’s funny; you will learn tons of new things. This makes me realize that taking care of infants is really not an easy task. It’s professional, and requires infinite love, patience, and care.”
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The Effects of Japan’s Nuclear Crisis on Taiwan words by Clare You photo from PEXELS
n 11 March 2011, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake caused great damage to northeast Japan. This horrifying disaster triggered a tsunami with 30-foot waves; these events led to a massive explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. After the explosion, leaving people living near this area with the risk of cancer, many Taiwanese started worrying that nuclear power plants in Taiwan would also pose a threat to nearby residents. Apart from concerns about the dangers of nuclear power plants, food imports from Japan also caused a huge controversy in Taiwan. Many people were strongly opposed to them. For example, Chiayi City was the first city in Taiwan that
opposed Japan’s potentially contaminated food exports. The mayor said “maybe Taiwan will import these products in the future, but I will still be opposed to them because I am responsible for the health of my citizens.” In addition, many officials also disagreed with allowing food imports from Japan. For instance, legislator Wang Yu-min ( 王育敏 ) of the KMT ( 國民黨 ) party said, “the government is trying to brainwash Taiwanese into believing that many countries in the world already import radioactive food from Japan. However, I would like to say that this is not true. Countries like Korea and America are also blocking Japan’s contaminated food imports. Moreover, compared to Taiwan, these nations have even put a stricter ban.” However, according to
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the rules of the World Trade Organization, the members “[receive] guarantees that [their] exports will be treated fairly and consistently in other countries’ markets [and] [they] [promise] to do the same for imports into [their] own market[s].” Taiwan is breaking the rules of the WTO as long as Japanese food imports are still blocked because Japan’s government claims that the products have passed the strictest tests in the world. Regarding this issue, President Tsai hasn’t decided whether Taiwan should import food from Japan or not, and she is holding three public hearings to listen to citizens’ concerns and views. What’s more, Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration ( 衛 生 福 利 部 食 品 藥 物 管 理 署 ) has also made some announcements in response to Taiwanese people’s worries. The department states that food from Fukushima, Gumma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, and Chiba are still not allowed to be imported to Taiwan. As for the products from other areas in Japan, certificates of origin should be attached to them so that the government can check whether they are safe or not. However, according to a report issued on 3 February 2017, all fishery products and fruits from Japan have passed safety tests in Taiwan. Thus, it is reasonable that some Japanese restaurants, online shopping markets, and retail markets such as PXMart and Carrefour in Taiwan can claim that their shrimp, fish, salmon roe, or apples are imported from Japan on their websites, social media sites, or catalogues without worrying that their products will be removed from the shelves by the government. However, on 5 June 2015, the FDA ( 食 藥 署 ) published a list of products produced in five areas most affected by
radiation. Although these products have not been proven to be unsafe, the government still requires the markets to pull these products from shelves. Yet, there are still many people selling them online, and some of these products can even be seen in PXMart and 7-11 stores. Some Taiwanese are fine with food imports from Japan. One interviewee said, “there is no denying that when the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant exploded, those toxic chemicals were transmitted through air or ocean currents. Therefore, I think no one can escape from this tragedy because no matter how hard we try to avoid eating products contaminated by radiation, we will still inhale contaminated air. As for the products imported from Japan, I will check whether they come from the five areas most affected by the explosion, and if they come from other areas in Japan, I will still buy them.” Another interviewee said she would still buy products imported from Japan because she had not seen any news about people who had died or had any side effects after eating Japan’s exports. She said, “other people are fine after eating the food from Japan, so I think I don’t need to worry too much.” Yet, some Taiwanese still consider the products from Japan unsafe. One office worker said, “after the nuclear power plant exploded, I try not to buy products from Japan. Moreover, if there are online markets or Japanese restaurants selling fishery products from Japan, I prefer not to buy from or eat their products. In addition, I think the government should put certificates of origin on Japanese products. Therefore, customers can directly determine their safety.”
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There Will Not Be Blood An Insight on Korean Peaceful Protest words & photo by ShinMinkyung
hat’s happening in Korea?” and “How’s Korea now?” are the most frequent questions I was asked and asked my friends in Korea. As an exchange student from South Korea, I was enjoying my time until “the scandal” broke. Whenever I was questioned about the scandal that had engulfed my country, I was embarrassed and ashamed. Born and raised in South Korea, where face and respect matter a lot, this scandal was not pleasant news for me and for all the people in Korea. Even so, when I heard the response of Koreans to this crisis, though less-reported than the bizarre affair itself, the disappointment brought by the scandal turned into the pride of Koreans. Despite the cold weather and the festive mood of Christmas Eve, South Koreans marked the ninth consecutive week’s candlelight vigil by gathering in the capital's Gwanghwamun Square on
Saturday. The protesters demanded a swift decision on President Park, who was alleged of letting Choi Soon-sill, her longtime confidante with no official government role, intervene in state affairs. Later, President Park’s impeachment was approved by the parliament, while Ms. Choi has also been charged with abusing her relationship with the president to shake down the nation’s conglomerates for donations to her own non-profit foundations. She was also alleged of pressuring Ewha Womans University, one of the prestigious universities in Korea, into giving her daughter, Jung Yu-ra, preferential treatment to get into the university. The outraged students at Ewha started the first protest against the unfair treatment, which helped reveal the secret relationship between President Park and Ms. Choi. Although the scandal is shocking, demonstrations against the president
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are nothing new. As a country with a turbulent history, demonstrations, especially violent protests, are already a common way to express people’s anger. During the Independent Movement in the first half of the 20th century, approximately 2,000,000 Koreans participated in more than 1,500 demonstrations against the Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula, and 7,509 people were killed by the Japanese police force. The pro-democracy activities in Gwangju in May 1980, when participants from local universities were attacked by Chun Doo-hwan government, triggered a 10-day-protest and caused 606 deaths. Hundreds and thousands protested the American military presence after a U.S. Army vehicle hit and killed two young girls during training exercises in 2002. Moreover, in September 2016, an elderly Korean man who protested Park Geun-hye’s agricultural policies died from injuries after being hit by a police water cannon. Based on past demonstrations, the first thing comes my mind is chanting p e o p l e o r p o l i c e m e n cl a s h i n g w i t h protesters. However, this time was totally different. While there were blockades of hundreds of police, there was not violent crowd. Various kinds of people, ranging from children with parents, middle high school and university students, workers and even old people marched peacefully. “It was more like a festival than a demonstration. Unlike past protests, everyone was talking to each other and listening to each other’s story, and walking in an orderly manner,” said Ms. Chea, a 21-year-old Ewha university student. These kinds of protests are all new to Koreans who are more familiar with violent protests. Whenever people wanted to make their voices heard, there were always
tragedies. However, people’s resolve to act in a mannerly way to avoid another bloody protest made them choose to express their anger via peaceful marches this time. “These days, we can see that young people care more about peace and try to act well. We can also see this on the SNS about how we should act during a peaceful march,” said Ms. Kim, 24, a Sungshin Women’s University student. Instead of chanting or shouting, the majority of the protesters gathered together, sharing their thoughts. “It was really nice to see people sharing their thoughts. I realized that with a little courage people can actually make a big change,” said Ms. Eum, 25, a graduate student from So Gang University. In addition to young people, there was also one special group of protesters: parents who bring their children. In this way, they hope their children can witness this historical moment and show them how to act, so that the same situation won’t pass down to the next generation again. These peaceful protests proved that participants now have a more mature national consciousness. Furthermore, it even sparked more political participation in Korea. Ms. Kim, 24, a Sungshin Women’s University student who was not interested in politics, participated in rallies to get the spirit of peaceful protests. “I wasn’t interested in Korea’s politics and didn’t expect much from our government. However, by participating in peaceful rallies, I found that people’s eagerness to change the situation was stronger than I expected. It eventually made me to rethink about my perspective on politics.” A million people participated in the 10th consecutive rally on the last Saturday of 2016, proving people’s desire to change this whole situation is stronger than ever.
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Haze In China words by Clare You photo from PEXELS
Air pollution has been a long-term problem in China and industrial development is one of the major reasons causing it. The emissions from the factories, the cars, and so on leave China blanketed in toxic air.
c c o rd i n g t o a n a n n o u n c e m e n t made by the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau ( 北京市 環境保護局 ), Beijing issued a red alert on air pollution from 16 December 2016 to 21 December 2016 and limited the number of vehicles on the road, such as gravel trucks. In addition, the construction industry was forced to stop tearing down buildings or painting them. The Chinese government takes air pollution seriously because the toxic air which blankets China has claimed many people’s lives. A study conducted by Berkeley Earth shows how bad China’s air was from April 2014 to August 2015. It claims that air pollution in China “kills [almost] 4000 people every day.” The poisonous emissions from factories are the main reasons for this pollution because coal is used for fueling manufacturing. In Handan, a city located in the southwestern part of Hebei Province, it is also one of the places in China with the worst air pollution. This city is famous for its abundant coal as well as iron ore reserves and these resources allow for heavy industry to develop prosperously in Handan; however, the pollution it brings also poses a threat to
the inhabitants’ health. Taiwan is also affected by toxic air from China. On 21 December 2016, the sky in Tamsui was grey owing to China’s haze. What’s more, on 6 February 2017, the Chief of the Central Weather Bureau ( 交通 部中央氣象局 ) Cheng Ming-dean ( 鄭明 典 ) posted a message about Taiwan’s poor air quality on Facebook. He said “it is clear that today’s weather in Taiwan is affected by China’s haze and February and March are the months which will be most affected by it.” In fact, many Taiwanese have started noticing that the air in Taiwan has become increasingly bad. A student from National Taipei University San Xia campus said “I remember the air in San Xia is sometimes bad from December to mid-January because the sky is grey. Moreover, my classmates can also sense poor air quality. I directly associate air pollution with China’s haze because the news about how it affects Taiwan is reported frequently these days.” Another exchange student from Mainland China who studied at Fu Jen University said “due to Beijing 2008 Olympics, some U.S. professionals came to China and proved that the country was
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covered with haze rather than fog. Since then, Chinese people have started the fight against the hazardous air. For instance, I am used to checking the air quality index every day, even though I am in Taiwan now. However, I actually feel Xinzhuang’s air quality is also poor during late December. What’s more, wearing a face mask is also
important. In China, I would choose the one that fits my face shape, which could block the dirty air effectively and some people choose to buy air purifiers.” In addition, another student who studies in Hualien and went to Kaohsiung in January said “Kaohsiung’s air quality is poor. The sky looks so grey and I think haze from China is definitely one of the reasons. However, exhaust emissions from ships in the Port of Kaohsiung and vehicles on the roads are also culprits. Compared to Kaohsiung, Hualien’s air is fresher because there are many mountains and the sea.” To c o p e w i t h h a z e c o m i n g from China, Environmental Protection Administration Executive Yuan R.O.C. (Taiwan) ( 行 政 院 環 境 保 護 署 ) has decided to substitute natural gas and diesel for heavy crude oil as the fuels for boilers. What’s more, the number of trucks
and motorcycles on the road should be controlled. Furthermore, some people propose changing the customs in Taiwan as also one of the ways to reduce air pollution. That is, traditional Taiwanese burn incense or paper money when they worship because they think only through this way can gods feel their piety. Yet, emissions caused by these practices are harmful to the environment. Hence, the government tries to use television commercials to make citizens realize there are other ways to show their piety except for burning incense or paper money. The Chinese government has also enacted some laws to fight against air pollution. For example, on 1 September 2015, the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council P. R. China ( 國 務 院 法 制 辦 公 室 ) issued an announcement that amendments to the Air Pollution Control Law had passed on 29 August 2015. The amendments require the government, mayors, and citizens to work together. For instance, one part of the law indicates that the government can ask any mayor who fails to make his or her city attain the standards of good air quality to make plans to improve the situation and requires these plans to be carried out before the deadline that the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China ( 中 華 人 民共和國環境保護部 ) sets. There is no denying that China still has a long way to go to solve its air pollution crisis and Taiwan, which is partly affected by China, also suffers from this problem. Fortunately, the governments and citizens have already noticed this serious issue and are using some countermeasures ensure to a healthy environment.
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Behind the Scenes of China’s Internet Celebrity words by Eling Liu
“In the future, everyone will be worldfamous for 15 minutes."—Andy Warhol
n the future, everyone will be worldfamous for 15 minutes,” Andy Warhol, the most famous figure in pop art, supposedly remarked almost a halfcentury ago. Nowadays it is not impossible for anyone to shoot to fame through the Inter net. In recent years, inter net celebrities, known as Wang Hong ( 網 路 紅 人 ) in Chinese, play an influential role on social media platforms and successfully produce huge numbers of new business opportunities, drawing people’s attention behind the scenes of this industry. Wang Hong are usually ordinary people who attract millions of fans on social media platforms. Internet celebrities can be divided into three types: eye-catching celebrities, typically with good looks, e-commerce celebrities who recommend and sell products, and other internet celebrities who create original content. According to Alibaba’s records, the Internet celebrity economy is set to be worth 58 billion yuan (266 billion TWD) in 2016. The spread of social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Weibo, as well as live-streaming and broadcasting on the Internet, have all contributed to the
development of this industry. Different from traditional brand marketing, Internet celebrities do not just become idols and role models in the minds of fans, but also successfully translate their influence into businesses. Unlike famous celebrities with impressive backgrounds, the most famous Internet celebrities in China are just ordinary people. Therefore, people may think they are more down-to-earth and approachable. In addition to the spread of social media platforms, their identities as ordinary people and the unique content of their broadcasts are also important factors for successful careers. To succeed in online marketing, China’s Internet celebrities do not just count on themselves, but they also form teams to analyze the current trends and manufacture products. Zhang Dayi, a top Inter net celebrity in China, is followed by more than 4.4 million fans on Weibo. The largest part of her income comes from her own online shop, called “Wu xihuan deYichu,” or “The Wardrobe I Like” in English, on Taobao. The sales soar whenever Zhang Dayi launches a new series of clothing. The highest record she has achieved is selling
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5000 garments in two seconds. Her fans, mostly young females aged 15 to 30, are willing to stay up late to buy her clothes. Besides, the news or advertisements of her online store are often forwarded by people on Weibo, which underlines the effect of the Internet celebrity economy. On the social media platforms, people see Zhang Dayi sharing photos, short-videos about her life, and new products. Zhang Dayi plays multiple roles in her career. She is a model, a salesperson, and a public relations professional at the same time. This new type of economy indeed blurs the lines between traditional job divisions in a company. In addition to Zhang Dayi, there is a group of designers, purchasers, manufacturing workers, and analysts behind the scenes. From fans’ comments and total numbers of “likes” for each post, Zhang Dayi and her team can access fans’ preferences and criteria for new products so they can precisely adjust the prices and production lines instantly. H owe v e r , b e i n g a n I n t e r n e t celebrity is not an easy task. According to her Weibo, Zhang Dayi says she sometimes feels insecure because there are always many charming girls competing with her. If she doesn’t work hard or post new information regularly, she may be forgotten by her fans very easily. As a result, in order to give instant feedback, Zhang Dayi has to reply to countless questions from her fans every day and post at least 2 to 3 videos per week. She usually likes to live broadcast her daily life with fans when she has free time. She gets lots of positive encouragement from her fans, but unavoidably, she also has to deal with malicious attacks from haters. She says, “Some people treat us like parvenus, who earn a lot without gaining the prestige, dignity, or manner associated with it.”
In the future, Internet celebrity economy is estimated to create more than 100 million yuan (420 billion TWD) of profit in China. Hundreds of Internet celebrities, mostly female, sell clothes and cosmetics on Taobao, the world's largest online shopping platform. If large enough numbers of followers are gained, business can be lucrative. The lucrative business also leads to the rise of Internet celebrity incubators such as Tophot, which discovers potential Internet celebrities and provides training for budding Internet celebrities with skills in photography, make-up, and performance. In return, Tophot takes a cut from their earnings. There is no similar scale of Internet celebrity economy developing in Taiwan yet. In Taiwan, most Internet celebrities tend to call themselves bloggers rather than Wang Hong. T hey make agreements with brands to promote the products on their social media platforms and get free samples or cash in return. The profits they can earn are limited compared with those of China’s Internet celebrities. With the development of live broadcasting and incubators, cooperating with Internet celebrity incubators may become the future business pattern in Taiwan as well. However, even though incubators are quite popular among investors, there are still some long-term concerns that need to be considered. Just like any startup business, the failure rate of investment in Internet celebrity incubators is extremely high (95% or above), because there is no standard formula and the unique content created by each successful Internet celebrity cannot be duplicated. In sum, if Taiwanese bloggers aspire to be Wang Hong, they can consider joining Internet celebrity economy after considering its pros and cons.
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Taiwan’s New Experience of “Panning Treasure” Online words by Zhoe Zhang photo from PEXELS
irst adopted in 2009 by Taobao, Alibaba, the “Single’s Day Events”, which used to stimulate a massive online shopping sale under the title of “a chance to celebrate for the singletons” has now become the biggest festival for online shopping customers. This year, Alibaba has beaten its sales record, closing the sale at 121 billion yuan (around 600 billion TWD), an increase of 32% from last year's sales which were 14.3 billion yuan (around 70 billion TWD). No doubt the “Single’s Day Event” is regarded as a day dedicated to shopping now. However, this fever is not just confined to in Mainland China. Now, Taiwan has gradually started to adopt this new way of online shopping under the influence of Alibaba. According to Taiwan Institute for Information Industry, sales are estimated to increase 10% this year. Taobao, the famous Chinese online shopping website, was established by Ma Yun, the founder of E-commerce giant Alibaba in 2003. At the start of the business, the company suffered from the inconvenience of online payment. In 2004, when Alipay, the third-party online payment platform was introduced by Alibaba as a new way of money transfer, Taobao started to boom in the area of online shopping. In 2005, Taobao beat eBay and Yahoo, becoming the biggest online shopping platform in Asia.
Now, Taobao has become an essential part of Chinese daily life with some 800 million product lines and 50 million visitors a day. Although the phenomenon of shopping on Taobao is already quite common in China, Taiwan is still at the early stage of this new way of online shopping. Taobao did not officially enter the Taiwan market until 2010, and in 2015, Alipay finally could be used in Taiwan with the cooperation of E. Sun Commercial Bank. It seems that Taobao has already become very popular in Taiwan. According to the official statistics of Alibaba in 2015, the company has reached annual sales of 500 million TWD over the last five years, along with more than 500 thousand new users each year. Followers on Taobao’s Facebook fan page reached 170 thousand. But, if you look around, do your friends or family members really use Taobao that often? The answer will probably be “NO.”
“This is my first time to use Taobao in order to participate in the Single’s Day event; however, it took me almost three weeks to understand how the website works.”
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One junior student from the History Department of Fu Jen University complained, “This is my first time to use Taobao in order to participate in the Single’s Day event; however, it took me almost three weeks to understand how the website works.” What’s wrong with this new online shopping method? Unlike most of the Chinese users who learned to use Taobao as it developed, Taiwanese users are now picking up a totally new but wellestablished online payment system. One senior student from the English Department who has already had some experience using Taobao described her first user experience, “I did not know I needed to have Alipay to apply for an account on Taobao, and I failed several times when trying to confirm my Alipay account by connecting it with my credit card. Even now, I am not used to using Alipay.” If you are a Chinese reading
this, well, I am sure you may feel this is unbelievable. Alipay is already a huge part of people’s lives in China. From paying for restaurants or taxis to electricity fees and credit card bills, Chinese people would agree they could not live without Alipay. However, Alipay was not introduced to Taiwan until 2015. Moreover, the Taiwanese government just released regulations on operating thirdparty payments in early 2016. Taiwanese people are more familiar with paying by credit cards or bank accounts, and they have little experience transferring money through the third party platform. Therefore, they often either have difficulty using this new payment system or do not trust it. However, the unfamiliarity of the new payment form is not the only problem. In contrast to most of the Taiwanese local online shopping websites such as Books ( 博 客 來 ) which is one hundred percent
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“It is a matter of your habits. After all, I have used Yahoo! Auctions for many years and I am more familiar with it.” operated by one single company, Taboo consists of millions of online shop owners. The different concept of the websites may confuse Taiwanese users. Many students from China at Fu Jen University said that they have been asked about how to use Taobao by their Taiwanese classmates. Another big obstacle for Taobao is delivery. When you are shopping on Taobao in China, the only thing you need to do is to click the “buy” button and enter your password for Alipay, and you will find your goods at home the next day. In addition, the delivery fee is only about 50 NTD. However, due to the Customs Act between Taiwan and Mainland China, the delivery usually takes more time and costs more. A student from the History Department said that she needs to learn to use consolidated transportation to reduce the delivery costs. The extremely simple process in China has become much more complicated in Taiwan, which also leads to potential users abandoning this new shopping method in Taiwan. There is no denying that the current situation of this new online shopping platform in Taiwan is not as optimistic as people may have hoped. One student from the History Department said she would consider continuing to use it, but only when Taobao holds other events like the “Single’s Day” when she could buy cheaper things. However, is this really the case? On why she started to use Taobao, one Taiwanese student
from the English Department said that it is because the things that she wants to buy were only available on Taobao. She would not use it if she could find it on Yahoo! Auctions, the most popular online shopping platform in Taiwan. “It is a matter of what you habbits. After all, I have used Yahoo! Auctions for many years and I am more familiar with it.” Different from Taobao, Yahoo! Auctions has been operating in Taiwan for more than 10 years, with bank accounts and credit cards as payment means. This seems to better fit Taiwanese habits for online shopping. Even so, Taobao seems to be prefer red by many fashion Inter net celebrities in Taiwan. They generously share their favorite clothes shops on Taobao. One student from the advertising department stated that her classmate who is a fashion Internet celebrity is a “crazy fan” of Taobao. She would immediately search the clothes on Taobao when she sees some clothes she likes, and share it on her Facebook fan page. Many Taiwanese customers still do not seem to be ready for Taobao. The market also appears to be still in its “early adopters” stage. However, as more and more opinion leaders in Taiwan, such as some famous fashion bloggers, start to use Taobao more often, and Taobao’s online shopping system adapts to fit the locals more, we could still expect a bright future for this new method of online shopping in Taiwan.
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It’s Not Only about Literature!
What are our Professors’ Favorite Movies, Books and Songs? Do you know how to make your professor suffer? Just ask them about their favourite books, movies and songs! They all have so many in mind that it torments them to choose only one or two. Do you want to know Dr. Murphy’s favourite movies after those film worksheets in Western Civilisation Class? Do you want to know Professor Basourakos’ favourite writers or plays after watching these years’ annual plays? Get yourself ready and enjoy being surprised by our professors’ answers while discover some unknown characteristics of them. words by Candy Li & Zhoe Zhang
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Prof. Joseph Murphy Favorite books/writers: “Impossible question,” Professor Murphy complained to us in his e-mail. Yet, he still wrote that novels that he returned to often are Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter as the best romance story ever, as well as Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House, the best novel about a professor. Nevertheless, his best reading experience is with Graham Greene’s The Quiet American. He told us that he picked up a pirated copy in Vietnam, where it’s set, and couldn’t put it down. He also mentioned Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood for the best oneliners, John Updike’s Couples for the best prose style, and Toni Morrison’s Beloved for the best last page. As a professor who always requires a Works Cited, he also noted some of his favourite nonfiction which includes essays by Adam Gopnik and Susan Sontag.
Favorite directors/movies: According to my own experience, Midnight in Paris should be one of Dr. Murphy’s favourite as I have watched it in two of his courses. And, it turned out to be true, as Dr. Murphy wrote down Woody Allen’s name for one of his favourite directors. However, for his all-time favourite movies, they are two classic American Hollywood movies It’s a Wonderful Life by Frank Capra and The Sound of Music by Robert Wise, director.
Favorite songs/singers: For songs and singers, Dr. Murphy wrote us a long list in the e-mail: Bob Dylan, “Mr. Tambourine Man”; Paul Simon, “American Tune”; Joni Mitchell, “Both Sides Now” and “River”; Leonard Cohen, “Hallelujah” and “Anthem” (“There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in”); Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska (album); Lin-Manuel Miranda, “My Shot” (from Hamilton: An American Musical). Feel free to paste any of the songs recommended, and listen to it on your Youtube or Spotify.
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Prof. John Basourakos Favorite books/writers: For those who are familiar with Professor Basourakos, you may know his passion for plays. Therefore, it is not surprising that his favourite writer is Tennessee Williams. “Something of the parts he wrote, many writers nowadays don’t write that kind of dialogue, so poetic, so many different levels of meanings, depending on how you deliver it. He dared to go where other writers were not willing to go at his time, like issues and ways of thinkings,” he said. Other authors that Professor Basourakos likes are Henrik Ibsen, August Wilson, and Ntozake Shange. All those writers share one same thing—they write good stories.
Favorite directors/movies: When asked about movies, Professor Basourakos said that he was mostly interested in black and white hollywood films of 40s and 50s, no matter whether they are about gangsters, musicals, historical dramas, or comedies. Those black and white movies fascinate him because of the way they were shot. Different perspectives of films making were viewed as an art form at that time, a medium of communication. “The movies nowadays are moving very fast, but movies at that time are all about camera angles, lightings of scene, and stories. Nothing is moving very fast,” he commented. Billy Wilder, who filmed Sunset Blvd., Double Identity, and Some Like it Hot, is one of Professor Basourakos’ favourite directors, as he thought Wilder always had interesting things to say through his films. On the other hand, All about Eve is the movie that Professor Basourakos has watched over and over again. “You are watching the plot unfolding, the characters slowly have different layers stripped away, and more information is exposed. You are allowed to see different aspects of the character.The whole process of discovering the character is what excites me about those films. I do not like films that give me all the information in the first twenty minutes,” he told us.
Favorite songs/singers: “I grew up when disco started to be in trend. I am not a die-hard fan of disco; instead, I like a little bit of everything.” Professor Basourakos told us, “My favourite band when I grew up was Blondie, an American rock band.” Other American rock groups he likes are Journey and Styx, from the 80s. He also mentioned that 50s pop singers were another favourite. “You want to get up and dance when you hear the music,” he said. Growing up in the age of Britney Spears, it may be a little bit hard for us to relate. However, you are welcome to try those old melodies as something new. The next page
Prof. Donna Tong Favorite books/writers: The Canadian poet and novelist Margaret Atwood is on the top of Professor Donna’s favourite writers list. “Her novels are creepily realistic in their character psychology,” she wrote to us. Her novel The Handmaid's Tale is eerily apropos right now with the rise of fascism in the West, and the novel is being adapted into a TV series this year. William Blake, another poet that Professor Donna prefers, as his poetry and illuminated manuscripts are both beautiful and provocative. “I really enjoy the use of irony and paradox in both his words and images,” Professor Donna commented. Li-Young Lee is also on Professor’s favourite poets list. “I really enjoy his use of rhythm and rhyme to mimic conversation but still draw attention to the sounds of language. I also feel more personally connected to his poetry since he writes about immigration, assimilation, and alienation in a lot of his poems,” she wrote.
Favorite directors/movies: When it comes to great directors, I guess it is no surprise if anyone answers Ang Lee. Indeed, he is one of Professor Donna’s favourite as well. “I like that as a director, his focus is really on characterization and character psychology. While his Hulk did not do well among critics, it was the first comic-book film that cared very little about action. The focus was all on Bruce Banner's trauma, and his relationships to his father, mother, and lover, Betty. I'm not saying that's my favorite film from him, but it does demonstrate that he's not an action director; he's a director for character-driven narratives.” For movies, Professor Donna recommended Ocean’s Eleven. She told us, “It's lighthearted but still well done. A very good heist film.” Another movie that Professor 華 ), a simply beautiful Donna enjoys is Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love ( but very sad film. “I loved it visually but I don't want to rewatch it too often since it's very depressing. I also love Maggie Cheung's qipao dresses in it! So glamorous!”
Favorite songs/singers: Finally, we heard an answer of a singer from our generation! Lorde is one of Professor Donna’s preferences. Professor Donna stated that she did not like high-pitched singers. The lower register of Lorde is what attracts her, even though some of her lyrics are too random. Unlike Professor Basourakos, Professor Donna likes movie soundtracks. She said, “I sometimes like more variety than is available on a single band/singer's album, so I like the diversity of music on different movie soundtracks. Her recommendations are Juno, The Great Gatsby (2013), Underworld (the first 3 movies so far), Whip It!, and Hidden Figures. The next page
Prof. Yun-Pi Yuan Favorite books/writers: Eileen Chang ( ), is Professor Yuan’s favorite author. “She is a genius writer!” she commented. Professor Yuan also revealed in the interview, “I loved literature very much when I was in college, and I also wrote some articles at that time, so sometimes I wondered why I did not go on the path to literature (laugh).” “I love her language, the way she uses the words; she has great sensitivity and could see through a lot about life at such young age. ” She kept on explaining, “I think it is also because Chinese is my mothertongue. I can deeply feel the words, the sentences, and the emotion of her stories. When I read English literatures, I do understand the meaning, but I somehow feel like there is a barrier.” Among Eileen Chang's works, Professor Yuan highly recommended Jin Suo Ji ( ), and Qing Cheng Zhi Lian ( ). "You should read them in person, and you will be able to understand what I said about how she used language to vividly depicted the relationship between humans”.
Favorite directors/movies: “I’m not sure if you can understand what I’m talking about because of the generation gap.” After thinking about it for a while , Professor Yuan said that Lawrence of Arabia is her favorite movie. When asked which part of the movie attracted her most, she answered, “The whole film is wonderful! However, what I like the most is that it has some profound meanings and issues. I love movies which have deep connotations, leaving the space for the audience to ponder after watching.” She continued, “I also like The Sound of Music. I enjoy the beautiful melodies and the joyous atmosphere. But... compared to Lawrence of Arabia, there’s nothing worth thinking back again after watching.” Besides the film itself, Professor Yuan said that the director of Lawrence of Arabia, David Lean is her favorite as well. Just like she has mentioned, she prefers movies that trigger people to think, and David Lean’s films always do, including The Bridge on the River Kwai and Doctor Zhivago.
Favorite songs/singers: Again, because of the language barrier, Professor Yuan’s favorite singers are also Chinese. She said, “I often listen to Tsai Chin ( ) and Fei Yu-Ching’s ( ) songs. Both of them have special voices that cannot be replaced as well as excellent singing skills. Sometimes, I think a singer and his/her songs have certain associations, and I think both Tsai Chin and Fei Yu-Ching, regardless of the person or the song, give people a positive feeling.” Professor Yuan told us that every time she listen to Tsai Chin’s “Ting Yuan Shen Shen ( 院 ),” it reminds her of a camping experience from when she was in college. The next page
Prof. Doris Chang Favorite books/writers: Professor Doris mentioned her favorite playwright, Tom Stoppard, when asked about her favorite writer. “Now I like to read Keith and Shakespeare, but when I was younger, I liked studying English drama. I studied him when I was an MA student,” she said. “ You can see how he combined the characters in Hamlet and the plot of Waiting for Godot in a play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are minor, minor characters in Hamlet, but Tom Stoppard made them central characters in this play. A lot of important and serious issues are explored in this play and also lots of funny stuff, so it’s both entertaining and deep.” People would say that his plays demonstrate the theater of exhaustion because he himself studied the English dramatic tradition, and he would parody those plays with different traditions and turn them into something relevant to postmodern readers. And he also wrote for radio drama, TV series and movies. “He is a serious writer but writes in the most humorous and creative way. Everyone who is interested in drama should read Tom Stoppard,” Professor Chang concluded.
Favorite directors/movies: Professor Chang told us that her favorite films are mostly based on literature, like film adaptations or creative adaptations of movies, and she recommended a film, Shakespeare in Love, which she just showed her students recently. “Although it’s fiction, for those who are interested to know more about Shakespeare’s time, it shows how Shakespeare ran out of inspiration and was inspired by his muse, Lady Viola, how the theater operated at that time, how Shakespeare became successful, how the plot of Romeo and Juliet was written, etc.,” Professor Doris explained. “Shakespeare proved that in drama, you can represent true love from Romeo and Juliet. And I think how the Romeo and Juliet plot, which we are familiar with, can be turned into something creative and more relevant to modern people is the main reason why I have watched this film several times.” She highly recommended this movie, and said that even some students who did not know a lot about Shakespeare have fallen in love with this fantastic movie.
Favorite songs/singers: Professor Chang’s favorite singer is Chou Hua Chien ( 華 ). “I like the way he sings. He is always positive, and you can feel the power in his voice. Therefore, you can be inspired when you are down or when you are going through very difficult situations; his song will comfort you.” Then, we asked the professor which song is her favorite. She replied, “I seldom go to KTV, but if my friends really insist and want me to request a song, I will pick "Peng You" ( ). His songs carry healing powers; not only because of the lyrics but also because of the way he interprets the song.” At the end of the interview, Professor Doris said that she seldom listens to English songs, so next time you can share your Youtube playlist with her!!! The next page
Prof. Kate Liu When we sent the e-mail to ask Professor Liu about her favorites, she replied, “These are really difficult questions to answer. I have grown to love all of those films and novels I have studied and/or taught. If I were to let you know what my favorite books and films are, they can form a course’s reading list, or an annotated filmography.” As a result, if you are looking forward to knowing Professor Kate’s favorite films and books through this article, we are really sorry that we may let you down. Nevertheless, Professor Kate did provide a list of her favorite singer/song. Let’s check her list out!!! “I love the songs that speak to me about the spirit of an age or sentiments of a group of people,” Professor Liu wrote. One is Bruce Springsteen, who shouted “Born in the USA” for the American working class at the time and, in a low, hoarse and sexy voice, crooned to his young female fans: “Ohh, Fire~~.” Others are Lo Da-yu ( ) and 民 Taiwanese campus folk song singers ( ). Professor said that these singers powerfully expressed different generations’ emotions, mostly from 1980s to 2000. “Lo Dayu’s love songs, light-beat and melodious, gave voice to two generations of Taiwanese youth in their pursuit of love, practice of guitar or singing at Karaoke and Hong Kong’s ‘return’ to China. Campus folk songs, in turn, articulated the naïve passion and careless freedom shared by many college students in the early 1980s, me included.” Professor Kate also loves singers that tell stories, use literature, or simply “speak” to her. “Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, Tracy Chapman, Laurie Anderson and Joni Mitchell can all draw me into the stories in their songs,” she explained. In addition, “Joni Mitchell’s ‘Slouching Toward Bethlehem’ and Laurie Anderson's ‘The Dream Before’ help me introduce emotively a class discussion of W. B. Yeats, modern times, or simply different ideas of history. I love Laurie Anderson a lot also for her digitized voice performances, even though, sadly, no student liked her in any of my classes.” Professor Liu also mentioned some songs that students introduced to her. These songs “grow on us and take on sentimental values as we move along in life,” she said. For example, Savage Garden’s “Two Beds and a Coffee Machine,” Eminen’s “Stan,” Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy,” Delta Rae’s “Dance in the Graveyard,” Alison Krauss’s “Jacob's Dream” and Of Monsters and Men’s “Dirty Paws;” "Unlike the way I teach academic writing, I allow these songs to make random and illogical connections, sometimes to a class, sometimes to a face, and, with “Jacob’s Dream,” to all the lost children in society." Finally, Professor Kate said that songs do not need to be melodious to be her favorites. "At heart I have kept a recurrent song: 'lubriderm, lubriderm, lubri--, derm, derm, derm--,' a mere refrain of a lotion brand name, sung by a young father when he put lotion on his baby daughter to win her giggling response.
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Beyond Traditional Jobs for English Department Students words by Avery Lin photos by Avery Lin, Eilleen Chang & Sharon Teng “You major in English? Will you be a teacher or a translator?” One of your relatives asks. “Language is a tool. You need to find a second skill, and what will it be?” Your father questions. “Perhaps they are right. Probably, I should face reality,” you think to yourself. People think that those who major in English are only destined for a few jobs like teachers, translators, or clerks of trading companies. People assume that English major students do not have the ability to be qualified to do jobs in other areas. Language is a tool, but students in the Fu Jen English Department make good use of this tool. Thanks to various activities such as Annual Play, Senior Play, Composition Contest, Singing Contest, among others, we learn more than just the English language. M o r e ov e r, c o u r s e s l i ke fi n a n c e , translation, literature, and marketing provide students with opportunities to learn about other areas This is why our alumni are active in many fields. Growing up means you have to be responsible for any decisions you make; it does The next page
Suggestion from Alumni Detailed map. Draw yourself a blueprint that shows every step you have to take, what difficulties you may encounter, and alternative steps when the original ones do not work. You have to think of all possible consequences and take them into account. Always have a plan before taking action. Stable income. Economic issues are a major concern for most people. At this stage, most people live on their own, so they are afraid of chasing their dreams, for fear that they may lose everything. In this case, you have to simultaneously work on your dream and ear n money to support it and your life. Thus, you have to use and arrange your time wisely. Experience. You should have enough experience of what you are going to do. You can professionalize by taking jobs that are related to your dream. Thus, you can gain more experience and earn money at the same time. Communication. Relations between people are complicated. Friendly communication can reduce conflicts between par tners or parents. People around you may be helpful in achieving your dream, so interpersonal skills are a “must.”
not mean that you stop dreaming. In some interviews with alumni and students of the English department, they share their experiences and their dreams.
“Too poor for cheap shoes” ─ Eddie Wu
A small but beautiful and elegant leather shoe shop is located at a corner in Taipei. “Since they are my favorite, how nice it would be if they become part of my life.” Eddie Wu said as he smiled. In speaking of the biggest obstacle to starting a business, Eddie claimed, “Taking everything into account is much more difficult than people think.” Starting a business is about money, either earning or spending. Once you begin, the worst situation is losing every dollar you pay for the business. “But we are young enough to take this risk. We may fail, but we are capable of restarting.” Eddie asserted with conviction. When Eddie was an university student, he spent time not only on course assignments but also in browsing fashion magazines. High-class leather shoes kindled his interest. As a result, Eddie decided to work at a leather shoe company. “They are so cool. I may not be able to afford them, but at least I can touch them.”
“I love these shoes, and I know I will have a job related to them. I need to gain some experience.” Working at a leather shoe company allows Eddie to earn a living and gain experience at the same time. “However, if you want to start a business with partners, two is the maximum number, or there will be group squabbles,” Eddie recommended. Speaking of the relationship between English and the leather shoe shop, Eddie said English helped him get more information about leather shoes than other people in this business, and this advantage allows him to succeed more quickly. “Some of the techniques are only written in English. Therefore, I can always be one or two steps ahead of my competitors.”
“Music creates everything” ─ Samuel & Ben Music is a bond between Samuel Huang and Ben Tseng. One is working, and the other is studying. The two members share one interest but hold different views of music. Samuel and Ben started c o l l a b o r a t i n g t h r o u g h t h e E n gl i s h Department Singing Competition. Samuel was looking for guitar or piano accompaniment, and he found Ben. “Since then, when I have a performance, Ben is my accompaniment until I graduate and go to work.” Samuel said.
“To fulfill your dream” ─ Samuel Not until Samuel started working did he realize the value and importance of his dream. “I am not a student anymore, which means I don’t have a chance to do whatever I want. When I sit in the office and
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wait for the end of the day, I realize that I only live once, and I have to pursue what I want. I love singing.” Because of previous collaborations, Samuel and Ben decided to team up as a band, SamuelandBen. Samuel wants to seize the opportunity and time to fulfill his singing dream, while Ben, on the other hand, needs experience to prepare for his future. Communication became the biggest issue for the band. They have to release their works on Youtube to generate buzz. “Everyone’s opinion is equally important. As partners, we have to plan, and we have to work with each other step by step. As part of the band, we all need to be responsible for what we do” said Samuel. “A friendly attitude can deescalate hard words during the process.” The other issue is to become a Youtuber and create a fan base. "Ben and I covered songs we like at first, but those songs were less familiar to many people. The result was, well… not good. Since then, I realized that the theme and the title of your works are extremely important."
In order to generate interest in their music, they decide to do actual performances. “Actually, the outcomes were quite good because those who really didn’t know us started to follow us on Youtube and came to our following performances.” As for personal challenges, Samuel has to be responsible for his life and the band simultaneously. “My daily needs, the music equipment, place for practicing, and some other expenses of the band cost a lot. I have to strike a balance. Nothing can be abandoned” Samuel said. To balance his dream and the reality, he decided to be a freelance English translator. Of course, his college education as an English major helps him a lot. Nevertheless, he still confessed, “I have a stable income and more time, but to support my life and my dream, I have to do two things simultaneously. Time management is the key.”
“Learn and get ready to fly” ─ Ben Ben, on the other hand, is a student. He started learning music when he was a
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child. "Since my family let me learn music, I’ve never wanted to give it up, and I even plan to make it my occupation in the future." Because of his achievements in English, Ben chose to major in English rather than in music. “People majoring in music in Taiwan may not have better employment. I probably need to go abroad to learn advanced skills. Plus, if you like music and practice day after day, it won’t be necessary to major in music in order to get music-related jobs,” Ben said. Ben thinks English is a tool, and Ben knows how to make good use of this tool to improve his music skills. “I will eventually go abroad no matter what I majored in college. Therefore, if I can speak English well, I am more likely to get used to foreign countries quickly, ” Ben said. When the band was formed, Ben did not have a clear and specific goal. He only knew that forming a band is workable, so he gave it a try. For Ben, it is a brand new idea. In addition, what he learns from the band may be useful to his dream job in the future. Music-related jobs include many aspects such as recording, playing an instrument and editing. Ben does not know what exactly he will do in the future although he knows it must be music-related. Thus, he wants to gain more experience and be more familiar with this industry. “That is my first step,” Ben said. Ben is certain that music is his future, and English is a tool that helps him to broaden his horizons. For the band, Ben said that of course he hoped it could last as long as it can. “I’ve made my decisions for my future. Everyone has his own goal. A band of two people...I don’t know. I
definitely want it to be famous, and I want us to release more and different works.” Although Samuel and Ben’s style is unique and different, Ben hopes they can make more fans. As a full-time student, Ben can spend more time on music. He thinks that when he is not a student anymore, he will have to work, but what if his music skills are not professional enough to be his sole income. “Working must take some of your time, and it must be difficult to strike a balance between reality and your dream at the start.” Most students may not have thought of what may happen in the future, but Ben has. He knows he will choose to stay in the music field to learn as many skills as he can. “To gain experience and money. Killing two birds with one stone.” The lesson Ben learns from the band is that to let people get to know you is difficult. When we think about how those people get famous, we find that most of the time it is because of luck. “How to promote yourself to let yourself shine is difficult.” When the chance comes, will you be ready?
“Value the importance of the process” ─ Sharon Teng Sharon Teng has imagined singing and dancing on the stage like a Korean pop star since she was a senior high school student. Actually, Sharon did not just imagine it. She put it into action when she was in university. From September 2015 to June 2016, Sharon had a chance to travel to Korea as an exchange student where she became a trainee at one of the music schools. The first and also the biggest problem Sharon encountered was her parents’
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Sharon is the value of this process of being a Korean performance artist. In order to go to training in Korea, Sharon spent a lot of time learning Korean when she was a senior high school student. “English and Korean will soon become my advantages if, you know, I fail. I think these are the best prizes I won during the process.” These seniors and graduates are working hard on what they want, and they all started from nothing. Planning is the key. disagreement, which forced her to choose to study at a “normal” senior high school and university rather than a department related to performance. Never theless, Sharon persisted in her dream to become a Korean pop star, regardless of the disagreement of her parents. Intense conflict made their relationship worse until finally her parents were willing to sit down and listen to her. Sharon told her parents about her detailed plan. She would finish her bachelor degree, but she also asked her parents to give her a opendoor. “Attending an audition does not mean I’m already on it. It is like an entrance. At least, you could give me a chance to know whether I could get in rather than forcing me to turn back on that entrance. Without giving it a try, I will always felt regret.,” Sharon told her parents. Majoring in English seems to be unrelated to her dream. Sharon chose to be an English major because of her achievements in it. “If I failed to become a performance artist in Korea, I would still have my bachelor degree in English, which could guarantee me a job in the future,” Sharon explained. The most important thing for
“Find a balance between reality and your dreams. If you are a student now, you have to finish your school work and make your dream come true step by step rather than dropping out and leaving everything behind,” Ben said. “You live your life once, don’t leave regrets,” Samuel suggested. “Give yourself time to enter the field you want to be in the future. Learn the whole process and the field to see whether you like it or not. If you like it, stick with it,” Eddie Wu recommended. Never say you cannot do it before you start. Never admire those masters because you do not know how much effort they have made. A building is built piece by piece, floor by floor. Find out what you want. Stop dreaming. Take action. Make your dream become reality.
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Behind the Scenes: Fashion Magazine Productions words & photos by Annie Bi
ave you ever thought about working as an editor in a fashion magazine company? Dressing up prettily, attending a myriad of press conferences, and being friends with celebrities are typical impressions that most people hold toward this job; they consider editor as an easy position and overlook its value. “The hidden truths and unimaginable efforts an editor put behind the scene can largely blow your mind,” said Annie Bi, the intern editor of Hearst Media Group, COSMOPOLITAN Taiwan, “The duty of an editor consists of writing independent articles, compiling relevant information for specific issues, revising each unpublished article, searching for suitable materials embedded in the article.” All the sequences of editing processes can strip a fashion magazine editor’s sleeping time by causing biological clock disorders. “Before you finish drafting an article for this big event and send it to the chief for checking, countless rejected manuscripts and versions of revision you receive is not a surprise ─ ” Annie said, “you must make each article flawless enough to be published on social media platform to avoid severe criticisms from the public.” All these tasks an editor needs to get through occupying most of their work time, which is contrary to what the outsiders who think of this job as “a trophy wife,” a person who only cares about how beautiful she is to attend to special occasions. For example, as every major media racks their brain writing attractive articles and news in order to increase media exposure as much as possible during the “Golden Horse Awards,” the The next page
annual event for all the actors and movie production teams, so do all the Fashion Magazine editors. A fashion magazine media cannot solely describe the rundown of this big event or record the special situations that occurred on that day. Therefore, dragging readers’ attentions to each conventioneer’s clothing design, makeup, hairdo, and overall trends of fashion style will be an editor’s priority. To snatch the first one of posting the news concerning Golden Horse Awards among all the fashion magazine media, the editors need to stay up all night collecting trivial information, including each celebrity’s personal background, recent news, and his or her style of clothing to make sure the news can be published right after the evening. “The research overnight ensures us to compile an abundant article and even write something appealing enough to readers,” said Annie, as a participant in the Golden Horse Awards project in the company. After the research, picking a myriad of illustrations and photos to make each piece of news more prolific is necessary. As she worked in the company as an internship student, she met Ziggy, a 25-year-old full-time digital editor whom becomes her colleague and friend. On behalf of the entire editorial department, Ziggy is the one responsible for keeping in touch with the celebrity who is invited to do online show. Ziggy needs to supervise the overall rundown and make good contact with the celebrity. She revealed that she once slept one hour per day for an entire month given of heavy workloads that finally led her to be seriously ill. “Sometimes in order to increase our page views, we often make up several parts of the contents of the article to publish, because it is impossible to spend so much time collecting every single piece
of information,” said Ziggy. “People never know how difficult and exhausted it is for an editor to provide readers with a hodgepodge of news to see, par ticularly nowadays magazine readers are getting more and more demanding about the content.” She often receives various chances to participate in press conferences and interview famous celebrities face to face in her gorgeous dress and luxurious makeup. Nevertheless, right after the party, she has to take off all these colorful outfits, grabs a chair and begins writing her articles till daybreak. To ensure the progress of each press conference, an editor is also required to contact with interviewees and corporative firms. Nesha, the editor-in-chief, revealed that in the peak period, the total numbers of articles could be up to 500 articles a week, which is a stunning workload for her to accomplish. “It occurs really frequently that some interviewees are extremely hard to please and always picky about every single thing, but you still need to be thick-skinned even if you already expect a cold shoulder from them. It’s really embarrassing,” said Nesha with an awkward facial expression. She hopes to unveil the hidden facts that what a magazine editor is actually experiencing during their work time: Whatever you think of being an editor in a magazine company, you can never undermine all the endeavors they invest in this job. An editor is a gatekeeper who decides what kind of news readers are going to read. Being a fashion magazine editor requires indescribable blood and sweat. This article attempts to reveal the truths and conditions of being an editor and ask people to respect the job: never judge a job from its appearances; what an editor does behind the scenes worth respect as well.
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Board Games for Teaching: Get Ready to Play and Learn! words & photo by Alyson Wang
ecently, with childrenâ€™s increasing pressure because of overwhelming amounts of school work, many teachers have started to use games as an alternative teaching strategy in order to reduce lear ning stress and to suppor t learning. As an instructor for the English Club at Guo-Tai Elementary School, I also want to offer children a stress-free learning environment. In 2016, the director of and chief of curriculum at Guo-Tai Elementary School discussed how the English Club could work with the professor in Fu Jen English Department, and she recruited
English major students to be instructors in the English Club. I was responsible for making lesson plans related to board games. Board games are tabletop games involving pieces moved or placed on a board. Some students, teachers, and parents may wonder how board games can benefit childrenâ€™s lear ning, since board games are not seen as traditional teaching tools like blackboards, CDs, printed materials. However, some research shows that properly designed team-based board games inspire learning and encourage communication, collaboration and risk taking. Many teachers already use them in class and regard board
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games as a teaching method that can lead to positive learning results. In my experience, at first, I found that some of my students could not get used to playing board games in class because their way of learning is to “write more,” and they needed to spend more time understanding the game r ules. However, after some familiarization, many students gradually enjoyed the learning process with board games. What’s more, they were more willing to speak English in class. Using the board games, children learned vocabulary related to animals, emotions, body parts, and fruits, which are all useful in their daily lives, and we practiced these words through playing board games. For children who are not able to focus on the same thing for too long, playing games can incidentally give them motivation to keep learning by playing. I found one popular board game among the students was Dobble, a kind of speed competition. There are 31 Dobble cards, and each has 6 different graphics. As the game starts, each student holds only one card, and a pile of remaining cards are placed downwards in the middle. Students then take turns flipping over a card in the middle. As long as students see the same graphic that is on his or her own card, he or she needs to say the word out loud to win the points. More points are awarded for speediness. In addition, instead of using inter net-purchased board games, I let students help to make the teaching tools. As they were making the materials, they learned English vocabulary by linking the graphics on the cards. Moreover, students worked in groups, so they learned teamwork and made good use of job division, resulting in an efficient and effective learning process. Some
students were responsible for cutting paper, some pasted the paper on the cupboards, and some even helped collect the trash! They learned to be great teams! Although different English levels might be a problem, with the help of board game learning, children did improve their English vocabulary. For instance, one student’s English level was the lowest in class. At first, she told me that learning English was not interesting, and she gradually lost her confidence and motivation. However, when playing board games, she could keep improving and memorizing the vocabulary, and she even won the first prize at the end of one class. Her motivation and confidence in learning gained a lot, and the overall performance was positive. She kept telling me that board games are much more interesting! As their teacher, I am glad to see students improve their English vocabulary inspired by board games. Furthermore, children not only discussed the words with each other, but they also worked and played together at the same time; thus, they overcame anxieties by having fun together and became more confident and want to keep learning. Some of the students I taught in English Club told me that they looked forward to playing board games every week because they were not learning under pressure. Instead, they played and learned at the same time. I realized that the more pressure they feel, the more that children become passive in learning. Using various teaching tools and methods can help students. While board games can be a strong teaching tool, they are not a substitute for all kinds of teaching tools, but they can be an efficient learning method for children as well as a novel teaching tool for teachers.
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Campus Call-in de artm ent, ever y day is a Sinc e I ente red the English dep ework to do, day after challenging day for me. There is so much hom stay up late and handle day. Sometimes I am amused by my ability to multiple tasks. I don’t feel I The biggest trouble I am having now is that k I should be. There am actively learning every subject, which I thin courses I am not that are courses that I am very interested in and tion that I am interested interested in. When assigned a group presenta leader, scheduling the in, I feel energetic and even willing to be the n and feel happy to get preparation. I am active during group discussio them well before. along with the classmates, even I didn’t know tion that I am However, when it comes to a group presenta productive member less interested in or even hate, I become the least bers so I still try to in the group. I feel sorry for other group mem ot force myself to be be an active person. Yet, I just somehow cann to be a burden to the as energetic as other people. I tell myself not a higher score. group, as everyone should do their best to get ive attit ude I have not figu red out a solu tion to my pass n I graduate to work, towards nasty group presentations. After all, whe had better get used to it it is a sure thing that I must do tasks I hate. I when I am still a student.
Hi Feeling Challenged, I am glad to receive your letter. This is a dilemma, but trust me, you are a responsible person! Don’t worry! Everyone encounter s this kind of problem in life. It is normal that everyone has something they like and something they don’t like. The suggestion I offer is dividing the presentati ons that you aren’t interested in into several days. That is, before the deadline, you could choose some days to finish the assignment and the time you spend on it depe nds on yourself. When you complete the part you are required to finish each day, you give yourself a reward, such as doing something that will make you feel relax ed. Hope this suggestion will help you. Best, Editors from The Next Page
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I’m a fresh man with my c ampus life of English Depar tm ; not only e also with with our s nt. I’m very satisfie the studen d c h ts o ol’ a have any p roblems an nd professors I have s environment but d question However, s when it c met. I actually don as the prov ’t omes to m erb goes, “ not be lon y campus Time flies g before I li fe. like an ar ro become a always ask w,” and it sophomor me whethe w il l e .R r I have an of college academic p ecently, my parents . Seriously lan for my , I don’t h questions. ave any id eas yet, so second year I have sev First, eral sophomore my parents want m e to find year. They ap think it is with my p good for m ar t-time job in my ar t-time jo e b , so they s to combin cram scho ug e my study ol teacher or an Eng gest that I choose a of being a job suc lish tu wa to experien itress in a wester n re tor. However, I have h as a ce it as my staurant fo d r a long ti reamed par t-time be my for me. I wan job becaus mal job af t e I know it ter my gra if a par t-ti duation. T c a me job re n n ever here ally has a whether I big influen fore, I want to kno can do wh w ce on my atever I wa future job nt. Next, my , or parents als sophomore o ask me year. They to take TESL say if I can it can help cour get a teach me save a er’s license se in my lot of tim job in the beforehand et f u t u re . A s , I know, th r ying to find an ap quite hard e TESL c . T hus, I w propriate ourse in o an preparatio ur school n before ta t to know if you h is ave any su king the co ggestions urse. for
, Hi Many Questions
out the you a suggestion ab r fe of n ca I k in th letter, I am sure no After reading your ore important, and I m is e lik I ng hi et m from e, doing so ar n something useful le n ca first question. To m u yo , do to in your job you choose a valuable experience be so matter what kind of al n ca nt ra au st to a wester n re to be patient, how w ho to n ar it. Being a waitress in le n ca e skills re. For example, you mplaints. All of thes co s’ er resume for the futu om st cu ith w pe all is well and how to deal do what you like! I ho solve the problems, st ju so b, jo re tu fu in your will be indispensable with you! Best, t Page Editors from The Nex The next page
w find it to make friends. The older wee grow, the harder we w easy. However, making f i ds was When we were young , makkiing frien involves personal friends in college seems to become a thing that lot before choosing interests, which means that people think a life. friends. This is my question about the campus ge friends Don’t get me wrong; I still have made some colle ; I just notice that, I without involving any shared personal interests friends with them. think a lot about what I can get before making have the thoughts of Frankly speaking, I don’t think it is right to keep myself from getting something from friends, but I just can’t in college is not as doing it. That’s why I think making friends ols, or high schools. good as in elementary schools, junior high scho
Hi Feeling Lonely, Thank you for your response. Perhaps in elementar y school, junior high school, or high school, we are more open to different kinds of people, because we are not so certain of our own interests and thoughts. In a way, knowing whom you want to make friends with is good, for you are begin ning to understand who you want to be. Just remember that all human being s are connected; each field is related to another, and each person is an individua l that has something special which you have to discover. This way, you might be able to open up to different people more comfortably. Best, Editors from The Next Pag ge
w exp osed to Eng lish Dur ing thessee thre e year s, I was hi k my English has really improved. ever yday; however, I don’t’ thin by professors, I rarely Except for finishing the schoolwork assigned physical and mental lear n English on my own. In addition, my I stay up until 3a.m. states are also sub optimal these three years. don’t know why time almost everyday in order to finish the work. I for a while and look goes so fast in college. However, when I stop like a robot following back, I feel like I’ve done nothing. I am just the schedule and doing the work. (To the next page-top)
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Hi Existential Crisis, Thank you for your response. I think everyone feels lost at one point or another. What am I doing? The things that I am doing match my dreams in life? How does what I do suggest who I am? Am I satisf ied by those aspects that represent me? What else should I do? The answers will not come easily. You will face many obstacles and self-doubt no matter what choices you make, but living in the present meaningfully and consciously is litera lly the path towards knowing yourself and understanding what the life you want to live is. Cheers. Best, Editors from The Next Page
e problem in my college on, there is one biggest In my opinion, nt. I perceive the importance of time emeent. agem anag life. That is time man lish Department. management especially after I entered the Eng ys, written and oral In our department, students have lots of essa ent, I feel it more reports to complete. And as a transfer stud have to attend both important to manage time wisely because I , I often find that I freshmen and sophomore courses. However And when I cannot can hardly finish my homework as I planned. set for other plans achieve the goals I set, I have to take the time r tasks, and so on. to finish, and then that delays the time for othe lots of work to do, Moreover, despite the fact that I already have to do unexpectedly, there seems to be endless additional work t to know: how do I leaving me quite depressed. So, I really wan achieve my goals by the times I set as?
Hi Time Management, Thank you for your response. Time management prob lem is literally the English Department PHENOMENON â€“ no worr ies, you are not alone in this infer no. Figuring out our working habits is something that we all have to learn in the department. Keeping a time-table may allow you to keep track of what you have spent your time on, and in advance allow you to understand your working habits. If you learn how much time you need on each subject and manage your time according to your actual working hours, gradually you should be able to get things done on time more easily. Best, Editors from The Next Page The next page
As an Eng lish major, However, our future this is also career cho a weaknes a specialty ices a s. English . When yo is more lik re diverse. u are only you will str e a tool th a En uggle a lot an to find a jo glish major, you wil that Engli l find that sh is a bas b . N o w a d ic ab ays, are only go od at Engli ility for their emplo many bosses think yees. There s h , it means It is almo fore, if we to th e m s t we are still in the mid am still do u d n le of the ubting wh second sem qualified. at m courses so ester, and far donâ€™t in y occupation may b I e in the fu terest me, and Introd tu such as In re. All the uction to L tr o inguistics. duction to in languag I am sure I Literature e or litera would not ture. Yet, courses so at the sam be an expe meti rt e time, th I star ted to mes made me feel s e s e two major u ffocated w wonder w ith their as h lear ned an signments ything tha y I chose English as . t directly my major. cannot thin r e la I have not tes to an k of anyth actu in than I can write a for g I can compare wit al job. For now, I mal Englis h other m h letter. I know th ajors, othe a r t we will d for our fu efinitely le ture, but a ar n some re we will in others' useful skil the least c eyes? App ls o ly mpetitive ing for a However, competito double ma a double m rs jor may b ajor qualified to e a solutio apply for th has a really high sta n . ndard, and ose depar tm I am only ents I am n ot intereste d in.
Hi Feeling Pressured, before. I think some professional To be honest, I also had the same doubts you combine your English ability with writing courses in senior year will help lish, Business English, English-Chinese other professional skills, such as News Eng k gazine Production. You may want to wor Ma t den Stu rse cou of and , tion nsla Tra secretary, and so on in the future, and as a jour nalist, translator, writer, editor, if erstanding of these fields. Fur ther more, these courses will give you a better und . tion high, a minor can also be a good solu the standards for double major are too Good luck! Best, Editors from The Next Page
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Be a Flexitarian: Feel Free to Have Vegetarian Diet! Nowadays, vegetarianism is a familiar term to most people. It is common to see vegetarian dishes on menus, and people can even know which stores sell vegetarian meals from their signboards. Some restaurants offer either nonvegetarian or vegetarian options for the same dishes, and thus customers can dine according to their needs. Aside from religious convictions, some people choose a vegetable diet to keep fit, and some eat vegetarian foods because they are allergic to eggs, milk, meat, or seafood. Protecting the ecology and belief in nonviolence are other reasons why some people insist on a vegetable diet. words by Alice Huang photos from PEXELS
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Which country around the world do you think has the largest percentage of people eating vegetarian diets? If you have a general concept of vegetarianism, India may first come to mind. Some Indians do not eat meat due to creeds of religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. According to Mercy For Animals (MFA), a non-profit organization, Palitana, one of the cities in India, became the first meat-prohibiting city in the world in 2014. Some western countries such as the UK, Germany, and America are also well-known for vegetarian diets. The North American Vegetarian Society established on October 1, “World Vegetarian Day,” in 1997, and now the entire month is celebrated as “Vegetarian Awareness Month.” In Taiwan, the International Vegetarian Union (IVU) estimates that around 12% of Taiwan’s population is vegetarian, which means that there are about 2.8 million Taiwanese who follow a vegetable diet. It seems people are paying more attention to vegetarianism, and the number of people who eat vegetable diets has been increasing recently. Five Types of Vegetarians (According to Harvard Medical School and the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG)) Partial vegetarians people who do not
red meat but may eat fowl or seafood people who do not eat meat, fowl and seafood, but eat egg and dairy products Ovo vegetarians people who do not eat meat, fowl, seafood and dairy products, but eat egg products Lacto vegetarians people who do not eat meat, fowl, seafood and egg products, but eat dairy products Vegans people who eat neither animal products such as meat, fowl, seafood, dairy, eggs, honey, nor use animal products including silk, leather, wool, and so on Lacto-ovo vegetarians
In addition to these categories, there are some sub-categories. Some Buddhists do not eat animal products as well as garlic, onions, green onions and leeks based on their religious principles. Also, some people accept dishes that contain vegetables and animal products, but they only eat the vegetables in the dish. There are also “flexitarians;” these
are people who mostly have vegetable diets but occasionally eat animal products. Being a flexitarian may be a good choice for those who want to transition to vegetarian diets. Or, a “mediterranean eating pattern,” a kind of diet featuring lots of vegetables with extremely small amounts of meat, seafood or fowl, is also a good choice.
How is a vegetarian diet good for me? Although there is no specific evidence to directly prove that a vegetarian diet ensures longevity, which is also impacted by exercising and sleeping regularly, avoiding smoking or drinking excessively, eating more vegetables and fruits has been proven to help people to reduce risks of getting some chronic diseases. According to Harvard Medical School, meat eaters tend to have higher saturated fat levels and bad cholesterol, which are likely to cause obesity and various kinds of cardiovascular diseases. An investigation involving more than 76,000 participants showed that vegetarians were on average 25% less likely than nonvegetarians to die of heart disease. In addition, people who consume more high-fiber whole
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grains and legumes tend to maintain a steady blood sugar level, lowering the chance of getting Type II Diabetes. Furthermore, in comparison to people who eat red meat, vegetarians tend to avoid getting diet-related cancers such as colon cancer. Last but not least, to be a vegetarian is the best way for people to consume the daily five portions of vegetables and fruits necessary in healthy diets, as well as vitamin C and E, magnesium, folic acid, and other essential components and nutrition.
What other reasons are there to be a vegetarian? Apart from physical health, people choose to eat vegetarian diets to preserve the environment and to defend animal rights. On one hand, according to the Human Society of the United States, about 4.6 billions of land animals including cattle, hogs, chickens, ducks, lambs and so on, were slaughtered each year in both 2015 and 2016. Additionally,
according to the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom, around 600,000 tons of fish are killed every year, and most livestock and poultry are kept in excessively crowded spaces. Such matters not only cause animals suffering but also breed disease easily, not to mention how cruel it is during the slaughter process. As Angela Ko, who has been a lactoovo vegetarian for the last three years, said in an interview, â€œI ate meat because of the good taste, but why should I eat meat only for the taste and thus kill animals for this superficial reason?â€? On the other hand, feeding livestock requires lots of natural resources. To generate only 1kg of beef, 7 kg of grain is needed. In other words, a meat eater needs 2.5 times more the amount of land than a vegetarian does to support his diet. 13,000 to 100,000 litres of water are required to produce 1kg of beef, but only 1,000 to 2,000 litres are required for growing wheat. Lastly, methane produced by cows has an influence on the environment. In fact, livestock farming attributes to generating about 20% of greenhouse gas on Earth.
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If I want to be a vegan, what should I eat to have sufficient nutrition? (According to Harvard Medical School and the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom) Protein: Lacto-ovo vegetarians may not have problems consuming enough protein since dairy products and eggs are rich in protein. However, for vegans who only eat vegetables and fruits, they could eat more soy products, peas, beans, nuts, and whole grains to obtain sufficient daily protein. Iron: Iron deficiency anemia is not a likely problem for vegans if they know what to eat to consume enough iron. Red meat is full of iron but vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and bok choy contain much more iron than beef. In addition, legumes and fruits rich in vitamin C such as beans and tomatoes can raise absorption of non-heme iron. Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is rich in animal products such as clams, fish, beef, and eggs. In eliminating these foods, a vegan has to eat something fortified with Vitamin B12 such as breakfast cereals, soy products and energy bars, or to take vitamin B12 supplement. Zinc: Seafood contains the highest amount of zinc, but a vegan can also consume zinc from spinach, pumpkin, potatoes, corns, nuts, beans and mushrooms, among others. In addition, fruits like berries and dates are also good sources of zinc. Calcium: Vegans who worry about osteoporosis need to eat sufficient calciumrich foods such as bok choy, broccoli and collards. Almonds contain a lot of calcium, and almond milk has more calcium than cow’s milk for the same quantities. Moreover, since many vegetables and fruits contain large amounts of magnesium and potassium, these are helpful for lowering blood acidity and thus reducing the urinary excretion of calcium. Apropos of vitamin D, which is necessary
for bone health, eating breakfast cereals, soy milk, and rice milk or taking vitamin D2 supplement is highly recommended.
Is it easy to be a vegetarian in Taiwan? According to an online news report by CTnews ( 中時 子 ), recently Taipei is listed in the top ten most popular vegetarian cities by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Such an honor is not only because of Taiwanese vegetarians, but also because of vegetarian restaurants and cooks’ hard work in innovating diverse and healthy dishes with local and exotic ingredients. It seems to be easy to find vegetarian restaurants, at least in Taipei; however, opinions vary from person to person. Both Angela Ko and Jenny Zhuang, who is now a flexitarian because of her conviction about protecting animals, admittedly agree that it is inconvenient when they try to find a vegetarian restaurant near Fu Jen University. Some of the restaurants only provide greasy and salty artificial foods. Nevertheless, learning to cook may be one of the unexpected and positive results for them from choosing to be vegetarians. In order to protect animals and keep healthy, they won’t be daunted by any difficulty!
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Five Vegetarian Restaurants in Taipei
words by Alice Huang photos by Alice Huang & Cindy Peng
01 VEGE CREEK
Wi t h t h e i n t e n t i o n o f “ n o t forcing but encouraging people to eat more vegetables,” two Taiwanese postgraduates opened VEGE CREEK after coming back from a working holiday in Australia in 2012. Braised dishes provided in the store represents Taiwanese delicacies. As for the interior decor, various kinds of vegetables put on the shelf close to the cement walls are so-called "vegetable cement walls," symbolizing a green wall usually seen in a city, and conveying the idea of environmental protection. In addition, customers are encouraged to chat with each other when sitting and having meals around the “long wooden table.” T h e fo o d h a l l e a t e r y a l l ow s customers to pick vegetables they like from the “vegetable cement wall” with other noodles and braised dishes to choose from. Water is self-service, as are all kinds of seasoning on the “long wooden table.”
What’s special? Fried wheat roll ( 小 ) is one of the most popular braised dishes in the store. The roll has already absorbed the broth, and one bites, the broth spills out into the mouth. Spoon cabbage, spinach, and leaves of sweet potatoes are all recommended vegetables, for customers can see how fresh they are. The dishes could be made spicy, and customers are welcome to ask for more broth for braised dishes made of Chinese medical herbs. The cost for each braised dish, noodles, or drink is NT$25, while each vegetable or mushroom is NT$35.
No. 2, Lane 129, Yanji St, Da'an District, Taipei City, 106 (MRT Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station) Mon.~Sun. 12:00~14:00 & 17:00~21:00 02-2778-1967 The next page
03 About Animals
Opened in November 2016, 食 (“Mi-shu-shi-guo”) literally means seeking vegan hot pot. More than 20 kinds of vegetables are provided in each set of hot pot to fulfill people’s desires for fresh foods. A warm and comfortable atmosphere and good service create a homey space for customers. In the future, organic foods may be offered. What’s special? Medical herbs hot pot is the must-try flavor. The broth is stewed with traditional Chinese medical herbs without a strong smell of medicine, and it is even favorable for pregnant women and people with diabetes or hypertension. Spicy hot pot challenges taste buds with its numbing broth, which is stewed with Da Hong Pao, pepper, Zanthoxyli Bungeani, and Zanthoxyli Schinifolium. Compared to artificial chili oil, these are what truly arouse people’s appetites. The cost for a set of hot pot including rice or noodles, drink and dessert is NT$229 (NT$169 for takeout). No. 1, Alley 3, Lane 524, Section 5, Zhongxiao E Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City, 110 (MRT Yongchun Station) Mon.~Sun. 11:30~14:30 & 17:00~21:30 02-2727-8787
About Animals was opened several years ago by two women concerned with issues of animal protection and ecology. Customers are asked to use steel eco-tableware provided in the store. In addition, sources of ingredients are environmentally friendly. Farmers in Miaoli not only avoid planting “Leopard cats rice” ( ) on hills or in forests which are the habitats of the endangered leopard cats, but also use the most natural way to produce rice without any pesticides. Furthermore, beers offered in ), the store do not contain isinglass ( also known as gelatine ( 利 ), which is mostly obtained from various animals' skins and bones. What’s special? Epicures cannot miss “patty” ( ) when dining in About Animals. Made with rubber brush, baby corn, broccoli, potatoes and shutter bean curd, “patty” looks like a croquette after being fried. The crispy and juicy taste perfectly complements wasabi mayonnaise in Wasabi Burger ( ). A variety of dishes are offered such as hot pot, burgers, rice, sandwiches, and panini, and each of them is under NT$250 with some salad and fruit. Each fried food, side dish and dessert is priced from NT$50 to NT$160. Drinks and beers are from NT$120 to NT$220 at most.
No. 9, Lane 1, Jinglong St, Wenshan District, Taipei City, 116 (MRT Wanlong Station) Fri.~Mon. 11:00~22:30 Tue.~Thur. 15:00~22:00 02-2935-3633
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The shop owner, who was originally a housewife, decided to open Veggiegrill two years ago, a lacto-ovo café, since she thought that having a vegetarian diet is one of the ways to protect animals and the Earth. The menu and all the dishes are designed by the owner, and some of the ingredients are bought directly from small farmers. With ethereal and peaceful music, Veggiegrill is a space suitable for anyone who wants a leisurely time enjoying a meal.
As a lacto vegetarian, the shop owner often experienced inconvenience finding a veggie restaurant, especially a vegetarian bakery. As a result, he opened Kapok to sell bread and cakes made without eggs. Kapok has been in business for nearly 20 years, and it has transformed from a small bakery into a restaurant where customers can select from veggie pasta, risotto, bread, desserts, and coffee.
ecial? What’s special? rilled The Grilled rger Mushroom Burger 烤 ( ) is thee most re c o m m e n d e d d i s h a t efore being grilled, Veggiegrill. Before the mushrooms have been pickled with olive oil and basil sauce, and have absorbed the nutrition and fragrance for a full 24 hours. Also, epicures will definitely be impressed by the handmade pesto and the rich fragrance it leaves in the mouth. Aside from all kinds of popular coffee drinks, Gac Fruit Milk ( ) is another highlight of Veggiegrill. Gac fruit is a kind of fruit native to Taiwan, Vietnam and southern China. It contains much more lycopene than tomato does. Every winter, the shop owner makes jam with gac fruit along with kumquat and lemon bought from Taiwanese small farmers. Just come and try this healthy drink! No. 49, Alley 2, Lane 19, Chang'an West Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, 104 (MRT Zhongshan Station) Mon.~Fri. 11:30~14:30 & 17:30~20:30 Sat. & Sun. 10:30~20:00 02-2523-7859
What’s special? The bakers in Kapok find other ingredients which can substitute for eggs. Consequently, the cakes sold in Kapok are all named as “ ” rather than “ ” because the latter refers to cakes made with eggs. The owner uses the word “ ” to replace “ ,” since both have the same pronunciation “dan.” Also, “bride cake” ( ) without eggs is one of their innovative products. Drinks are made from various kinds of herbs and fruits, most of which can help to ease fatigue. Customers can choose whatever they like based on their health condition. Moreover, the pasta, risotto or baked dishes will not fail customers, for they contain many kinds of vegetables.
No. 5, Lane 308, Section 2, Fuxing S Rd, Da'an District, Taipei City, 106 (MRT Technology Building Station) Mon.~Sun. 08:00~22:00 02-2733-6819
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Vegetarian Crystal Dumplings with Sago
Sweet Sago Soup with Taro
Sago:Two rice cups Water: Two rice cups Mushroom: 3-4 pieces Vegetarian shredded meat Vegetarian ham: 3-4 slices Dried tofu: 3-4 pieces Chopped ginger: To taste Dried radish: Half a rice cup Seasoning: Salt, soy sauce, and white pepper to taste 1. Mix sago and water together in a pot and leave overnight to soak. 2. Dice the mushrooms, vegetarian shredded meat, vegetarian hams, and dried tofu. 3. Add oil into the pot and pan-fry the diced dried tofu. 4. Add mushrooms and chopped gingers and sautĂŠ until aromatic. 5. Pan-fry the vegetarian shredded meat, vegetarian hams and dried radish and add salt, soy sauce, and white pepper to taste. 6. Divide sagos into 15-20 parts. Knead each part of the sago into a small ball, make a small hole in the middle with your thumb or finger, and fill them with the pan-fried ingredients. 7. Put and press into square molds. 8. Steam for 15-20 minutes. 9. Finished when the sago is translucent!
Taro: 120g Sago: Half a rice cup Sugar: To taste Water: 300ml 1. Dice or mash the taro, and put it into the inner pot of the steam cooker. Pour one cup of water in the outer pot of the steam cooker. 2. After the lever is up, do not open; wait 10-15 minutes. 3. Take out the taro from the steam cooker and add some sugar. 4. Pour half cup of sago and 300ml water into another pot, and put it into the steam cooker. Pour half cup of water in the outer pot of the steam cooker. 5. When the sago is finished, mix the taro and sago together, and add water, milk, soy milk or coconut milk, and sugar to taste. 6. Enjoy this refreshing dessert for summer!
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Rice and Peanut Milk with Cashew Nuts Short grain rice: Half a rice cup Black sesame: As desired Cashew nut: 1/4 rice cup Water:1500ml Peanut sugar powder: One large rice cup 1. Stir-fry the short grain rice, black sesame, and cashew nuts without oil in a pot. 2. Pour 1500ml water into the pot until it boils, and then gently boil on low heat for 15 minutes. 3. Add a large rice cup of peanut sugar powder. 4. Pour the mixture into a juicer or blender to blend. 5. Pour into a cup and enjoy it! * One rice cup=180ml words by Cindy Peng (provided by Yuan Lee) photo from PEXELS
More Than J u s t a Cup Cup Just of Coffee G e t tto o k n o w Fair Fair Get know Trade Coffee with OKOGreen
Every morning when you hurry to a coffee shop to grab a coffee before your first class, have you ever wondered where the coffee beans come from? It wouldn’t be surprising that you have never thought about it, as most people haven’t, either. Nevertheless, you should now. Fair trade coffee is cautiously buzzing among coffee lovers and environmental activists. First consented in 1962 in International Agreement, fair trade coffee is allegiant to the rule of offering a better trading condition for small-scale coffee bean farmers, mostly in the socalled third world, such as countries in Africa and South America. The Next Page had an interview with Mr. Yang, the brand manager of OKOGreen ( 生 ), the first fair trade coffee brand in Taiwan, to get an insight into this new coffee trend.
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words by Zhoe Zhang photo from PEXELS How does fair trade coffee actually work? First, the fair trade organization, which is Fairtrade International (FLO) cooperates with traders to find communities that need help. They strictly examine the communities to meet the standards—more than 50% farmers in the community—before they sign the contracts. As for the traders, they could choose ordering coffee beans from the communities provided by the fair trade organization. If they find the quality of suppliers’ coffee beans does not meet their expectations, they can change to other coffee communities. Such benign competition among communities who have received help from FLO guarantees the quality of the produced fair trade coffee beans. Moreover, the money the communities earns are used as social development funds, for things such as health insurance and education. The statistics show that 80% of the highest caliber organic coffee beans are actually from fair trade coffee. How fair trade coffee different from those is offered by Starbucks, illy or Nestle? What makes it a competitive choice of coffee? What makes fair trade coffee really shine is its authentic quality. Since all the traders directly cooperate with the production side with the assistance of the fair trade coffee organization, they can supervise and filter the coffee beans, and thus guarantee the quality of the coffee beans. It will also be easier for customers to trace all the way back to the origin side of the products, getting the information for the entire process transparently. Moreover, in a number of European countries, fair trade has already been well accepted and recognized as high quality. Many Starbucks in the UK or Australia use fair trade coffee only. Actually, you could have coffee made of fair trade coffee beans in some of the Starbucks in Taiwan as well. What do you think of the market here in Taipei? Do you consider it to be a difﬁcult business? So far, the sales of fair trade coffee only account for 0.5%~1% of total sale of coffee beans in Taiwan. We foresee great potential in it. Actually, many traders have started to eye this new market. In Taipei, due to food safety issues, many people now are more aware of what they eat. We are now trying to educate more consumers about fair trade and the meaning behind it. Is OKOGreen also cooperating with other fair trade organizations and shops in Taipei? How does OKOGreen contact and work with other fair trade shops and organizations? Yes. The fair trade organization in Taiwan was established by us. Therefore, we have already contacted other fair trade traders to cooperate with us and with each other, promoting and selling products together. We even develop complementary products for us to grow together, and to deliver a clearer message to our customers. The next page
Embrace Your Dream: Review of DreamWorks Animation Exhibition words & photo by Cindy Peng
hile many girls dream of meeting their princes charming, Shrek breaks the tradition in fairy tales of handsome and gentle princes. While animals in zoos seem mild and cute, Madagascar's Marty dreams of living in the wild, and his neighbors are three crazy penguins planning to escape from the zoo. While pandas might be seen as lazy and narcoleptic, Po the giant panda is trying to learn Kung Fu to save his home. While dragons are mysterious and mythical, Hiccup on the island of Berk shows you how to train dragons and the strength of his and Toothlessâ€™ friendship. Without a doubt, these animated films have made and continue to make audiences laugh and cry, and the exhibition of DreamWorks Animation this year gives the audience a chance to learn how these amazing animations were created. In speaking of American animation, one might first think of Pixar or Walt Disney Animation Studios, both of which have released numerous well-known animated films such as Toy Story, Monsters, Inc.,
Finding Nemo , and Mulan , Frozen , Zootopia , respectively, but DreamWorks
Animation SKG, Inc. has also created wellknown animations. This exhibition includes all of DreamWorks Animation works, from its first film, Antz in 1998 to more recent and ever-more popular ones such as Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, as well as the drafts, pictures, storyboards and animated images of each animation to show how the teams created the films. At the entrance to the exhibition, darkness lifts to drafts of characters like Po in Kung Fu Panda, Alex and Marty in Madagascar , and so on, projected as animated images on the screen wall. These characters are vividly presented, creating the illusion that these characters are going to jump out of the screen and interact with the viewers! This exhibition is divided into three main parts: character, story, and world to give detailed information about the works of DreamWorks Animation to viewers. The character section includes all
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elements, from the initial pictures of concept and drafts to the final images, and there are abundant vivid models and sculptures of animated characters such as Tulio and Miguel in The Road to El Dorado and Don Lino the vegetarian shark in Shark Tale displayed. There is also some interactive equipment so that people can manipulate different characters’ facial expressions, putting them into a “creator” position temporarily. The story section has a long story wall that looks like a row of windows, and on each window is a main character from one of DreamWorks famous animated films. As people walk by, they feel like these characters are so real that they can just reach out and touch them through amazing windows! The story section also shows the audience how these animated films were constructed. By a kind of computer 3D technics, the animators ask real people to act and perform, and translate their movements into those of the animated characters, and that is why DreamWorks’ animated characters are so
lifelike. One of the most important elements in this section is the storyboarding. There is a stunning abundance of storyboards shown, and videos about the process of making animated films, and how animators came up with scenes and ideas for each film are available. Finally, the biggest section of the exhibition is the world section, something not to be missed! There are various pictures of DreamWorks animated films displayed, allowing the audience to recall the scenes easily. In addition, this section includes different world views, and people can have a chance to view the entirety of each unique world from different animated films. For example, there are big exhibits such as models of the island of Berk where Hiccup lives, and the Central Park Zoo where Alex and his friends live. Last but not least, the small theatre screens “Dragon Flight,” allowing people to observe the island of Berk from Toothless’s view, fulfilling everyone’s hidden dream of flying with dragons!
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Hand in Hand, Be with Me: Review of Pixar 30th Anniversary Exhibition words & photos by Alice Huang
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hat do you think of when speaking of animated films? I believe that Pixar Animation Studios may first come to mind for many people. Having been in the lead of the animation industry since the late 20th century, Pixar not only takes an important role in people’s memories, but it will also continue to prosper. In appreciation for its supporters, Pixar arranges the circuit exhibition of its 30th anniversary in 15 countries, giving people a chance to closely observate its work in making animations behind the scenes. Around 400 works of the studio’s 16 animated feature films are provided. Compared to the 20th anniversary exhibition held in 2009 in Taiwan, this time Pixar displays more works about new animations like Toy Story III, Monsters University, Inside Out, among others. Before entering the exhibition hall, at the lobby in front of the entrance, many people pose for photos next to the “photo wall” covered with multitudinous images of characters and scenes from all of Pixar’s animations. In the corner, Pixar’s signature, Luxo Jr . , with its favorite colored ball, seeming to jump up and down in front of people and announce: “Hey, friends, welcome to our Pixar animation world!” First to come into view is Pixar’s chronicle, on which people can see and learn the origins of Pixar, its transformations, and achievements. Pixar was originally the Department of Computer Animation under Lucasfilm Ltd., inventing and developing systems of editing digital videos, under the leadership of Edwin Earl Catmull. It was not until Steven Paul Jobs bought this department in 1986 that “Pixar” became a formal name and an independent animation company. However, people may think of Disney when it comes to Pixar. In fact, Disney cooperated with Pixar in making
several animations until it bought Pixar in 2006; since then, Pixar Animation Studios has belonged to Disney. John Lasseter, the chief creative officer of Pixar, considers character, story, and world to be the three essentials of making a successful animation. A character is not simply an object created by Pixar artists in a film, but it is a “life” imbued with thoughts and feelings. Characters “live” their lives in films, just like humans do in reality. Pixar spends more time and effort on brainstorming on story conception than on the technical skills of making animated images. An animation will not be good if it lacks a reasonable story with meaning and feeling. With an original story concept in mind, Pixar artists start to write a script, draw storyboards, and then create a story reel in which they edit all the storyboards with characters’ dialogues, background music, and various effects for a mock up of a real movie. For Pixar, this whole process is called “plussing,” a special term coined by Walt Disney. During the process of “plussing,” the staff can provide ideas and suggestions anytime. Last but not least, Pixar artists present an imagined world on the screen, a fictional universe with its own rules and time, giving the audience a chance to explore with unconstrained imagination and creativity. In this exhibition, each animated feature film is displayed individually in 12 sections containing those three elements, in order to show how an animation was created step by step. The Toy Story Trilogy, the most popular masterpiece of Pixar, contains a board of brief introduction, but the most appealing parts are the authentic works or reproductions of the preparatory process such as pencil, pen or marker drafts, pastel or ink paintings, as well as characters’
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sculptures made of cast urethane resin. These works show how the characters were created and revised again and again. People can see the handwriting of the artists on the pictures, and observe how they designed Buzz Lightyear’s appearance, Mr. Potato’s body parts, or Slinky Dog’s movement. What’s more, storyboards that are composed of a series of pictures help the audience recall the stories. In addition, some documentary films that are kept replaying in the background are opportunities for people to listen to Pixar artists sharing their ideas. Aside from animated feature films, short films made early on also showcase Pixar. Though the previous techniques were not as developed in comparison to more current animations, short films such as Luxo
Jr., Red’s Dream, Tin Toy, Geri’s Game,
among others, are full of experimental spirit and have laid the foundation for Pixar’s later productions. There is a special area for displays of drafts, and even a small space for a theater mock-up in which people can watch those short films. An exhibition focusing on animation is incomplete without playing animated films. Pixar has specially prepared a ten-minute film for the audience. It is named “artscape,” and condenses the time and the animations Pixar has created over the years. T he
audience enjoys the amazing first scene in Andy’s room, and then go outdoors into A Bug’s Life by passing through a photo in the room, or later the scene surfaces in the deep ocean of Finding Nemo. Pixar’s zoetrope featuring Toy Story is another highlight of this exhibition. Based on the information provided in the exhibition, zoetrope is a kind of animation equipment popular in Victorian era as toy for kids. There is a cylinder contained in a zoetrope, and as it revolves, a succession of photographs or drawings with images on is demonstrated at speed around the cylinder, producing an illusion of the progressive movements of those images. As a result, the viewers have a hallucination as if concrete objects of the images showed up and kept moving in front of them. In Pixar’s zoetrope, people can see Woody riding on Bullseye, Beatrice performing roping, and Squeeze Toy Aliens jumping up and down as the photos spin around. Before leaving the exhibition area, many people gather in the shooting section to take photos with life-sized versions of James P. Sullivan and Mike Wazowski. There is even an amazing image of them formed with pieces of post-it by the visitors. Developing from a section of a movie company for special effects to a large-scale animation corporation, Pixar has become one of the most experienced and beloved studios for its distinct characters, attractive stories, and uniquely imagined worlds.
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Why not Bob Dylan? Raphael Schulte: he ‘seems’ so easy words by Tina Wu photo from PEXELS & Dr. Raphael Schulte It was October 14, 2016. You stood among the crowd at Desert Trip Festival, tangled up with people screaming. It reminded you of the day before, when people cried aloud for the 2016 Nobel Literature Laureate. When 75-year-old Bob Dylan plays the piano and calls you “my friend” on the stage, you no longer need to wonder how many years we hear him sing before we know the answer to “why not Bob Dylan?” The answer, my friend, is in his songs.
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“Dylan’s work, in some ways, is visionary,” said Dr. Schulte. “He tends to write about bigger pictures.” Since 1901, the Nobel Prize normally is conferred on drama, prose, poetry and essay writing. Among the 127 literature entries for Nobel Laureates in Literature sorted by genre, prose ranks the top by 77 works, followed by poetry with 22 works, and drama with 14 works. This time, the American rock star was announced to be the 2016 Nobel Literature Laureate, a surprise to some general perceptions about Literature Laureate in history. T he award made a splash and raised a wave of controversies about what truly makes literature. According to Oxford Dictionary , literature is “written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit.” Yet, Longman D i c t i o n a r y u s e s a m o re a m b i g u o u s description: “books, plays, poems etc. that people think are important and good.” Swedish Academy announced that Dylan received the prize “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Dylan’s “poetic expressions” are not less significant than other Nobel Laureates who are praised for their “poetic” language. The surprising difference between Bob Dylan and other Laureates is his achievement in song traditions in America, which reflects the general public’s impression of him as a singer and songwriter. However, what does that really mean? Do lyrics count as literature? Dr. Ray Schulte, a professor of literature in the English Department of Fu Jen University, teaches a class analyzing Bob Dylan’s lyrics as poetry. Even before the announcement, he said the phrase, “poetic
expressions,” is “ambiguous.” As the adjective refers to poems or qualities related to poetry, which is often not easy to be understood, interpreted, or explained by simple, direct or single statements, Dylan’s songs could be read by the Academy to be deep and diverse over the years. “Dylan’s work, in some ways, is visionary,” said Dr. Schulte. “He tends to write about bigger pictures.” These expressions often have many interpretations, of which many are still relevant now— a quality that is not uncommon in other classic works of literature. Some may compare Dylan’s award with the 1953 Nobel Literature Laureate Winston Churchill, who was awarded “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values.” Doubts about whether Churchill and Dylan deserve the awards lay in the controversies about viewing them as writers. Casting similar doubts, Dr. Schulte mentioned that his students in a PhD class were “playfully critical of him offering an undergraduate class on the ‘poetry’ of Bob Dylan.” Moreover, in school year of 2016, one of Dr. Schulte’s graduate students analyzed Dylan’s “Desolation Row” from Highway 61 in a 120-page thesis. Dylan, he suggests, takes the old “musical and literary form of ballads” before the medieval ages and combines moder nist literary techniques, “developed by Picasso in the arts and T. S. Eliot among poets,” as well as poetic strategies, like collage and dilution, and represents what happened in American
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society in 1965 in this one song. For Dylan’s song to convey so much, the techniques and literary messages might not be recognized if we “read” the song just once. “He’s incorporating this a-thousand-year history into songs,” noted Dr. Schulte. “Off the top of my head, I would bet that Shakespeare and Dylan are the two writers who have the most words and phrases that have entered into regular usage.” He also added that the students that were “playfully critical” of him viewing Dylan’s songs as poetry actually later found one of Dylan’s songs that he chose for the class “challenging” to interpret. Dr. Schulte’s answer may eliminate our doubts about considering lyrics as literature, yet it also raises another question: if songwriting can be considered literature, then why not The Beatles, David Bowie or Radiohead, singers and bands that also have poetic lyrics? The Beatles were the first popular musicians who “have invited their listeners to actually read their texts as poems,” said Dr. Schulte. “And Leonard Cohen is a tremendous wordsmith. If there is another person to win the Nobel Prize, I would have voted for him.” Yet, as Schulte pointed out, even Cohen himself said, “[the award for Bob Dylan] is like pinning a medal on Mount Everest for being the highest mountain.” Dylan being the 2016 Nobel Literature Laureate is indeed unconventional and unexpected. Yet, it is time for a new branch of the laurel tree. If Dylan’s songs are viewed as important and good as Shakespeare’s plays as literature, maybe it is time to make the definition of literature open to negotiation. “The Nobel Prize has given a type of legitimacy to studying Dylan’s songs academically,” Dr. Schulte remarked. As the olive tree starts to sprout a new branch, the Academy could produce more literature buds before any new announcements. Remember, even Shakespeare was a part of the popular culture of his time.
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The English Department of Fu Jen University offers a graduate class only about Bob Dylan. Dr. Schulte said, “We may be the only graduate school that does.” If you are interested, keep an eye on our department schedule.
The Singspiele of FaĂ§ade One dancer, three simple sets of properties, sixty minutes and sixty faces: David Mambouch tries to unveil the desire and love of humans under his silent mask and roving gait with the melody of Singspiele. As one of the dance programmes in the 2017 TIFA, this 60-minute-view of common life is too legendary to miss. words & photo by Zhoe Zhang F i r s t s h ow n i n Pa r i s i n 2 0 1 4 , Singspiele tries to portray people of different races, occupations, places and cultural backgrounds of 20th century Europe. In addition to ordinary people, the dance programme is also flecked with celebrities such as Prime Minister Churchill, the French musical actress Sarah Bernhardt and the comedian Stan Laurel. Mambouch covers himself with a mask made of a photo of his own face and constantly changes clothes to symbolize shifting identities. During the show, the dancer uses deliberately arranged body gestures captured and summarised from his daily life to deliver messages revealed by the body, and thus to illustrate different faces and their expressions. As an actor, director and screenwriter, David Mambouch actually has never had a solo dance programme before. Yet, in childhood, he followed his mother Maguy Marin, the great French choreographer as well as the choreographer of Singspiele, during her work. In an inter view on April 8, Mambouch wore a green sweater shirt with
Louis C.K. printed on it. Mambouch claimed that is his favourite actor. Besides humorous, Mambouch was also quite amiable. When answering the questions, he was always wearing a boyish smile. Yet, when talking about his play, he had a lot to say. When watching this dance, you may feel yourself walking on the street and looking at people passing by. Mambouch resonated that it was exactly what it would be like. You may find that each of the characters is so different, no matter if they are famous or just anonymous, yet you still feel like you have been each of them at some point. This is a play about body and people, inspiring you to ruminate about life, love, critics, commercialism and so on. Everyone is all strung together, becoming a solid whole rather than a bunch of fragments. As the strong drum beats kicks off the opening, Mambouch sits on the floor in only a pair of white pants. His face is covered by a black-and-white photo of himself. Dancing to the beat, he slowly gets up and takes a pair of trousers to put on. You canâ€™t help but follow his every movement, while
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“Under this outside restraint, I’m freed inside. I feel more relaxed during the play. It feels like magic, as there is surprise everywhere.” in your head you start to think of your own morning when you put on clothes with your drowsy eyes trying hard to open. Mambouch is right. His play is about everyone. With his great performance, he can be anyone. T h e n a m e o f t h e p ro g r a m m e , Singspiele, was actually the origin inspiration for the work. Although Mambouch later found it hard to process, and thus veered the performance completely, he still kept the name. This is always a play about listening. Schubert’s Serenad e is the theme music throughout the play. Mambouch points out, “That is Maguy Marin’s most used classic music in her dance programmes. Serenade is a composition that performs love and is filled with emotions, which contains the message of my dance—the relationship between people.” However, Mambouch confessed that he was baffled when he was trying to present different people through his body gestures. “I need to perform people of different heights and ages, but I could not change my own body shape. I have to find a way,” he
said. In addition, he needs to bite the mask throughout the 60-minute performance. Moreover, his vision was totally blocked by the mask. “For me, this is really a big challenge. I have to be very familiar with the position of the clothes and the acting area to finish the play.” Nevertheless, since he could not see when encompassed by the darkness, he could feel his characters, the surroundings and the music more precisely. Mambouch enthuses, “Under this outside restraint, I’m freed inside. I feel more relaxed during the play. It feels like magic, as there is surprise everywhere.” Without vocals, this dance show is still about listening and observing. With the classic music of Schubert and the fascinating dance by Mambouch, you are able to get a glimpse of various running scenes of many people and their different lives. Everything and everyone is connected. You finally start to sense the common love and desire of human beings.
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Reasoning in the Unreasonable World: Rituals of Life and Death in The Eternal Tides Imagine yourself watching the waves while walking along the seashore. Let the swishing sound fill your ears, let the salty wind suffuse your lungs, and let the azure sea consume your sight with nothing but continuing tides. As you point at the target of your sight, it has already changed into another; but if you say the ocean does transform, how does it differ from its previous state, or even , performed by Legend thousands of years ago? The Eternal Tides ç„Ą Lin Dance Theatre , presents the intrinsic essence of human life as an ever-changing yet everlasting circle of life and death. words by Angela Ko Before the audience notices, the perfor mance star ts abr uptly with two drummers carrying a candle each and walking in the foreground down the stage respectively. It takes nearly ten minutes for the two, who dress in aboriginal traditional clothes, to walk the three-yard-distance and settle before the huge drums on the opposite sides of the stage. The light dims and fades out slowly in synchronization with the drummers. The white sheets, initially covering the stage, slowly wash away like sea foam, and uncover the child in the tides who curls like a baby in its motherâ€™s womb. Sitting crossed-legged and eventually standing, the dancer whirls long hair in circles around and around for about thirty minutes, torturing body as if offering a sacred sacrifice to Mother Nature. With the drums resonating in the background, the dancer, motivated by unknown forces, continues the
bizarre movement. The long, black hair, tied into a bunch, wrinkles the white sheets by whipping violently on the stage; in contrast to the powerful motion, the slim, pale and naked body indicates the fragility of a newborn. Nonetheless, the dancers seek no protection from this brutal ritual and continues on and on until a wild scream strikes the audience with the paradoxical combination of fear and sanctity. Sparks, fire and smoke, all that signify purity in primitive religions, rise from the stage like another approaching tide. Three dancers, each with a bunch of dried stalks of wheat in hands, slowly move from the left stage to the center, and three other dancers mirror them from the other side. All the dancers on stage are perfectly synchronized in their moves, shifting horizontally so slowly that the audience hardly notices. Yet they keep
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on going, for the tides stop for no man. At the center of the altar, a couple unites before the eyes of the gods and humans. In silence, they sing a song that humans have been singing since time immemorial, and they depart to the opposite sides like an asymptote that draws near, and rendezvous only to part again. As if dismissing the temporary wrinkles on the water’s surface, the ocean soon recovers its stainless sphere as the dancers leave the stage. Two groups of men confront one another, with their arms stretched, back tightened, eyes wide-opened, and bodies full of aggression. With burning straws in their hands, they swing their weapons violently at their rivals. One after another, the men howl in pain and leave the stage until there is only one man left to confront his three enemies. The three men form a line and force the “one man army” to back off until he is at the edge of the stage and about to fall. The man’s shouts turn into desperate cries, and he screams in despair when his enemies humiliate him with a dishonorable failure. The stage falls silent, and sole remaining sound is the man’s agonizing cries and pants. He is on the verge of bursting into painful screams once again. His rivals, seemingly stunned by their own deeds, slowly back away in shame and disbelief, leaving the wounded man gulping his own tears while dragging himself downstage. Still, there is no answer to the tragic scene; and still, humans fight against each other as if performing ancient rituals without questioning the reasons behind their deeds. Some say that death is the end of all miseries, but what if what follows death is merely the start of a new form of life? On one hand, eternal life might sound hopeful; on the other hand, eternal life also suggests that there is no true end to suffering. The established ritualistic teams of dancers once
again move slowly from the two sides of the stage to the center with a bunch of straws in hand. The dancers' slow motions accompany a few streams of smoke from the candles at the downstage center. Like shape-shifting creatures, they morph elegantly into various shapes and transform gracefully into different poses. As three pairs of men and women line up symmetrically, a noble-like woman walks on the beige carpet from the upstage center, places a black stone on the way for every few steps, to form an ellipsis. The performers in the back start to make low humming sounds, which the audience hardly notice initially, and then the sounds intensify. The reciting sound of the Heart Sutra , a Buddist script well known in Buddhist countries such as Taiwan, emerges from the dark again and again. In the script, it is said that “when practicing deeply the Prajna Paramita/ perceives that all five skandhas are empty/ and is saved from all suffering and distress” (translated by Kuan Um School of Zen). The performance comes to an end while reciting the Heart Sutra, suggesting that one can never escape the eternal tides without practicing the Prajna Paramita; that is, one will forever suffer from pain, sorrow, and even happiness without transcending human nature. During the two-hour-performance of The Eternal Tides, the plot, language and rationality are intentionally unraveled and resolved, leaving the world in a paradoxical state that is both chaotic and ordered. Yet, the performance explicitly reflects the nature of the world. Before the new tides arrive at the shore, the old tides must be killed, only to lead to another sacrifice. Humans will keep moving on regardless of any unreasonable occurrences, and they will always seek order in a forever ridiculous world.
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“What is in the space?” —Needcompany, The Space between the Two Mistakes “What is in the space?” With each story, the performers give an aspect of art to answer the question. Puns and metaphors are weaved into the brightcolored performance, creating a carnival of wonderland. Needcompany invites the audience to join in and dive into the sea of thoughts with them. They generously welcome us to “gaze” into the world they create on the stage and examine their answers.
words by Autumn Tsai At a moderate pace, Needcompany introduces the series of stories with simple plots accompanied by dance, music, and lights: With the lights slightly lowered, a drummer in a bright fancy white suit walked in with barefoot. As the drum beats, a group of dancers decked out in ordinary exercise clothing enters from the left side and surrounded the stage, dancing, cheering each other, and reminding the audience what they should and should not do during the performance: to pay attention to them and not to “not” pay attention to them. And then they left the stage. And then the dr ummer threw away his drumsticks with an I-am-so-cool expression. [Audience cheered.] And then the drummer stood up and asked the audience what just happened
in the empty space of the stage, or rather, was it an “empty space” right now, in the present as the dancers were gone, and as he was speaking at the pit? And then the drummer explained: There were two theories that went wrong in Peter Brook’s The Empty Space, which began “I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.” To prove his idea, the drummer walked across the stage. Halfway to the upper left, he looked back to the audience and shrugged. [Nothing happened.] He finished walking and turned back to the audience. The experiment proves one thing: Peter Brook is wrong. Instead of “a man”
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or rather, any person, the person on the stage must be aware of the “gaze”— the gaze of the people, the audience, who have thoughts forming and turning as they gaze at the stage. The thoughts within the space are what created “art.” The mistake of Peter Brook’s art theory is the basis for the performers to ask the question, “what is ‘art’?”: With a conflict among the dancers breaking out, the harmony of the dance is destroyed, yet a consoling music of simple chord slides in. Softly the performers begin to sing about their duties, “here and now, we do the best we can/an artist have to be nice/so we can understand….” The song soon becomes a chorus, brighter and more powerful, yet with a slight weariness. The performers get back on the stage and look at the audience, as if asking to be remembered and aching to remember themselves the way they had begun. They build their houses with cardboard, yet a large cannon destroys them all. In the end, a large house consumes all of the performers and their works. When every act of destruction were done, the performers, scattered on the ground, were cleared to the side of the stage. They struggle and shiver like the fish heads chopped down by their body on the screen. With the gentlest cries, the performers lament their cruel fate of working in the art industry. What is in the space? In the space I see that art is pain and courage. Before the cur tain, a g roup of clowns tell the tale of the friendship of a big bear and a mouse with incoherent words. Rhythm and melody flow as each word gives an imagination of feeling, and a tale unfolds through the words. A big bear and the little mouse meet each other on a moonlit evening, and the beauty of the moonlight and the
fear of darkness of the hole are all merged into a heart of warmth as the bear asks the mouse, “do you love me?” A romance unfolds and everyone comes together, dancing with romantic music. What is in the space? In the space I see that art is simply the love that fills in the gap where communication begins. At the end of the play, the lonely white clown who aches to be the center of attention reappears, crying out to the audience that “I am so bad/ everything is so bad/ it is my fault.” The other performers comfort him, and they begin cheering “yes” when he say “you are good, and… I am good/ a table is good/ a tree is good/ music is good/ the theatre is good… confusion is good” repeatedly. What is in the space? In the space I see that art is acceptance and goodness that bring people together. In the space of Needcompany’s stage, pain, courage, acceptance, love, loneliness, sor row, and happiness are reached out generously to the audience. Art is not about difficult language, unintelligible philosophy, or high-class performance, but about listening and being listened —about people. “If art is my lover then who the fuck are you?” the performers shout. Through different insights into the happiness and sorrow involving the making of art, Needcompany reveals to the audience their deepest longing: they need company. They need company from their audience, from people to listen to their stories and support them as friends. They touch the people, and they ask them to be touched. They continue to create and to share their creations with the audience once again at another carnival party because we, the audience whose thoughts fill up the space of the stage, are there. And we complete their works.
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An Unconventional Girl with Deep Passion for Art and Nature
words by Jenny Zhuang photos by Alice Ku & Josh
o you have passion for anything that you are willing to devote your whole life to doing it? Do you ever find anything so beautiful that you feel the impulse to share it with the world? For Alice Ku, who is a 22-year-old girl with deep passion for art, the answer is definitely yes! With long black hair, firm eyes, an unique dressing style, and some tattoos on her arms, Alice Ku has an artistic temperament combined with elegance and rebelliousness. Indeed, with a keen eye for her surroundings, she usually notes down her observations of life through drawings, photographs, and music, and chooses an unusual path to realize her unique aesthetic.
In college, Alice majored in commercial design, but she thought the department failed to meet her expectations. “They teach many things, but the knowledge is not specific enough.” She paused for a moment and continued, “They put too much emphasis on theories for commercial purposes. That kills the joy of artmaking and smothers students’ motivation to create spontaneously in the long run.” In her junior year, Alice decided to drop out of college after careful consideration, and later, spent a short time in New Zealand. Despite cultural barriers and her social anxiety, she persisted to stay there and overcame her uneasiness. “The experience of travelling alone in a foreign country expands my comfort zone. I realize that many things I used to avoid are not as difficult as I thought. For example, now I feel less nervous about facing crowds. I am more comfortable while performing onstage,” said Alice. The next page
Aside from travelling, Alice also dedicates herself to drawing. She usually portrays silhouettes of women decorated by delicate lines and flowers. Together, the compositions deliver an elegance that corresponds to the style of Art Nouveau. “I admire Alphonse Mucha and Aubrey Beardsley very much,” she admitted. “The delicately flowing lines in their works are presented in my drawings.” Additionally, Alice also finds natural scenes to be her artistic inspiration, as flowers, trees, and ocean are common subjects recurring in her photographs. “I am always deeply moved whenever I observe Nature. I want to capture her beauty through my camera, from the totem of insects, outline of mountains, shape of trees, pattern of plants, to the flow of seas . . . to name but a few,” she enthused. “In one sentence, Mother Nature is my beloved muse!
M Moreover, Alice plays music and performs regularly as well. She has two one-man bands including Green Horizon and Mortfleur. From writing and singing the songs, playing the instruments, to designing the albums, she produces the music all by herself. While Green Horizon’s music is played mainly by double guitars and a keyboard, sometimes accompanied by her voice, Mortfleur’s songs are played mainly by an acoustic guitar and her vocal whispering the lyrics. Just as Alice draws inspiration from Nature for her drawings and photos, the names of her bands originate from her pondering on natural surroundings. “‘Green Horizon’ came to existence out of my love for the color green and the sea, both of which bring a sense of serenity to me,” Alice said. “The name came to my mind while I was by the sea side, looking at the horizon of sea in the distance, feeling peaceful deep down in my heart.” "‘Mortfleur’ is derived from French ‘fleur de la mort,’ which means the death of flower. The band was formed at the end of 2013 out of grief,” Alice continued. “To see the flower you loved falls could hurt greatly, so I turn my mourning into music. This helps me face the loss and ease the pain.” Reflecting Nature and her life experiences, Alice’s music sounds tranquil, with a bit The next page
of sadness underlying the tunes, lyrics, and her voice. “There are no catchy lines or melodies in my music. They are just calm,” she explained. As Green Horizon suggests, listening to Alice’s music may make you feel as if you are soaking in the sea shimmering with greenness, while the soft wind brushes your skin occasionally. As for the songs paying tribute to a dead flower, their sounds flow into your
heart quietly with undercurrents, gradually bringing out the sorrow inside and healing the wounds. For Alice, artistic expression is not only her favorite outlet to release emotions and thoughts, but she also hopes her work can bring people’s attention to the quiet beauty in their lives. “I devote myself to making art because it is the meaning of my life. Without it, I would be swallowed by emptiness . . .” Alice said. “Besides, I think little beauties are usually overlooked in the hustle and bustle of modern society; hence, I expect myself to live a spiritual life and instill more meaningful contents in my work. I hope more and more people will find inspiration in my observations of ordinary but beautiful things.” * To know more about her, please visit her Facebook page “Alice Ku”!
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One superiority of being an university student is having a 3-month-long summer holiday in which you can lie on your bed all day, eating chips and watching TV series one after another. However, if thatâ€™s all you do during your summer holiday, it is incredibly wasteful! Our advice is to go out to travel. Enjoying picturesque views, eating exotic food and making international friends will not only broaden your horizons but also give you inspiration for your life and future. This article has identified you several choices for great summer getaways, from help exchange to summer school. Youâ€™d better pick up your pencil and start planning your coming summer holiday now! (photo by Eve Cheng) The ne The next ex xt t pag pa page age e
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Service Learning in the Philippines—Tina Chang (photos by Tina Chang) There were in total twelve days I spent in the Philippines, doing service learning with my classmates of the English Department. It was not a long story, but indeed an unforgettable memory of my university life. Before depar ture, I put effor ts into being sufficiently prepared, hoping to give students in the Philippines a good impression of Taiwan and our department. I designed in-class activities, prepared teaching materials, and even practiced a Taiwanese indigenous dance to perform. I also learned some basic Filipino and taboos in Filipino culture. During my stay in the Philippines, I had an incredibly amazing time: teaching students, making friends with them, learning from each person I met and feeling love and beloved. At the end of the project, I did not want to disappoint my students I chose not to tell them this was actually our first and
last time coming there. Besides our teaching sections, we also went to museums, traditional markets, hotels, churches, and a fisherman’s village, experiencing the local customs and practices. Although poor, people there worked hard, staying positive and having firm faith in God. They all had smiles on their faces when we met them, and their cheer made me examine myself, a person always grousing about the small things in life. Great as it was, overseas volunteer work still sets barriers. It costs much, both money and time, yet you can never gauge the achievement. Additionally, it also tests your adaptability in a totally strange environment. Frankly, it is not suitable for everyone. Nevertheless, I always believe that “the only journey is the one within.” Only when I step out of my comfort zone, am I able to discover some unrealized dimensions of myself and feel refreshed.
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Help Exchange in Japanâ€” Melody Fu (photo by Melody Fu) While everyone raves about working holidays, I have found an alternative that allows me to spend less money while experiencing the local culture and making international friends. Help exchange let helpers use their crafts in exchange for accommodation. The job options range from international work to hostel help, from English teaching to website design. I have completed four help exchanges so far, including teaching English, building a wooden house, housekeeping, and assisting school teachers. The biggest advantage about help exchange is that the working hours are normally a few hours a day with one or two days off per week. Moreover, I can stay from a few days to more than a year as long as the host agrees, which allows me to easily insert the plan into my vacation schedules. Furthermore, living with either hosts or other helpers is beneficial for deeper cultural understanding and discovering oneâ€™s self, as I firmly believe that conversations
with different people inspire to educate. Also, the fact that I was able to experience multiple types of work made these exchanges intoxicating adventures to me. I have stayed in rural areas as well as cities. One thing in common and one thing for sure is that wherever I stay, I feel alive every day when I try to adapt myself to the surroundings and the culture. I have realized my potentials for jobs regarding different fields through exchanges. More thoughts and opportunities pop up as I have befriended more people. However, finding a host and job that suits me is never easy. Most jobs need specific skills. In addition, hosts do not reply to applications that often. Also, I need to prepare money for some extra expenses. In the end, combining traveling with help exchange can be more stimulating with the advantage of a par t of the accommodation and board expenses being covered in my opinion.
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Backpacker in South East Asiaâ€” Eve Cheng (photos by Eve Cheng) I had a two month trip to Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Thailand last summer. That was my first time going backpacking alone. Except for two weeks working as a helper at hostels in Colombo and Bangkok, I traveled around for the rest of the time. Staying in a country for a long time allowed me to understand more about the country. I like trying cuisine in local kitchen restaurants. I like to walk around and observe localsâ€™ daily lives. To me, traveling is an easier way to understand the world, while backpacking is a cheaper way of traveling. As it is so cheap, it forced me to learn many skills, and to learn more about myself. Eventually, it changed me, but in a good way. I began to embrace the uncertainty and became more independent. Moreover, I met awesome people from all over the world. Their stories made me believe that life is full of opportunities. On the other hand, the cons of backpacking are limited luggage space, safety concerns, and lack of companionship. Having a backpack is convenient when moving from place to place, but a huge and heavy bag might cause inconvenience. Also, some people may consider solo backpacking dangerous but always staying alert helps you stay safe while traveling. Solo trips can be boring sometimes but they give you the chance to meet new friends. I might forget what amazing views I saw but I will always remember the people I met. Backpacking does more good than harm. You should try it!
I might forget what amazing views I had seen but I will always remember the people I had met.
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Summer School in the USAâ€” Connie Shao (photos by Connie Shao) Last summer, I attended a five-week summer session at University of California, Riverside. I took two courses, Music in Films and Introduction to Business. The reason why I wanted to take summer courses in the first place was because I wanted to experience what it is like to study with Americans, and the experience turned out to be more rewarding than I expected. For Introduction to Business, I worked on a product extension project with three of my classmates. The experience was quite challenging for me because as much as I feel comfortable speaking English, I was not completely sure whether my English is good enough to be in a group presentation or to contribute to a project that was outside my expertise. However, my teammates encouraged me throughout the entire project and lent help whenever I had any questions. After our oral presentation, we even sat for a while to chat about our lives. As for my Music in Films class, I tended to spend time observing my classmates. A lot of my observations were similar to classroom atmospheres in Taiwan. There were people who enrolled for the credits and did not really pay much attention and there were also people who It
were interested in film music and would love to know more about the history of music in movies. I loved the class and I spent a lot of time preparing for the quizzes and assignments. I wrote my term paper on the scores of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My training in the English Department allowed me to provide insight to my analysis and my experience writing a synthesis essay helped me to organize the theories learnt in class to apply to my essay. I had a great time in the States. I spent some time travelling when I was not in school. I want to go back and I even wish I could finish my college education there. However, the most important thing I learned is that I should never forget where I come from. Even though I seemed to fit in very well and have no trouble communicating with locals, this is an oppor tunity to broaden my horizons rather than think lowly of where I come from. Nevertheless, I would still recommend people to take the opportunity to study abroad. It is one direct way you can experience what it is like to step out of your comfort zone and get a better understanding of what you already know and what you did not know.
understanding of what you already knew and what you did not know.
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Go West: A Secret Recipe for Road Trip words & photo by Jason Huang
t was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Scranton was finally bathed in sunshine after several cloudy days. However, with my hangover, I wandered around the campus like a zombie. Yeah, that’s what you always do after a crazy night out--contemplate your life! Just as I was having my existential crisis, a spontaneous invitation from Carmen, another international student, started a journey to the Wild West. “So what’s your plan for this summer?” Carmen asked me while we were both sitting on the grass, relishing the sun. “I’m going to stay with my relative in LA,” I answered as if it was a matter of fact. “Cool! I will go on a road trip to the West, and I am looking for travel mates, so if you want to join...” Carmen invited. “I can,” I answered without thinking too much. “Yea! Let’s do it!” Carmen yelled with a sense of adventure, and that’s how it started. It sounds like a jest, but Carmen and I were serious about it. She invited me to her dorm to have dinner and discuss the itinerary, but we only booked the cheapest inn and agreed that she would drive to LA from San Francisco to pick me up, and then we would go to Vegas and the Grand Canyon, the simplest travel plan ever. H oweve r, I h a d a wo n d e r f u l dinner that night. Carmen made pasta, and somehow, it was some of the most delicious pasta I ever had. “How did you make it? It is so good!” I asked. “It’s a secret,” Carmen replied cheekily. “There is still some
champagne left in the fridge, want some?” “Geez! It’s final week!” I protested. “We’ll study after the dinner. Don’t worry. My dad always tells me if we want to do something, we should do it and there’s always time for it!” Therefore, my protest soon became invalid. “Chin Chin! To our journey!” We popped a bottle of champagne and finished it with ice cream. That night, I didn’t study for my finals, but the careless fun of the dinner lives in my memory. On the day when I was going to meet Carmen, she arrived in LA at 9 p.m. with Max, an unexpected companion and Carmen’s boyfriend. He had decided to join us a day before. It was already dark and I could tell they were both tired from all the driving from San Fran to LA, but we had to keep on moving. We took turns driving the car. Maybe it was because we had never been to Vegas but I felt like we were driving on an endless road, trapped in eternity. By the time we arrived in Vegas, it was already 2 a.m.. When we got out of the car, we could feel the blazing hot air from Vegas on our skin. Exhausted, we still decided to check the casinos because we were in Vegas. However, I just felt more trapped. The bright lights blinded our eyes. There were no clocks in the casinos and everyone was absorbed gambling. We didn’t stay long in the casinos. We got back to the inn at 3 and we planned to wake up at 8 to go to the
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Grand Canyon. That was the first day. It was already 11, but we were still at the inn, just waking up. “Let’s just not go to the Grand Canyon,” Max complained. “No! We have got to go to the Grand Canyon. It’s my plan with Jason!” so we hit the road again. I felt trapped in the eternity of the endless road again. The huge rocks were right in front of us, but we only got a bit closer after an hour of driving. We didn’t know how many times we heard the same song on the radio, we just knew that at first we liked it when it was on, but when we heard it later we would switch the station right away. At 5, we finally got to the Grand Canyon. The sun was setting so Carmen and I seized every moment trying to capture the view. It turned out that Max had acrophobia so he stayed in the car. When Carmen and I were by the cliff, I asked her about Max. “I don’t know. He never was my type, physically, but whenever I am with him, I just feel happy.” Not only did I see the magnificent landscape, but I also witnessed a side of love at the Grand Canyon, and when the sun set, I felt the endless eternity relieved by a kind of blessed infinity. On the way back, Carmen and I
were sitting in the front, while Max was snoring in the back. “Can I ask how did you make the pasta? It was so good!” I asked because I really wanted to know the secret. “Haha! You really wanna know? So it’s really simple. You just need onions, tomato sauce, tuna, and cheese,” Carmen answered with a smile on her face, eyes fixed on the road. “Any particular kind of tomato sauce?” I asked again as if I wanted to know the real secret. “The cheapest one,” Carmen answered, driving at 90. “That’s it? And how much do you put in the pasta?” I couldn’t believe what I heard so I asked further. “T hat’s the secret. W hen my grandma cooks, she never reads recipes. She always tells me the recipe should be in your heart.” I r e a l i z e : i t ’s n o t a b o u t t h e ingredients, and it’s not about what we did on this journey but the process. The journey was just like the pasta that Carmen had made. There wasn’t a specific written itinerary but only the general destinations that we would head to. We embraced and enjoyed the variables along the way and that was what made the journey unique.
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MODERN VIKINGS: IN SWEDEN,“GODDAG”!
What I saw during my ﬁve-weeks stay with a local family in Stockholm, Sweden
words & photos by Jess Huangg
To hide from such burning heat of the tropical weather in Taiwan, last summer I ﬂed to the very North end of the Earth and spent the summer with my friend, Gustav and his family in the breathtaking city—Stockholm, Sweden, where I found myself falling in love with it 10 minutes after I landed.
he streets in Stockholm are neat and simple but still a royal splendour. As the capital of the nation, not-too-tall buildings are standing in the city. Citizens prefer dwelling in apartments surrounded by lawns, sunlight and water. Gustav’s family owns a beautiful house in downtown Stockholm and three
summerhouses in suburban areas. In Asia, we might call them super-rich; yet in Sweden, almost every family owns a summerhouse for summer getaways. When it comes to Sweden, IKEA is the thing that will comes to mind immediately. Their meatballs and mashed potatoes are famous in Taiwan. However
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one evening, when I was at the dining table with Gustav’s family, I told his mother, “It’s popular in Taiwan that young people enjoy meatballs at IKEA.” She laughed with a grimace and said, “Swedish people usually don't eat at IKEA. The food there is no good.”
chatting with Gustav’s family and friends even though I knew nothing but “hej” (“hello”) and “tack” (“thanks”) in Swedish. Besides, Swedish people are required to learn a second language, mainly Spanish or French, since middle school. I also noticed that Swedish people
In Sweden, potatoes and cheese are our “BFFs”. Sometimes potatoes are baked. Sometimes they are fried, while most of the time they are boiled. Unlike in Asia, potatoes are Swedish people’s main staple food, while cheese, another common food on our dining table, often comes with baguette and wine. They taste so good that I often stuffed my face with them. However, what impressed me most about the Swedes is their nearly perfect English. Ragnar, another Swedish friend, once told me proudly, “Many people thought I was American when they heard me speaking English.” Indeed, I could barely tell the difference in their accents from the English native speakers’, and I felt at ease
are quite knowledgeable. They not only have good understanding of knowledge from textbooks, but also have a wide worldview in regards to science, economics, history and culture. When I went sightseeing in Stockholm, I sort of understood why. On the top 10 must-go list of sightseeing places in Stockholm, half of them are museums. What's so great about museums in Sweden is that they not only have outside beauty but also connect to their distinct culture and history, bringing us back to the time before Sweden’s industrialization and even a little farther—the Viking age. Visitors in Swedish museums, as I reckoned, usually more experience the visit as “having fun” rather than “learning”. Skansen
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Museum, for example, is the first “openair” museum and zoo with well-preserved old houses dating back 5 centuries. It also contains landscapes from that time and even living animals! Even now, I can still vividly picture that tame and little moose wearing the Swedish Folk Dress that I patted. And of course, all kinds of museums are all free for their citizens. It’s Sweden! Yet, the most exciting part of the whole stay was the trip to Gustav’s summer house. Hopping into the car, I was told that the one we were going to spend the weekend at was in Muskö. After a 1.5-hours drive, I found myself somewhere surrounded by woods, sun and sea. The summer house was composed of three cabins that were painted with a traditional special red color called “falu rödfärg,” which is similar to burgundy (actually 95% of the Swedish summerhouses are painted with the same color). On every summerhouse stands a shining blue and yellow Swedish flag, expressing pride of their country. Stepping into the house, I thought
I was in the display area of IKEA, misled by their equally anthetic indoor design. T hat after noon, Gustav and I picked sugar peas in his mom’s greenhouse and helped prepare dinner while his dad barbecued pork chops in the backyard. We didn't forget to pick those wild blueberries and lingonberries that grown everywhere as if they were scattered from the sky. In the evening, Gustav’s family and I took an openair hot bath together in the backyard and drank champagne. The next day, our neighbour invited us for lunch on the other small islands and offered us the most exciting ride on his boat. We played golf together afterwards. For me, the summerhouse-weekend was too much like living in a fairy tale. During my 5-week-stay in Sweden, I found the essence of the huge success of this country lies in their happiness. They're proud to be Swedish and they love their country, a lot. Those five weeks have changed me into a big fan of Sweden.
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The Apple of God's Eye An Insight into Israel through Travel words & photos by Peggy Lee The only nation born in a day; the only country that appears on mainstream media almost every day; the only country filled with controversies throughout history-this is Israel. Although an array of people possess rather negative attitudes toward this country, israel is still a strong and influential nation.While having territory disputes with Palestine, Israel remains a place where people love to spend their vacations and do their research.
In the book of Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs and lots of verses in the Bible, Israel is always mentioned as the apple of Godâ€™s eye. These scriptures tell the importance of this country, which is especially true for me after seeing it with my own eyes during my 2-week-stay in Israel. I felt particularly grateful to visit this amazing nation and to get an insight into it during their 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War, one of the most well-known
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wars in history that Israel won with only a few forces after fighting with Arab troops for only six days. This war signifies a critical moment when Israel took the Gaza strip, the West Bank (incl. East Jerusalem) and the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Height back into their control. Ammunition Hill and the Tank Museum are two main sites where I learned more about this crucial war. The Ammunition Hill is the place where Israeli soldiers fought with Jordanians. It is also the venue of one of the fiercest battles due to its narrow trenches. When I was there I stepped down into the trenches to get feel of how narrow they were. Walking along the trenches is like you are trapped in a maze. You are forced to keep going because your fellow soldiers are right behind you. Yet, at the same time, you donâ€™t know what is in front of you for the path would suddenly turn left and then right. The death toll for this battle was high. Before we went to Ammunition Hill, I also visited the Tank Museum to pay my tribute to all the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the battle. However, we were not the
only ones there to cherish the memory. Many local people also revisited the Museum to once again reflect on all that their country has gone through, all the ups and downs, but still standing firmly today. We also sang their national anthem Hatikvah together with their soldiers. Hatikvah literally means â€œHopeâ€?, declaring the hope of the country despite difficult situations. Looking out the original trenches of the Jordanian army twisting on Ammunition Hill not only reminded me of the hand-tohand battle won by Israel, but the current Israeli mandatory military service. In Israel, both males and females are required to serve in the military for two to three years. After they finish the service, they may be recruited at any time whenever the country needs them. The Israelis love their nation and every one of them is so proud of their country, even willing to die for it. In my opinion, this is something very different from Taiwan attitudes. In addition to the famous Israeli forces, Jewish people are also always labeled as high intelligent. It might be true, as according to the data, over 20% of the
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Nobel Prize winners are Jews, albeit there are only 0.2% of world’s population is comprised by Jewish people. Never theless, what impressed me most was the Jews’ innate passion of expressing their own ideas and debating. One pastor I met even shared, “whenever they start talking, it is hard for them to stop.” Part of the reason they cannot stop expressing their ideas is because they are rich in knowledge and also they are trained this way. They learn through asking questions, discussing and debating; hence most Jews are well-articulated. I remember that in one article in a Taiwanese magazine, there was an anecdote that when Jewish kids arrive home the first question they are asked by their mothers is not “what did you learn in school today?” or “What scores did you get on the exam?” but “what question did you ask today?’’ Speaking of Jerusalem, Israel, one cannot leave out religion. There are four sections in the Old City in Jerusalem, which are the Jewish Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, the Muslim Quarter and the Christian Quarter. I only entered the Jewish Quarter, hence I could not compare and contrast these four divisions. However, from the four sections already shows the complexity of religion from this one small site of Jerusalem. Jerusalem has been considered to be a holy city in three religions which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. On the first day of the trip when I was roaming around the Old City, suddenly, the Muslim prayers started broadcasting as it was the time to worship Allah, while the other religious groups who were also in the area singing their praises to God. I feel that even though they were not combined as one, the three
different religious groups still try to respect each other and to live harmoniously together in Jerusalem. Speaking precisely, they are all worshipping the same God but in different forms and rites of worship. For me, it is hard to put all the feeling of living in such a multicultural and multireligious country into words. It is extremely fascinating yet complex.
In Psalms 122:3 of the Bible, it says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” This verse already shows how controversial this place was, is and will be. People need to pray for peace in Jerusalem. Furthermore God promises whoever loves Jerusalem will prosper. As I walked down the historical sites, the whole Bible suddenly came alive in front of me. From the trip to Israel, I discovered the real Israel, which was not exactly the same images depicted by the medias, but rather a country God even named as the apple of his eye.
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Ride the Route 9: Learning to Drive the Hard Way on the Most Dangerous Road words & photos by Daniel Bechsgaard (Denmark)g
few days after some bone-chilling weather, I decided I had to leave Taipei. My failure to enjoy Taipei made me wants to go back to Hualien and reunite with my friends. Before starting my bike, I quickly put on my 25kg backpack, strapped the belt, and threw on my rain jacket. I did a couple of back-and-forth runs of Taipei to make sure I was completely comfortable before entering Route 9 or the provincial Highway 9, East Asia’s single deadliest road. No stalls, no nasty gear grinding, no forgetting what gear I was on, I was as ready as I was ever going to be. I filled up the tank and off I went. This was the challenge: to conquer the most dangerous road in Taiwan on my 2002 SYM Wolf. As I started ascending into the mountains near New Taipei City, the road became emptier and emptier, yet slower and slower. The speed limit is 40 km/ph in the mountains, but you are barely capable of even slowing for the speed limit without hitting a sharp corner. No one can make it at any faster than 30. By the 39km marker, the fog was so thick that I couldn’t see more than 4 meters in front of me. I kept the visor on my helmet up, despite the light rain, needing every centimetre of vision I had, and I stayed on the very right edge of the road. By the 80km marker, I was finally out of the thick fog. The sun was shining, but the roads were still wet. With some more visibility, I started pushing my limits around corners by doing minor trail breaking on the entry. Around a corner that I thought the apex, it suddenly got tighter. I tried to lightly hit both brakes but failed to touch my rear brake. Without enough stopping power, I ran my bike into the side concrete wall—the mountain side. A The next page
little nerve wracked, I returned to the roads. I rode slower than before, and with my foot on the rear brake, just uncomfortably flexing upward, so that I did not touch it unless intending to. Ugly as were the riding conditions, the views from this road were the most stunning I have seen in all of Taiwan. Yet, it was simply too unsafe to stop and to admire them. Luckily, after passing dozens of sharp corners, the roads started to straighten in Yilan County. I made it through pretty quickly, having far more confidence riding in traffic than before when riding in the
mountains in Taipei. After a little while, the rain started again, not heavy, but not light, either. The next stretch of over 100km of road was Suhua Highway, a deadly daunting road. I was entering it in the rain, as the light slowly faded away. Going around the corners on the wet chunder ground, I had the edge of my seat between my cheeks as I tried to keep as much of my weight inf c the corner, while keeping my bike as upright as possible. By doing that, I could eventually have my contact patch on the ground, avoiding a low-side from the wet loose
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ground. It was working pretty well. Overall, I was anticipating corners properly on the entirety of the route and did not lose grip once. However, by the worst part of the road, one truck which was moving in front of me almost killed me at regular intervals. I ended up with a handful of incredibly aggressive drivers behind me. A tour bus tailgated me. After 10 minutes of being the center of this daunting sandwich and witnessing a car trying to overtake me, I found the truck in front of me hitting lowlying branches, making wood rain down on me. First, I almost speeded unsteadily into a ditch after running over a large branch. Then, I had a branch caught between my brake and footrest. Right when I thought the barrage of wood was over, a firedog-sized flew off the trailer compartment right towards me. I frantically swerved. It barely missed me head-on, but it did hit my hand, the side
view mirror, and the right turn signal. My hand was saved by the knuckle armor on my motorcycle gloves, but my bike now had 2 safety measures broken. Moreover, it was dark, the skies were pouring rain, and the drivers were completely crazy. After another hour maneuvering past the worst unlit section of Suhua Highway, I finally reached Hualien. However, the bike had no life left. No amount of kickstarting was getting her back. I had been blessed just enough life in her to get to Hualien, but no more. I was so concerned for my bike that I forgot about myself. After 6 hours of straight-up riding through hell, with 25 kg on my back, somehow my feet, hands, and mind came out unscathed. However, for the entirety of the road to Hualien, I do not have one kilometre of riding that I would feel regret about.
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Booking the Cheapest Flight Tickets words by Zhoe Zhang photos from PEXELSg After a whole year’s hard work, finally you can treat yourself with a holiday trip. However, when looking through the booking websites, you are totally shocked by the price. Even a flight ticket from low-cost airlines could still be expensive. There are some tips for expats who want to bargain for cheaper ﬂight tickets.
Always Keep an Eye on the Information Board Websites like Skyscanner and Expedia always provide quick news about the cheapest flight tickets at the moment. Moreover, you can customise search by looking for flight tickets according to dates or destinations. These websites list all the prices of different airlines to make it easier for you to compare and find a cheaper ticket. Besides these well-known websites, many local websites operated by experienced flight ticket buyers, can also help you get first-hand information. Just remember to check these websites from time to time.
Buy a Mileage Flight Ticket If you stick to the same airline or airline group, you will have the oppor tunity to use accumulated mileage and pay only the tax. However, students may not have enough mileage to use for a flight ticket. No worries! There are people on the internet selling their mileage at a cheap price since they themselves do not have time to use it. You can contact the sellers on some information boards, such as PTT in Taiwan. However, one thing you should keep in mind is that you should always check mileage sellers’ credibility!
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Compare Airline Tickets Side by Side The core to a cheaper airline ticket is to compare. Different airlines, different departing cities, or different airports will make big differences in price. Furthermore, if you have more transfer points, or your flight departs early morning/late evening, the price of your flight ticket will drop. However, do not be too harsh to yourself, especially if it is a long flight. Another thing that you should definitely remember to compare is the websites themselves. The same airline company may price the same flight tickets differently in different countries. The trick here is to swift the â€œlanguageâ€? of the airline company website before purchasing. You may find a big surprise! Timing is Everything Timing is another important aspect if you want to buy a cheaper flight ticket. From time to time, you will find extremely low prices for flight tickets because of pricing mistakes by the airline companies. If you are lucky, you can get a really cheap ticket. According to Expedia, morning is the time to get the cheapest tickets in a day, while Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to buy tickets during the week. Use this information to purchase your next cheap flight ticket!
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10 Best Destinations for College Graduation Trip words by Candy Li photos from PEXELS
Have you started discussing where to go for the graduation trip with your closest college friends? Are you still struggling to decide on your destination? We conducted a poll to gather ideas for the ideal destinations for college graduation trips. According to the survey, we have condensed all the answers to the following choices for you to pick from. Bon voyage!
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Thailand When it comes to graduation trip destinations, Thailand is always on the list. The major reason is that traveling to Thailand does not cost you too much, but you can have lots of fun there! Enjoy tasty local Thai foods, sip coconut juice at the beachside, watch flamboyant night shows, and more. In addition, you can also enjoy exotic views and experience one of the great cultures of Southeast Asia, shuttling between ancient temples and modern buildings on the streets in Thailand. Before you leave, make sure you go shopping at local night markets to get souvenirs and the popular elephant pants at decent prices. If you expect to go crazy with your best friends before graduation, seek no more.
Japan Located in Northeast Asia, Japan is selected as one of the best destinations for graduation trips. It’s no surprise. Since Japan is near Taiwan, and shares some cultural similarities, it is much easier for Taiwanese people to plan a quick trip for a short break. Most people like to travel in Japan because of the multiple delicious Japanese cuisines, such as ramen, sushi, sashimi, and other local snacks. In addition, famous tourist attractions also are a must. For instance, Tokyo Tower in Tokyo, Mount Fuji in Hakone and Todaiji Temple in Nara are all popular destinations for tourists. What’s more, according to some students, the most attractive feature of Japan is its “Kawaii” characteristic, from Pika photo booths to Hello Kitty restaurants. It is also a shoppers’ paradise where people can buy an array of clothes, cosmetics, various souvenirs, etc.
South Korea South Korea is another top choice for graduation trips—again, no surprise. It is also a nice place if you are going to take a short trip for a few days. Lots of people love Korean cuisine, such as kimchi, marinated beef BBQ , seasoned fried chicken, etc. Besides food, Korea is also a great place for shopping. There are plenty of cheap clothes and accessories in Dongdaemun. Also, many girls are enraptured with inexpensive Korean cosmetics, such as Nature Republic or Innisfree. Moreover, Korean culture has become more and more popular around the world because of the Korean entertainment industry, like K-pop stars and Korean drama. If you and your friends happened to be in the Korean Wave, just go to Korea! Less expensive than Japan, Korea will be more appropriate, if you have a more limited budget. Traveling in Korea is more affordable for college students, and several seniors have already been to Korea for their graduation trips this year!
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Egypt Enigmatic Egypt has always been on some peopleâ€™s dream travel destination list. According to the poll, several students in our department hope to experience the totally different lifestyle and cultures in Egypt for their graduation trip. Maybe spurred by what they have learned in Western Civilization class, some students want to explore the mystery of pyramids and mummies, and enjoy a sightseeing tour in a desert. If you want to make your graduation trip a lifetime memory with your friends, visiting Egypt will definitely make it so!
Hawaii Vacation means enjoying great sunny weather and chilling at the beach for some people. If you are one of them, then you cannot miss Hawaii! Going to Hawaii for a graduation trip with your friends is worthwhile. You can wear your sexiest bikini, enjoying the vast ocean and warm sunshine, getting tanned with your best friends. You can also have some unique experiences and see the beauty of nature there. For example, you can go surfing, canoeing, snorkeling, and scuba diving to see the brilliant wildlife under the sea. Go to Hawaii to relieve your exhaustion from the heavy workload in school.
New Zealand If you are a lover of nature and you have enough money, New Zealand is another ideal destination for you. Most people travel to New Zealand for two main reasons. First, there are lots of places with breathtaking and picturesque sceneries, such as Matamata or Nelson where Lord of the Rings was filmed. Another thing that attracts visitors to New Zealand is the wide variety of outdoor activities. Lots of people like to try bungee jumping, paragliding, and skydiving in New Zealand. If you want to challenge yourself with your college brothers or sisters, go to New Zealand to see how bold you are and come away with some unique memories!
Green Island If you have a limited budget or you only have a few days for your graduation trip, Green Island can be a top choice. As one of the small islands of Taiwan, it costs only a few hundred dollars for transportation. Though cheap, you can still enjoy the marvelous seaside views, try the fresh seafood and local cuisines, and do some outdoor activities such as snorkeling and cycling. Go to Green Island and explore the beauty of Taiwan!
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Shanghai If you and your friends are considering traveling to China for your graduation trip, then Shanghai should be on your must-go list! Shanghai is an international city with diverse cultures blending the East and the West. Furthermore, there are tons of delicious foods from all over the world for you. Among them, you could never miss the most well-known snacks of Shanghai: dumplings ( 小 ) and pan-fried buns ( 生 ). Another thing worth mentioning about Shanghai is the Disneyland which just opened in June 2016. If you don’t have enough money to go to the Disneyland in Japan or the USA, Shanghai is your new option now!
Spain There must be some students who are eager to travel to Europe but hesitate because of the high prices. If you are someone who is concerned about this, traveling to Spain can meet your expectations! The level of consumption in Spain is very much the same as in Taiwan; thus, you can spend less money experiencing life in Europe. In Spain, you can visit some wonderful historical architecture including the signature Sagrada Família, enjoy the Mediterranean cuisine, and experience the slow-paced European lifestyle.
Tibet This is another mysterious destination for explorers. Situated atop the Himalayas, Tibet is famous for its temples and the spectacular mountain scenery. Lots of people go to Tibet to meditate and to experience gompa . If you want your college life to end in a peaceful and memorable way, go to Tibet to have a little getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life!
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Fiction & Poetry
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From a work in progress by "Bau Shen-fu," Father Bauer Hello, Readers of The Next Page -Your editors have asked me if I'd like to show you some pages of my creative writing. I am honored and very happy to share a scene from a manuscript I am working on. You'll have to be patient as you enter the story, because the words you are about to read pick up the "action" more or less several pages after the narrative begins. Soon you'll see the word "journal," and you will feel at home . . . I hope. Thank you for being my companion as we now walk together in the coming pages. Affectionately, Bau Shen-fu / Bau Yeh yeh ha ha
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So much to explain because, like so many stories, this one begins in the middle. Ah so, but isn't that a truth hard to avoid? How difficult it may be, sometimes, to know the difference between a beginning, a middle, and an end. It is probably safest then to start some place simple, and the simplest place may be the telephone. The location of the telephone, that is. The telephone in the dining room of the Brothers of the Holy Word at Mother of God Catholic University in Xinchuang sat quietly in an almost forgotten spot at the end of a long window ledge. The dining room was on the top floor of the last building on the right as you left the campus at Mother of God Catholic University. The name of that building, and I apologize for repeating the word, but I can't seem to get away from it, was the Cheng Memorial Building. That name honored the cardinal archbishop of Taipei who had been instrumental years earlier in the founding of the university there in Xinchuang. Cardinal Cheng had himself been a member of the religious order we find here as the Brothers of the Holy Word. And, as this story begins (in the middle, so sorry), the Brothers who taught at the university were living in the upper floors of this building. I promise to get back to the telephone in just a moment. Patience is a virtue. Please try to be a little patient. So, the Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) station for Mother of God Catholic University was on your left as you exited the front entrance of the school. The noisy, bustling city of Taoyuan was to your right, down the road and up and over the mountain side, another 10 kilometers away. Everybody in Taiwan knew Taoyuan because the airport there, the busiest in the entire little country, was about a half hour drive away. Mother of God was near enough to Taipei for people to imagine it as one of the many universities in Taipei. Actually however, the campus was 10 solid kilometers southwest of the city. Ma Shen-fu, whose western name was Nathaniel J. McBride (some calling him "Father McBride," then, because he was a Catholic priest), liked to say the university was "10 K from the train station." So American of him to put it that way. By "K," he meant "kilometers." By "train station," he meant "Taipei Main Station." Everybody under the sun in Taiwan knew where Taipei Main Station was. And yes, that is the operative name of the place in local English. People did not normally park a "the" before it. It was just "Taipei Main Station." We still have that "K." Well, "K" probably has a slew of meanings, but here it means "kilometer," but in the plural, so "kilometers." The Th he e ne n next ext t pag pa page e
Ma Shen-fu had been an enthusiastic jogger when he was young. There were many things the shen-fu slash professor did not know in life. But he knew his kilometers. "10 K," he'd smile, "is a good workout." You bet 10 K was a good workout. And "was" is the word for it. For that was yesterday's program. Nowadays his workouts were considerably more modest in ambition as well as accomplishment. He thought it a good day if he could walk with gusto for about forty minutes, lie flat on his back and bounce back and forth for a few sit-ups in a back corner of the campus, and then jog very deliberately, very slowly, very happily for seven or eight minutes. Ah so! "Shen-fu," by the way, is the Chinese term for "Catholic priest" or "Father." People used it as an honorific, putting the family name of the fellow before the title. For westerners not in the know about Chinese culture, this probably seemed like, ha ha, putting the horse before the cart. There is a joke here, but humor moving from one culture to another often crashes. So sorry. Father's family name in Chinese being "Ma" (like the former mayor of Taipei who, fortunately or unfortunately, is a whole different story), he was called Ma Shen-fu. Dull grey in color, the telephone had the look of fragility about it. It was made of plastic, and not a confidence-building, formidable plastic at that. Even its electrical cord, thinly coated with a surprisingly inflexible, anonymous rubber substance, seemed to very much belong to the transient order of things. The cord looked as if it could be accidentally disabled at any minute, torn from the receiver with a careless wrench of a wrist. In its physicality, the telephone, mighty in its potential to deliver important words and messages, stood paradoxically in contrast to the rock-hard, reliable wooden counter upon which it sat. That niche for the telephone in the dining room for the Brothers of the Holy Word marked the end of a long row of mailboxes beneath the windows there. To the left and beneath the telephone, along a succession that headed back in the opposite direction toward the door of the dining room, were those mailboxes, you see. They were assigned by name to each of the Brothers. The names of the Brothers, these confreres, were embossed on narrow strips of white paper. Their names were embossed in both Chinese and English. Thanks to the advent of email and other high-tech conveniences, "snail mail" was rare in those days. Thus, these slots for letters and small packages served other needs.
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The mailboxes held white cloth napkins for the confreres to use at meals, for example, which the cook changed every Sunday morning before breakfast. In addition, the mail slots were convenient storage places for odd pieces of correspondence, communication, and recordkeeping. Occasionally taking up temporary residence in the mail box of the Brother who taught in the English Department were essay-like reports optimistically and grandly called "reflective journals." The professors in the English Department at Mother of God may have preferred the reflective part, but the students simply called the documents "journals." Ma Shen-fu was the Brother among the Brothers of the Holy Word who taught in the English Department at Mother of God Catholic University. Now, about those journals. At certain times of the semester, as many as six or seven of these homework assignments, these journals, might be folded and gently stuffed into the cubby hole, the dining room mail box of Ma Shen-fu. His students had left the manuscripts, "late, but in," at the receptionist's window downstairs on the first floor of the Cheng Memorial Building. After the passing of a meal or two in the dining room, or even, given the consequences of procrastination, a day or two up there, the journals would then make their trek en masse to the professor's room on the 4th floor. That is where he read and graded the journals, the pages and words his students so carefully wrote. This was, truly, a labor of love for Ma Shen-fu. He actually enjoyed reading what his young scholars wrote there. These reports, these "journals," could vary from standard "blah" quality to literary commentary that was actually interesting and fairly well done, considering they were the deliberations of undergraduate students, not sharp-minded, ambitious Ph.D. candidates. None of the authors of these journals, lovable students as they were in the eyes of their shen-fu professor, was a native speaker of English. It might be just a little mind-blowing for the typical American (if such a creature exists after the election of Donald J. Trump), to pause and consider the significance of this journal situation. These English majors at this university in Taipei faced obviously challenging expectations when they plopped down to write a journal. Nearly every single student in the English Department at Mother of God was Chinese or of ethnic Chinese ancestry. The native language of these young people was not English. It was Mandarin Chinese, or it was Taiwanese or, in the case of overseas students from Hong Kong or Macau, it was Cantonese. Now, look.
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Since Mr. Trump's ascendance, that is how the pundits on YouTube commentary shows from the States always begin. "Now, look," they say, their facial expressions still aghast. So, now, look: these students were supposed to read difficult works of literature composed in what for them was a second or a third language. And they were using that new language, not their mother tongue, to do their writing. They were adrift in the ocean of a foreign language, and had been told to, well, just jump in the water and swim the best they could. This was, as Ma Shen-fu liked to point out, "Nothing to sneeze at." He often wondered how many American college students who were French majors, for example, would stay in courses in which their professors threw journal homework like this in their face. "You want us to read the friggin' novel Madame what's her name in French, and then write four friggin' pages in French about it? And then we're supposed to do the whole thing again later in the semester, except with a different friggin' boring book, and that journal also in French? This is after listening to friggin' you drone on like a boring banging broken bell for hour after hour in friggin' French? Two of these sacred journals of yours in one semester, Mr. Professor? What are you, friggin nuts, or what? You think I won't drop this friggin' course and walk out on you?" Ma Shen-fu could easily picture students in his home country saying that. But he wasn't living and teaching in his home country. He was at home in the island country of Taiwan, the Republic of China, less than a hundred miles from the coast of Hong Kong. Students in the English Department at the university tended to use the word "famous" too readily. That, at least, was one of the opinions of Ma Shen-fu. (He was a man with many opinions.) The students were always saying things like "famous university," or "famous restaurant," or "famous doctor," or "famous hospital," all of which the priest found both charming and frustrating. He knew, of course, that no one would ever label him as famous. But in fact, Ma Shen-fu, otherwise known as Father Nathaniel J. McBride, was famous to a certain very limited degree for some of his words. (The 'f' in "famous" in lower case, naturally.) He was slightly "famous" for words that popped up out of nowhere, it seemed to his astonished young scholars, whenever he opened courses for them at the beginning of given semesters. Since the man was closing in on his 70th birthday, and showed few signs of slowing down, the words had been reaching students' ears for quite some time, as the saying goes. The next page
"The more pages you write for your journal, the better, provided that you know what you are talking about. You may get a higher score if you show me that you qualify as something of a genius. Are you a genius? Well, maybe you are. Always show your professors a ray of . . .." And here Ma Shen-fu might pause just long enough to remove his eyeglasses and gesture wordlessly with them in the air, before going on. None of his impressionable listeners quite understood how to interpret this particular personality quirk, the removal of his spectacles, the waving of them in the air bit. It did seem a little weird. But he was so sincere about it and, besides, it appeared to happen unconsciously. The next words came with a plop. "Your shining light." Again the pause, this time to reward himself with a deep and relaxing breath. Then came the repetition, the rote repetition of the entire sentence. "Always show your professors a ray of your shining light." Another pause, and then, "Do you understand me? Are you okay with this? Do you have any questions?" Blank faces tended to look back at him. But here and there the hint of a smile, a wry expression from a guy who dressed like a basketball player and sat in the middle of the class, or a widening of the eyes of a mysteriously winsome lass perhaps off to his left, or far back, deep in the room, back center. Father McBride, our Ma Shen-fu, was a man of some resiliency. He could live with the fact that much of his humor flew over the heads of his students like a flock of sparrows over a rice patch. At the same time, he was a man of hope. He was always hoping someone in the room, it did not matter who, just might catch the thread and understand how much he liked them all, how blessed from above he felt to be by their side, to stand sometimes in front of them and share words about this or about that. "Do not hide your brilliance in a dark corner," he often counseled his students. "Upon further reflection, if you can, write a deeper journal. Revise your thoughts, and add to them. Or take away from what you already wrote. Throw the not so good stuff away. Revise, revise, revise."
[To be continued . . .]
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About the Writers
Hi, I’m Phoebe. I am a freshman in the Department of English Literature and Language. I love drawing stuff, writing stuff, reading stuff and making stuff. For most people, writing is a strange thing; we do it every day, for class, but rarely for ourselves. I definitely think we should write for ourselves every now and then. There are few things better than the feel of lead on paper.
This is Autumn from the world. I have known Ash of Lyrenthica for several years. She likes to escape from time to time to lighten the heaviness of life, “Ash montum, propter urbem Lyrenthicae, sedet. nihil est nisi obscura caelo, quod non homo montum potuit. astris inspectionibus, musica in caelum apparet,” so I speak to her when she does. This is one of the stories she told me, thank you all for reading her words.
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First, I’m not a professional poet. Second, I’m not an expert in the literature field. I’m just a 21-year-old girl who’s about to graduate from college, and I feel excited and nervous. Hello everyone, this is Ruth. I wouldn't really call myself a writer, but sometimes my love for these fictional characters overflow and I just have to let it out somehow, and writing fan fiction is one of the many ways that I can do that. It's been a long while since I last wrote anything, though, until I discovered the TV show Legends of Tomorrow and the DCTV universe it expands upon. These characters and their stories mean a lot to me, and I'm glad I'm able to spread that love with any readers that might happen upon this ficlet I've written. Thank you all so much for reading.
I love listening to music (except for death metal). I love playing piano (though I don’t play it like a pro). I love singing (though my voice is not that special). I love watching action movies in the theater (because they release my stress), and I love writing down some melodies and lyrics like my favorite musical artists do now and then—though my ideas often turn out weird and funny. By the way, I love my friends and family.
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Shara Lee West, I’m slightly terrified of myself, but I enjoy the rush. When I write I often try to think, but I find that thoughts live through feeling. So no planning is necessary. 1rst year Graduate Student, Masters Program for English Literature Focus: Poetry Mentor: Dr. Raphael Schulte Fascinations: Blues, Spirituals, Soul, Hip-Hop
Hi, everyone! My name is James. I am currently a freshman in the Department of English Language and Literature. Instead of introducing myself through me own narration, I would like to give voice to my poems and let them speak on behalf of me. If you are interested in my other poems or philosophy of life, visit me at my Facebook page: Hidden to be found.
Graduation is my current concern. Cindy is my English name. Peng is my last name. Literature is not my interest. But writing is my hobby. And drawing is my strength.
For composing, I’m not writing for people to know me. I’m writing for people to reflect on. I’m not writing about people’s narration. I’m writing about my own observation.
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Fire words by Phoebe Hemsley photo from Max Pixel
It happened a long time ago, when I was still taller than all the boys in my class. Back then, everyone called me Bossy-Pants Jo, even the teachers. Back then, when it was just Dad, Mum, and me living in the Victorian house with the pond in the backyard. Back then, we held all my birthday parties at home, though I donâ€™t think any of my classmates came because they wanted to. Back then, I may have been popular, but I had few friends. So I didnâ€™t have sleepovers, or weekends out at pals houses. I read instead. Fantasy, adventure, ghost stories, anything I could get my hands on, really; but most of all I read fairytales. Not just the Brothers Grimm or Hans Cristian Anderson ones we read in English class; my fairytales were bound in all colours of the rainbow. Brownies and Goblins, Kelpies and Elves, Faeries and Changelings, Tam Lin, Mr. Fox, and Thomas the Rhymer; I had no fear of monsters under my bed, as these were the only things that infiltrated my dreams. It is because of this that I sometimes doubt what happened. Perhaps I imagined it, as children are prone to do. But I am a child no longer, and still the memory clings to me like dew does to a cobweb. I had decided to take the long way home that day. I had pebbles from a long-ago holiday that I had took to school for show-and-tell, and I was trying to juggle with them. By the time I noticed the fog in our back garden I already was quite enveloped by it. I remember fearing I would fall into the pond if I walked any further. What happened next I can remember as clearly as if it was happening before my very own eyes at this very moment: He appears quite suddenly.
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“Well, I thought you was a fae for a moment there,” he says. I cannot see him, until I can: a slender figure clad in a suit and tie, the sort Dad wears to the theatre. I cannot see his face, looming over me, until I can: milky skin, almost translucent, wet like autumn leaves. His dark hair glistens and writhes like seaweed does in aquariums. “Your head’s on fire, lass. Better put it out.” He reaches out pale fingers to touch, and I pull away. “That’s my hair,” I say, offended, trying to shield it from him. My scalp feels damp, even though he didn’t quite manage to touch it. “That I know, that I know,” he laughs. “I was but jesting.” He looks me over, almost hungrily. His eyes are liquid black and bottomless like two deep wells. “You be a bold one.” “I’m bossy,” I say. “Now you know to leave me alone.” He laughs more at that. “Wise one, foolish one. Your Ma and Da never tell you to stay away from strangers? Why don’t you tell me your name as well?” “Never tell your name to fairy folk.” I say, trying to move, but my legs feel like they’re stuck in quicksand. His face contorts like putty. “Fairy folk? Whoever says I was one of them? You should know better, Josephine Gladwell. Seeing as you be what you are.” My heart jolts at hearing my name twisted by his pale lips. I glance down, and poking out of his trousers, distorted by the rippling fog, are two dull, black stumps. Hooves. I turn to run. “No, Bossy-Pants Jo,” the Kelpie tsks. He grabs me by my plait and my scalp stings as I try to wrench free. “We all been a-watching you since you were but a wee bairn. What makes you think you can run now?” He tugs, hard, and I try not to call out. “What do you want?” I say, gritting my teeth. Be bold, be bold.
“Not much. Not much at all. Your hand in marriage, perhaps. Or maybe less than that, even. Friendship. Your true parents would approve.” He grins, and I see a row of teeth, sharp as knives, glistening like fish scales. Mum and Dad, I remember. They must be worried by now. Would they think to look in the garden before they called the school?
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Be bold, be bold, but not too bold.
“Take pity on a lonely soul,” he murmurs, kneeling, drawing nearer, hands still tangled in my hair. I shiver. “Come with me. I ken you all your life, wee Jo. Surely you be tired of that world by now?” Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest your heart’s blood should run cold.
For a moment, it feels like drowning. I taste blood on my tongue. Red, and green, and black. Black eyes, black hair, black suit, black tie— I grab it and pull, and he lurches, drawing back his hands to steady himself, spluttering, “Don’t you dare—” I tug the other way. The knot catches, but then it gives way, and the fabric loosens, and he screams a blood-curdling screech, and the fog curls and shifts. I cannot be certain for sure, but I think I see a black mane, as soggy as the water weeds, before it is swallowed up by the fog; I hold on to the tie for dear life, though it feels less like a tie with every passing second, and everything twists around me, dancing before my eyes until I squeeze them shut— They say they found me in the pond, clutching a—was it a belt?—A bridle, a neighbor had said. Whatever it was, it was not fit for a young girl to have and they had no idea where I had got such a thing—but it was no matter. No one would punish me for stealing when I had nearly drowned. I asked about my pebbles, but no one had seen them, and I wasn’t going to search the pond for them. Let him have them. Let him carry them for life, if he lives still. I was sick after that, and my parents fretted for days, feeding me Calpol and mopping my brow. Later, people asked me what happened, why such a sensible girl had been playing in the pond, and I had no answer but a smile and a shrug. I changed schools, and was finally rid of the name Bossy-Pants Jo for good. We moved not long after that, into a semidetached house with a tiny garden and no bodies of water in sight. Not that that stopped them from coming. But those are other stories, for some other time.
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of the Sky ong
Have you ever wondered what is beyond the darkness, the darkness that crouches beside the windowsill, and looks at you every night when the evening stars fall? It creeps through the window, inspects your soul, and charms you with its gentle whisper so elegant and unpredictable that the eye cannot resist its hungry call. The monstrous beauty. Every night I would crawl out of the window and stare into its eyes, and wonder what is beyond the houses that stretch out far into the horizon, like sketches, and then like linear lines, as if they were only the ideas of houses in the dark, containing nothing else but pure emptiness. Every night I would imagine that I have wings strong enough for me to ﬂy, up, up, and up into the starry night, away from everything I remember, and everything that remembers me. I would feel the wind touching my skin, and dancing with my hair, and my soul would blend into the darkness as I soar into the night, into the pure danger where I seek freedom. Every night. That is why, I jumped.
words by Autumn Tsai photo from Wikipedia 1.
I cannot recall much about the moment when I made the decision.
“What’s she doing?” “Day-dreaming.” “Ignore her.”
My name is Zero, I have come to learn…
“Oh, the clumsy one’s here.” “She ruins everything!” “Why doesn’t she just quit?” … to hope to learn, to…
“I don’t want her. You take her.” “Damn it.” I…
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It seems that everything in life takes some kind of effort to gain. It seems that every human being is searching for some kind of satisfaction in life, whether dreams, or money, or love, or all of the above. The loneliness of the city creeps into my mind too often in late evenings, when I, gazing at the vast darkness, recall everything from the past and the present. Sometimes, the uneven life of the city is so loud that I feel pain. Sometimes, I just feel tired. It is funny that human beings can be so fragile. You know, child, it is okay.
I crawled out of the window and sat on the windowsill, looking into the night. Rain fell down about the roof, as the vast nimbus of darkness enshrouded the ash-grey city. At the edge of my journal Darkness of the night spoke tenderly to me, with claws clinging on my throat. To be, or not to be... what does it matter?
I did not speak. What is love, or dreams, or longingness… There is nothing you must seek— I am always right here—
He continued. Just you, and I, in this wild little world.
I held onto my pen. Ink splattered on the sheets of paper. And alchemy of sight, sound, and tears, it forced human language through, yet only babbled nothingness. “Shut up.” Dear, dear, poor little child, abandoned from the world— No one wants you, no one needs you… Better leave them ﬁrst before they leave you… it whispered.
With eyes narrowing into the shape of a new moon, it stretched out its forelimbs, enclosing me. I held onto my pen, feeling its smooth, cool concreteness in my palm. With the touch of my fingers I read the inscription on the pen: Travel on, go Beyond. And I remembered the past, present, and future it had written down for me—now all of them were mocking me, haunting, judging, and distorting everything I must hold dear in the breath which I have to call “life.” I felt the pen’s cool steel upon my skin, aching to record its last. Time will no longer control my soul now.
With a sense of peacefulness, I let go.
Who is to say that Darkness is an evil existence? It speaks to me almost too often in the late evenings through the bars of the windows, where I gaze into the far horizon, as the stars of man engulf the stars of heaven. Here, in this vast of darkness, it is just me and the starry world. I could ﬂy into the night, and the stars will hold me in his arms—not the stars of the sky, but the stars of the lonely earth dragons when I fall down, down, and down into its arms. Come, let me catch you.
I peered off into the far horizon, where the stars fell. And then, I closed my eyes, feeling my skin ache of the heat. Soon, I would be burned into the same race of Darkness: The next page
evil, brutal, and monstrous. Wind howled around me, with all the cries of miserable creatures that were once human beings. The souls, mad and ghastly, clung to my flesh and began to gnaw. And I imagined the story –– And the stars caught her in his arms.
3. Then a thundering horn called out. There was a sudden mumble, and then among the howls there was a cry, a cry as vicissitudo as those of the wolves. It soon turned into a whimper, and began to die down. I could feel the heat around me dispelling, and after an endless moment I had a strange feeling that I was floating in the air. Something gentle, something like the cool streams that run along the mountain hills in summer times, something like the breeze of the forest in autumn days was carrying me. In the air it was nothing like the above, but the same comforting, relaxing feeling made me felt that I could sleep in it forever. I carefully opened my eyes, and saw the linear lines of the buildings conversing, dancing like water plants, with lights glimmering about the water. Liquid.
And, as if swimming in a lake, I held my breath and began to kick. In front of me a door appeared among the darkness. As I peered through the door, I saw an image of a little dark-haired girl standing at the bottom of a forum so deep that it looked like a well. Before her stood an old banyan tree; its heavy leaves shuddered in the wind, falling about the little girl. She looked up into the sky from the bottom, all the way through the thick leaves of the tree. She gazed and gazed, as evenings turned to mornings, and mornings turned to evenings. I wondered how long I had waited with her, and yet she had not noticed me. And then she reached out her arms. A little paper-boat floated down from the starry night through the heavy leaves. She caught the boat, and then turned and looked at me. The stars began spinning. And I met her eyes. She was holding the paper-boat in her arms. Follow the paths of the Birds…
It was her, or not her that was speaking. Voices came from every direction as far away as the wind blew, and then they became a song—— Follow the music and you will ﬁnd The ﬂuttering wings of the sky Up up up and high into the music of the sky.
4. I woke up, finding the deep velvet-blue starlight shining upon me. I sat up and looked around. I was at the bottom of a paper-boat. Around me numerous old banyan trees stood in shallow waters. Water dripped down from the trees, and faint starry lights glistened in-between the shades of deep green and blue. The next page
Not too far away, a girl was staring into the lights beside an enormous tree, as if listening to the winds of the forest. Lights glowed upon her cheeks, her hair swung in the breeze. Immediately I recognized her: she was the Girl in my dream. I stepped out of the boat and stepped into the water, and realized that I was stepping on the debris of forum as the cool, smooth marble touched my skin. The water was velvet-blue, glistening stars swam across my feet. I stared into the water. “It’s almost dawn,” she said. I looked up. “The Birds always set off at dawn. They will take us to where we need to be. Perhaps, you might also find your path too.” I walked closer towards her. “Where are we?” I asked. She paused. The trees shuddered as the wind blew. “Come,” she reached out her hand. She took my hand, and the two of us began climbing the thick roots and stems of the deep-blue banyan tree. The tree was rough, and watery, and yet the touch of her hand seemed to lighten my body so that I could match her speed. Playful winds brushed my cheeks as I began running on the stems and branches instead of climbing them on all fours, sweet dew fell down about me, as my senses became more and more abstract, feeling only the coolness of the winds, water, and the tree. 5. “Where the Birds approach,” she smiled and looked up. I held up my breath as I suddenly realized that we were on the very peak of the forest. The sky had turned iris-blue as the contour of the edge of the sun shone through the horizon. With pale light, far across the horizon, shadows of line-sketch figures approached towards the deep forest where we were. As the rays of sunrise in summer days that creeped through the windowsills, the Birds rose into the sky, lightening the velvet-blue night. As they approached and hovered above us, I sensed the warm and cool morning sunlight; in the wind it was the sound of summer days, early in the morning, when evening rain had just passed; it was the sound of the countryside, the gentle breeze blowing upon the green patty, fresh air awakening the plains and meadows, the rivers running amidst the forests; it was the sound of the awakening cities, the sunlight reflecting from the tall buildings, bad traffic sounding through the city, the bells of the schools ringing and students running through the corridors, people chattering in and out as phones rang throughout the office buildings, lights and music dancing in the theatres as audiences cheered for the performers—the sounds of life. Then I heard the Girl calling, “is everything alright?” “Yes,” I muttered. The next page
My heart beat, excitement arose as the paper-boat glided with the wind and flew up into the mellow sunlight waters, sailing the paths of the Birds. I kicked the branches and glided into the starry heavens, as drops of lights fell into the water. The evening stars were falling across the heavens, entering the river of stars and her little boat as I was floating in the air. I gazed at this scenery, wondering about the reality of this surrealistic view. Then all of a sudden the Girl came from behind and pushed me into the air. I rolled two or three times forward, feeling dizzy. “How did you…” I looked at where she appeared. Before I could finish, she swung onto another branch. “You can’t catch me,” she disappeared from the tree. I caught the branch and heard her giggling from another tree. “A-hah,” I kicked at her as soon as I was balanced. “Oops, not good.” She dived and I missed, but I pulled her arm, and both of us went sliding across the sky, turning round and round until we started to feel dizzy. She let go of my hand, and we went spinning separately in the air. “It’s always nice up here, feeling the winds,” she laughed. She held my hand and we dived into the night, as the boat trailed behind us inbetween the Birds. In the stream of glittering lights, the stars danced around us, and held us up into the iris-blue night. We began dancing ballads with the stars. As if sinking into the flow of life, the winds entered me and left me, with no intentions to stay. We skated across the sky, jumping from this tree to another. Drops of water fell into the shallow river with splashes like bells ringing in the night, harmonizing with each other. We flew up to the highest tree tops, watching the forest river of stars beneath us. I gazed upon the Birds, the forest, and the far horizon. My senses were wide open, as I could capture each moment, each detail of the color, lights, and sounds that entered my sensation. And then in the heavens songs poured out. Mellow sunlight began falling into the water as colors of bright yellow lightened up the sky. The lights of the river joined the lights of the Birds, extending into a long and winding path towards infinity. The boat gently approached, swinging with the rhythm of the stars, as lyrical as the violin, as light as the marimba, and as gentle as the harp. I caught its edge and climbed back into the paper-boat. The music went on and on, leading us further and further away from the deep forest, towards the place unknown in the far horizon. 6. “Will you take this for me?” the Girl held out a thin thread. “What is this?” I took the thread. One end was tied to a jar, clear as crystal. “I think I can catch some image of the Birds,” she said. At the edge of the boat she let go of the jar. With the flow of the winds it floated into the air, and then gently sunk into the river of lights. I tied the thread to my wrist, and The next page
lay down. Where does the path lead? I wondered. Dwelling in the night of peacefulness I fell asleep. Dwelling in the night of peacefulness I fell asleep. Our little paper-boat sailed in the heavens of velvet-blue, towards infinity where nothing was certain. I wondered where the Birds may guide. And yet the rays of sunlight the Birds brought to the starry night gave me a sense of longing, yearning to seek, to strive, and to reach out to something warm. Beyond.
I thought the heavens whisper. Then in darkness I heard a song soft and gentle, sad too, like the song of a lonely traveler, singing the song of Time. I opened my eyes, seeing the Girl at the front of the boat, her hair swinging in the air. The glistening lights fell down about her, whispering sounds and languages that I could not understand. “Will you take us Beyond?” I heard the Girl ask. And the heavens, in a thousand winds that blew, replied, We will take you to the furthest place we can reach for you. But the quest should be sought on your own.
I sat up. She turned to me as the Birds fell silent again. “With the images of the Birds, he would finally be happy again.” She said. “He?” I wondered. I untied the thread as she pulled out the jar from the starry forest. She held up the jar, and, carefully, captured a little star that landed in our boat. Little lights danced around the little glass bottle, clear as crystal. Shadows of the Birds swirled and turned, shuttling among the lights of the stars. I felt the breeze of the Birds in my hands as music poured out. “In the vast of darkness I was a little piece of heaven, roaming in the lonely world,” she said. “I realized that my job is to place the little pieces of heaven before the beds of children in their sleep when I myself, was seen. By seeing me, he… the lonely boy in the grey city, created me.” And with soft whisper, she began: I am a bard, a poet of songs. I travel through cities, singing the song of the sky. I sing for everyone a piece of the stars. Man and woman, young and old. The rich and the poor, They pass by, but know not me. They are too busy Roaming their own little worlds...
[To be continued . . .]
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Raymond R aymond ""Ray" Ray" P Palmer almer iiss a fformer ormer b billionaire illionaire iinventor n v ent o r w who ho is is p presumed resumed dead dead by by the the world, world, but but iin nr reality eality he he has has ssecretly ecretly moved moved tto o Central Central City, C ity, where where he he joins joins the t he criminal c r i m i n a l crew crew o off o one ne L Leonard eonard S Snart, nart, A AKA KA Captain C aptain C Cold, old, a and nd ffalls alls iin n llove o ve w with ith tthe he R Rogue. ogue. Everything E very y th h i ng g works work k s out fine f i ne until untii l a heist gone wrong, leaving Ray critically injured, and Snart enlists the help of his arch-nemesis' ally,
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Cisco Ramon, who just so happens to have a soft spot for Snart's own sister, Lisa. words by Ruth Chang
Cisco hadn’t meant to stay overnight at STAR Labs. But it wasn’t really his fault that he fell asleep at the Cortex after everyone else had left. Okay, maybe it was his fault`, but as it turned out, ultimateit was for the better.
He jerked awake when his phone buzzed, and after a few seconds of flailing to remember where he was, Cisco clumsily pawed at his phone on the counter and finally got a good enough grip on it to look at the screen. The first thing that popped out at him was the time 2:43 am in the top right corner, which made him groan. Then he noticed the caller ID flashing a giant “PRIVATE NUMBER”, and he frowned before tapping the button beneath it to answer. “Hello?” he asked warily. “Cisco.”
He recognized the voice instantly. “Lisa! Hey! I’m- how did you get my number?” Then he recognized the lack of the usual singsong-y tone to her voice, and immediately he frowned again, “Is something wrong? Are you okay?” “I’m ﬁne, mostly. But Cisco, listen, we need your help,” Lisa answered him, and The next page
there was something desperate in her words, making him sit up straighter as he wiped the remaining dregs of sleep out of his eyes. “Of course, what do you need?” Then her words clicked. “Wait. Who’s ‘we’?” There was a pause and some shuffling, and Cisco guessed that the phone was passed to another speaker. He was proven right when a new voice, all too familiar and coated with ice, echoed in his ear. “Ramon.”
All of a sudden, Cisco was a lot more awake than he had ever been. “Cold,” he managed to choke out. Maybe it had something to do with his kidnapping a year ago, or maybe Snart just had that effect on people, but Cisco knew that no matter how he felt about Lisa, Leonard Snart would always strike a certain level of fear in his heart. “What do you want?” “Are you at STAR Labs.”
It sounded more like a statement than a question. Cisco nodded frantically before realizing the other man couldn’t see him, “I mean, yeah, yes, I’m here.” “Is Snow there.”
Again, didn’t sound like a question. Cisco bit his lips before answering, “You mean Caitlin? No. It’s almost 3 am. Why would she be here?” The entire topic of why he was here was left untouched. “Call her. We’ll be there in three minutes.”
“Wait, what-” he didn’t get to finish his question as the other end of the line went dead. Cisco spent a good minute staring at his phone in disbelief, then he cursed as he stood and made his way to the entrance of STAR Labs, hitting Caitlin’s speed dial on the way there and hoping she wouldn’t be mad about being woken up at this hour. He was pacing back and forth at the door as the second attempt to reach Caitlin fell into the blank void of voicemail when a nondescript black car pulled up in front of him. He hit call again as he watched Lisa hop out of the shotgun seat and Snart get out of the driver’s seat. Lisa came towards him, while Snart made a beeline for the backseat door. “Cisco, thank you so much for agreeing to this,” Lisa said as she took hold of his free hand with both of her own. “Well, your brother didn’t exactly give me much of a choice,” he muttered in response, trying to see what Snart was trying to take out from the back, which wasn’t easy, as Snart was obscuring his view almost entirely. But then Snart shifted and stepped back, pulling something with him, and Cisco felt his mouth go dry when he realized what it was. Or rather, who. “Ray?” he whispered, and indeed, out of the car, leaning heavily against Snart, was none other than Ray Palmer, who, if he recalled correctly, was supposed to be dead. And he looked terrible. He was sweating profusely, and his face was locked in a grimace, as if he was in excruciating pain. Little noises of agonized whimpers and groans escaped his lips every now and then, and he seemed to be completely unaware of his surroundings otherwise. The next page
Cisco’s eyes traveled from Ray’s face to Snart’s, and was more than shocked to see some hints of genuine fear and concern in the criminal’s usually unreadable eyes. Then Snart’s eyes met with his, and Cisco was almost taken aback by the plea he could see in them. “We have nowhere else to go,” Lisa said quietly next to him. “Can you help us?” He spun towards her, then looked back at Snart and Ray again, still unsure exactly what he was seeing. Then a new voice coming from his phone snapped him out of his stupor.
“Francisco Ramon, you better have a good reason for waking me up at two-ﬁfty in the morning, or so help me you are going to regret this phone call when I get to STAR Labs tomorrow.”
Cisco swallowed, then he motioned the others into STAR Labs as he answered, “Cait, I’m sorry, but you need to come to STAR Labs, right now. You’re not gonna believe this, and we need your help.” Ten minutes later, he had the Snarts bring Ray to the infirmary to lay him down on one of the beds, and he set up the medical equipment to the best of his abilities. The heart monitor picked up Ray’s erratic rhythms the instant Cisco hooked it up, and he gulped. He might not be an expert when it came to medicine, but he knew enough to be certain that Ray’s heart would give out eventually if it went on like this. It tore at his own heart when Ray, delirious with pain, lashed out at him, the Snarts, and himself repeatedly, forcing Cisco to restrain him. Still Ray struggled, the whimpers of pain now occasionally rising to small cries or screams. A sheen of sweat covered every inch of visible skin as his whole body trembled, and the warm brown eyes from Cisco’s memories were glassy and unfocused, staring off into the far distance as if seeing something the others couldn’t. Cisco ran a hand over his own mouth, taking in a shaky breath and letting it out in an equally unstable sigh. “What the hell happened to you, man?” He hadn’t expected his quiet rhetorical question to be answered, and almost jumped when Snart spoke up next to him, “He got injected with something. Might be some sort of poison, we’re not sure.” Snart’s face was clouded, dark, almost unreadable except for the clear concern in his eyes. And Cisco had a million more questions, ranging from “how is Ray still alive, I went to his funeral” to “Cold, are you okay, I’ve never seen you this emotional”, but he swallowed them back down his throat as Lisa leaned into him from the high chair next to him, resting her head on his shoulder and grabbing his hand tightly with worry. It was another five minutes before Caitlin arrived at the scene. She walked in the door, paused, took in the sight in front of her, then inhaled a deep breath before she slipped on her professional mask, walking up to Ray and looking over him and the displays on the screen. She asked a few questions, which Snart and Lisa took turns answering, all to the point and exactly what she needed. Eventually it was just Caitlin and Snart doing the talking, while Cisco and Lisa watched from the sidelines. “You must have questions,” Lisa said as they watched Caitlin take a blood sample The next page
from the writhing Ray on the bed, with Snart holding his arm still. Cisco let out a small, incredulous, high-pitched laugh at that, “Understatement of the year. And considering how this year has turned out, that’s a pretty big deal.” There was a pause between them, as Caitlin turned away to examine the blood, while Ray let out another strangled scream through gritted teeth. Cisco noticed something flicker through Snart’s expression at that, and he found himself staring when Snart reached out and, gently, pushed back a strand of stray hair out of Ray’s face. “We found him by accident,” Lisa suddenly continued. “Caught, unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, in the crosshairs of one of our heists. And we were surprised. After all, Ray Palmer was supposed to be dead.” Cisco nodded. “I went to his funeral,” he said quietly. “Well, that’s what most people thought, apparently. But then he told us his story, how he got shrunk and then held captive by an evil organization called HIVE.” “The one in Star City?” “Yup,” Lisa answered, popping the “p” at the end of the word. “Green Arrow and his friends rescued him, but Ray wanted to stay legally dead, for his own reasons. He still hasn’t told us what they are.” A pause. “Well. Hasn’t told me. Then we just sort of…adopted him. He’s been a great help on our heists, making us even harder to be found out.” Cisco nodded along as he listened, then he blinked. “Wait. All those robberies with no trace of evidence in the past few months - those were you?” Lisa just gave him a small smile and a wink. “I have something,” Caitlin said as she looked up from the microscope, drawing the attention of the entire room. “This drug in his blood, it’s messing with his pain receptors, making his brain believe he’s in pain. I’ve seen something similar before. It’s a lot like Vertigo, but stronger, and without the hallucinogens from the mushrooms.” “It’s an earlier version, from back in 2012,” Snart said almost immediately, and as Caitlin and Cisco stared at him, he scowled. “It was in the market. I did my research.” The brief silence was abruptly interrupted as another tortured yell came from the bed, reminding everyone of the situation at hand. “Alright,” Caitlin nodded stiffly, “If this was on the streets before, the CCPD or the SCPD would have records of it. It’ll save us the time from running an actual diagnosis now. Cisco?” “On it,” Cisco replied as he moved to the nearest computer to hack into the database of both police departments. A minute later he had located the forensics files on the earliest version of Vertigo, in its purest form. Caitlin took over, going over the formula and chemical compounds of the drug, and quickly jotted down notes. After a few seconds of rapid writing, she gave a curt nod. “Okay. I’ll be able to reverse engineer an antidote with this. It’ll take at least another twenty minutes, though. Watch Ray for me and inform me if his condition changes, alright?” Cisco nodded, and Lisa gave her a double thumbs-up as the biochemist left the infirmary for the lab. Out of the corner of his eye, Cisco saw Snart give a controlled nod as The next page
well, before turning back to the suffering man on the bed. Ray’s chest heaved up and down rapidly, straining to draw in oxygen for his body that wasn’t actually in pain. His hands, cuffed to the bed with padded restraints, were curled tightly into fists. Every now and then his arms would jerk, pulling against his bonds, as he let out cries and moans of pain. Cisco unconsciously wrapped his arms around himself. Just watching Ray like this was making him feel sick. Lisa found her place back at his side, leaning her head on his shoulder again, and Cisco instinctively drew an arm over her and held her close. They watched silently as Snart pulled up a chair next to the bed and sat down on it. His fingers clasped together as he leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees, and all the while he never took his eyes off of Ray. There were about a million other questions that Cisco had for that. “He took the blow for Lenny,” Lisa suddenly spoke up after a few minutes of tense waiting, her voice barely above a whisper, “usually Ray stays in the safe house, offering us technical backup and help from there. But tonight we wanted to try something different.” Cisco listened intently, knowing that this was one of Lisa’s coping mechanisms. To talk about what had happened. “None of us saw the syringe. None of us even saw the bastard move. But Ray did. Somehow. Maybe he has a knack for seeing danger. Maybe it was because the target was Lenny. I don’t know,” she continued. Cisco began rubbing circles into her back, almost completely out of reflex. When he did realize what he was doing, he saw no point in stopping. There was another moment of silence, only punctuated by the irregular beeping of the heart monitor. Then, very quietly, Lisa spoke, “We killed him. All of us. Lenny, Mick, me. He never should have hurt Ray. He never should have tried to hurt Lenny.” Her voice was hard, without regret, and Cisco swallowed. As if sensing his uneasiness, Lisa looked up at him with a pointed look. “He hurt one of our own,” she said simply, as if that explained everything. And maybe it did. And in a way, Cisco understood. He also knew that there was nothing he could say that would change their minds. They fell back into silence again, and the uneasy wait for Caitlin’s return continued. After what felt like an eternity, Caitlin finally stormed into the room again and headed straight for Ray. “I've got the antidote. This will cancel out the original Vertigo in his system, but this may lead to nausea and a very slight chance of internal bleeding,” she explained as she readied the formula for injection. As she finished the last sentence she paused, looking up at Snart as a silent request for his approval. Snart’s eyes darted from the syringe in Caitlin’s hands to Ray on the bed, who only looked ever the worse for wear. Snart nodded. “Do it.” Caitlin stepped forward swiftly and instructed Snart to hold Ray’s arm still, and a few seconds later she stepped back with an empty syringe, and the whole room waited to see The next page
the result with bated breath. There was a beat of silence. Then Ray’s body seized as he screwed his eyes shut and let out a gut wrenching scream, and the insistent beeping of the heart monitor spiked. Cisco tightened his arm around Lisa as her grip on his hand became almost bone-crushing. Snart started forward instantly, only to be stopped by Caitlin with her hand on his arm. Snart whipped his head towards her with a snarl, demanding an answer, but Caitlin kept her eyes on Ray, and only offered him a quiet, “it's working. Let it work.” Eventually, after a second that seemed to stretch on forever, the scream trailed off into a huff of breath. The frantic beeps from the machines slowed down considerably, and Ray was left panting heavily. But his body visibly relaxed, and his hands fell limp at his sides as his breathing evened out. The beeps slowed to an almost sluggish rate. Then Ray opened his eyes by a tiny crack, and they found the person closest to him. “Len?” he said weakly. Cisco let out a breath that he hadn’t even realized he’d been holding, at the same time as Snart let out a sigh and moved forward to brush sweat drenched hair out of Ray’s face. Then his hand moved down to cup his cheek, and Ray leaned tiredly into the touch. “I’m here, Raymond.” Lisa relaxed and all but leaned her weight completely into Cisco, while Caitlin smiled and gently patted Ray on the chest. “Good to have you back, Ray,” she said. Ray lolled his head to the side to focus on her, and a small confused smile graced his own lips. “Caitlin?” Then his eyes moved further, to the other two occupants of the room. “Cisco?” “She saved your life, man,” Cisco couldn’t help but laugh, “You really know how to make an entrance. Back from the dead, no less.” Ray blinked owlishly at that, the confused smile still on his face. He looked like he was about to say something, but Snart quietly placed a hand on his forehead, causing the man to turn to look at him instead. “Rest, Boy Scout. We’ll do the explaining.” Ray’s smile grew a bit wider despite his apparent exhaustion, but nevertheless his closed his eyes. Seconds later he was fast asleep. There was a stretch of silence as they watched him sleep. Then Caitlin cleared her throat, drawing the attention of the other three, and smiled. Brightly. Too brightly, Cisco thought with a gulp. “Well, now that Ray has stabilized,” she said, “will all of you please kindly explain to me what the hell is going on?”
[To be continued . . .]
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Trapped words by Shara Lee photo from PEXELS
Look into the camera Hide your face Eyes see Mouth doesn’t Open Stand Correct Never Waver Always in Line Don’t Fall Out of Step Curls of Black Hair Must Fall Straight Kill the Bounce Sizzlin’ Comb Burns as it Hisses Banish the Wild Curse of Civility My mother taught me Scream Silently The next page
Soul Rippin Body Poppin Ain’t no stoppin Music’s Rockin Keep us Runnin Cause we know Grim Reapa’s comin Trailin behind Waste no time Extend the Show
Life of a
words by Shara Lee
Let us vibe Let us flow Interstitial Melody Birth and death Yes The dash of a sensuous party Feel that bass beat Don’t forget to breathe Slowly Build and Build Euphoric Release Toes on Edge Now Leap Crashin Into dark sea Of silence Lights Out The End A note transcends The song prevails Again and again Back to the Jamboree Sail People Sail Into the good night? Nah Into that Good Beat The next page
The First Letter (to
you & me)
words by Ivy Liu
Dig into your mind Read through it a hundred times Endless ideas become intricate branches As you press "the thinking button" Memories dash into darkness
Then you start it all over again One, two, three… Drilling every possibility inside your brain Am I on the right track? Am I making any mistakes? Yet there is no reply
The truth is, this was ﬁnished within 30 minutes during the Chinese class (please forgive me professor…) I didn’t think much about the topic, and I just jotted down the words occurring to me at the moment. I spent quite some time on the rhyming part because originally, I wanted this to be lyrics. However, I later decided to submit these “lyrics” to The Next Page magazine because this is a great platform to share student’s work (deﬁnitely not for the 300 dollars). I may not be sure what I’m going to do in the future, but there are three things I’m certain about: One, I’m not good at interpreting literature. Two, I really HATE interpreting them. Three, NOW I have to do mine. So…whatever you think it is, that's what it is. Last but not least, I really appreciate the great work of those dedicating their time and effort into this magazine! Thank you!
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words by Cindy Peng photo from Pixabay
Love was Trampled on the ground Love was Hung on the tree Love was Buried in the land Love wasâ€” Fulfilled when it was dead If this could be called eternity
Love is not abuse.
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Underneath Your Feet I like to see people When they play games Run and jump In the rain But they turn to hide under umbrellas For the rain becomes corrosive
words by Cindy Peng photo from Unsplash
I like to see people When they open windows Breathe deeply In the morning But they turn to hide under roofs For the air becomes poisonous I like to see people When they stretch a little Look up at me In the sun But they turn to hide under awnings For the sun becomes scorching
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beneath our care.
words by Cindy Peng
This is not duty This is responsibility When you ask For the limited edition And cannot get one Rage is all you feel This is not duty This is responsibility When you scream The rudeness And I reply gently Disdain is all I receive This is not duty This is responsibility When you argue Dissatisfaction about the product And I can only apologize “Call your boss!” Is what you always say This is not duty This is responsibility “Customer foremost” only
works when customers show
their respect to those who work in the service industry. The T he next next ne t pag page age e
words by Cindy Peng photo from Pixabay
In the pretty glass slipper Her little feet perfectly fit The prince falls in love with her Kisses her hands a bit
In the pretty glass slipper Bleed my pretty little toes This is not a kind of error For I am not Cinderella ever
Associating with someone is
who does not suit you just
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words by Cindy Peng
You stood still Silently Left me alone On the long long Lonely street
She crouched down Gently Put it on me The long long Old blanket
I took one step Closer to you Touched it gently The long long Black scarf
I looked up Sorrowfully It brushed my feet The long long Black hair
You turned back Gave me a Cold shoulder Threw it on the ground The long long Dirty string
She hugged me Reached me Tenderly, so kind Cleaned my soiled fur With the long long Pretty arms
Sand stained You left Forever But I never left Here
A collar on my neck She never left Still I never left Either
than you can imagine.
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(Untitled) words by James Tseng
Let me sail by the curve of the sky—
This poem was written when I was still in high school. I attended high school in Yun-lin( 雲林 ). The County, which is in central Taiwan, was not urbanized. I had a very clear view of all the surroundings, so one of my favorite things to do was to look far into the horizon. So on that particular day, I went upstairs to the 3rd ﬂoor of school building. The sky was fair. I gazed at the azure above, and drew my sight towards the far horizon. The heavens was a semisphere that cupped me in its womb. I wondered if I could travel beneath the sky, I would end up landing at Queens, Long Island. Hopefully I would recognize it by the contour of its horizon.
Till I reach that intimate line. It’s been long since my last good-bye—
You must have changed without a sign. (For who can catch the swiftness of a decade?)
words by James Tseng
O, half a score between us— Waiting for me to travel.
Dear friend, ‘tis time to say farewell But don’t let tears in our eyes well, For you and I shall meet in a while. You must remember the sacred cause So in times of hardship do not pause, And ripe fruits of happiness will be in your palms. So fear not and clear your way
This poem was dedicated to a senior from high school. We have a friendship which is bonded together by English. We ﬁrst met on the train on our trip to the national spelling bee. And later on we started to read English speeches and proses together. Every evening before the night study session, we would squeeze out some time to meet at a lounge and read English together for about twenty minutes or so. That period of co-reading time was what I looked forth the most every day despite my daily routine and tight schedule; for me it was like an oasis in the desert. The next page
Success will come right away, And melancholy will not stay.
The Forgotten Land words by James Tseng
Memories of the past, How long will they last? There are elastic bands, Attached to childhood land. Grab one end and you can fly, But don’t let go or you will cry, For you can hardly find, Memories left behind. Cherish them in your chest, And go on to your quest. After writing this poem I actually annotated it myself, and it goes on like this: Remember your childhood as you would like to be remembered. In those years of life we were nurtured and nourished. Every moment of childhood memory is irreplaceable. Any word from teachers or parents is crucial to us. Even the playgrounds which seem dead and dumb have recollections of our joyful times. Forgotten toys can tell you your tale. Don’t forget to return to your childhood land once in a while! I had just ﬁnished reading the authentic text of Chief Seattle’s treaty oration in 1854; when I wrote this poem, so you can see there are traces of sentimentalism in the poem. I was deeply touched by his oration. I think that kind of sentimentalism perfectly blended with my status when waves of nostalgia were hitting me. Reading the Chief’s oration and writing down this poem helped me relieve the pang of nostalgia. The next page
words by Phoebe Hemsley photo from Wikipedia This poem started in my head with the ﬁrst four words and grew into a poem inspired by John Millais’ painting “Ophelia”, the maiden from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It was fun to write but sad to think about.
Softly spoken broken words. Laid down like a virgin with her hair filled with petals streaming (like tears) softly her breath comes (like a whisper they cannot hear) broken words softly spoken She floats by.
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words by Phoebe Hemsley
“Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, Lest your heart’s blood should run cold.” Darling, darling, trust me dear My words are true and my heart is clear
I had “English Fairy Tales” from when I was very young, and it fascinated me from cover to cover. “Mr. Fox” is possibly the goriest story in the collection. I especially admired how brave Lady Mary is, and the “Be bold, be bold” lines are a favourite of mine. Here I imagined both an avid suitor and an eerie seducer. I am not sure if he is lying to his lover or to himself.
(Only for you I’ve waited years) take my hand and hold me close you are the one I love the most take this ring if you'll be so kind Soon you shall leave your old life behind Unburdened by the weight of the past, I pray this one love be my last But do not wander; any more than this Is far much more than I can promise My doors are closed; you must not see or I shall shut thy eyes for thee
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Well I never
words by Phoebe Hemsley
touched you lightly, curled your hair around my fingers. I didn’t flinch when our eyes met, or leave a message in your desk Nor did I cry over you and your hesitation wake up to your fast-fading silhouette share midnight walks with you down a leaf-littered path, or take notes with your pen. But you spoke so gently. Like a whisper. I could not hear— Yet in the end, you took your name gave me your heart (or part of it) And we parted ways.
This poem was inspired by my own experience. Two of my friends were close but never got together. I think a lot of it was due to hesitation. They did nearly all of the things mentioned in the poem; I was the one who didn’t. Though some people may mourn this as a lost opportunity, I think there’s no way of telling what might have happened. Everything just turned into experience, which is why I started this poem with “well I never” instead of “what if”. Fun fact: I actually gave this person a new name. Their old one was named after a dessert, which was funny for the ﬁrst few years I knew them but not when we were going to graduate and ﬂy off in to the wide world. Their new name is that of their favourite author’s, which is probably the best name to have. The next page
At any rate
words by Phoebe Hemsley
This poem came from a lot of emotions. Striving to be better like someone you admire, trying to bridge gaps between yourself and others, observing passion for something you love waxing and waning; confusing stuff like that.
Why does my heart always beat so slow lagging tempo, losing time when it seems like Iâ€™m always chasing your shadow melting into the sunset, dripping from the skyline
Why does the bell chime so soon it rings not for me but for you A pair of lovers sharing a past and a future Half true of me, perhaps, but never for you
Why does the mist fade so fast When I was getting used to the haze When I thought all was gone but it flared up again And I stumble and stutter my words in a daze
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This came from the feeling that I have no idea what I want to do in the future (like, “realistically”.) Many people I know have admirable goals, and things they strive for; none of them seem to be the one for me. I am sure I am not alone in this sentiment, but it is quite a lonely feeling; you are the only one who knows what you want, after all. Things got more hopeful at the end of the poem. You are free to discover the world regardless of goals.
words by Phoebe Hemsley photo from Max Pixel
Sometimes it feels like I’m left behind searching for pieces on my own Other times it feels like I’m miles ahead Looking for something that I’d never lost, hide-and-seek with something never found. Everyone checks which way is North To see the stars, to hold them in their palms But I only close my eyes and see that the stars mean less than nothing to me What I reach for, when there seems to be nothing nothing but the roaring quietness nothing but a sky without a cloud an ocean without a tide Perhaps it’s for the best then That I cannot see what they can see That I must pin down the stars by myself That I have a blank dream for me to keep
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The Next Page is a yearly magazine, written, edited and produced by students of the Department of English Language and Literatures at Fu Jen...
Published on Jun 15, 2017
The Next Page is a yearly magazine, written, edited and produced by students of the Department of English Language and Literatures at Fu Jen...