A Summer like Taiwan's

Japanese style steamed custard
as my post-wisdom teeth surgery food

I almost forgot I have a blog here. I have been through quite a lot this past year and felt so blessed to have a full-time job as a first-grade teacher. It was a great challenge for me and I have learned so much that it's been nothing like what I have had in the academia. Don't get me wrong; I loved the academia, which boosted my intelligence so much that I would be forever indebted to.

The weather in Provo has been acting weirdly since we almost have two or three stormy nights per week. This phenomenon reminds me of the summers in Ohio, or even those in Taiwan. Good for bike rides though. I got to enjoy it while it lasts!

I might share some pictures from my garden if anyone is interested...I wonder if I still have some visitors here. Is ANYONE here? Just curious^^


summer vacation

Back from Taiwan and two different kinds of work training, I'm finally feeling that I'm on a vacation. Although I still have some private students on hand, life pace is slowing down to the extent that I can appreciate my vacation more. I can literally stop by a lavender bush and smell it or feel the Utah dry, cool breeze brushing on my face.

The trip to Taiwan was good yet not with some regrets. There are always some people I don't get to meet and there are always things I don't get to do. During the roughly 2-week stay in Taiwan, relentless rain was our constant companion, who tracked us down almost everywhere. Not the ideal situation, I know. We ate out as often as possible to mark off the items on my restaurant list. I guess we were always in a hurry to somewhere. I thought often on my way to catch up something (a train, metro, bus, or an appointment), "there's just not enough time..."

So here I am, back to Utah and occasionally wonder about what I could have done in Taiwan a couple of weeks ago. (I know, this is life, or it's just me.) Gotta cook more at home before going back to teach.



I wonder who's still viewing my blog on a regular basis because I'M NOT! Ahhh, a sad truth. So, just like what Beautyegg has commented, I am not who I was anymore; as least when it comes to vocational choices. I've accepted an offer from a local elementary school and have become a first-grade teacher at a Chinese immersion program. Now I'm teaching part-time, having one class (25 students), and getting used to be around with so many kids for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. Since I am not a certified teacher yet, I'm going through Alternative Route for Licensure (ARL) Program to get my license. I am grateful for this opportunity though. Meanwhile, I'm finishing my work at Timpanogos as a choir and after-school teacher. Although I'll still be a part-time worker at the new school (and be on a hourly payroll for I don't know how long), the hourly wage is much more handsome than before. Yay for me.

So the Chinese immersion program I'm teaching is a 50(Chinese)-50(English) immersion. Kids go to the English classroom in the mornings and come to my classroom in the afternoons for a definitely-not-so-relaxing afternoon learning time. Why is that? I need to teach them Math in Chinese and I sympathize with them when they just don't get it at all. I used to try to figure out Algebra 1010 by reading textbook in English and almost earned myself a migraine. I'm trying hard to be a better teacher so that I can help them to learn and absorb knowledge better and faster. My prep. time now on average is 2 hours per day since I need to make so many visual aids and come up with "songs" to teach them new vocab. in a musical context. For example, I took the tune When we get together /當我們同在一起, and filled in the new vocab. I would like them to learn. The final product looks like something like this...

(Also helped by my colleague, Nancy)
Dad wears black pants,
black pants, black pants,
Dad wears black pants,
and white top/shirt.
He looks so handsome,
He looks so handsome,
Dad wears black pants,
and white top/shirt.

The logic behind is that they have learned the vocab. about family members and they are learning colors and clothing items. Therefore, I wove all of these elements into this tune. Fun practice and children love it!

Anyway, benefited from this new job, I am GOING BACK TO TAIWAN this summer again! I only will stay for 17 days and then need to rush back for a training. To make this trip efficient, I'm planning out a "gourmet" map - must-visit restaurants and eateries in Taiwan. Please provide me some info about it if you could, thanks!!!!

p.s. Dear beautyegg, I can't read your blog anymore! Please invite me to it, thanks!


New attempt-- babysitting eli

So besides teaching choir, after-school clubs, and tutoring, I start babysitting eli. He's a 2-year-old boy of a Mom in my ward and I've gotten acquainted with her through working in the clubs together. I guess 2009-2010 is my young-children-experience year since I've been working with young children so closely.

I've never been a morning person yet I need to get up early (around 7:40 am; I know it's definitely not early enough for some people but it's surely my bottom line now) for eli. I go to his house around 8: 20 to take him from his mother's arms and watch him scream for being separated from her. A bit depressing this part, I know. Then we would watch go diego go, Ruby and Max, and umizoomi together. Yeah, how on earth I got to know these kid's shows? I feel as if I am young again-_- I'm also learning kids language via these shows; definitely a new, neat experience for me though.

I've been thinking that this must be God's way to put me through in order to learn how to deal with my own children in the future. Patience is true virtue and I've never really learned it. Maybe I'll be able to after all of these and be content with where I am at in my life.


The first post in 2010!

So things haven't changed that much. I'm still teaching choir and some other subjects at the elementary school a couple of blocks away from my house. A 5th-grade teach and I came up with a "mean" idea to put the rowdy kids there under the control--place a camera recorder there and firm the entire class! It's been working out so far yet I don't know how long it would last. Well.

This morning, when I was sleeping in and reluctant to get off bed, I suddenly had an epiphany. I'm turning 30 this year and have no children yet. "What should I do? Can I still have children when I'm 40? I'm applying for another job I'm interested in and thank goodness that it would be a full-time position. If I'm given a chance to take the job, how can I get ready to have a baby?" Such kind of inner babbling just echoed in my mind. Urrrr. One disadvantage about getting married late.

The new year has started but I'm not quite ready for it yet. I'm following the flow and hope things would go much better in the following months:) (And I'll try to visit here and contribute more often)


Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!!!

I know, I know, I have been slacking on blogging again. I can't even believe I only wrote one entry in September. So let me do a quick recap about what had happened in September...
2. I finally, sort of, found a job and I did it two days before my birthday. I viewed it as an answered prayer:) It's just a part-time, which allows me to teach in after-school programs (as a para professional) for about 11 hours per week. The best part is that the elementary school is two blocks away. Yes, I can just walk over there 5 minutes before the class starts. (Unfortunately, I do need to walk over about one hour earlier to prepare for classes, ha!!) I am teaching 5th & 6th grade choir, 3rd grade reading,  2nd grade mind & motor skills, and 1st grade arts & crafts. I need to say it's a bit intimidating....I am almost covering the entire years!! I've never thought I would work at an elementary school...LOL. I am also accepted by an agent as a translator yet no job comes in yet. My wish is to save up some more money so I can have a baby before I turn 30! 
So tomorrow (or today, if you're in Chinese time) is the mid-autumn festival. I hate paying 30 bucks for not-so-fresh, high-in-preservatives moon cakes so I decided to make on my own. I learned how to make it from Sue and worked on it with my friend, Cathy, together!
                                             Hard-working Girls!
                                             Just out of the oven!
                                              A close-up shot!

Since the recipe was in grams, we needed to transfer every measurements to cups (I don't have a gram scale yet). We were worried that we would have messed up the cakes but I think we did ok. Traditionally, this kind of moon cakes would have salty duck yolks inside; we omitted it for the sake of scare resource and health concerns. These babies have refined red bean paste inside. They're very very fattening though. 


Yu-ting's Cha Shiu Pork

                                             This was the main course of our dinner tonight, 
                                             Chinese Cha Shiu pork! I used my own recipe,
                                             which stemmed from a variety of others'. The
                                             recipe (marinate) is as follows:
                                             Chinese seafood sauce (or cha shiu sauce)
                                             Soy sauce
                                             Freshly-squeezed orange juice
                                             Chinese five-spices powder 
                                             lightly-smashed garlic
                                             some salt & pepper
                                             red pepper flakes
                                             *Sorry! I don't use measurement that much...
                                              Chinese seafood sauce and honey's ratio is about
                                               1 to 1. Soy sauce and orange juice's ratio is about
                                              1 to 1 too, but each of them respectively is about 
                                              1/3 of honey.
                                              A bit of Chinese five-spices powder goes a long
                                              way; in this case, 1 teaspoon should be plenty.
                                              *Marinate your pork in the fridge for at least 6 
                                              hours up to one or two nights.
                                              *Preheat the oven to 400 F and roast for 30 min.
                                              first and then brush the marinate (fresh one, not
                                              from the marinate bag) on the meat in every 10
                                              min. for about 4 times. Make sure you rotate sides.
                                              *Keep some water in the roasting pan while in the 
                                              oven for easy clean-up afterwards.

                                             Beautiful glaze! It was very tender and juicy!

                                             I also wrapped the pork, some radish, romaine 
                                             lettuce, and carrot with rice paper. Serve with
                                             simple Vietnamese dipping sauce (fish sauce,
                                             minced garlic, red pepper flakes, lime juice, 
                                             sugar, and water). Enjoy!