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Archive for August, 2011

The moon rising beside Taipei 101.

Today was a joyous revelation and a crushing realization of limitations.  In class yesterday, our teacher introduced the topic of businesses taking midday rests along with some pros and cons.  Today, we had the debate (with basically no preparation).

I took the pro side because I truly agree and I thought I had the proper language to make my case.  My teammate was the weakest student in class, and although he’s really been improving in this level, I knew I would be doing most of the talking.  Zhang asked me to begin and the words just flowed!  I was thrilled.  When my turn came again, however, I fumbled everything and that’s where the crushing realization came in.  Immersion is not enough, and Chinese is going to be an eternal struggle.  It will not be a lovely, comfortable language like Spanish, but a secretive, twisty bitch that requires never-ending attention and devotion.  That’s my fear, anyway.

The debate continued, and I just reveled in exercising my argumentative muscles and catching my slips too late and seeing my opponents latch on and make the points I had accidentally yielded.  Clearly, I need a lot more exercise, but I had forgotten how fun a good debate can be.  To be sure, it helped that it wasn’t a terribly controversial point, but what else are we going to talk about at our level?  The coming elections and the merits of each party’s positions?  Actually, I bet we could!

Just very, very slowly.

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Scale

Sometimes I think about the size of Taiwan and it blows my mind.  This kind of weather forecast would never happen at home!

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Intolerance

It’s finally happened: I’ve run into the problem of intolerance here in Taiwan.  Yesterday was my first day volunteering at the central library, and that’s when it took place.

You guys, I am an uptight and judgmental bitch, it seems.

I’ve had some experience working in libraries.  I volunteered a bit at my old library in the US and I worked off debt in my high school’s library and I worked for three years in college at the science and engineering library.  I know my way around bookstacks, and I know how to shelve.  The Taipei Municipal Library’s children’s English library is ridiculous and I can’t abide it.

On the bright side, being in the children's library means I never have to stand on a stool...

They just put things on their shelf, but not in any particular order.  It works for really small sections, but some categories take more than one shelf, and that’s when it goes all to hell.  I assume it was to make everything quicker, but it absolutely increases search time, and for me at least, wildly lengthens my shelving time.  This is a very dorky problem and I don’t expect people to understand, but I wanted to vent so I don’t say something out of place to the sweet and neverendingly giggly librarian.

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