Typhoon Blues

on Sunday, September 14, 2008

The weekend has come and gone. That’s one thing that really sucks about weekends… They end.
This weekend was particularly a bummer because a typhoon hit and we ended up spending most of it indoors. It was extremely windy and rainy for the most part, more so than I’ve ever seen before, but still not a much as I would’ve expected to see from a storm that has been dubbed a typhoon. I had plans to roam around Kaohsiung this weekend, but all of that was kind of shot down, so that sucked.
It was kind of a historic weekend though. The Kaohsiung Stake Presidency was reorganized. After 10 years of service, Steve Yang (the man I live with) was released as 1st counselor and sustained as stake president. Here’s to another 10 years! It was kind of brutally ironic, because all last week he was telling me how excited he was that he had his last stake presidency meeting and that it’s “church policy” that you don’t serve over 10 years in a stake presidency. Then, on Saturday, he came to my room with a scowl on his face and said, “I got a phone call.” I asked him what they said, and he told me the area presidency just said to meet them at the stake center in 30 minutes and that was it. As he was putting his tie on and walking out the door he started humming, “I’ll go where you want me to go.”
At the general session of stake conference, the Kaohsiung Stake Youth Choir performed. A lot of the kids are in my seminary class and they did very well, I’m so proud of those kids. They work so hard at everything they do.
Kids here work like crazy at school, because there are so many people and so few colleges and universities, it’s extremely competitive. Kids who plan on persuing high education usually go to school from about 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. They go from 8:00 to 4:30 of regular school and then 5:00 to 9:00 of what is called “cram school.” Cram school is usually taught in English, because learning English is very stressed in schools here, even though not many speak it. Nowadays, in order to get into a good school here you must speak it pretty well, because your interviews to get into the university are all done in English. They have no real social activities at school to speak of at high schools. No dances, no big parties, or anything like that. The closest thing that you could call a school party would be the Opening Ceremonies and that’s pretty much just an hour long parade. I admire these kids’ determination to get a good education, it’s commendable.


sinead said...

AJ, maybe you can wear your helmet while walking around during typhoon season! We never get any news about Taiwan here unless scores of people are buried in rubble somewhere. It never even got reported on the Weather Channel. Please tell Steve I am happy for him, even if it is sort of a mixed blessing. Tell him when all those people raise their hands to sustain him, what they really mean is "Yessss! Anybody but me!" ;)