Month: August 2020

喧囂之外的紐約

提到「紐約」您腦海閃過的意象是什麼?自由女神、時代廣場、百老匯、華爾街、球賽、漢堡、大蘋果、不夜城…?我的腦海則是浮現「娛樂與文化、表演藝術產業發展重鎮」。對於從事藝術行政工作的我而言,紐約極具指標性,滿心期待這趟交流之旅,一睹那炫麗風采。在本文中,首先分享我在法拉盛文藝中心(Flushing Town Hall[1])學習與觀察到多元文化差異對於行銷宣傳和經費來源管道的影響,之後說明新型冠狀病毒(COVID-19)的襲擊,如何動盪紐約表演藝術產業。

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Teaching and Cultural Experiences in Taiwan: A Teacher’s Reflection

My Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching grant led me to Taiwan where I spent four months from January 6 to May 3, 2019 visiting schools, observing classrooms, working with teachers, participating in professional development, teaching a seminar, and learning about the cultures and traditions of the Taiwanese people. These activities were beneficial to my work as an elementary school teacher in a Chinese dual language immersion (DLI) program in Utah (USA). I have gained a better understanding of the teaching and learning practices of the Taiwanese teachers and students, enhanced my teaching and leadership skills, and increased my appreciation for Taiwanese culture and traditions that I can share with my students who are learning Chinese as a second language. School Visits, Classroom Observations and Working with Teachers While in Taiwan, I was able to visit an elementary school in Kaohsiung, one in Taipei and another in Taichung. Here I highlighted some of the best practices I have observed in schools in Taiwan, and what I can do to implement them in my own classroom.   Taiwan Schools (in general) How I Can Implement in My Classroom Breaks Each class period is 40 minutes, followed by a 10-minute break. After two

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Tour De Taiwan

If I had a dollar for every perturbed passenger who has shot me a sideways glance as I stared past them from my middle seat out an airplane window, I’m sure I would be able to afford first class and stop making people uncomfortable.  It was raining on the September day in 2017 when I landed at Taoyuan International Airport to begin my Fulbright grant period in Taiwan. When the Boeing 747 dipped below the clouds for a brief moment before touching down, I leaned across the lap of the passenger next to me to peer out the window, only to catch a glimpse of the lush landscape 16th century Portuguese explorers dubbed Ilha Formosa (beautiful island). As an avid enthusiast of 30,000-foot views, I alighted that day unfulfilled.  In the months that followed, I began to explore Taiwan on the ground. I took many day excursions to northern beaches, train rides to cities near Taipei, and even a multi-day hiking trip to Taroko National Park on the east coast. Fresh off a six-month AmeriCorps service term in Arizona spent working on public lands and living out of a pop up tent in the Sonoran Desert, I was conditioned to

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Reflections On Finding Community and Confidence in Graduate School

When I started my master’s degree program in Asia Pacific Studies at National Chengchi University (NCCU) in fall 2017, I considered myself well-read on the topics I wanted to research; I had done my undergraduate capstone projects on Taiwanese democracy and cross-Taiwan Strait relations, and I had practical knowledge of the cultures and societies of the Asia Pacific. However, I spent the majority of my first year in graduate school struggling to find a topic to tackle for my Master’s thesis. Did I have anything important to say about the state of China–Taiwan relations? Would my future career hinge upon the project I decided to pursue? Would the topic I choose paint me into a corner of academic expertise? Did I even know how to start writing a thesis? These were the worries of a grad student hurtling toward an uncertain future after graduation.  By the time summer vacation started halfway through my master’s program, I found that the experiences I had through Fulbright Taiwan sparked my interest in the role of students in international exchanges. In the States, I had work experience mentoring international students, and I discovered that my research background in China-Taiwan relations could form the background

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Hyphenation: Maneuvering Hybrid Cultural Identities

 “中白鷺的腳腳和嘴巴是黃的. 大白鷺有黑色腳腳, 黃色的嘴巴.” Intermediate egrets’ feet and mouths are yellow. Large egrets have black feet, yellow mouths. 白熊 patiently explained the differences between the large and intermediate egret to me for the umpteenth time. 白熊, which translates directly to polar bear, earned this nickname due to his height and paleness. To this day, I am still not sure what his actual name is. He hurriedly pointed out the window as the van drove past an egret wading in rice paddies. “你看.中白鷺.”  Look. Intermediate egret.  “ 那小白鷺呢?” I asked, “我已經忘了.”  How about small egrets?… I already forgot. “黑嘴巴,黑腳.”  Black mouth, black feet.  I tried to commit this information to memory, but after a minute I turned my head and gave him a blank stare.  “算了, 我每一次看到一隻鷺就問你吧.” Whatever, I’ll just ask you every time we see an egret. He chortled in response. “喂, 你別像這樣啦! 你努力一點吧."The van lurched to a stop, throwing me and 白熊 against our safety belts. We eyed each other before looking outside. “喔,我們快到了.” Hey don’t be like that! Put some effort into it… Oh, we’re almost there. The van slowly turned and pulled up the dirt path to the dairy farm we were getting blood samples from, rocking side

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The Journey To Kucapungane

When I submitted my research proposal during the Fulbright application process, I understood that the architectural sites of the Taiwanese indigenous Rukai and Tao people would be challenging to access. True enough, to reach the Tao site on Lanyu Island, I had to board a small airplane with limited seats. There was also the option to take what was described to me as a turbulent, sea sickness inducing ferry. I opted for the small airplane. But the Rukai site is a six to eight-hour hike up Beidawu Mountain (北大武山) in a mountainous region in Pingtung County, making the trip to Lanyu Island seem simple in comparison.  I am not a recreational hiker, and on Monday, April 25, I came to understand the magnitude of the journey to Kucapungane, one of Taiwan’s major Rukai settlements. Beidawu mountain is located in Southeast Taiwan and stands at an elevation of 3092 m (10,144 ft). A subgroup of the Rukai community settled in this area in the early 1600’s and through a remarkable integration of architecture within nature built housing into the cascading tiers layered in the mountain. Since Rukai members decided to relocate the settlement in 1974 to have greater access to modern

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China’s Military Political Commissar System under PLA Modernization/ Professionalization

Introduction  This paper will attempt to answer the following research question, “will China’s military modernization and professionalization change the institution of political commissars in the People’s Liberation Army?” The incoming development of technology, the revolution in military affairs, and the changing composition of PLA personnel will all contribute in accelerating the transition away from a symbiotic party-army relationship to increasing institutional autonomy. The concept of professionalization supports Huntington’s theory of civil-military theory of objective civilian control. Such support, in turn, has major consequences for the political commissar system. Second, the need for a non-commissioned officer (NCO) support system places political commissars in the prime position to begin shifting their roles and responsibilities away from ideological purposes.The goal is to utilize this research to better understand how China has changed their military organization and to conceive a more complete representation of China’s PLA. What are Political Commissars? Since the early 20th century, the PLA leadership structure has incorporated political officers at every level of their chain of command. Unlike the U.S. military which attempts to separate political actors from their tactical and military decisions (except at the highest level of leadership), the PLA is a Party-army: its strategies, regulations, and traditions

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Promoting Cooperation as an Outsider: Taiwan’s Engagement with the World

Taiwan is a nation without a country. This small island the size of Maryland is endowed with few natural resources, was a colony of Imperial Japan until the end of World War II, and for 38 years after the Chinese Revolution endured the longest period of martial law anywhere in the world. Yet despite these inhibitions, Taiwan’s economy grew by leaps and bounds during the final decades of the 20th century. This rapid development is largely attributable to an opportunistic and enterprising population. During this time, the Taiwanese were quick to move into emerging industries (e.g. production of bicycles, toys, and consumer electronics) and effective at ramping up output to meet new global demand.  Today Taiwan is an advanced economy with a high standard of living and relatively equitable wealth distribution. Its self-ruling government is a stable democracy, and the body politic partakes in open and lively national discourse. The level of political and economic cohesion present in this society is a sufficient condition to establish a sovereign state. Yet it continues to be deprived of this status due to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) vehement opposition to a fully independent Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan. Beijing remains

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Transforming Mathematics Education in the U.S. through Eastern Pedagogy and Policy

“Every so often someone asks me: ‘What’s your favorite country, other than your own?’ I’ve always had the same answer: Taiwan. ‘Taiwan? Why Taiwan?’ people ask. Very simple: Because Taiwan is a barren rock in a typhoon-laden sea with no natural resources to live off of—it even has to import sand and gravel from China for construction—yet it has the fourth-largest financial reserves in the world. Because rather than digging in the ground and mining whatever comes up, Taiwan has mined its 23 million people, their talent, energy and intelligence—men and women. I always tell my friends in Taiwan: You’re the luckiest people in the world. How did you get so lucky? You have no oil, no iron ore, no forests, no diamonds, no gold, just a few small deposits of coal and natural gas—and because of that you developed the habits and culture of honing your people’s skills, which turns out to be the most valuable and only truly renewable resource in the world today… Sure, it’s great to have oil, gas and diamonds; they can buy jobs. But they’ll weaken your society in the long run unless they’re used to build schools and a culture of lifelong learning.” -Thomas Friedman, The New York Times,

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Researching the Cross-Strait Implications of Taiwan’s Democratization

As a master’s student at National Chengchi University, I took a class on cross-strait relations between China and Taiwan. For my final essay, I became interested in the question, how has Taiwan’s democratization, and China’s lack thereof, affected cross-strait relations? My own experiences of China and Taiwan galvanized my curiosity. Before coming to Taiwan with the Fulbright Program, I spent two years in mainland China teaching English, one year at a middle school in Hunan province, and one year at a university in Henan province. In both settings, nationalism was a daily routine. In middle school, when the national anthem played on loudspeakers twice a day, all students stopped in their tracks and remained still to listen. Only after it ended would they continue their walk to the canteen. At the university, signs extolled the accomplishments of China since the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949, and even urged students to follow the example of Lei Feng, a young People’s Liberation Army hero of the Maoist era known for humility, kindness to fellow comrades, and devotion to the Communist Party. During my two years in China, I traveled widely and visited many history museums. They all seemed to

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Research
& Reflections