Sunday, October 24, 2010

Foster Dogs-guanxi Magazine Article Autumn 2010

Foster Dogs – Breanna Alexander

A black puppy is roaming your neighborhood. He is a Formosan, a local breed, thrown out onto the streets because he is no longer wanted. He is so malnourished that you can count his ribs. There is no water for him to drink and you often see your neighbors swat him away with a broom. You want to scoop him in your arms and nurse him back to health but one question holds you back: “Am I prepared to commit to the care of this puppy?”

This is a story my friends and fellow volunteers hear and experience all too often. With so many street/shelter animals in Taiwan, animal welfare groups such as Taichung PAWS and TUAPA are constantly struggling to find homes for these furry outcasts. Eventually, we locate permanent homes in Taiwan or abroad, but what happens before we find their “Forever families”?

I have interviewed a number of people – founders of animal groups like Taichung PAWS, and one woman in Canada who saves dogs from being tortured and eaten in South Korea. I have also interviewed people who have been foster parents here in Taiwan.

Let me start by answering the simplest question: What is a foster family?

A foster family is a caring temporary home for the animal until she finds her forever family. They provide the basic needs – shelter, food, water, affection and exercise – to prepare that pet for her future family. Taking an animal off the streets or out of the shelter is definitely not as easy as it sounds as these animals need to be properly trained and socialized.

What is expected from a foster family?

The main things are a clean home with plenty of water and food; that the animal is being trained properly – learning to adjust inside the house/apartment; exercise, commitment and compassion. Some of these animals are very troubled or sick and need extra care and/or discipline. These pets also need to learn to socialize with not only other animals but with people.

What do I, as a foster parent, need to pay for?

Each group is different. Some cover only the medical costs while the foster family covers the food and other expenses. Others may cover all the costs, while some lack funds to cover any. If you are interested in fostering then you need to ask the welfare group about their policies. Fostering is a commitment and sometimes that means a little bit of money.

Are there downsides to fostering?

As with everything in life, there are ups and downs – in this case the issue of letting go. People become attached and face the decision of adopting the pet as one of their own or giving up the animal. Also, some pets may be troubled and need extra care or discipline and this can mean more time and money.

Do foster families need to sign any paperwork?

Animal welfare groups will ask foster families to sign contracts stating the policies of the group and the needs of the pet. They also screen potential families to ensure the safety of the pet. There have been many cases where the pets were given to negligent and/or abusive families and had to be taken away only to be re-homed. This is traumatic for everyone, especially the pet, and these situations must be avoided. These contracts and screenings ensure a safe, clean and loving environment for the pet.

How do I become a foster parent?

There are many animal welfare groups in Taiwan – Taichung PAWS and TUAPA are a couple in Taichung. TUAPA has an adoption event at the park on Gong Yi Road every Sunday. You can also go to or email
If you decide that you want to foster, please ask yourself these questions before making the decision: Do you have the time? Can you afford it? Are you able to let go when it comes time for the pet to join their forever family? Are you able to keep a clean and loving environment? If the pet gets sick or hurt are you able to do what it takes to heal it?

Being a foster parent is a challenge and is not as easy as it sounds, but it is one of the most rewarding lessons in life. You are helping a sentient creature find love and happiness, and everyone deserves that chance!

I would like to extend special thanks to Douglas Jarvie and Caroline Tugwell (founders of Taichung PAWS), Falyn Jarvis, Victoria Tompkins and Jacqueline van de Leygraaf for their input.

這是一個故事,是我的朋友、同學和志工常聽到及經歷過的事。隨著流浪狗在台灣的數量增加,動物福利團體諸如台中巿動物福利促進協會及台中巿世界聯合保護動 物協會,不斷地為這些毛茸茸的棄兒努力找到新家。終究,我們為牠們在台灣或海外找到了永久的家。但在牠們進到“永遠的家庭”以前,沒人會知道這期間會發生 什麼事?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"I Want to Quit"-The Story of a Stray/Shelter/Abandoned Animal Rescuer

I just read this and HAD to share it with everyone. For those of us who volunteer to help rescue stray and shelter animals...

"Some are familiar with the writing, and the rescue work, of Joan Fremo, founder of the PyrAngel Rescue Network. Joan died about eight years ago. The world lost a fine writer and a dedicated rescuer. This is one of her pieces.

Author: Joan C. Fremo
Published on: May 16, 2001
I want to quit!
My health is bad. There are days I feel so terrible that I can barely move. My phone bills are outrageous, and I could have replaced my van with the funds I have spent these last 3 years---on animals that were not my own.

I want to quit!
I spend hours and hours emailing about dogs. There may be 500 messages when I start---and at 4 AM, when I finally shut down the computer, there are still 500 emails to be read.

I want to quit!
Gosh, I haven't the time left to email my friends. I can't remember the last book I read, and I gave up my subscription to my local newspaper--- I used to enjoy reading it, cover to cover, but now it often ends up in the bottom of the squirrel's cage---unread.

I want to quit!
I've spent days emailing what seems like everyone---trying to find a foster home, help for a dog languishing in a shelter---but his time has run out, and the shelter has had to euthanize to make room for the next sad soul.

I want to quit!
I swear, I walk away from my computer to stretch my legs---let the dogs out---and come back to find another dog in desperate need. There are times I really dread checking my email. How will I find the funds, the help, to save yet another dog?

I want to quit!
I save one dog, and two more take its place. Now an owner who doesn't want his dog---it won't stay in his unfenced yard. An intact male wanders... This bitch got pregnant by a stray... This 3-month-old pup killed baby chicks... The dog got too big... This person's moving and needs to give up his pet. I ask you, friends---what town, what city, what state doesn't allow you to own a pet?

I want to quit!
I just received another picture, another sad soul with tormented eyes that peer out of a malnourished body. I hear whimpering in my sleep, have nightmares for days...

I want to quit!
Many of the "Breed People" don't seem to want to hear about these dogs. Breeders either don't realize, or just don't care, how many dogs of their breed are dying in shelters.

I want to quit!
I just got off the phone. "Are you Pyr Rescue? We want to adopt a male to breed to our female." How many times do I have to explain? I have tried to explain about genetics, about health and pedigrees. I explain that rescue NEUTERS! I usually end up sobbing, as I explain about the vast numbers of animals dying in shelters across the country, as I describe the condition many of these animals are found in. I wonder if they really heard me...

I want to quit!
It is not like I don't have enough rescues of my own to worry about---but others have placed dogs improperly and aren't there to advise the new owners.

I want to quit!
There ARE some unscrupulous rescues out there---hoarders, collectors, and folks who will short change the care of the animals to make a dollar. They save them all, regardless of temperament, putting fellow rescuer's and adopters at risk but not being truthful.

I want to quit!
I have trusted the wrong people--- had faith and heart broken...

I want to quit!
AND THEN... My dog, Magnus, lays his head in my lap, he comforts me with his gentle presence---and the thought of his cousins suffering stirs my heart.

I want to quit!
AND THEN... One of those 500 emails is from an adopter. They are thanking me for the most wonderful dog on earth---they cannot imagine life without their friend---their life is changed, and they are so grateful.

I want to quit!
AND THEN... One of my adopted Rescues has visited a nursing home. A patient that has spent the last few years unable to communicate, not connecting-- -Lifts his hand to pat the huge head in his lap, softly speaks his first words in ages--- to this gentle fur child.

I want to quit!
AND THEN... A Good Samaritan has found and vetted a lost baby, "I can't keep him, but I'll take care of him until you find his forever home."

I want to quit!
AND THEN... "Jamie took his first steps holding on to our Pyr." "Joan, you should see this dog nursing this hurt kitten!" "I was so sick, Joan, and he never left my side..."

I want to quit!
AND THEN... I get an email from a fellow rescuer, "Haven't heard from you in a while---you OK? You know I think of you..."

I want to quit!
AND THEN... A dozen rescuers step up to help, to transport, to pull, and to offer encouragement. I have friends I have never seen, but we share tears, joys, and everything in between. I am not alone. I am blest with family of the heart, my fellow Rescuers. Just days ago it was a friend who shared her wit and wisdom, whose late night email lifted my heart. Sometimes it is friends who only have time to forward you a smile. Often, it is my friends who forward me the notices of dogs in need.

There are Rescuers who see a failing transport and do everything they can to find folks to pull it together for you.

Rescuers who'll overnight or foster your Dog while you seek transport.

There are Rescuers not used to or comfortable with your breed, but who put aside their discomfort to help.

There are Rescuers whose words play the music of our hearts.

Foster homes that love your Rescue, and help to make them whole again---body and spirit. Foster homes that fit your baby in, though it may not be their breed.

Rescuers whose talents and determination give us tools to help us. Rescuers we call on for help in a thousand ways, who answer us, who hear our pleas.

Rescuers who are our family, our strength, our comrades in battle.

I know I cannot save every Pyr in need. I know my efforts are a mere drop in a sea. I know that if I take on just one more---those I have will suffer.

I want to quit!
But I won't. When I feel overwhelmed, I'll stroke my Magnus's head while reading my fellow Rescuers emails. I'll cry with them, I'll laugh with them---and they will help me find the strength to go on.

I want to quit!
But not today. There's another email, another dog needing Rescue.

This piece is dedicated, with love and gratitude, to all my fellow Rescuers."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"A Woman's Worth - Weight in Taiwan" as seen in GuanXi Magazine

I wrote this article for GuanXi magazine a couple months ago. Since it is already published, here is the blog version.

<th - Weight in Taiwan

By: Me

My butt is a bubble. My arms are somewhat flabby and the cellulite on my legs jiggles a little more than I want. I have become used to (although I despise) being called “Short Shit” and “Munchkin”. I have been riding this rollercoaster of weight gain and loss since I was 23. I am now 29.

My first experience of the weight issue occured when I moved to Taiwan. I read that the Taiwanese don’t eat many sweets so chocolate would be scarce. Being a connoisseur, the thought of having no chocolate devastated me. I was living in Holland and decided to eat all the chocolate I could. I didn’t know when I would be able to eat them again. On arrival, I was surprised to find Kinder chocolates in the 7/11 and wanted to kick myself repeatedly. Not one of my smartest moments, I have to admit.

I started dating a Taiwanese guy. After a few months he started dropping hints like offering to buy exercise equipment and workout clothes. I had met his family and thought everything was fine. Later, he started making comments like, “You should exercise more,” and “You should wear high heels.”

One day, he kept staring at my chest in public and, even though I should be used to that, it made me wonder. He told me that nipples were taboo and that he kept noticing men staring at my “goods”. Tired of strange men staring at my breasts, I asked him to take me to buy bras. At the department store, a clerk took me to the bra section, grabbed the tape and started measuring me right there in the middle of it all. Even though I was clothed, I never felt more naked! Locals gawked as the woman kept wrapping the tape around me and muttering in Chinese. She told me I was a double D. A double D! In America, I'm a B at most! A few months later the guy told me his mom didn’t approve of me because “I wasn’t thin enough or tall enough.”
I dumped him soon after.

When I visit family in Holland, I spend over a hundred Euros on underwear and bras because I absolutely refuse to buy an L or an XL. My confidence may be at a minimum and I refuse to lose any more!

Fortunately, I am not the only one in this situation. I have talked to a few expats (women and men) who have had similar experiences. One girl (who is super thin to begin with) was told she was too fat when she asked for a medium shirt. I have also been told by an older woman that I should stop going to yoga and take some special aerobics class because “it will my burn all the sexy fat!” That got me laughing - why would I want to burn fat if it was considered sexy?

I now have a boyfriend (he's Taiwanese) who loves me dearly for who I am! He makes me feel good about myself and only worries about my health and NOT my stomach size. His mom thinks I don't eat enough and always encourages me to have more. He loves my round, well padded behind and I do, too! I’m beginning to love my curves even though there are days when my students still laugh or I wish my arms were smaller and that I could fit into jeans again. I may still have to go pants shopping abroad but I'm finding more stores here that sell American sizes. I walk my dog for an hour every day, have cut out sugar and eat more fruit - Taiwan has wonderful fruit. I try to go to yoga as often as possible, not only to help strengthen my body but my mind. These methods are not miracle weight loss cures and I have not lost a lot (if any). I do it because it makes me feel better on the inside. If I lose weight, great! If not, at least I am starting to feel better about myself!

I cannot tell you that you will find a man or woman in Taiwan that will love and cherish every curve on your body. I cannot give you any advice on losing weight and becoming as thin as the Taiwanese girls we see on TV, at clubs or even at work. I cannot tell Taiwanese people to stop calling us fat and I certainly cannot give you any hope of any kind. All I can say is if you want to live a happier life in Taiwan despite your weight, just do the things that make YOU happy and forget everyone else.>>

I hope to write more blog posts soon. I've been very busy.

I'm also planning to move my blog as the comments are now riddled with spam. I will post the link here when that is ready.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


"Why do I NEED to be thin?
Why do I NEED to have long slender legs and toothpick arms?
Why do I NEED to have a flat stomach yet a big bosom?!
Why do I NEED to make myself unhappy and starved just so you can profit from it?!
Why do I NEED to hear people's "advice" telling me to eat less, buy this and that product like "Spanx" or cellulite cream, to wear high heels or to stop eating this or that?
Why do I NEED to feel pressured to exercise the way YOU all want me to and WHEN you want me to?
Why should I have to be afraid to wear shorts and skirts in public for 10 or so years?
Why are you telling me that my being overweight is the cause of all my health problems when there are skinnier people who have similar health problems?
Why do i need to get men's attention when our planet and all its citizens need help?!
Why the lies? " - me

You all might think that since this is coming from a Feminist site that it is radical and extreme, but I can 100% relate to this article. I'm tired of being compared to thin Taiwanese women and skinny celebrities. I am that I am. Yes, maybe I do need more exercise, but that exercise should be for health reasons...I'm tired of trying to lose weight just so I can be "attractive" again...Why do I have to be thin to be attractive?

I would just like to point out that every time someone tells me "Well, you can be thin again!" I always want to tell them a certain story but never do because it is embarrassing. I want to tell it here because I'm sure there are woman who were in or are in the situation I was in, but will wait till AFTER my article is published. for now, here is an article that I read and relate to:

<Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century. For complete information and resources, we recommend that you consult the chapter and the book in its entirety.


In many cultures and historical periods women have been proud to be large--being fat was a sign of fertility, of prosperity, of the ability to survive. Even in the U.S. today, where fear of fat reigns in most sectors of the culture, some racial and ethnic groups love and enjoy large women. For example, Hawaiians often consider very large women quite beautiful, and studies show that some black women experience more body satisfaction and are less concerned with dieting, fatness, and weight fluctuations than are white women. However, the weight loss, medical, and advertising industries have an enormous impact on women across racial and ethnic boundaries. These industries all insist that white and thin is beautiful and that fatness is always a dangerous problem in need of correction. The popular notion that some communities are less influenced than others has meant that women of color in particular have a hard time being taken seriously when they have eating disorders. A black woman suffering from an eating disorder says:

After all, don't black people prize wide hips and fleshy bodies? Isn't obesity so prevalent in our communities because it is actually accepted? Don't black women have very positive body images?...Anorexia and its kin supposedly strike only adolescent, middle- and upper-middle-class white girls...Women like me are winging it, seeking out other sisters with the same concerns, wondering if we are alone on this journey.

Fat women daily encounter hostility and discrimination. If we are fat, health practitioners often attribute our health problems to "obesity," postpone treatment until we lose weight, accuse us of cheating if we don't, make us so ashamed of our size that we don't go for help, and make all kinds of assumptions about our emotional and psychological state ("She must have emotional problems to be so fat").

Yet, as many of us have long suspected, it is now being acknowledged that it is cardiovascular fitness and not fatness we need to look at if we are concerned about health. Some of our ill health as fat women results from the stress of living with fat-hatred--social ridicule and hostility, isolation, financial pressures resulting from job discrimination, lack of exercise because of harassment, and, perhaps most important, the hazards of repeated dieting. Low-calorie dieting has become a national obsession. Many of us are convinced that making women afraid to be fat is a form of social control. Fear of fat keeps women preoccupied, robs us of our pride and energy, keeps us from taking up space. I don't like myself heavy, I want to feel thin, streamlined and spare, and not like a toad. I have taken antifat thinking into myself so deeply that I hate myself when I am even ten pounds "overweight," whatever that means. We can be more relaxed about our weight

  • By experimenting with what weight feels comfortable to us rather than trying primarily to be thin.
  • By being more accepting of weight variations through the life cycle.
  • By developing a clearer understanding of which health problems are truly associated with weight (See chapter 2, Food).
  • By exercising and eating nutritious food to feel healthy, and letting our body weight set itself accordingly.

"We need a widespread rebellion of women who are tired of worrying about their weight, who understand that weight is not a matter of health or discipline but a weapon our culture uses against us to keep us in our place and feeling small. We need to quietly say no to ridiculous weight standards, reassuring ourselves that we're good and worthwhile human beings even if we aren't a size 6, and further, to protest those standards more demonstrably, on behalf of others as well. Both decisions require a change in attitude which, while not necessarily impolite, is rather less tolerant of the everyday demeaning comments about body size that women now accept as their due. In other words, we need to begin to throw our weight around."
--Laura Fraser


A better self-image doesn't pay the rent or cook supper or prevent nuclear war. Feeling better about ourselves doesn't change the world by itself, but it can give us energy to do what we want and to work for change.

Learning to accept and love our bodies and ourselves is an important and difficult ongoing struggle. But to change the societal values underlying body image, we need to do more than love ourselves. We need to focus our attention on the forces that drive wedges between us as women: racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, and our national obsession with size and shape. To truly create change, to create a world in which all women can make choices about our appearances for ourselves and not others, we must incorporate all women into the heart of how we see ourselves. From this expanded horizon of sisterhood, we may begin to value the lives of women who previously meant nothing to us. We may begin to realize that understanding their lives is essential to understanding our own lives and realizing our full potential as women. If we can begin to eliminate the hatred and ridicule levied against women who don't fit the ``state-of-the-art'' ideal, we can lessen the stress of ``not fitting in.'' We also open the possibility of building a social-change movement that links all women who seek a world where each of us can celebrate and delight in our physical bodies. Working together to change the attitudes and conditions that restrict us, we feel proud and more able to take control of our lives. We need each others' help to change the deeply entrenched attitudes that make us dislike our own bodies and that interfere with our relationships with other women. Here are some things groups of women can do together:

  • Find ways to diversify our circle of friends--learn about the concerns of older women through the Grey Panthers; attend a meeting of a disability rights group; find out if there is a Fat Liberation group in your area and see what it is doing.

  • Find women who are exploring ways to combat racism, and form or join an antiracist group.

  • Support magazines that show women of all colors, sizes, shapes, and abilities-- real women as we know them, not airbrushed, white-looking, thin models (see Resource section).

  • Take a course or attend a lecture on race and gender studies, disability issues, women's body image, or the psychology of women to understand the complex dynamics of body image in our culture.

  • Write a letter to a TV station or magazine or clothing store that shows positive (or negative) images of women of color, and let them know what you think.

  • Read whatever you can find on race and body size issues that support self- acceptance instead of trying to make your body conform to any "ideal.'' Discuss with others these ideas and how to put them into daily practice in your own life.

  • Plan together how to challenge ourselves and others when we judge women on the basis of skin color and appearance.

  • Form or join a group or organization that promotes self-acceptance and self-love for all our sizes and in all our diversity.

  • Learn more about how our bodies work, through self-help sessions and/or discussion.

Shifting to a body perspective in which every woman matters in a public sense takes a major shift in consciousness. Breaking the silent hold of state-of-the- art body image on female self-esteem, relationships, and social and economic opportunities requires us to adopt a conception of womanhood that is informed by physical, emotional, and spiritual diversity. Valuing this diversity is critical to dismantling the insidious and toxic effect of discrimination based on how we look. Finding ways to change the societal forces that make accepting ourselves so difficult is a process that can begin at any point in our lives and can continue as long as we live. This mission, if taken on, will lead us toward a future in which every woman can experience the joy of being valued completely for who she is.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

No News Is Good News, No?

I wish I had some eccentric and amazing stories to put on this blog, but I don't. At least not for right now.

I went to see the Vagina Monologues last night which was part of V-Day Taichung. I really liked it! After that, my neighbor and I had dinner and then saw a colleague play at a café. It was a nice night. I'd been wanting to do something artsy-fartsy lately (like I used to do in Amsterdam) and it helped me feel a little at home.

Life and work are the same. The only difference is that now I am trying to be a writer and find a way to get things published so that I can have more experience in the writing world. I know it seems like everyone wants to be a writer these days, but I have found that I really enjoy it. I used to keep a journal from the time I was 8 until I was 27. I stopped because I wanted to write a blog and now I haven't been posting in my blog because I want to make more published pieces to get that experience.

As I have probably said before, I also enjoy editing. I know it sounds strange that someone actually enjoys editing, but I would love to make it a permanent career. I also know that people must think I'm not credible because of all the typos I make here and on FB. But that is only because here is where I express myself and I want to relax from editing since I am a teacher and need to teach and grade and plan. It takes a lot out of me.

I have also found out that I am a chronic worrier after reading "The Worry Cure" but have put reading it further on hold as it really depressed me. I really need to finish it, but now I realize that I can NOT stop worrying. If someone tells me to stop, it doesn't work. I even worry ABOUT worrying!!! How screwed up is that?!

Taiwan is a love/hate situation for me now. Last night I loved Taichung. I felt like that after all these years, I'm coming into my own, meeting interesting and fun people (like I did in Amsterdam) and experiencing more things on the expat front. Changing jobs really helped. I'm not the hermit that I was before..although I still really should stay at home and save money.

Ok, maybe I lie...I don't hate Taiwan. I am just still in culture shock after two years. I get so frustrated by how people do things (or not do things). I get upset that the parks here don't allow dogs and don't fine people for not picking up the poop. I have serious road rage when driving my scooter on the road because people drive so selfishly here. I get so upset that everything here is QUANTITY and quality is thrown to the wayside and because of that I suffer as a teacher. Evidently, I am not a numbers person. Numbers and I don't have a great relationship. I pride myself on quality. That's why I spend more money on things like hair care and etcetera. I want long-term results!

I am debating whether I should go back to studying Chinese or go back to German. I have found out that learning Chinese doesn't help my chances at getting a job because companies prefer native speakers or FBCs(Foreign Born Chinese). I figured I'd relearn German because 1. My grandma was German. 2. If we move back to Europe then I'd be fluent in a good European language. 3. I like German and 4. Same as number 1, it is my heritage and my culture.

That is all I know. Mostly worries and uncertainty which is the plague of the "Chronic Worrier". But I'm not letting it get me down. I will work this stuff out and I will find a way to stop being a chronic worrier..somehow!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Eyes Are Opening And It's Not a Pretty Sight

When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger, and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. ~Ingrid Newkirk

Since I was a kid, I have always had a sensitive heart. I hated seeing people get hurt(physically and emotionally) as well as animals. I was a meat-eater but there were many times where I wanted nothing more than to be a vegetarian. The only reason I couldn't was because no one else was and I was too young to support myself and that desire. Now I am old enough and Taiwan has turned me vegetarian.

Granted, I still eat eggs for protein (although I've started to buy free-range as I have seen images of the battery farms) and I still drink milk although I try to drink more almond and soy milk. I used to eat fish until I got food poisoning a few weeks ago and was in the hospital. I am not a vegan, but the thought of eating meat makes me sick.

What has converted me? Well, I want to know the truth and thanks to Facebook, I have seen many videos and images of things that have shown me the scary and disturbing truth about things such as slaughterhouses, the wool industry and animal testing on beauty products AND...the product that I don't understand why it needs animal testing: chocolate!! I refuse to eat M&M's or Snickers because the Mars Chocolate company tests on animals. Why do they need to test food products on animals?? UNLESS they use new chemicals for flavor and color. Well if they are adding more chemicals to my food then they can forget about me!

Another thing as I have mentioned before were the split duck heads and god knows what else at the markets here!

Antoher thing I just read up on today was about the wool industry. Here is a lnk:

This was my Facebook comment:

"There are so many lies in the agricultural industry :( Were the pioneers (whose farming was their life and their survival) this cruel to animals as well or have we, as a modern society, grown a frigid heart and amuse ourselves by such torture????

We know there is one cause to all this madness: MORE money!"

I was also reading about dissection:

This was my Facebook comment about dissection:

"Do we really need dissection in the classrooms? Our technology is advanced enough where we don't need helpless animals' fact I'm sure we never did!

Ugh...the thought of it reminds me in Junior year physiology where we had to dissect a sheep's brain...WHY?? That didn't make me smarter or understand better a...nd I STILL got a D in the class because the teacher only gave A's to girls in skimpy clothes...Yet another thing that dissapoints me and makes me feel nauseous..."

Seeing the scary truth of it ALL makes me wonder if I really should bring a child into this world...will my child become a prey or a predator? This thought scares me...

My students are only 10-12 years-old and completely de-sensitized...They BEG to watch "Happy Tree Friends" and some kids get a kick out of the powerpoints that I show of people suffering. One of my students was happy to tell me with no thought of remorse that he and his dad saw a dog get hit by car somewhere and they didn't have time to help it. He said this with a smile on his face.
The students in Taiwan don't SEEM to be violent, yet they crave their online games. The movie channels here cut out swear words and SOME sex stuff, but they don't cut out the senseless violence? It just doesn't make sense?

Now as a liberal, I believe that video games and music aren't the cause of killings and shootings, but as a teacher I am seeing more and more that parents (and some teachers) are not educating the students enough on right and wrong. Nobody is teaching these kids that these songs and video games are just that and nothing more. The video game or the song IS NOT telling them to go do these things. They are either telling a story or for entertainment and that is it. But the kids aren't getting the education and it is causing a problem. We, as adults, need to teach them the difference between morally right and wrong! We need to show these kids that it is NOT OK to do these things...

How does this tie into animal cruelty? There have been articles that I have been reading about how most serial killers started out by violently torturing and killing animals. Now this is an extreme case, but it should be a red flag for us to watch our kids and teach them respect, not only for people, but for ALL of Earth's creatures. Whether it is true or not, we need to educate and enlighten again!

My goal is to not give up on these kids and teach them right from wrong. It worries me that my students BEG to see "Happy Tree Friends" (I used to watch it in uni but I was OLD ENOUGH to know that it is just a TV show and nothing more) and I will do what it takes to teach them that there are better things in life to see and experience!

"Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar." ~Bradley Millar

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hao Jiu Bu Jian=Long Time No See


My new job is better! I like it now although it is still hard. Xiao Mai is good, too!

I'm still fat and need to get motivated to exercise. Luckily, my stress level is WAY low now! :D

I'm going to Indonesia in a few weeks and am excited and scared! I haven't left the country to travel around Asia since my trip to Thailand two Octobers ago! Luckily, I am going with a good friend who is a Jakarta native so that really makes me feel better!!

I've written the first draft of a children's book now hoping to get it published...I really enjoy writing and have been hit with a wave of ideas these past few days! I hope that I can start writing more as that seems to be the direction I want to go in my career...I'm also looking into editing. I'm pretty good at editing so maybe this is something else I can do!

Not only that, but I've made an ad for the Phonics club...Phonics is important and it's something that you can play super easy and fun games all the while the kids are learning and having fun! I DON'T want to do speech club so I'm doing everything I can to get students to join!

I want to write more but am channeling my writing energy into other writing outlets (that means..outlets that help get me some green stuff) :P I hope to post during or after Chinese New Year and with pics of Jakarta!

Can't wait! :D